In 1902, Maria Goretti was attacked and killed at the age of 12 in a brutal act of violence. Her tragic end, like Jesus', was the beginning of a new life for millions of people throughout word. This is the kind of new life that our campaign seeks to bring about, for families and victims in urban San Jose.
St. Maria Goretti Parish in San Jose is today a busy parish servicing 7000 women, children and men each week, from four generations and from many countries. We want our parish to be a place a healing, forgiveness, and heavenly beauty in middle of a very busy and sometimes hurtful and traumatic valley of tears. We want to change an run down storage room into an adoration chapel in honor of Christ and St. Maria Goretti, knowing that people will come here to pray day and night and receive grace.
Sal Caruso, architect, has designed a chapel that includes a life-sized, back-lit stain glassed image of Christ. His heart will contain the Eucharist. Physical intimacy with the heart of Christ is life-changing as we see in every parish in the world that offers adoration.
250,000 people attended Maria's canonization in 1950, and before his death her attacker wrote: When I was 20 years-old, I committed a crime of passion. Now, that memory represents something horrible for me. Maria Goretti, now a Saint, was my good Angel, sent to me through Providence to guide and save me. I still have impressed upon my heart her words of rebuke and of pardon. She prayed for me, she interceded for her murderer. Thirty years of prison followed. If I had been of age, I would have spent all my life in prison. I accepted to be condemned because it was my own fault. Little Maria was really my light, my protectress; with her help, I behaved well during the 27 years of prison and tried to live honestly when I was again accepted among the members of society. The Brothers of St. Francis, Capuchins from Marche, welcomed me with angelic charity into their monastery as a brother, not as a servant. I've been living with their community for 24 years, and now I am serenely waiting to witness the vision of God, to hug my loved ones again, and to be next to my Guardian Angel and her dear mother, Assunta. I feel that religion with its precepts is not something we can live without, but rather it is the real comfort, the real strength in life and the only safe way in every circumstance, even the most painful ones of life.
Please help our campaign if you can, so that her story, and our chapel, will be a radiant little light.