Ordinary Time: July 6th
Optional Memorial of St. Maria Goretti, virgin and martyr
Old Calendar: St. Godelieva, martyr (Hist)
St. Maria Goretti was born near Ancona (Italy). The daughter of a poor peasant family, Maria was well known to her neighbors for her cheerfulness and piety. When she was twelve she was a victim of assault. She preferred to die rather than to lose her virginity. She died in 1902, and her mother was present at her canonization in 1950, the first time a parent was present for a child's canonization.Historically today is the feast of St. Godelieva, martyred wife, strangled by her husband Bertulf of Ghistelles, a Flemish lord.
St. Maria Goretti
St. Maria Goretti was born of a poor family in Corinaldi, Italy, in 1890. Near Nettuno she spent a difficult childhood assisting her mother in domestic duties. She was of a pious nature and often at prayer. In 1902 she was stabbed to death, preferring to die rather than be raped. (Office of Readings)
Excerpted from a homily at the canonization of Saint Maria Goretti by Pope Pius XII
Imprisoned for murder she appeared to him in his cell and forgave him and he was subsequently converted. Most importantly, he sat next to her mother at the beatification, who also forgave him. Patron: Against impoverishment; against poverty; children; children of Mary; girls; loss of parents; martyrs; rape victims; young people in general. Things to Do:
- Please visit this site for a more detailed account of St. Maria Goretti's life and Alessandro Serenelli's conversion.
- This saint's feast day is a wonderful launching point to teach our children about purity, chastity and modesty. Sex education should be taught by the parents with a Catholic approach. Young girls can use St. Maria as a model.
- A highly recommended book is St. Maria Goretti: In Garments All Red by Rev. Godfrey Poage. Young teens to adult will enjoy this account of her life.
St. Godelieva suffered much from her marriage. When she was 18, she married a Flemish lord, Bertulf of Ghistelles, but before the wedding celebrations were even over, he abandoned her, leaving her with his mother, who despised Godelieva and treated her brutally. Godelieva ran away to the home of her parents, and the matter was reported to the Bishop of Tournai and the Count of Flanders. Tjue ruled that her husband must return and take Godelieva back. At frist Bertulf feigned remorse for his wrongdoing, but then schemed to have Godelieva killed. While he as away, he had two servants tie a thong about her neck and hold her head underwater in a pond. Afterwards, they brought her body back to her bed to make it look as though she had died there, though the truth was obvious. Bertulf soon remarried, but eventually he repented sincerely and entered a monastery to do penance for the rest of his life. Miracles were reported at the place where Godelieva had died, including the restoration of sight to Bertulf's blink daughter by his second marriage. In the Middle Ages, St. Godelieva was invoked against sore throats.
- Read this account of the life of St. Godelieva.
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