Puritas, Fides et Misericordia
"Purity, Faith and Forgiveness"
House of the Year
St. Maria Goretti, the patron Saint of youth, young women, purity, and victims of rape
b: 1890 d: 1902
In 1902 an eighteen-year-old neighbor, Alexander, grabbed her from her steps and tried to rape her. When Maria said that she would rather die than submit, Alexander began stabbing her with a knife.Born in Corinaldo, Ancona, Italy, on October 16, 1890.As she lay in the hospital, she forgave Alexander before she died. Her death didn't end her forgiveness, however. Alexander was captured and sentenced to thirty years. He was unrepentant until he had a dream that he was in a garden. Maria was there and gave him flowers. When he woke, he was a changed man, repenting of his crime and living a reformed life. When he was released after 27 years, he went directly to Maria's mother to beg her forgiveness, which she gave. "If my daughter can forgive him, who am I to withhold forgiveness," she said. Maria was declared a saint in 1950 and her attacker Alexander was there to celebrate her canonization. Her feast day is July 6.