(Editor’s Note: At the beginning of the month, I asked for contributions to the site from you – teens. Each time we ask and you answer, we’ll put some of the articles up in a feature we’re calling ‘You Said It.’ The first piece is by Jacqueline E from TX.)
A question that teens usually ponder regarding sex is, “How far is too far?” But a new question I challenge us to consider is, “How far would you go to protect your purity?” Saint Maria Goretti was only eleven years old when she was stabbed to death for refusing to give up her virginity to a neighborhood boy, Alessandro.
When she wouldn’t give in to his advances, Alessandro stabbed Maria fourteen times. Four hours after the attack, she finally reached a hospital. She made her last Confession and received her final Communion before she died. Her admirable last wish was that God forgive Alessandro so that one day he could join her in Heaven.
On June 24, 1950, Pope Pius XII canonized Maria Goretti as a saint of the Catholic Church and the patroness of youth. Alessandro even testified on behalf of Maria’s holiness during the canonization process! (In prison, Maria visited him in a dream in which she gave him a bouquet of fourteen lilies, symbolizing her forgiveness.)
Wow. Maria wanted to die before she offended God. What’s more, she forgave her murderer! To be eleven and already believe in something enough to die for it – talk about faithful! She died an awful death, but in her suffering she gave honor to God. She died for Christ, and now she reigns with Him in eternal glory! (2 Timothy 2:12 – “If we persevere, we shall also reign with Him.”)
St. Maria Goretti is an excellent model for anyone who wants to live the virtue of chastity. With teen-pregnancy rates sky-high today, I pray that her story inspires teens to follow in her footsteps. Her death speaks volumes about the value of chastity, and the depth of her forgiveness makes her a true follower of Christ. She demonstrates that anyone can bravely defend purity without fear, as Christ will always strengthen us when we want to stand up for Him.