lundi 9 juillet 2012

Sainte MARIA GORETTI, vierge et martyre


Sainte Maria Goretti, vierge et martyre

Née à Corinaldo (Italie du sud) en 1890 dans une famille très pauvre, elle perdit son père très jeune. Elle fut une enfant très pieuse. A douze ans à peine, elle fut lardée de quatorze coups de poinçon par un jeune voisin, Alessandro, qui tentait de la violer. Elle avait résisté pour ne pas manquer à la pureté et commettre ainsi un grave péché. Elle eut le temps de pardonner à son assassin avant de mourir. Celui-ci se convertit d'ailleurs en 1910 à la suite d'un songe où il vit Marietta dans un jardin semé de lys et lui tendant une fleur. Ayant purgé sa peine, il se jeta au pied de la mère de sa victime qui lui affirma : « Comment ne pourrais-je vous pardonner puisque Marietta l'a fait. ». Ils communièrent côte à côte le jour de Noël. Il termina pieusement sa vie comme jardinier dans un couvent de capucins.

SOURCE : http://www.paroisse-saint-aygulf.fr/index.php/prieres-et-liturgie/saints-par-mois/icalrepeat.detail/2015/07/06/855/-/sainte-maria-goretti-vierge-et-martyre

SAINTE MARIA GORETTI

Vierge et martyre

(1890-1902)

Maria naquit dans le petit village de Corinaldo, le 16 octobre 1890, troisième d'une famille de sept enfants. En 1899, son père, cultivateur pauvre, déménagea dans une ferme au bord de la Méditerranée, près de Nettuno. Il mourut peu de temps après, laissant six enfants à nourrir.

Assunta, son épouse, décida de continuer la rude tâche à peine commencée et confia la garde des petits à Maria, âgée alors que de neuf ans. La petite fille d'une maturité précoce devint très vite une parfaite ménagère. Le jour de la Fête-Dieu, elle communia pour la première fois avec une ferveur angélique. Elle s'appliquait avec délices à la récitation quotidienne du chapelet. Maria Goretti ne put apprendre à lire, car la pauvreté et l'éloignement du village l'empêchèrent de fréquenter l'école.

La pieuse enfant ne tint cependant aucun compte des difficultés et des distances à parcourir lorsqu'il s'agissait de recevoir Jésus dans le Saint Sacrement. «Je puis à peine attendre le moment où demain j'irai à la communion», dit-elle l'après-midi même où elle allait sceller de son sang sa fidélité à l'Epoux des vierges.

Les Serenelli, proches voisins de la famille Goretti, étaient des gens serviables et honnêtes, mais leur fils Alessandro se laissait entraîner par des camarades corrompus et des lectures pernicieuses. Il venait aider la famille Goretti pour des travaux agricoles trop pénibles. Maria l'accueillait, reconnaissante, trop pure pour se méfier. Ce jeune homme ne tarda pas à lui tenir des propos abjects, en lui défendant de les répéter. Sans bien comprendre le péril qui la menaçait et craignant d'être en faute, Maria avoua tout à sa mère. Avertie d'un danger qu'elle ignorait, elle promit de ne jamais céder.

Alessandro Serenelli devenait de plus en plus pressant, mais prudente, l'adolescente s'esquivait le plus possible de sa présence. Furieux de cette sourde résistance, le jeune homme guettait le départ de la mère pour pouvoir réaliser ses desseins pervers.

L'occasion tant attendue se présenta le matin du 6 juillet. Alessandro se précipita brutalement sur Maria, alors seule et sans défense. Brandissant sous ses yeux un poinçon dont la lame acérée mesurait 24 centimètres, il lui fit cette menace: «Si tu ne cèdes pas, je vais te tuer!» La jeune chrétienne s'écria: «Non! c'est un péché, Dieu le défend! Vous iriez en enfer!» Déchaîné par la passion, n'obéissant plus qu'à son instinct, l'assassin se jette sur sa proie et la laboure de quatorze coups de poinçon.

