The History of St. Maria Goretti
The story of St. Maria Goretti is both inspiring and sad. Her death in 1902, at the age of eleven, was the result of a violent sexual assault. Because of this, Maria is considered to be a “martyr of chastity.” The forgiveness she granted to her assailant eventually resulted in his conversion. Maria is the youngest canonized saint. St. Maria Goretti was declared a saint by Pope Pius XII in 1950. Her mother attended her canonization, and is the only parent of a saint ever to have done so. St. Maria Goretti’s intercession is sought for rape victims, those who have lost parents, girls, young people in general, as well as against poverty.
Prayer to Saint Maria Goretti
Saint Maria Goretti,
strengthened by God's grace,
you did not hesitate, even at the age of eleven,
to sacrifice life itself to defend your virginal purity.
Look graciously on the unhappy human race that has
strayed far from the path of eternal salvation.
Teach us all, and especially our youth,
the courage and promptness that will help us avoid
anything that could offend Jesus.
Obtain for me a great horror of sin,
so that I may live a holy life on earth and
win eternal glory in heaven.