St. Maria Goretti (no. 5)
St. Maria Goretti (no. 5)

Born on October 16, 1890 in Corinaldo, in the province of Ancona in Italy. On July 5, 1902, Maria was sitting in front of the steps of her house sewing the shirt of her 18-year-old brother or neighbor, Alessandro, while he was threshing beans in the yard. As she concentrated on sewing, she was surprised by Alessandro and taken from the steps. When he tried to rape her, Maria screamed that this was a mortal sin and warned him he would go to hell. When Alessandro insisted, she resisted and screamed when Alessandro began to choke her, and she said she would rather die than submit. When she heard these words, Alexander pulled out a knife and stabbed her eleven times. When she tried to reach the door, he stabbed her three more times and then fled. Maria Goretti was beatified by Pope Pius XII in a ceremony at St. Peter's Basilica on April 27, 1947. St. Mary is called a martyr because she fought against Alessandro's attempts at sexual sin; however, the most important aspects of her story are how she forgave her attacker - her concern for her enemy extended even beyond death - and the miracle her forgiveness worked in his life.