St.Maria Goretti


Amos 9: 11 – 15
Matthew 9: 14 – 17


Maria Goretti’s cause for sainthood was supported by the Italian Passionists, who had pastoral responsibility for her village. Maria’s mother taught her to prize her virtue, which was tested by a local nineteen-year-old man. Maria refused and was mortally stabbed. She died after saying: “I forgive him … May God forgive him’.

Reflecting on Maria Goretti, I find myself reflecting on the sufferings of people today, tortured by domestic violence and all kinds of abuse. The young, the elderly, the impoverished, the victimised… who often live within plain sight yet hide their wounds and scars. I ponder if greater awareness and community consciousness about these people and situations can bring about more support and protection for people affected by these damaging situations and in such perilous need.

For as many victims there are survivors of these abuses, but the psychological and emotional costs can cripple even the strongest of people. Do we hear their almost silent cries for help and recognition? Do we call out attitudes and behaviours that devalue human dignity? Can we be brave enough to be ‘the new way’ that Jesus says is being created in him? Both of today’s readings give us hope that new life can always emerge from the ashes of tragedy.

Can we live our lives today more open to the love of God and more compassionate towards our fellow human beings?

Pam Storey is a member of the Passionist Faith Community at Holy Cross, Templestowe, and one of the founding members of Passionist Companions. After a very active and varied family, church and working life, Pam is now focusing on developing a slow spirituality.