Saint Maria Goretti, a Saint for our Times.

This is a Saint for our times. Her desire to remain virtuous confirms the strength and power of the Graces bestowed by Baptism. From the Blog, Credidimus Caritati, the story of martyrdom and of forgiveness...

St Maria Goretti

It was a hot, humid day in early July. After the meal everyone but Maria went back to their threshing. Maria sat sewing. She was only eleven years old but her father, Luigi Goretti, had died and her mother and brothers had to work in the fields, so the little girl was in charge of the household duties. They lived near Anzio, Italy, in a house they shared with Giovanni Serenelli, a widower, and his son, Alessandro, nineteen. This day Giovanni sat down to rest, saying he was sick, at the bottom of the stairs leading up to where they lived. On the landing at the top of the stairs Maria’s little sister, Teresa, and a neighbor’s baby girl were asleep on a blanket.

Alessandro was taken with Maria’s beauty and had for some time tried to seduce her. He spoke obscenely to her, made lewd suggestions and threatened to kill Maria and her mother if she told anyone.

Now Alessandro, in an ox-cart in the field going among the stacks of beans, suddenly gave the reins to another and said he had to go back to the house to get something.

Alessandro jumped down from the cart. He spoke to his father dozing at the foot of the stairs and went up into the house. He said nothing to Maria and went to his room. He came out and called to her but she did not answer, going on with her sewing. This infuriated the hot-passioned youth and he grabbed the girl and dragged her into the kitchen and kicked the door shut. She fought him when he told her his intention. She cried, “No. It’s a sin. God does not want it. You’ll go to hell!”

Alessandro grew even more angry at her resistance, raised a knife and threatened her. She said, “No, no!” In a craze he struck her again and again with the knife. She shouted for help but the closed door was heavy and the noise of the threshing was loud. No one heard her. She fell to the floor, then dragged herself to the door. She opened it as Alessandro ran for his room. She screamed and this made him turn back. In a frenzy, he stabbed the girl six more times. Dropping the knife he rushed to his room and locked the door.

Alessandro’s father, asleep, did not hear Maria’s shriek, but he woke up to the loud crying of the babies. He jumped up, found Maria in a pool of blood, and yelled wildly to the threshers.

Maria’s body was horribly mangled. It was a miracle that she was still alive. She could hardly breathe. Her mother fainted. They asked who did this terrible thing; she whispered, “It was Alessandro. He tried to make me do something that was a sin. But he couldn’t make me do it. He couldn’t. I wouldn't let him.” She was taken to the hospital in a nearby town.

The police came to get the defiant Alessandro. A crowd of angry farmers surrounded the house. The police sent for more guards to take him away. The mob wanted to lynch him on the spot.

The doctors were astonished that the girl was still alive. Her pain-racked body was covered with blood. They said it was hopeless. They called for the priest. Someone said, “She is an angel.”

Maria was burning with fever and suffering but she said, “I’m all right.” Her mother, in tears, gave her the crucifix to kiss and that comforted her. The chaplain enrolled her in the Children of Mary and the blessed medal was hung around her neck on a green ribbon. She kissed the medal often. She forgave Alessandro, as she fervently received Holy communion for the last time. She said, “It is Jesus, whom I shall soon seen in heaven.” more...

What Faith! God make us all fervent our our Faith, and grant us the willingness to forvive those who sin against us.


1 comment:

Matterhorn said...

This is such a moving story, just incredible! May she intercede for us all. Truly a saint for our times!