Parish priest Rev. Fr. David T. Concepcion will celebrate two feast masses on Wednesday, July 6, at the St. Maria Goretti Parish in Ermita, Manila, in solemn commemoration of the feast of St. Maria Goretti.
The holy masses will be held at 7 a.m. and at 12:15 p.m. The praying of the holy rosary and novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help will precede the morning mass.
Citing the example of St. Maria Goretti, Fr. Concepcion said, “Saints are saints because they love God in an extraordinary way.”
In Nettuno, Italy, which is near her birthplace, devotees traditionally visit her major shrine, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Graces and St. Maria Goretti, where she was buried.
Born on October 16, 1890 in Italy, St. Maria was known for her deep faith, hatred for sin, forgiving heart, and intense love for God. She was religious from her youth and was hailed a martyr for her defense of the virtue of purity.
St. Maria died on July 6, 1902 after she was stabbed by her neighbor, Alessandro Serenelli, who tried to rape her. While in jail, the unrepentant Alessandro had a vision of St. Maria offering him flowers that eventually paved the way for his repentance and conversion. Alessandro later became a priest.
When Pope Pius XII canonized St. Maria on June 24, 1950, she was one of the youngest to be canonized in the Roman Catholic Church, her mother and Alessandro were in attendance, a rare event in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.
St. Maria Goretti is revered as the patron saint of modern youth.