St Maria Goretti

As we celebrate the Year of Mercy it makes perfect sense to look back at St Maria Goretti as an Angel of Mercy, a forgiver to the man who killed her. So how did Maria, the daughter of Luigi and Assunta Goretti, become a saint and why?
Maria Goretti lived with her family in the Province of Ancona, first at Corinaldo and later at Colle Gianturco, after her family was forced to sell the farm and live with the Serenelli family. So, for 12 years Maria lived a simple life, farming together with her family. On July 5, 1902, while the rest of the family was away, Alessandro approached Maria with a 10 inch knife, threatening to kill her if she did not do what he said. He intended to rape her, and it came out later that he had tried twice before. Maria refused and began to fight him off. In a rage, Alessandro stabbed her 14 times. Until this point there is nothing special, except that it is a rape, which is not rare especially in today’s hypersexualized world we’re living in. Here comes the saintly part; eventually Maria died from her wounds, but not before completely forgiving her attacker and stating that she wanted him to be with her in heaven.
Such a powerful testimony by an 11 year old girl who lived such a humble life with her family, and who forgave her murderer on her death bed, stands as a reminder in today’s world that forgiveness and purity are worth striving for.


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