On this Feast of Saint Maria Goretti, I thought it worth revisiting this post from 2015 because her story on the power of forgiveness is a lesson for us all. (Originally posted on Oct 28, 2015).Does Forgiveness Elude You?Forgiveness is difficult for many of us; yet, not so for young St. Maria Goretti.  Maria died at age eleven, from mortal stab wounds caused by unwanted advances of a young man. Yet, astonishingly, Maria’s last words evoked forgiveness for this young man. She not only forgave him, she openly prayed for him, while suffering from those stab wounds prior to her death.How many of us would be so forgiving? How many of us pray for those who wish us harm or have hurt us physically, emotionally or spiritually?I had the honor of venerating her relics at a special ceremony at my parish in Charlotte, NC on Oct. 24, 2015. What does it mean to venerate saintly relics?…those who have an affection to any person hold in honor all that was intimately connected with him. Hence, while we love and venerate the saints who were so dear to God, we also venerate all that belonged to them, and particularly their bodies, which were once the temples of the Holy Spirit, and which are some day to be conformed to the glorious body of Jesus Christ. ‘Whence also,’ adds St. Thomas (Aquinas), ‘God fittingly does honor to such relics by performing miracles in their presence’ (New Advent.org/relics).At the ceremony, you pass by St. Maria Goretti’s casket, praying for her intercession on your own behalf, or for someone you love. You offer forgiveness for your own past hurts, as well as forgive yourself for your own past sins. St. Maria Goretti’s casket and her relics serve as a reminder of… Read more…

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