St. Maria Goretti
St. Maria Goretti was born on October 16, 1890 in Italy. Her father died early in her life and left her mother to feed all of the children. On July 5th, 1902, Maria was sitting on the steps of her home sewing a shirt for her brother. A young man named Alessandro, who lived with the family made sexual advances towards Maria. She refused to submit to him telling him “No, its a sin, you’ll go to hell!” At her words, Alessandro began to choke her and she said she would rather die than submit. Upon hearing her refusal, he pulled out a knife and stabbed her 11 times. When she tried to make her way to the door he stabbed her 3 more times and then fled. Maria family returned home to find her bleeding on the floor. She was rushed to the hospital where they performed surgery without anesthesia. Her wounds were beyond repair. The following day Maria forgave Alessandro and said she wanted to see him in Heaven. She died looking at an image of the Virgin Mary and holding a cross to her chest.
Alessandro was captured and questioned where he admitted he was not successful in raping Maria and she died a virgin, he always admitted he had attempted to rape her in the past. He was unrepentant for his actions until he had dream of Maria in a garden. In his dream Maria handed him lilies which burned his hands. Upon awakening he repented for his sin and begged Maria mother for forgiveness.
On June 24, 1950 Maria was declared a saint and Alessandro was present in St. Peters crowd to celebrate her canonization. He later became a laybrother of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, where he lived in a monastery and worked until his death.
Maria was 11 years old at the time of her death.
She is the patron of youth, young women, purity and victims of rape.