Friday, February 13, 2015

Love's Bravest Choice

I was reading a book entitled "Pure Womanhood", I found a prayer for purity at the back portion and saw the name Gioretti. " St. Maria Gioretti, Pray for us" I never forgot her name "Gioretti". I was asking myself why is she the saint of purity and chastity?

I'm a Marian devotee and a member of Total Consecration To Jesus through Mary family. We had a meeting last Thursday on our plans this year. Bea, a friend and a leader mentioned "Gioretti"  and how she became a saint by preserving her purity as a sign of her Big Love to God, so I asked Bea her story and she told me how she remained virgin at her last breathe, she was almost raped by a neighbor named Alessandro but she resisted and shouted "No, it's a sin! I will not do it!, God will not allow it". 

Before her last breathe she forgave Alessandro and said 

"Yes, for the love of Jesus I forgive him...and I want him to be with me in Paradise."

Read more further for Maria Gioretti's story and Alessandro's conversion.

October 16, 1890
Maria Goretti is born in Corinaldo, Italy to Luigi Goretti and Assunta Carlini.

October 17, 1890
Maria is baptized in the Church of San Francesco in Corinaldo.

October 4, 1896
Maria is confirmed by Mons. Giulio Boschi, Bishop of Senigallia.

July 5, 1902
Maria was mortally wounded at 15.30 by her neighbor, Alessandro Serenelli, who attacked her with intent to sexually abuse her. He was 20 years old.

July 6, 1902
Maria dies at the age of 11 years, 9 months and 21 days, after forgiving Alessandro.

June 24, 1950
Maria Goretti is declared Saint in St. Peter's Square by Pope Pius XII, becoming the youngest officially recognized Roman Catholic saint ever.

Her Story:

The daughter of humble sharecroppers, Maria and her family moved to the little town of Ferriere, Italy in 1899 in search of work .Desperately seeking to support his family, Luigi Goretti struck up a bargain with Signor Serenelli, who had a son named Alessandro.The two families lived together in a building owned by Count Mazzolini.

Maria quickly matured in grace and holiness in the eyes of friends and other acquaintances. After losing her father to malaria, she developed great strength and maturity. Her charming modesty, cheerful obedience and the serious, but free acceptance of a hundred thankless home chores distinguished her from the other children who would play in the dusty streets of Ferriere. Perhaps the highlight of her life was her First Holy Communion, which she dutifully prepared for and awaited with great anticipation. She truly seemed to be advancing "in wisdom, and age and grace before God and men."

Lured by the passions of his day and nurturing the dark side of his soul with impious reading and thoughts, Alessandro Serenelli had been a thorn in lovely Maria's side. He propositioned her on several occasions and harassed her with impure suggestions. On July 5, 1902, he would be denied no longer. As she once again rebuffed his sexual advance, shouting, "No! It is a sin! God does not want it!", Alexander lunged to the deed, stabbing Maria 14 times.

Doctors in Nettuno tried to save Maria's life to no avail. After 20 painful hours of suffering during which she forgave and prayed for Alessandro, Maria entered Heaven fortified with the Last Sacraments. Her last earthly gaze rested upon a picture of the Blessed Mother. It was July 6, 1902.

Almost fifty years later on June 24, 1950, Pope Pius XII stood on the steps of St. Peter's in Rome and pronounced Maria Goretti a Saint and Martyr of the Universal Church to half a million people. He proposed her as the Patroness of Modern Youth and set July 6th as her feast Day. Her mother, and her murderer, attended the canonization ceremony together.

This was the triumph of the little girl who loved God and hated sin.
Maria Goretti had led a very ordinary life. But in spite of her simplicity, her great faith and love for God made her truly extraordinary.