Saint Maria Goretti or Saint Goretti is a Saint of the last Century and the youngest saint to be honoured by the Church.
She was born as Maria Tereza Goretti on 16th October 1890 to Luigi Goretti and Assunta Goretti in Corinaldo, Southern Italy.
They were seven children of a farming family she being the third. Her father died of Malaria when she was just 9 years old.
After the death of their father they shifted to another house which they shared with another family known as Serenelli.
Maria’s Mother and other siblings use to work in their farm, while she remained in the house to do the household chores and also look after the youngest sibling.
One afternoon Alessandro the Serenelli’s twenty year old son made sexual advances to her. When she refused to submit to him he stabbed her fourteen times. She had to be hospitalized and operated upon to save her life. All this was done without anesthesia. But she lived for one more day. She suffered internal injuries which she bore for the love of God. She confessed about the person who attempted to rape her. She also said there were two other prior attempts by him, which she did not disclose earlier due to fear of death.
She fought desperately and kept screaming. No it’s a sin, God does not want it.
Firstly he choked her, but when she insisted that she would rather die than submit to him, initially he stabbed her 11 times and later three times.
Her sister who was sleeping, awoke and began crying, When her mother reached home and found her on the floor in a pool of blood, they shifted her to the hospital. She confessed the name of Alessandro.
During the imprisonment of Alessandro he confessed that Maria died a virgin.
Before her death she prayed and forgave him and said that she wants him in heaven to be with her.
Alessandro Serenelli was convicted, jailed, and was granted life imprisonment. But due to his young age and pleadings from his mother he was given 30 years of imprisonment. Again after 27 years he was released from the jail. He went to her mother Assunta, asking her for forgiveness as he had repented for this dastardly act. Her mother forgave him and they even attended together daily mass the following day.
Maria Goretti was beatified on 27th April 1947 by Pope Pius XII at St. Peter’s Basilica.
The Pope called her mother and greeted Assunta by putting his hand on her head, by saying Blessed Mother, Happy mother, mother of a blessed.
Three years later, on 24th June 1950, Pope Pius XII canonized Maria Goretti. The ceremony was well attended by her mother, brothers and a sister. Alessandro was also present.
Pope Pius XII held this ceremony outside the St. Peter’s Basilica. Some 5 lakh people participated in this ceremony, which included thousands of youth. The Pope spoke in Italian rather than the official language Latin.
Her mortal remains are kept in a crypt of the Passionate Basilica of Nostra Signora della Grazia e Santa Maria Goretti in Netuno Rome.
It is incorrectly reported that her body remains are incorrupt. This is because her skeletal remains are contained in a wax statue in a glass casket.
Her feast day is 6th July inserted by the Roman Calendar. She is the Patron saint of Chastity, Rape victims, youth teenage girls, Poverty, Purity and forgiveness.
Let us pray to St. Maria Goretti to intercede for us during our difficult times. Saint Maria Goretti… Pray for us.
– Rosarito Coelho (Ward 8 )