Saint Maria Goretti – Memorial – July 6th

St_ Maria Goretti

 

As we make our way through the hottest part of the year….the blazing hot days of July, let us remember Saint Maria Gorreti and her desire to remain pure before the Lord.  So much so, that she was willing to suffer death, rather than lose her purity. As we head to the beach or the lake, think about what you are wearing. Is it modest? Will the sight of you or perhaps one of your daughters, lead some young man into sin? Remember, just thinking bad thoughts is a sin…

but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.”…Matthew 5 : 8

The virtue of purity seems to have taken a backseat these days with what we teach our children. We want our girls to be good, and yet we allow them to dress in a way that would be considered immodest, at best. Sometimes, when I see families out together and I see what the young girls are wearing, it boggles my mind that a father, who loves his daughter and clearly wants what is best for her, would allow her to leave the house dressed looking like a cheap hooker….but it happens all the time…..even at church…

Now I know, there is a camp out there that says, “You can’t blame the girl for what the man thinks.”…Well, I know, that men should behave in a civilized way, and that regardless of what a woman or girl is wearing, his thoughts should remain pure…but they don’t….Saint Maria was a young girl…12 years old….and she wore very modest clothing, but the desires of the flesh are very hard for some young men to control. And as Christians who are striving for our eternal reward in heaven, we should be making sure to teach our children the values of modesty…the virtue of purity. Not just for their sake, but for the sake of all who come in contact with them. We should be striving for purity in all circumstances of life… not just in fashion.

Look at the entertainment industry. So much of what is passing for comedy these days, is just an attack on our young peoples’ purity. Most of the movies that are made for children are filled with vulgar, or sexual humor. Again, some may think I am being a prude…perhaps, I am, but when we read about Saint Maria Gorreti, who understood the value of her purity…who understood the dignity that was given to her by God, we need to understand just how important it is for us to be teaching our children their Faith and the importance of using virtues over vice and the value of their God- given dignity. We also need to teach them what it means to be a good Christian, in all things. Boys and girls, alike…

Maria Goretti, who was a poor, unschooled, 12 year old girl, has a lot to teach us about this. For even though she knew nothing but poverty and hardship her entire short life, she had in her heart a love for God and His laws for her. She was a shining example of what love should look like. With God’s grace, she chose to remain joyful, and charitable in the face of such hardships. She understood, that as a child of God she was endowed with a certain dignity…that her attacker Alessandro was also endowed with this same dignity. And as a twelve year old girl, she did all that was in her power,  adamantly refusing to give into his desires and pleading with him to stop for the sake of his own soul, which she continued even as he was brutally stabbing her.

As faithful Catholics…as Christians, we have an obligation to follow the laws that God has set forth to guide us…you know; the Ten Commandments…And as parents who have been entrusted with the care of our children, we would be wise to develop a devotion to this young saint, and ask her intercession, not only for our children and their purity, but for ours as well.

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 (here insert intention), and may we one day enjoy with thee the imperishable glory of Heaven. Amen.

 

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