The saintly life of St. Maria Goretti

Today marks the beautiful feast of St. Maria Goretti, patron saint of teenage girls, rape victims, and chastity.

Maria was canonized in 1950 after having died at age 12 in 1902. Born in Italy, she was working in the fields when a young man in the neighborhood, Alessandro, pursued her and made advancements on her.

She refused with all her might. Angered after she fled him once, Alessandro stabbed her seventeen times. She died the next day after enduring a night of tortuous pain.

Somewhere during the last hours of her life, she offered forgiveness to the man who had done this unthinkable crime.

It was years later before Alessandro finally repented. Moved by the holiness, selflessness, charity, and forgiveness of Maria, he converted to faith in the One in whom she believed.

Alessandro attended the canonization of St. Maria Goretti in 1950 a firm believer in Christ, a fully contrite murderer, and a proud member of the Catholic Church.

Today is a fitting day to pray for any young women we know. Let us entrust them to the care of St. Maria Goretti.