The feast day of St. Maria Goretti is celebrated on July 6. St. Maria Goretti is the patron saint of rape victims, purity, chastity, forgiveness, and youth. She was the third of six children; having two sisters and three brothers. St. Maria Goretti died a martyr after an attempted rape and being stabbed to death.
Maria was born in Ancona, Italy on Oct. 16, 1890. Her father died of malaria when she was six years old, leaving her family very poor. They moved to Le Ferriere.
On July 5, 1902, she was sitting on her front steps, sewing and babysitting when her eighteen old neighbor, Alexander, attempted to rape her. She began screaming…
“No! It is a sin! God does not want it!”
After choking Maria, she still refused to submit to him, preferring to die. He then stabbed her eleven times. Maria tried to escape but Alexander then stabbed her three more times before running away. Maria was found bleeding and was taken to the hospital. Maria forgave Alexander before she died as she lay in a hospital bed.
Alexander was captured shortly after she died. Because he was a minor he was not sentenced to life in prison. He received a sentence of thirty years. He was unrepentant until he had a dream. In the dream, Maria appeared to him in a garden. She gave him flowers.
After 27 years in prison, he was released. Alexander went directly to Maria’s mother begging forgiveness. Her mother said,
“If my daughter can forgive him who am I to withhold forgiveness.”
All three of Maria’s brothers claimed to have had the intervention of St. Maria in their lives. Angelo heard a voice telling him to immigrate to America. Sandrino miraculously received money to finance his own immigration to join Angelo. Mariano heard a voice telling him to remain in his trench while fighting in World War I.
Maria was canonized in 1950 by Pope Pius XII. Pope Pius compared her to ‘St. Agnes of the 20th century’. Both her mother and Alexander attended the ceremony to celebrate her canonization.
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
He loves, He hopes, He waits,
Our Lord prefers to wait, Himself,
for the sinner….
rather than keep us waiting for an instant.
Quote of St. Maria Goretti
July is the Month of the Most Precious Blood