Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Homily Thursday of the Thirteenth Week / Maria Goretti 5 July 2006

Today in the life of the Church…
we celebrate the life and faith of Saint Maria Goretti.

Maria was born in 1890, near Ancona, Italy.
She was raised in a simple peasant family…
and was known to all for her joyful spirit and sincere piety.

When Maria was twelve, she was attacked by a neighbor, who tried to abuse her.
When she cried out that she would rather die than submit…
the man stabbed her with a knife.

As she lay dying in the hospital, she mustered the strength to forgive her attacker,
and moments later she died.

Maria remained a virgin…and died a martyr.
She was only a young girl of twelve…
taken from this world tragically, and far too soon.

And still, young as she was…she made a choice, a choice based on her faith.

And what an impact that choice…and that faith had…
For the young man who attacked her, Alexander Serenelli…
was lying in his prison cell one night…
when he saw a vision of Maria bringing flowers to him.

This moment changed his life into one of love and service to Christ.

He was even present at Maria’s canonization in 1950.

What miraculous fruit was borne from Maria’s life and death!
And so the Church holds up to the world…
the life, death and the faith of Maria Goretti!

Maria stands as a witness to the dignity of the human person…
and of the body, a temple of the Holy Spirit.
She proclaims that to follow Christ means to love Him more than life itself.
She declares that some truths are worth even dying for.
Her life witnesses to the truth that a martyr’s death produces abundant fruit.

So, today, we invoke her intercession for our troubled world,
where the dignity of the body is so often disregarded…
and we pray that purity and chastity will one day be valued by all people.

And for ourselves,
we pray for the grace to defend the dignity of the person and of the body…
in our conversations…in how we act and live…
and the grace to serve Christ with fidelity…
to love Him more than life itself.

1 comment:

Denise said...

This blogspot is such a good idea for sharing your homilies, Deacon Matthew; and it is much appreciated by those on the receiving end :)

Many blessings,
Denise