Saint Maria Goretti is a Martyr of the Catholic Church because this brave little girl chose to die rather than commit sin!
This beautiful girl was the daughter of Luigi Goretti and Assunta Carlini. She was born on October 16th, 1890. They lived in Corinaldi, Italy, together with the family Serenelli.
She was very wise and mature for her age and was growing up with a pure heart and an immense love for God!
After her father, Luigi, died from malaria, her mother Assunta and her remained living with the Serenelli family. They really had nowhere to go!
One day, some time after having received the Holy Communion, Maria was attacked by Allesandro Serenelli, who wanted to sexually abuse her. He was much older than her, he was 20 years old then. Maria defended herself telling her attacker constantly that it was a sin and she would never accept to commit such a sin.
Allesandro, enraged by her denial, brutally stabbed her all over her body. She died a day later, after having forgiven him for what he had done to her. She was merely twelve years of age!
Allesandro went to jail for 30 years. During the time he was in prison, Maria once appeared to him. She told him she was very happy in heaven and that he must change his life, because she wanted to see him in heaven with her! He repented, made a complete confession and changed his life forever.
After he was released from jail, he went to live in a convent with Franciscan monks. He worked there as a gardener for the rest of his life.
Allessandro was present at the canonization of Saint Maria Goretti and sat aside Mrs. Assunta Goretti, Maria's mother!
Maria Goretti is the Patroness of Modern Youth, proposed by Pope Pius XII.
Her feast day is July 6th.