St. Maria Goretti was born to a poor peasant family on 16 October 1890 in Corinaldo, a town near Ancona, Italy. Maria was the third of seven children of Luigi and Assunta Goretti. When she was seven years old, the Goretti family moved to Ferriere di Conca, a village near Anzio, where they shared a home with Giovanni Serenelli and his son Alessandro. Maria was nine years old when her father died of malaria. While her mother worked the farm Maria took care of her siblings and also cooked for the Serenellis. Maria was known for her unusual serious-mindedness and piety. Every night she would recite the Holy Rosary for the repose of her father’s soul. As Ferriere had no parish church, nor a priest, Maria would walk for kilometers for the privilege of hearing Mass.
Prayer: O 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 to defend your virginal purity, deign to look graciously on the unhappy human race, which has strayed far from the path of eternal salvation. Teach us all, and especially modern youth, with what courage and promptitude we should flee anything that could offend Jesus and defile our souls with sin. Obtain for us from God great horror of sin so that, keeping our souls undefiled, we may live holy lives on earth and win eternal glory in heaven. Amen.