Bracco, Teresa, Bl.

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Lay woman and martyr; b. Santa Giulia in Sanvarezzo (Diocese of Acqui), Savona, Italy, Feb. 24, 1924; d. Zerbi (near Sanvarezzo), Aug. 28, 1944. The formation of Teresa Bracco began under the tutelage of her parents, Giacomo Bracco and Anna Pera, who were humble farmers with a strong devotion to the Eucharist and the Blessed Mother. Throughout her short life, Teresa attended daily Mass and had great devotion for the Eucharist. She became known for her modesty in dress and speech. Her spiritual maturity prepared her to resist the threat of rape by a Nazi soldier who shot her twice, then crushed her skull. Her death was declared a martyrdom on July 7, 1997. During her beatification on May 24, 1998, in the Piazza Vittorio, Turin, Italy, Pope John Paul II proclaimed that in Teresa Bracco "the virtue of chastity shines out she was its champion and witness to the point of martyrdom."

Feast: Aug. 28 (Italy).

Bibliography: c. siccardi, Martire a vent'anni (Rome 1998).

[k. i. rabenstein]