The life of St. Maria Goretti

St. Maria Goretti

Feast day: July 6

Maria was born to a poor farming family in Italy in 1890. After her father’s death, Maria was put in charge of the household while her mother worked in the fields. Her family shared a house with another family, the Serenellis. One afternoon, the Serenellis’ 20-year-old son, Alessandro, made sexual advances toward 11-year-old Maria. When she resisted, he stabbed her repeatedly. On her deathbed, she prayed for Alessandro and forgave him. He was sentenced to prison, where he expressed remorse after Maria appeared to him in a dream. Pope Pius XII canonized Maria in 1950 and she is patron of rape victims and youth.


O God, author of innocence and lover of chastity,
who bestowed the grace of martyrdom
on your handmaid, the Virgin Saint Maria Goretti, in her youth,
grant, we pray, through her intercession,
that, as you gave her a crown for her steadfastness,
so we, too, may be firm
in obeying your commandments.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.

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