This may be an authentic photo of St. Maria Goretti.
Many people seem to have problems with the saints. They complain some were too pure for them, some too charitable, some too strict, some way too poor or penitential - even their favorite saints, those who most attract them, seem to pose some sort of problem for them from time to time. Like Therese of Lisieux - "yeah - well she had such a good family and then ended up in a cloister - no wonder she's a saint." Or Maria Goretti, whose feast it is today - "She was so young and pious - perhaps so scared - no wonder she fought so hard and died, resisting rape." Or, "Yeah, so she died rather than being raped. What does that make me who was seduced and abused, but lived to tell about it?"
I think what is going on here a lot of the time is envy. There is a holy envy one can acquire, which longs to be as close to God as the saints, or to be as pleasing to God as they were. Although, if we are honest, sometimes that envy may not be so holy as we like to think - it can be a symptom of self love and jealousy. We recognize it as such because it generally leads to a morbid discouragement - which may end in debilitating sloth - or at least so it seems to me.
Nevertheless, what we find attractive in the saints is their virtue, their love - devotion to God. That is their holiness - that is what holiness is. Their charity, the fire of their love, is what attracts us to them - they, the Holy Spirit draws us to them in love. We can't posses them, nor copy or reproduce their charism in ourselves, by ourselves - not any more than we can possess or acquire, or be what our best friend on earth is. If we think that, we do not understand friendship, and I think it safe to say our love is self-love, and our devotion becomes self-seeking.
The saints are full of charity, the more perfect they are, the more they understand our weakness and compassionate our imperfection - they are drawn to us. They are presented to our deepest attraction for good by the Holy Spirit to be a friend and companion - not a competitor or someone to put us down.
This past week, on July 4th, we observed the memorial of Pier Giorgio Frassati. A young saint - he died so young, and accomplished much, hidden from his family and the praise of men. He was angelic in his purity, perfect in his obedience - everything that I am not. My devotion to him was not impeded by my own sinfulness and failures, or his youth and perfection - to the contrary. I was immediately attracted to his spirit and he became my best friend ever since I saw a photo of him one day, shortly after his beatification. He was pure, I was not. Was I jealous? Heavens no. Just the opposite.
I'm not saying this well at all, I know, but think of it like this: If your predominant fault was dishonesty, and you were suffering from temptations to steal, would you go to a known thief for advice or help to combat this vice? Or would you ask a saint who never ever committed that sin himself, yet maybe forgave those who once robbed him of his reputation in life, and thus reached a high degree of virtue and sanctity and became a saint? If you were troubled by violent temptations and struggled with habitual sins against chastity - would you go to a prostitute to advise or guide you, or beg the most pure and unsullied saint to come to your aid, strengthen you in temptation, and accompany you after your sin on the way back to confession?
It seems to me a common mistake is that we want the saints to be just like us - or we want saints like ourselves - damaged, broken, neurotic - with movie star looks; but I think that is self-love and even a form of covetousness. I don't know how to explain it better. But it seems to me it is healthier to want to be with friends more virtuous than ourselves, those who can and are willing to help us grow in virtue, not those who bring us down.
Anyway - it's dumb to be jealous or resentful towards the saints. When we feel like that, it's not their problem, or God's problem - but ours. It stems from our inordinate self love. Self love and pride go together... leading to rivalry, sloth, contempt for spiritual things, rancor, discouragement - and of course, envy and sadness at the success of others - in this case, the saints.
I may be wrong of course. And to be sure - it is completely normal and not a sin if we find we are not attracted or particularly devoted to every saint. Saints are people too, you know. There are people you may not be attracted to or even like.
But don't listen to me - ask your spiritual director or confessor about such things, I'm just talkin'.
St. Maria appears to her attacker/murderer, Alessandro.
Perhaps this image helps in what I was trying to say.
The little Saint appeared to the man who
killed her and assured him of her love and
forgiveness. What greater encouragement
do we need to approach the saints and Our Lady,
even if our sins be like scarlet?