July 6                                                                                           Patroness of :
                                                                                                             Children of Mary

MARIA was a beautiful Italian girl of twelve who lived on a farm. One day Alessandro, a nineteen-year-old boy, was helping on the farm. He stopped at Maria's house and wanted to do wrong her.
"No! No!" Maria cried out. "Do not touch me, Alessandro! It a sin. You will go to hell!"
When Maria began to fight him, he took a knife and stabbed her fourteen times. Maria fell to the floor with a cry of pain, "0 God, I am dying! Mamma! Mamma!" Alessandro ran out of the room.

Maria was taken to the hospital and suffered there for two days. When the priest asked her if she would forgive her murderer, she said, "Yes, I forgive him for the love of Jesus . . . and I want him be with me in heaven. May God forgive him!"

Maria died kissing the crucifix and holding a medal of Our Lady. This happened in 1902.
Maria Goretti was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1950. She was chosen to be the patron of boys and girls, that she might help them to be pure.

O God, Author of innocence and Lover of chastity, You conferred on St.  Maria,  Your handmaid, the grace of martyrdom at a youthful age. Through her intercession, grant us constancy in Your commandments, You Who gave the crown to a virgin who fought for You.

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