Published September 4, 2015
ATLANTA—The major relics of Patroness of Mercy, St. Maria Goretti, will be in Atlanta for two days in October.
The relics of St. Maria Goretti will be at Holy Spirit Church, 4465 Northside Drive, Atlanta, on Monday, Oct. 26, and at St. Monica Church, 1700 Buford Highway, Duluth, on Tuesday, Oct. 27.
Veneration at Holy Spirit Church will be from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m., with a Mass celebrated in St. Maria’s honor at 7 p.m. Veneration of the relics at St. Monica will be from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. with a Mass at 6:30 p.m.
Each exposition will include presentations throughout the day on the life and virtues of St. Maria Goretti. These will provide the catechetical and spiritual basis for the veneration of her remains.
The youngest canonized saint in the church in modern times, Maria Goretti was 11 years old when she was killed on July 6, 1902, after being stabbed 14 times in an attempted rape.
Maria’s last words on her deathbed were of mercy toward her 20-year old attacker: “I forgive Alessandro Serenelli … and I want him to be with me in heaven forever.” Serenelli reported receiving an apparition of Maria in prison. That occasion began a conversion process for him. “Maria’s forgiveness saved me,” said Serenelli.
Pope Francis has declared a Holy Year of Mercy to begin Dec. 8. The visit of the relics of St. Maria Goretti is part of an effort by the church to prepare the lay faithful for this special celebration.
This is only the second time St. Maria’s body has been taken out of Italy, and it is the first time for it to be brought to the United States. Her skeletal remains are not visible. They are inside a wax statue, which is in a glass casket.
Admission is free to the exposition programs and veneration.
See http://mariagoretti.com for more details about the tour, or for specific information regarding the presentations, contact: Kim Schulman at Holy Spirit Church, 404-252-4513, or the parish office at St. Monica Church at 678-584-9947.