St. Maria Goretti – Feast Day
July 6th – Virgin & Martyr
From Catholic.org :
Born in Corinaldo, Ancona, Italy, on October 16 1890; her farmworker father moved his family to Ferrier di Conca, near Anzio. Her father died of malaria and her mother had to struggle to feed her children.
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 died than submit, Alexander began stabbing her with a knife.
As she lay in the hospital, she forgave Alexander before she died. Her death didn’t end her forgivness… MORE HERE.
This morning at Mass, while listening to the readings for the feast day of St. Maria Goretti… I was struck by her commitment, her willingness to die rather than allow her vow of virginity, to our Lord, to be broken. It reminded me of our Lady’s response to the Angel who announced the coming of the Christ child… Luke 1:  And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” . Mary had sworn an oath of virginity to God… to serve him completely… and even when an Angel of God comes to bring this news, it gives her pause, as she will not break her oath. St. Maria Goretti too would not allow her attacker to break her vow, her commitment to God, the cost of which was her life. Through heroic virtue she forgave her assailant… yet another stunning example of what it means to follow Christ.
In today’s modern, over sexualized, world there are too many who mistakingly believe that a celibate clergy is outdated… or medieval. Somehow, we have failed to hear the words of our Lord, in the Beatific vision we will all be eunuchs for the King… Mark 12:  “For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven”. Although its hard to understand… some, NOT all, are called to be “eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:12). Why? Because some are called to “fill the face of the earth” with the image of God and others are called to care for the bride of the King. In the ancient world the King would place his wives & concubines in the care of his eunuchs. For the King knew that the eunuch was not able to have relations with them and therefore the eunuch could be trusted with His most prized possession. The true King of Kings, our Lord Jesus Christ, too has eunuchs… only these are not forced, through castration, rather, are called and given the choice… those who heed the call and choose it are given the grace to live it (1 Cor. 7). We are the bride of the King and we have been placed in the care of His eunuchs who are our Shepherds. A celebrate clergy is a gift of God… let us pray for all Bishops, Priests and Deacons (as well as all who are living the life of consecrated celibacy for Christ), that they may be strengthened in their call and commitment to God. Ponder the verses below today and praise the King for his grace and gift of providing for us those who are willing to die to self, and the world, and commit themselves completely for the sake of the King and his bride.
Isaiah 56:  For thus says the LORD:
- “To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths,
- who choose the things that please me
- and hold fast my covenant,
 I will give in my house and within my walls
- a monument and a name
- better than sons and daughters;
- I will give them an everlasting name
- which shall not be cut off.
 But he said to them, “Not all men can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given.
 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.”
 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him.
About the Author:
Joe McClane – The Catholic Hack! – is the director and events coordinator for Fullness of Truth Catholic Evangelization Ministries, as well as an a Catholic New Media producer & Evangelist. He is married to his lovely wife Michelle and they have five children. The Catholic Hack | Catholic Apologetics, Theology & More!