Lorsqu'Assunta est mise au courant du drame, Maria git mourante à l'hôpital de Nettuno. Le prêtre au chevet de la martyre, lui rappelle la mort de Jésus en croix, le coup de lance et la conversion du bon larron: «Et toi, Maria, pardonnes-tu? lui demanda-t-il. -- Oh, oui! murmura sans hésitation la douce victime, pour l'amour de Jésus, qu'il vienne avec moi au Paradis.» Les dernières paroles que la Sainte prononça au milieu d'atroces douleurs, furent celles-ci: «Que fais-tu Alessandro? Tu vas en enfer!» et comme elle se détournait dans un ultime effort, son coeur cessa de battre.

Le 24 juin 1950, le pape Pie XII canonisait Maria Goretti, martyre à douze ans pour avoir défendu sa pureté jusqu'à la mort. Dans son allocution, le Saint-Père déclarait: «Elle est le fruit mûr d'une famille où l'on a prié tous les jours, où les enfants furent élevés dans la crainte du Seigneur, l'obéissance aux parents, la sincérité et la pudeur, où ils furent habitués à se contenter de peu, toujours disposés à aider aux travaux des champs et à la maison, où les conditions naturelles de vie et l'atmosphère religieuse qui les entouraient les aidaient puissamment à s'unir à Dieu et à croître en vertu. Elle n'était ni ignorante, ni insensible, ni froide, mais elle avait la force d'âme des vierges et des martyrs, cette force d'âme qui est à la fois la protection et le fruit de la virginité.»

Résumé O.D.M., tiré de A. Gualandi -- L. Tonini, édition 1947. W. Schamoni, édition 1955, p. 302.

SOURCE : http://magnificat.ca/cal/fr/saints/sainte_maria_goretti.html


Sainte Maria Goretti

Allocution pour le centième anniversaire de la naissance de sainte Maria Goretti

Le sang de Maria Goretti, versé en sacrifice de fidélité totale à Dieu, nous rappelle que nous sommes nous aussi appelés à faire don de nous-mêmes au Père. Nous sommes appelés à accomplir la volonté divine pour nous retrouver saints et dignes à ses côtés. Notre vocation à la sainteté qui est la vocation de tout baptisé, est encouragé par l'exemple de cette jeune martyre.

Regardez-la, surtout vous les adolescents, vous les jeunes. Soyez, comme elle, capables de défendre la pureté du coeur et du corps ; efforcez-vous de lutter contre le mal et le péché, en alimentant votre communion avec le Seigneur par la prière, l'exercice quotidien de la mortification et la scrupuleuse observance des commandements.

N'ayez pas peur d'aller à contre-courant, de rejeter les idoles du monde, lorsqu'il s'agit de témoigner par une conduite courageuse, de l'adhésion au Christ chaste et pauvre. Sachez toujours valoriser et aimer la pureté et la virginité.

Maria Goretti, avec son héroïsme silencieux, est maîtresse de foi, de cohérence, de véritable amour. Elle nous enseigne à redécouvrir dans le Christ la valeur de la vérité qui libère l'homme de l'esclavage des réalités matérielles, à savourer le goût de la beauté authentique et du bien qui vainc le mal.

Maria Goretti nous encourage à expérimenter la joie des pauvres qui savent renoncer à tout pourvu qu'ils ne perdent pas l'unique chose nécessaire : l'amitié avec Dieu, qui seul est capable d'affirmer pleinement notre dignité de personnes.

Jean-Paul II, (29 septembre 1991)

SOURCE : http://missel.free.fr/Sanctoral/07/06.php


St. Maria Goretti


Saint Maria Goretti (October 16, 1890 – July 6, 1902) is an Italian Roman Catholic Virgin Martyr saint. She is one of the youngest saints of the Roman Catholic Church. She was martyred after dying from multiple stab wounds, inflicted by her attempted rapist after she refused him because of love of Jesus and her loyalty to God's commandments.

