In October, the remains of the youngest Catholic saint, Saint Maria Goretti, were brought to St. John Cantius Church in Chicago, where crowds of the faithful waited in long lines to venerate her.
Saint Maria Goretti was just 11 years old when she was stabbed to death while resisting a sexual assault in 1902. The Italian girl is said to have forgiven her killer and appeared to him in an apparition while he was in prison, which inspired his conversion. Her words, “I forgive Alessandro Serenelli … and I want him with me in heaven forever” were on display in the church. The relics were enclosed in a glass casket and members of law enforcement acted as pallbearers.
As the Holy Year of Mercy is set to begin, this tour of the saint's relics reminds many of the message to be celebrated by the church next year.
Many, such as Katie Higgins, were moved by the experience. She explained how “something comes over you and your heart is just at peace and you just steady out. You just know something touched you. … It was like a greeting, like getting a hug.”
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