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Thursday, July 6, 2006
St. Maria Goretti
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Optional Memorial (1969 Calendar): July 6

Today the Church remembers St. Maria Goretti, who died a martyr at the young age of 12 in 1902. For those of you reading that haven't heard of her, her life is worth reading.

St. Maria Goretti was born on October 16, 1890, in Corinaldo, Italy to Luigi Goretti and Assunta Carlini. She was baptized the next morning. She was raised as a pious farm girl, one of six children, who grew in holiness. In 1896 the family moved to Ferriere di Conca and shortly afterwards, St. Maria's father died of malaria. The Goretti family was forced to move onto the Serenelli farm to survive.

On July 5, 1902, St. Maria Goretti, at the age of 12, was attack by Alessandro Serenelli, a farm hand, who wanted to rape her. He had repeatedly suggested impure things to her previously, but this time hatred filled him. St. Maria Goretti refused sexual relations first and foremost because it was a sin outside of marriage. She desperately fought to stop Alessandro, a 20 year old, from abusing her. She kept screaming, "No! It is a sin! God does not want it!"

Alessandro Serenelli began to choke St. Maria Goretti and then stabbed her 14 times. The young girl survived in a hospital for two weeks, where she forgave her attacker and asked God to forgive him. She died holding a crucifix and a medal of Our Lady.

Years later, while in prison, Alessandro had a vision of Maria. He saw a young girl, dressed in white, gathered lilies in a garden. She then smiled, came near him, and encouraged him to accept an armful of the lilies. As Alessandro took them, each lily transformed into a still white flame; St. Maria then disappeared. This vision led to Alessandro's conversion. He later testified at her cause for beatification. At the end of his life, Alessandro wrote, "I ask pardon of the world of the outrage done to the martyr Maria Goretti and to purity. I exhort everyone to keep away from immoral shows, from dangers, from occasions that can lead to sin."

She was beatified on April 27, 1947, and canonized on June 24, 1950, by Pope Pius XII. Her mother was present at her canonization - the only time a mother has ever been present for her child's canonization. She was the youngest officially recognized saint of the Catholic Church. She is a model of purity - a model all of us should try to imitate. St. Maria refused to break the Commandments and for that she was rewarded with eternal life. Remember Our Lord's words, that we are to adhere to every Commandment of the Church, even the least important (Mt. 5:18-19). St. Maria is a model of all of us, especially the youth, to follow



Official Prayer to St. Maria Goretti

Oh Saint Maria Goretti who, strengthened by God's grace, did not hesitate even at the age of twelve to shed your blood and sacrifice life itself to defend your virginal purity, look graciously on the unhappy human race which has strayed far from the path of eternal salvation. Teach us all, and especially youth,with what courage and promptitude we should flee for the love of Jesus anything that could offend Him or stain our souls with sin. Obtain for us from our Lord victory in temptation, comfort in the sorrows of life, and the grace which we earnestly beg of thee (here insert intention), and may we one day enjoy with thee the imperishable glory of Heaven. Amen.

Photos of her Canonization:



Photo Sources

15 comments:

del_button July 6, 2006 at 7:56 PM
Lindsay said...

Today is a special feast day for me. I'm the financial secretary for my campus's court of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, and St. Maria Goretti is our patroness. Not coincidentally, our court has a special focus on chastity.

del_button January 6, 2007 at 1:44 PM
CYN. said...

I AM A GIRL FROM THE YOUTH AND I BELIEVE THAT ST.MARIAGORETTI IS A GOOD SAINT. I AM GLAD THAT SHE FOUGHT THAT WAY SHE WAS NOT ABUSED. I HOPE THAT EVERY CHILD ON THIS EARTH CAN HAVE THE SAME LUCK TO NOT BE ABUSED AND TO FIGHT IF THAT EVER HAPPENS.

del_button February 28, 2007 at 4:26 PM
Anonymous said...

Yesterday I recived Confermation ( did I spell that right? ) and I took Maria as my name, and after reading about her life, I feel that I am honered to have her name for my confermation. Also I hope that people are touched by her story just like how I was.

(ope my spelling is o.k.)

del_button August 17, 2009 at 8:09 PM
Anonymous said...

i am very honored that my room is st. maria goretti!!

:D

del_button November 4, 2009 at 4:32 PM
Anonymous said...

thank you very much this information was very helpful(:

del_button November 10, 2009 at 12:37 PM
Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that I am very proud to have a part of her in my name for confirmation and life as a christian because I think she is a wonderfull person. I will be sure to celebrate her feast day.(I'm not sure how you are supposed to though)

del_button November 13, 2009 at 4:01 PM
Anonymous said...

I just wanted to write that I am proud to have the name Maria Goretti. A lot of people don't know her and I will always tell the world about her life!

del_button January 22, 2010 at 7:29 PM
Anonymous said...

St. Maria is a wonderful person, and i respect her for that. My full name has two saints, and i think my parents didnt even know about St. Maria when they named me. It is such an honor that her name is also mine, and that i got to learn about her. I hope she watches me, just like Jesus and God.

del_button July 30, 2010 at 1:47 AM
Anonymous said...

i call my sister maria goretti..

del_button October 5, 2010 at 12:28 PM
Anonymous said...

Last year I chose Maria Goretti as my confirmation name. I deeply admire her for not backing down and then forgiving her killer. She will always be the saint that I most admire.

del_button December 1, 2010 at 4:35 PM
Anonymous said...

Saint Maria Goretti is a very inspiring girl and makes me feel the need to be more like her.

del_button July 6, 2011 at 2:01 PM
Anonymous said...

Saint Maria Goretti is a remarkable little girl whose example of faith and love for God, I pray, will forever inspire all who know her story.

del_button February 5, 2012 at 4:50 PM
Anonymous said...

Dear Maria, dear angel, stay close to my heart forever.

del_button March 14, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Anonymous said...

Saint Maria Goretti is my Confirmation patron saint. By her example, she has been a very special person in my life. Thank you for posting her life's story. I've learned a few things about her that I had no idea. Thank you for the website.

del_button March 15, 2013 at 4:45 AM
Anonymous said...

I AM GOING FOR CATECHISM AND I WAS GIVEN AN ASSIGNMENT TO CHOOSE A SAINT AND LEARN ABOUT. I CHOSE ST MARIA GORETTI AND I AM VERY GLAD THAT I CHOSE HER. SHE IS REALLY AN ISPIRATION ME

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