Blessed are the Pure
St. Maria Goretti is the patron saint of purity and youth. Born in 1890, St. Maria was one of six children. Known for her holiness and charity amongst her family, neighbors and friends she was well loved. As she was not yet 12 years old, her cousin attempted rape but was refused with the exhortation that he would commit a mortal sin. She was stabbed and later died in the hospital. She forgave her murderer immediately and expressed that she wanted to be in Heaven with him. Eight years into Alessandro's sentence, St. Maria came to him with a bouquet of lilies. This gentle and convicting appearance led Alessandro to reconciliation. Both Alessandro and St. Maria's mother, Assunta, were present at her beatification.
The story of St. Maria Goretti is filled with purity and mercy. She is a profound role model for the youth and for all those aspiring after holiness. Following in the footsteps of this Saint is both a challenge and a demand.
"Is Christ not the secret of true freedom and profound joy of heart? Is not Christ the supreme friend and teacher of all genuine friendship? If Christ is presented to young people as He really is they experience Him as an Answer that is convincing and they can accept His message even when it is demanding and bears a mark of the Cross."
St. John Paul ||
Our Lord states in Holy Scripture, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" Matthew 5:6-7. Extending mercy is a command from Jesus Christ and Holy Scripture is imbued with this act of love. In St. Faustina's diary, she has written that as often as she looks upon the Cross, so will she forgive with all of her heart. Every soul has sinned and fallen short of God's grace and every soul is in need of mercy. Without God's mercy, all souls would be condemned to perdition. Mercy Itself has walked upon the face of the earth two millennia ago, and by His example we are called to imitate; "you therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" Matthew 5:48. He uses the bold and demanding word "perfect" because His law is love and expects and desires His children to be "perfect" in love. Throughout scripture, Jesus exhorts His followers to go against their inclinations of the flesh; inclinations to lust, anger, hatred, selfishness, greed, pride and every other evil are to be cut off completely. In place of all evil, followers of Christ are to be imbued with mercy in thought, action and prayer; souls imbued with "charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, long-suffering, humility or gentleness, fidelity or faithfulness, modesty, continence or self-control and chastity". Our souls are to be purer than the angels, which is only possible with the Blood of Jesus Christ, through the gift of reconciliation.
Every soul is precious and beloved by God. He has said to one of His children, "I love a single soul, as much as all souls together." He desires only the good of souls therefore all that He commands is for our sake. Purity is attained through union with Jesus Christ because only through Him do all good things flow. Purity of heart effects everything about oneself, their speech, dress, way of life, actions, everything. Purity of heart is continually seeking the better and most decent of actions. Only the pure in heart shall see God, therefore we are called to strive for perfection and the good Lord will bless our efforts and make up for whatever is lacking in us, "for He knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust."
We are called to be witnesses of Truth and in the words of Blessed Charles De Foucald to "proclaim the Gospel with our whole life." We are called to fight against this present age of evil, where wrong is right and right is wrong, by allowing Christ to live within our beings and becoming the light to dispel the darkness. We are called to be the "hands and feet of Christ" and so we are, by receiving Him in Holy Communion and allowing Him to live through us. Mercy and purity are the fruits of our intimate union with God and therefore we can truthfully proclaim from our hearts, "not to us, O Lord, not to us but to Your name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness."
May mercy and purity embody our souls completely, may they be like adornments around our neck.
St. Maria Goretti, pray for us