How you can help St. Maria

It is the desire of the Holy See that the Pilgrimage of Mercy be a deep and profound spiritual experience for all Americans. St. Maria is a model for the kind of forgiveness and mercy that sets the heart free and opens it to the healing and mysterious presence of Christ.

But it is also the desire of the Holy See that the Pilgrimage of Mercy be an opportunity for the American faithful to demonstrate their mercy towards St. Maria. The Basilica Shrine of St. Maria in Nettuno is the facility that houses her body. The Basilica’s heating and cooling units and the wall that faces the sea (the Basilica stands only 40 yards away from the sea) are in need of replacing and extensive maintenance, respectively. These maintenance needs are subjecting the reliquary that holds St. Maria’s body to damage:

The Pontifical Basilica



The Pontifical Basilica of Our Lady of Grace and St. Maria Goretti. Originally called Our Lady of Grace Church it was renamed and granted Basilica status after the canonization of St. Maria Goretti.



The climate system is decades old and is no longer functional. As a result, the body of St. Maria, housed in the crypt of the Basilica, is subject to damage.


The damage caused to the mortar by the wind and salt erosion. If the mortar is not repaired, the damage to the Basilica will be irreversible.


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The sea can be seen just beyond the exterior wall of the Basilica.


The House of the Martyrdom

In addition, the house in which St. Maria was martyred is also badly in need of repair. Since its restoration in 1953, by Cardinal Francis Spellman and the American Association of the Knights of Malta, it has not received any structural maintenance.


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The Goretti House in the village of Le Ferriere. Maria was sitting at the top of the front stairs when Alessandro Serenelli pulled her in and, after a failed rape attempt, stabbed her 14 times.



Maria was sitting on the top step when Alessandro pulled her into the house and began his attack.


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Time and the elements have taken their toll on the building.


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Since its last repair in 1953, several large cracks have opened in the exterior of the building. These need to be repaired to prevent their widening.


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Part of the restoration will be to seal the exterior of the building against water damage, thus preventing damage such as this.



The walls of the interior of the building will have all cracks repaired, such as this one inside St. Maria’s bedroom.

The Restoration Project: Lilies for St. Maria

A Restoration Committee has been set-up, led by Patrick Allen, President of Ace Masonry, which is one of the highest rated professional masonry companies on the east coast and a specialist in church restorations. The breakdown of needed repairs are as follows:




Purchase and installation of new heating and cooling system (HVAC) $170,000
Scaffolding and netting for sea-facing side of the Basilica $100,000
Removal of defaced brick $200,000
Re-pointing and mortaring of all joints $600,000
Installation of new coping $100,000
Opening of channels within sea-facing wall $300,000
Glazing of brick $175,000
Total $1,645,000


House of the Martyrdom:

Scaffolding and netting $150,000
Re-plastering of exterior $150,000
Repair of soffits $55,000
Repair of roof $17,000
Repair to St. Maria’s bedroom and Goretti family bedrooms $25,000
Converting of Alessandro Serenelli’s bedroom into a shrine $20,000
Total $417,000



Your assistance with the funding of these projects is most appreciated.