Saint Maria Goretti is a miraculous intercessor with a compelling story. She provides a timeless example of faith and forgiveness.

Here are 7 things to know and share about Saint Maria Goretti:

1. Saint Maria Goretti was born in 1890 in Corinaldo, Italy. She was raised in a poor agricultural family. She was known for her cheerful and devout nature.

2. Maria’s father died when she was young and her mother worked to support their six children. Maria took care of the younger children while her mother worked. She prayed the Rosary every night for the repose of her father’s soul.

How did Maria Goretti die?
Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

3. Maria Goretti died a martyr at age 11. On July 5, 1902, a neighbor named Alessandro Serenelli attempted to sexually assault her. She resisted, proclaiming that it was a sin and an offense against God. Alessandro stabbed her multiple times, resulting in her death the following day.

4. Maria forgave her assailant before she died, expressing her desire to see him in heaven.

What is Maria Goretti known for?
Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

5. Her attacker later experienced a conversion after Maria came to him in a dream while in prison. He deeply regretted his actions. After serving a prison sentence, he attended Maria's beatification and became a lay brother in a monastery.

6. She is widely venerated as the patron saint of purity, chastity, young girls, and victims of rape or violence.

7. Pilgrims can visit her shrine at the Basilica of Saint Maria Goretti in Nettuno, Italy, where her body is preserved.

Here is a prayer for the intercession of Saint Maria Goretti:

O God, author of innocence and lover of chastity, who bestowed the grace of martyrdom on your handmaid, the Virgin Saint Maria Goretti, in her youth, grant, we pray, through her intercession, that, as you gave her a crown for her steadfastness, so we, too, may be firm in obeying your commandments.

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