About St. Maria Goretti

Our prayer to St. Maria Goretti 

St. Maria Goretti is the youngest canonized saint in the Church.  She died tragically on July 6, 1902, at the age of 11 after forgiving her attacker. Maria is known as The Little Saint of Great Mercy.

St. Maria Goretti

Timeline of Maria's life, death and sainthood

October 16, 1890: Maria Goretti is born in Corinaldo, Italy, to Luigi Goretti and Assunta Carlini.

October 17, 1890: She is baptized in the Church of San Francesco in Corinaldo with the names, Maria Teresa.

October 4, 1896: She receives the Sacrament of Confirmation by Bishop Giulio Boschi, the Bishop of Senigallia.

December 12, 1896: The Goretti family leaves Corinaldo and emigrates to Colle Gianturco, near Paliano, in the Latium region south of Rome in central Italy.

February, 1899: The family moves again, this time to Le Ferriere di Conca.

May 6, 1900: After being bit by a mosquito infected with malaria, Maria’s father Luigi dies of the disease.

June 16, 1901: Maria receives her First Communion in the church of Conca (today known as Borgo Montello).

July 5, 1902: At 3:30 pm she is stabbed by Alessandro Serenelli after resisting his violent attempt to rape her.

July 6, 1902: Maria dies in Nettuno at the age of 11 years, 8 months and 21 days, after mercifully forgiving her murderer.

July 8, 1902: She is buried in the cemetery of Nettuno.

May 31, 1935: The information-gathering process for her canonization begins in the diocese of Albano Laziale.

March 25, 1945: Pope Pius XII recognizes the authenticity of the martyrdom of Maria Goretti.

April 27, 1947: Maria is beatified.

June 24, 1950: Maria is declared a saint by Pope Pius XII in St. Peter’s Square. Having died at the age of 11, she is the youngest canonized saint in the Catholic Church’s long and storied history. The attendance at her canonization exceeded one half million souls, the largest of any canonization up to that point and time. It was a crowd so large that for the first time in its history, St. Peter’s Basilica—the largest church in the world—could not be used for a canonization Mass, because it was too small to hold the faithful who desired to witness the event. Thus, St. Maria’s canonization was moved to St. Peter’s Square, being the first open air canonization in history.


Read the full story of St. Maria Goretti.

St. Maria Goretti Parish was honored to have the major relics of our patron saint in our church on Friday, Oct. 16 (her 125th birthday!) and Oct. 17, 2015, as part of the "Pilgrimage of Mercy: Tour of the Major Relics of St. Maria Goretti."

From September to November, 2015 the major relics of St. Maria Goretti made a pilgrimage to the United States. Named the “Pilgrimage of Mercy,” it was the first time that her body traveled to the United States.

In March 2015, His Holiness, Pope Francis, announced an Extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy beginning December 8, 2015. This visit of the major relics of St. Maria Goretti was an effort on the part of the Holy See and Treasures of the Church to prepare and catechize the United States for this great celebration in the life of the Church.

Our church was chosen as a stop on the tour in part because of the large number of students in our school and the religious education and youth ministry programs. St. Maria Goretti, currently the youngest person ever canonized a saint, is a patron saint of, among other things, youth and forgiveness.

See the video and photos of the hours St. Maria was in our church.

Our Parish Prayer to St. Maria Goretti

Saint Maria Goretti,
Little Saint of Great Mercy,
Thank you for being our parish patron,
and a model of how to live the Gospel.
We pray that our hearts may be as
merciful and forgiving as yours.
Please intercede for us to Christ
that we may have the grace and
strength to do as you did---to choose to forgive.
Help us to forgive those who have hurt us.
Help us to ask for forgiveness
from those whom we have hurt.
May all our relationships be rich in mercy.
Saint Maria Goretti, intercede for us
that healings may be granted,
and that Christ’s mercy and love
may go out to all the world
to bring about peace.
We ask all this in faith,
through Christ our Lord.
St. Maria Goretti, pray for us.