St. Maria Goretti
The Little Saint of Great Mercy
From September to November of this year the major relics of St. Maria Goretti will make a pilgrimage to the United States. Named the “Pilgrimage of Mercy,” it is the first time that her body travels to the USA.
While St. Maria is universally known as the Patroness of Purity, her greatest virtue was her unyielding forgiveness of her attacker even in the midst of horrendous physical suffering, a forgiveness that would completely convert him and set him on a path to personal holiness. In March 2015, His Holiness, Pope Francis, announced an Extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy beginning December 8, 2015. This visit of the major relics of St. Maria Goretti is an effort on the part of the Holy See and Treasures of the Church to prepare and catechize the United States for this great celebration in the life of the Church.
I am delighted that the Church in the United States will have the opportunity to celebrate the Holy Year of Mercy through the inspiring story of the life and death of St. Maria Goretti! May the opportunity to reverence her relics demonstrate the power of Divine Mercy and forgiveness awaiting everyone of us who takes the message of Jesus seriously to heart.
I recommend the prayerful participation of all the faithful in the visit of St. Maria Goretti’s relics. Saint Maria and her story prepare us for the Year of Mercy. May we be inspired to accept forgiveness and to offer it.
The Pilgrimage of Mercy is an opportunity for the faithful to venerate St. Maria Goretti’s sacred relics and to begin to experience what the pontiff spoke of in March when he said that through this Year of Mercy the Church would “find in this Jubilee the joy of rediscovering and rendering fruitful God’s mercy.
– Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus: Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy