St. Maria Goretti

Friends in the Lord, today is the feast of St. Maria Goretti. Maria Goretti was born near Ancona (Italy) in 1890. She came from a poor, peasant family, and she spent a difficult childhood assisting her mother in domestic chores. Despite the hard times, Maria was well known to her neighbors for her cheerfulness and piety.
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When she was 12 years old, a man named Alexander threatened to take her virginity. Choosing rather to die than give up her virginity, Maria told him ‘no,’ and in his passion he killed her. As she lay dying, she forgave him.
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Some time later, while Alexander was in prison, Maria appeared to him in a dream. He saw her gathering flowers, and she presented them to him. He felt that she had really forgiven him and was praying for him. Mercy had made him a changed man, and he sought out Maria’s mother, to ask for her forgiveness.
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When Maria Goretti was canonized a saint, sitting there together at Mass were Maria’s mother and Alexander. That day, Pope Pius XII said this: ‘With splendid courage Maria surrendered herself to God’s grace and gave her life to protect her virginity. ‘People today can look upon her life with admiration. Parents can learn how to raise their children in courage, so that when put to the test, they will come through undefeated.  ‘From Maria’s story he said, young people can learn not to be led astray by empty pleasures, but instead, can fix their sights on achieving Christian moral perfection.’ So said Pope Pius XII.
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A while back, a lady complained to me about many Church teachings, she was very bitter; then she added: ‘I remember some saint being honored for choosing to die rather than consent to sin. I thought that was ludicrous.
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Is it ludicrous? Is there nothing worth dying for? Purity is thrown away today as if it is worthless, but purity is a wonderful pearl of great price, and regardless of what some say, some things are still worth dying for.

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