Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Maria Goretti, A Martyr for Purity

"Maria Goretti resembled St. Agnes in her characteristic virtue of Fortitude. This virtue of Fortitude is at the same time the safeguard as well as the fruit of virginity. Our new beata was strong and wise and fully aware of her dignity. That is why she professed death before sin. She was not twelve years of age when she shed her blood as a martyr, nevertheless what foresight, what energy she showed when aware of danger! She was on the watch day and night to defend her chastity, making use of all the means at her disposal, persevering in prayer and entrusting the lily of her purity to the special protection of Mary, the Virgin of virgins. Let us admire the fortitude of the pure of heart. It is a mysterious strength far above the limits of human nature and even above ordinary Christian virtue." - Beatification Homily Pius XII

St. Maria Goretti died defending her virginity.  So did the following young women.  So did St. Agnes and the many virgin martyrs in ancient times.  
Pierina Morosini, lay woman, (+ Fiobbo di Albino, Bergamo, 1957), aged 26. She was attacked by a man who stoned her to death for refusing to comply with his evil desires. She was unconscious and died two days later in hospital. [4. October 1987].
Antonia Mesina, lay woman (+ Orgosolo, Nuoro 1935). At the age of 16, while gathering wood, she was killed by a prowler who tried to rape her. [4. October 1987).

1 comment:

  1. I have to admit that I always had trouble with his idea that St. Maria Goretti had "preserved herself from sin" when she given the choice of submitting to her assailant sexually or being stabbed. Obviously, submitting under such circumstances could not be considered a sin since free will is inhibited. Her remains recently went on a tour in the US and I heard a St. Maria Goretti expert speak about her on Catholic radio who helped me to really love her. He said that, though she is most often notes for her purity, actually her greatest virtue was mercy (ok probably "virtue" is not the correct word but whatevs). He spoke of how she had such mercy and charity for the man who attacked her (Inforget his name) and actually had prayed right away that the lord would save him. She suffered greatly from the wounds he inflicted and the attempts of he doctors to save her, undergoing excruciating procedures without proper anesthesia or painkillers, etc. Through all this, she was patient and only had concern for God's will and that her assailant would be saved. The story of her appearance to him after her death is beautiful and he did indeed repent, convert and was at her canonization. So, in addition to being he saint of purity, she is also a great saint of mercy. St. Maria Goretti, pray for us!


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