When we speak about Virgin Saints, we have to keep in mind that their virginity has more to do with the physical trait of the body. It is important to bring this point out especially in the day of age we live in today.
Maria Goretti, or affectionately known as Marietta, is the patroness of purity for young people and the Church celebrates her feast today! Martyred as a young Italian teenage saint to protect her most valued physical treasure, she not only shed her blood, but gave joyful profound witness to Jesus Christ! From that witness, many have continued to follow God who is the “author of innocence and lover of chastity” (From the Collect on Maria’s Feast Day).
Virginity is about having one’s mind and heart so focused on God that God becomes the only end for the person’s journey in this earthly life! When one’s heart, mind, soul, and strength is oriented toward God, it follows that one treasures their physical virginity because it remains the dwelling place of the Most High God (cf 1 Corinthians 3:16).
Maria not only teaches us the value and joy loving God, but in that love, one puts it into action …. she teaches us to forgive. At the moment of her death, she forgave her murder whole heartedly so that he may win heaven. Indeed! Alejandro repented in jail after experiencing a vision of Marietta, and lived a life of solitude and prayer. He stood with Marietta’s mother at the Vatican the day Marietta was elevated to the Altar of God.
Remember, God gives us the sacraments in his Church as the primary channel of encountering him! If we have fallen, messed up, or given into the lies and temptations of the day, we can always return to the authentic and real Jesus through the Sacrament of Reconciliation! He never tires of inviting us! He invites us to return to him in this beautiful encounter … Isn’t that amazing? God uses our senses, that which is basically human, for us to hear and experience his forgiveness in this great sacrament.
Marietta, a young teenage saint with no academic degrees or profound intelligence. Yet, a flaming witness to the mercy and love of God. Dare we be saints!