Biography

Early life

St. Maria Goretti was born "Maria Teresa Goretti" in the year 1890 in Corinaldo, in the Province of Ancona, then the Kingdom of Italy. She was the third out of six children. By the time she was six, her family had become so poor that they were forced to give up their farm, move, and work for other farmers. Soon, Maria's father became very sick. Luigi Goretti died when Maria was nine. While her brother, mother and sisters worked in the fields, Maria would cook, sew, and keep the house clean. It was a hard life, but the family was very close. They shared a deep love for God and the Faith. She and her family moved to Le Ferriere di Conca, near modern Latina and Nettuno in Lazio, where they lived in a building they shared with another family, the Serenellis.

Maria's martyrdom

On July 5, 1902, finding eleven-year old Maria alone sewing, Alessandro Serenelli came in and threatened her with death if she did not do as he said. She would not submit, however, protesting that what he wanted to do was a mortal sin and warning Alessandro that he would go to Hell . Alessandro at first choked Maria, but when she insisted she would rather die than submit to him, he stabbed her eleven times. The injured yet still-living Maria tried to reach for the door, but Alessandro stopped her by stabbing her three more times before running away.

Maria's little sister Teresa awoke with the noise and started crying, and when Serenelli's father and Maria's mother came to check on the little girl, they found the bleeding Maria and took her to the nearest hospital in Nettuno. She underwent surgery without anesthesia, but her injuries were already beyond anything the doctors could do. Halfway throughout the surgery, Maria woke up. She insisted that it stay that way. The pharmacist of the hospital in which she died asked her, "Maria, think of me in Paradise." She looked to the old man: "Well, who knows, which of us is going to be there first." "You Maria," he replied. "Then I will gladly think of you," Maria said with a smile. The following day, twenty hours after the attack, having expressed forgiveness for her murderer and stating that she wanted to have him in Heaven with her, Maria died of her injuries.

Serenelli's imprisonment and repentance

Alessandro Serenelli was captured shortly after Maria's death. Originally, he was going to be sentenced to death, but since he was a minor at that time the sentence was commuted for 30 years in prison. He remained unrepentant and uncommunicative from the world, for three years, until a local bishop, Monsignor Giovanni Blandini visited him in jail. Serenelli wrote a thank you note to the Bishop asking for his prayers and telling him about a dream, "in which Maria Goretti gave him lilies, which burned immediately in his hands."

After his release, Alessandro Serenelli visited Maria's still-living mother, Assunta, and begged her forgiveness. She forgave him, saying that if Maria had forgiven him on her deathbed then she couldn't do less, and they attended Mass together the next day, receiving Holy Communion side by side. Alessandro reportedly prayed every day to Maria Goretti and referred to her as "my little saint."

Serenelli later became a Capuchin laybrother, living in a convent and working as its receptionist and gardener, until dying peacefully in the year 1970.

Beatification and canonization

On the evening of the beatification ceremonies in Saint Peter's, April 27, 1947, Pope Pius XII walked over to the mother of Maria Goretti, nicknamed "Mamma Assunta" by her neighbors. She almost fainted. "When I saw the Pope coming, I prayed, Madonna, please help me. He put his hand on my head and said, blessed mother, happy mother, mother of a Blessed!" They both had eyes wet with tears.

Three years later on June 24, 1950, Pope Pius XII canonized Blessed Maria Goretti as a Virgin and Martyr saint, the "Saint Agnes of the 20th century." Mamma Assunta was again present at the ceremony, along with her four remaining sons and daughters. She was the first mother ever to attend the canonization ceremony of her child. Alessandro Serenelli, her repentant murderer, was also present at the canonization.

Owing to the huge crowd present, the ceremonies associated with the canonization of Blessed Maria Goretti were held outside of the Basilica of Saint Peter in the Piazza San Pietro on June 24, 1950. Pope Pius XII spoke, not as before in Latin, but in Italian. "We order and declare, that the blessed Maria Goretti can be venerated as a Saint and We introduce her into the Canon of Saints." Some 500,000 people, among them a majority of youth, had come from around the World. Pope Pius XII asked them:

"Young people, pleasure of the eyes of Jesus, are you determined to resist any attack on your chastity with the help of grace of God?"

