St. Maria Teresa Goretti (1890-1902) was an Italian Catholic saint known for her purity and bravery in the face of sexual assault. She was born into a poor farming family in Corinaldo, Italy, and grew up in a small village with her parents and siblings.
At the age of 11, Maria was attacked by a 20-year-old neighbor named Alessandro Serenelli, who attempted to rape her. When Maria resisted and refused to submit to his advances, Alessandro stabbed her 14 times, leaving her to die.
Despite her injuries, Maria managed to drag herself to her family’s home, where she was rushed to the hospital. She underwent surgery without anesthesia, but unfortunately, her wounds were too severe, and she died the following day.
Before she died, Maria Teresa Goretti forgave her attacker and expressed her desire that he be pardoned and repent for his sins. Alessandro was eventually caught and sentenced to 30 years in prison for his crime. While in prison, he experienced a profound conversion and begged for Maria’s forgiveness. He was released after serving 27 years, and he spent the rest of his life as a lay brother in a monastery.
St. Maria Teresa Goretti was canonized as a saint by Pope Pius XII in 1950, and her feast day is celebrated on July 6. She is considered the patron saint of young people, girls, and victims of rape.
As for miracles attributed to her intercession, two notable cases were recognized by the Catholic Church. One involved a woman named Pasqualina Tuosto, who was diagnosed with a serious brain tumor and given only a few months to live. She prayed to St. Maria Goretti for healing, and her doctors were shocked to find that the tumor had disappeared completely. This was recognized as a miracle by the Catholic Church, and Pasqualina was declared healed through St. Maria’s intercession.
Another miracle involved a boy named Giovanni Battista who was diagnosed with a severe bone infection that had spread to his lungs. His condition was so serious that doctors gave him no hope of survival. However, his family prayed to St. Maria Teresa Goretti for help, and the boy made a full recovery. This was also recognized as a miracle by the Catholic Church.
It’s important to note that the Catholic Church is very cautious in its investigation of miracles, and not all claims of miracles are recognized as such. In the case of St. Maria Teresa Goretti, the two recognized miracles were thoroughly investigated and deemed to be unexplainable by medical science.
Learn more about this wonderful gift to the world at mariagoretti.com