Our church is blessed to have relics of St Maria Goretti in the altar, one of the more recent saints in the history of the Church, and a counter-sign to the impurity of our age.
St Maria Goretti (1890-1902) lived in rural Italy, grew up in poor family, and spent her childhood labouring in the home while her widowed mother and siblings worked in the fields. She lived a life of piety and hard work but is mostly known for her virginity and martyrdom.
When she was 11 years old a young man called Alessandro repeatedly attempted to seduce her. She refused, telling him it would be a sin. He then attempted to rape her, and failing in that, stabbed her 14 times, mortally wounding her. She, however, forgave him on her death bed. While he was in prison for his crime she appeared to him in a vision, he converted, and ultimately attended her canonisation in 1950.
She is the patron saint of chastity, rape victims, girls, youth, teenage girls, poverty, purity and forgiveness.
Watch the YouTube of her being canonised in in 1950, an event attended by her mother, her family and her converted murderer, below, or by clicking here
Watch a series of YouTube documentaries about her below, or by clicking here