Victoria Rasoamanarivo, born in 1848 into a powerful Madagascar family, was baptised at 15, and a year later married according to family custom.
Though obliged by her position to frequent the court, she remained faithful to daily Mass, prayers and works of mercy.
Her marriage was unhappy as she had no children and her husband’s life style was scandalous. When pressurised to divorce him, she refused to break the vow she had given in the sacrament of matrimony.
During the 1883-1885 war when French priests were being expelled, they entrusted her with the protection of the church, knowing her piety and privileged position.
Thanks to her support, the Catholics survived the crisis and she was heralded as the guardian of the church. She died in 1894 and was beatified by St John Paul II in Madagascar on the 21 August 1989.
– From: Claver Calendar 2015. For donations for the work of the Sisters of St Peter Claver and vocation enquiries, please contact this address: 89 Shortlands Road, Bromley, Kent, BR2 0JL