November 13 (December 22, pre-1970)
27 April 1947 by Pope Pius XII
24 June 1950 by Pope Pius XII
The ceremony was attended by 250,000 including her mother, the only time a parent has witnessed her child‘s canonization
16 October 1890 at Corinaldo, Ancona, Italy
Choked and stabbed to death during a rape attempt on 6 July 1902 at the age of 12
Against poverty, against the death of parents, children, girls, martyrs, poor people, rape victims,
young people in general
Beautiful, pious farm girl, one of six children of Luigi Goretti and Assunta Carlini. In 1896 the family moved to Ferriere di Conca. Soon after, Maria’s father died of malaria, and the family was forced to move onto the Serenelli farm to survive.
In 1902 at age twelve, Maria was attacked by 19-year-old farm-hand Alessandro Serenelli. He tried to rape the girl who fought, yelled that it was a sin, and that he would go to hell. He tried to choke her into submission, then stabbed her fourteen times. She survived in hospital for two days, forgave her attacker, asked God‘s forgiveness of him, and died holding a crucifix and medal of Our Lady. Counted as a martyr.
While in prison for his crime, Allessandro had a vision of Maria. He saw a garden where a young girl, dressed in white, gathered lilies. She smiled, came near him, and encouraged him to accept an armful of the lilies. As he took them, each lily transformed into a still white flame. Maria then disappeared. This vision of Maria led to Alessandro’s conversion, and he later testified at her cause for beatification.
Prayer to Saint Maria Goretti
Charming Saint, and true child of Mary, Mother of Jesus, you were so young but already so strong in resisting a cruel tempter and preferring to die a martyr. How greatly we need today – when chastity is often discarded – more models and intercessors like you! Multiply faithful Children of Mary for her glory and that of her Son. Amen.
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. Amen.