Saint Maria Goretti – Our Patroness

Story of St. Maria Goretti

Maria Goretti was born a poor peasant child in Italy in 1890, the third of six children. When she was nine she began caring for her siblings.  Maria was loving, intelligent, beautiful and holy.

On July 5, 1902, Alessandro, a young man who lived and worked with the Goretti family, overtook her and demanded that she submit to him, but she told him that it would be a sin. Enraged, Alessandro stabbed her 14 times in her heart, lungs, and intestines, and then fled to his bedroom.

While in the hospital, undergoing surgery without anesthesia Maria was asked if she forgave Alessandro, she said, “Yes, for the love of Jesus I forgive him…and I want him to be with me in Paradise.” She died on July 6.

Alessandro spent 30 years in prison.  While there, he had a vision of Maria. He saw a garden where a young girl, dressed in white, was gathering lilies. She smiled, and came near him, and encouraged him to accept an armful of the lilies. As he took them, each lily became a still white flame. Maria then disappeared.

Alessandro’s conversion was complete. After he was released from prison he asked Maria’s mother to forgive him. He then became a gardener in a Capuchin monastery for the rest of his life.

Along with 30 other witnesses, Alessandro testified as to Maria’s sanctity during her Cause of Beatification. In 1950, she was canonized in a ceremony attended by a quarter million people, including her mother, the first mother ever to see her child canonized.

October 16, 1890

Maria Goretti is born in Corinaldo, Italy to Luigi Goretti and Assunta Carlini

October 17, 1890

Maria is baptized in the Church of San Francesco in Corinaldo.

October 4, 1896

Msgr. Giulio Boschi, Bishop of Senigallia, confirms Maria.

June 16, 1901

Maria receives her First Holy Communion in the Church of Conca, today called Borgo Montello.

July 5, 1902

Her neighbor, Alessandro Serenelli, mortally wounds her.  He attacks her with the intent to sexually abuse her.

July 6, 1902

Maria dies from the brutal stabbing at the age of 11 years, 9 months, and 21 days, after forgiving Alessandro.

May 31, 1935

The informative process for Canonization commences at Albano.

April 27, 1947

The Roman Catholic Church beatifies Maria.

June 24, 1950

Pope Pius XII in St. Peter’s Square declares Maria Goretti a saint, becoming the youngest officially recognized Roman Catholic saint ever.

July 6

Feast Day of Maria Goretti.

More Informationwww.mariagoretti.org

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