From the Bishops

“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.”

–Cardinal Edwin O’Brien
Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem

“The life of Saint Maria Goretti is the very embodiment of poverty, love, and mercy.  Her forgiveness from her deathbed of the man who fatally attacked her reminds us of the words of Jesus on the cross: ‘Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.’  I look forward to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral hosting the relics of this “Little Saint of Great Mercy” and I am sure that her presence will inspire many New Yorkers to a greater understanding and appreciation of the gifts of fidelity, mercy, forgiveness, and reconciliation.”

–Cardinal Timothy Dolan
Archbishop of New York

“The Pilgrimage of Mercy will provide us the opportunity to reflect on the powerful witness given by St. Maria Goretti whose personal strength and conviction in the power of God’s love far surpassed her tender years.  Forgiveness, as so powerfully witnessed by St. Maria in her final hours, does not mean that we fail to acknowledge the seriousness and all too often devastating effects of harm done to others.  Rather, forgiveness recognizes that, in our hearts, when we are unable to forgive, we make ourselves a victim of the darkness that encompasses hatred and revenge.  Through the intercession of St. Maria, may this pilgrimage open the hearts and minds of many people to Jesus’ life changing gifts of mercy and forgiveness.”

–Cardinal Sean O’Malley
Archbishop of Boston

“During this Jubilee Year of Mercy, how fitting it is that the relics of this young, modern Saint of the Church should be made available for veneration by the Faithful in the United States. I commend Father Carlos Martins for his great care for all of the relics of our beloved holy men and women and am certain that, in a particular way, the Pilgrimage of Mercy will be the vehicle for a great outpouring of graces, especially the grace of purity, upon all those who are able to participate.”

–Cardinal Raymond Burke
Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta

“Jesus calls his followers to “be merciful as your heavenly Father is merciful.” The message of mercy is at the heart of the Gospel and is most visibly manifested in the Passion of Jesus Christ. This year, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Church will begin her observance of an Extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy. St. Maria Goretti, like many of the saints, heard and lived this calling of Jesus Christ by forgiving her murderer at her deathbed. Through the Pilgrimage of Mercy, we are given the unique opportunity to contemplate her powerful witness. It is my hope and prayer that, through the intercessions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Mercy, and in imitation of the example of St. Maria Goretti, we may be open to receive the mercy of God and to become its ambassadors in our daily interactions. ”

–Cardinal Daniel DiNardo
Archbishop of Galveston-Houston

“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.'”

–Bishop Edward Slattery
Bishop of Tulsa

“I am certain that the pilgrimage of the mortal remains of St. Maria Goretti will be of great spiritual fruit and that their presence will stir in the hearts of all a strong call to holiness.  We live in times in which this call – through the living witness of those who gave their life to Christ – is a message to be proposed with conviction to the people of today.  I express my best wishes for the success this endeavor, upon which I invoke the blessing of the Lord.”

–Bishop Marcello Semeraro
Bishop of Albano

“As a young seminarian and again as a priest living in Rome every visit to Nettuno included a visit to the relics of St. Maria Goretti. I am so pleased that her relics will be exposed here in our Cathedral.  May they be an inspiration to us all, but especially our youth, to live chaste lives of joyful communion and peaceful witness to our Church and to our world.”

–Bishop WIlliam Murphy
Bishop of Rockville Center

“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.”

–Bishop Timothy Doherty
Bishop of Lafayette-in-Indiana

“What an amazing blessing this Pilgrimage of Mercy will be to countless people throughout our country as the relics of St. Maria Goretti are brought to them.  I pray the heroic life of St. Maria Goretti will inspire future saints in our own diocese, state, and country, after her own heart – merciful and pure.  As we approach the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy, this opportunity to learn of Maria Goretti’s example and to foster a greater devotion to her, serves as an awesome overture of mercy for us all. In this beautiful saint, may we better understand God’s mercy, seek it for ourselves, and invite others to it every day.”

–Bishop Robert Morlino
Bishop of Madison