A resounding "yes" was the answer.

Feast day

Saint Maria Goretti's feast day, celebrated on 6 July, was inserted in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints for the first time when it was revised in 1969. It was not in the General Roman Calendar of 1962.

In art

St Maria Goretti is represented in art as a wavy-haired young girl in farmer clothes or a white dress, with a bouquet of lilies in her hands, and she is sometimes counted among the ranks of the Passionist order since her spiritual formation was guided by the Passionists.

Papal honors for Maria Goretti

Pope Pius XII was not the only Pope who had high praise for the Saint. While most saints are often left to local care after their canonization, St Maria Goretti received two Papal visits to her shrine. On September 14, 1969, Pope Paul VI visited her shrine in Nettuno and honored her with these words:

"The value of Christian virtue is so great, so overwhelming, so imperative, that it is worth more than life. Purity is not just a separate part of our being. It belongs to our existence as a whole, it is essential for our life. Purity brings us in harmony of body and soul."

Ten years later, on September 1, 1979, Pope John Paul II honored St Maria Goretti with a visit and spoke before thousands of faithful:

"Maria Goretti, so illuminating with her spiritual beauty, challenges us to a firm and secure faith in the Word of God, as the only source of truth, to remain firm against the temptations of this world."

"Young people, look at Maria Goretti, don’t be tempted by the tempting atmosphere of our permissive society, which declares, everything is possible. Look to Maria Goretti, love, live, defend your chastity."

"Young people, don’t be afraid to carry the torch of your life, light and ideals into modern society."

SOURCE : http://devotionsandprayers.blogspot.ca/2009/03/st-maria-goretti.html

Maria Goretti, VM (AC)

Born at Corinaldo, near Ancona, Italy, October 16, 1890; died near Nettuno, Italy, July 6, 1902; beatified 1947 by Pope Pius XII; canonized in 1950; feast day formerly July 5.

Maria was the daughter of a farm laborer, Luigi Goretti, and his wife, Assunta Carlini. She showed marked signs of youthful holiness. There were five other children. The family moved in 1896 to Ferriere di Conca, near Nettuno and Anzio in the Roman Campagna. Soon after, Luigi died of malaria. His wife struggled to support the family, receiving much help and encouragement from Maria. She was well known to her neighbors for her cheerful unselfishness and religious disposition.
In 1902, as Maria sat on the front step mending a shirt, an 18-year-old neighbor, Alexander Serenelli, the son of her father's partner, who lived in the same house with the Gorettis, beckoned Maria into a bedroom, but she refused to go. He grabbed her and pulled her in. She struggled and tried to scream, but he choked her. She cried that she would rather be killed than submit. Alexander began to pull her clothes off and struck her with a dagger. She cried out that she was being killed, and he repeatedly stabbed her in the back and ran away.

She was taken to the hospital, but it was clear she would not live. In her last hours she forgave her murderer, whom it was revealed she had feared for a long time but did not want to cause trouble by naming. She died within a day of the attack.

(Another version of the story says that Alexander attacked her when they were working together in the fields.)

Alexander was sentenced to 30 years of penal servitude and for eight years was unrepentant. One night he had a dream in which Maria gathered flowers and offered them to him, and he experienced a change of heart. He served 27 years, and his first act as a free man was to beg forgiveness from Maria's mother. On Christmas Day 1937, Alexander and Maria's widowed mother received Communion side-by-side. He has been cited as an example by those who advocate for the abolition of the death penalty.

In 1947, Maria was declared blessed by Pope Pius XII, who appeared on the balcony of Saint Peter's with Maria's mother and three of her sisters and brothers. In 1950, she was canonized for her purity in front of the largest crowd ever gathered for a canonization. Alexander was still alive. At the time of her canonization, some 30-40 miracles were recorded as a result of her intercession (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, White).

Maria Goretti is the patron saint of teenagers, particularly girls, and of the Children of Mary (White).