The Barefoot Girl
San Severino, Italy, 1340.
Fifteen-year-old Margharita is toiling in her family’s meager field when a handsome gentleman rides in with a proposal of marriage. After only a few words with her father, Master Dominico Vasari tears Margharita away from the family she cherishes and the farm boy she lovesand hauls her off to a foreign life, full of strangers and strange customs....
At the Vasari castle, the dirt smudges on Margharita’s face are replaced with powders and perfumes, her one decrepit dress with gowns of silk. But for these fineries Margharita pays a dear price. Vasari beats her, viciously and capriciously, even when she becomes great with child.
So Margharita begins to pray, fervently and furtively, to the Blessed Mother and to Saint Mary Magdalene: for her safety, for her unborn child, and for the starving masses outside the castle walls.
Only then does the Blessed Virgin reveal Margharita’s fateand why she will forever be known as the Barefooted One....
(A Novel of St. Margaret, Patroness of the Abused)