This young martyr was born to poor farmers in Italy. After her father’s death, Maria was in charge of the household while her mother worked in the fields.
When she was alone at age 11, a young man named Alessandro tried to rape Maria. She resisted and he stabbed her several times then fled. On her deathbed, she forgave Alessandro and hoped God would as well.
Alessandro was sentenced to prison, where he expressed remorse after Maria appeared to him in a dream with a bouquet of lilies.
She is the patroness of St. Maria Goretti Parish, preschool and kindergarten in Scottsdale.