St Maria (1890 – 1902) was born the third of nine children into a poor peasant family at Corinaldo, Italy. When she was 6, her family were so poor that they gave up their farm, went to work as farmhands and shared a home with other families. At 9, St Maria’s father died from malaria.
While living in Lazio, it transpired that another farmhand had been making regular sexual advances to St Maria which she spurned, acknowledging that to do so, was a “mortal sin”. One day while others were in the fields working, she again refused his advances but in his anger, he repeatedly stabbed her. Aware that her wounds were fatal she forgave her attacker before she died. She was just 12 years old.
The farmhand confessed his actions and, over time, became deeply remorseful. St Maria was canonised a Saint in her mother and her attacker’s presence in Rome by Pope Pius in 1947.
St Maria’s Feast Day is the 6th July. She is Patron Saint of victims of rape and the youth.
St Maria Goretti:
Pray for us that we will avoid all sin in our daily thoughts, words and actions.
Glory be to the Father…