In Reply to: Your prophet was a pioneer... posted by Mama Mosquito on November 07, 2005 at 13:26:02:
Roman Catholics also ask spirit helpers (saints) to pray for them. Saint Maria Goretti could be seen as a Catholic version of Heaven's Girl. She became a virginal martyr at the young age of twelve. Maria had tremendous faith in the power of forgiveness.
Maria Goretti was born on October 16, 1890. Maria’s parents were sharecroppers, and in 1899, they moved to Ferrire, Italy. Her father thought he had a better chance to find work there. He met the Serenelli family and they made a deal, in which the Goretti family could live with them.
The Serenelli family had a son named Alessandro, who frequently made advances to Maria. He also harassed her. Maria continued to turn him down, saying "No, never--that is a sin! God abhors it and we would go to hell." However, one day Alessandro didn’t take no for an answer. On July 5, 1902, Alessandro raped Maria and stabbed her fourteen times. As he stabbed her, Maria told him that she forgave him and God loved him. Doctors couldn’t save Maria, and after twenty hours of suffering, she died. As she suffered, she continued to pray for Alessandro and forgive him.
About fifty years later, Maria was declared a Saint and Virgin Martyr by Pope Pius XII. She is the Patroness of Modern Youth and her feast day is July 6. Her mother and Alessandro attended the canonization.
Alessandro went to prison immediately after killing Maria. At his trial, he was only sentenced to thirty years of hard labor because of his young age. While he was in prison, Maria appeared to him in a dream. She smiled and was surrounded by lilies. That was a turning point in Alessandro’s life. He had peace. When his sentence was over, he asked forgiveness from Maria’s mother. At a Christmas mass, he even asked for forgiveness from the parish. His life was firmly devoted to God, and he entered a monastery. He died May 7, 1970.
Official Prayer to St. Maria Goretti
Oh Saint Maria Goretti who, strengthened by God's grace, did not hesitate even at the age of twelve to shed your blood and sacrifice life itself to defend your virginal purity, look graciously on the unhappy human race which has strayed far from the path of eternal salvation. Teach us all, and especially youth, with what courage and promptitude we should flee for the love of Jesus anything that could offend Him or stain our souls with sin. Obtain for us from our Lord victory in temptation, comfort in the sorrows of life, and the grace which we earnestly beg of thee and may we one day enjoy with thee the imperishable glory of Heaven. Amen.