The Canonisation of Saint Maria Goretti was the first canonisation to be held in Saint Peter’s Square, attended by more than half a million people. The photograph shows Pope Pius XII celebrating Maria’s canonisation. Assunta Goretti, who watched the ceremony from above the Piazza, was the first mother to be present at her daughter’s canonisation.
(Photo: copyright Life magazine.)
GloriaTV has a very interesting documentary on the life of Saint Maria Goretti, whose feast is today. It is in two parts. Among Passionists who are featured are Father Godfrey Poage, whose vivid imagination made Saint Gabriel the unofficial patron saint of handguns, and Father Fiorenzo Bordo who is now Provincial Superior of the Presentation Province. Click here for part one and here for part two. Part two has some rare film footage of the canonisation ceremony and the voice of Pope Pius XII proclaiming Maria’s sanctity, as well as Father Godfrey’s own recollections of what happened that day.
Alessandro Serenelli, who killed Maria, is one of the great marvels of the mercy of God. After years in prison filled with hatred, he was converted to Christ through Maria’s intercession and, after his release, went to Maria’s mother to ask her forgiveness. He spent the remaining years of his life in a Capuchin monastery and died a saintly death at the age of eighty-eight.