Thursday, July 6, 2017

Feast of St. Maria Goretti

29kb jpg holy card, artist unknown

Today is a feast day of a recent martyr for the virtue of holy purity, St. Maria Goretti (+1902), of Nettuno, Lazio, Italy.  She is such a splendid example of purity in our profoundly impure and immodest age -- she was willing even to die rather than consent to grave sin.  She not only showed the fortitude of her chastity in the face of an attack, but she also forgave her attacker on her very deathbed.  Here we have purity and charity in heroic form, and all of this in a girl of a tender 12 years of age.  God, indeed, chooses the weak and makes them strong.

This provides a link with a bit of information about St. Maria Goretti:
Catholic Saints Info: St. Maria Goretti

Here is the website of the site of his relics in Nettuno, Italy: Basilica of Our Lady of Grace and St. Maria Goretti

From that site, we have a splendid excerpt from the 1950AD homily of Pope Pius XII delivered on the occasion of her canonization -- this in the presence of her mother and repentant murderer:

"It is well known how this young girl had to face a bitter struggle with no way to defend herself. Without warning a vicious stranger burst upon her, bent on raping her and destroying her childlike purity. In that moment of crisis she could have spoken to her Redeemer in the words of that classic, The Imitation of Christ: “Though tested and plagued by a host of misfortunes, I have no fear so long as your grace is with me. It is my strength, stronger than any adversary; it helps me and give me guidance.” With splendid courage she surrendered herself to God and his grace and so gave her life to protect her virginity. The life of a simple girl – I shall concern myself only with highlights – we can see as worthy of heaven. Even today people can look upon it with admiration and respect. Parents can learn from her story how to raise their God-given children in virtue, courage, and holiness; they can learn to train them in the Catholic faith so that, when put to the test, God’s grace will support them and they will come through undefeated, unscathed, and untarnished. From Maria’s story carefree children and young people with their zest for life can learn not to be led astray by attractive pleasures which are not only ephemeral and empty but also sinful. Instead they can fix their sights on achieving Christian moral perfection, however difficult that course may prove. With determination and God’s help all of us can attain that goal by persistent effort and prayer. Not all of us are expected to die a martyr‘s death, but we are all called to the pursuit of Christian virtue. So let us all, with God’s grace, strive to reach the goal that the example of the virgin martyr, Saint Maria Goretti, sets before us. Through her prayers to the Redeemer may all of us, each in his own way, joyfully try to follow the inspiring example of Maria Goretti who now enjoys eternal happiness in heaven."

This blogger's family has a particular devotion to St. Maria Goretti, having both a first class relic, and a daughter bearing the name of Marie in her honor.

St. Maria Goretti, pray for us!

Live well!

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