The 14 wounds of St. Maria Goretti
To the victims and to all who have ever been taken advantage of, we are mourning with you and have a righteous anger for the sins committed against you. Although you may never hear your perpetrator say this, I want to apologize on their behalf for all that has happened to you and to beg for your forgiveness. Tears well up within my eyes thinking of how violated and betrayed you must feel. Maybe you even feel guilty or that you in some way deserved this. My dear beloved friend, you did not deserve what happened to you nor did you cause this to happen. You are loved beyond belief. I repent in dust and ashes for any sins I have committed against the virtue of chastity. May I strive ever more diligently to demolish the vice of lust and all its evils. With a Rosary in my hand and a Scapular around my neck I want to go to battle against these sins of lust, starting with myself. I am doing works of penance and reparation for what my sins, no matter how small, have done to the Body of Christ. I am especially praying for you and holding you who are innocent close to my heart.
My dear friend, Christ is nearer to you in your sufferings than those without these wounds. Jesus also had evils committed upon Him, He who was innocent. He knows more than I how betrayed and violated you must feel. He came to love and to be loved and yet He was spat upon, beat, scourged, betrayed, crucified, and had all kinds of profanities uttered to Him. However, it is Christ who changed the entire existence of our human race as He saved us all from the very sins we committed against Him. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” Luke 23:34. He loves you, enough to go through all these sufferings, to be humiliated, and to die for you as He was crucified upon a cross. He is giving you a part in this love and oh how inflamed His Sacred Heart is with love just for you.
“Cry out with a thousand tongues – I see the world is rotten because of silence” St. Catherine of Siena.
May we who stand next to you as your brothers and sisters in Christ cry out with a thousand tongues against the evils committed against you! May we cry out against sexual abuse and may we also cry out against the other grave sins that fuel this sin of lust! May we cry out against pornography, child pornography, sex trafficking, contraception, abortion, fornication, homosexual acts, adultery, infidelity, abuse, rape, molestation, and all the other sins of lust! May we cry out against sin and the devil who desires our ruin!
I am reminded of St. Maria Goretti the patron saint of purity. She was a young, beautiful, and holy girl who died at only 12 years of age. She loved Jesus dearly and modeled purity, chastity, and innocence. Alessandro, a 20 year old man became wicked as he immersed himself in the sins of lust. He noticed Maria’s beauty and decided that he would take advantage of her. He made advances towards her as he tried to seduce her into commiting a sin of lust with him. Maria screamed, “No, Alessandro, God does not want this!” She tried to protect him from commiting this sin and she defended her purity. Alessandro was so blinded by his sin that he stabbed her 14 times when she did not succumb to his advances. After St. Maria Goretti was found wounded and suffering she was rushed to the hospital. The very next day she died. Before she died though she forgave Alessandro. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” Luke 23:34. The last words on little Maria’s lips were words of forgiveness. Forgiveness for her murderer, a man who would later repent and convert through her forgiveness.
After Maria died Alessandro was sent to 30 years in jail for murder. He would have been sent to jail for life if he was a few years older. While he was in jail still angry and immersed in his sins of lust he had a dream. He saw St. Maria Goretti more beautiful than ever. She held in her hands 14 lilies, representing the 14 stabs Alessandro had inflicted upon her body. She offered these lilies to Alessandro. He received them from her, but when they touched his hands they burned up. When he woke up he admitted his sins and repented, having a major conversion. He then behaved well for the remainder of his time in prison. Before Alessandro died, he wrote an incredible letter. May these words touch each of our hearts and be the words of all those who have committed grave sins against the innocent.
I’m nearly 80 years old. I’m about to depart. Looking back at my past, I can see that in my early youth, I chose a bad path, which led me to ruin myself. My behavior was influenced by print, mass-media, and bad examples which are followed by the majority of young people without even thinking. And I did the same.
I was not worried.
There were a lot of generous and devoted people who surrounded me, but I paid no attention to them because a violent force blinded me and pushed me toward a wrong way of life.
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 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 my dear mother, Assunta.
I hope this letter that I wrote can teach others the happy lesson of avoiding evil and of always following the right path, like little children. 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.
Signed, Alessandro Serenelli
Over the next couple of days I plan to gather 14 lilies in honor of St. Maria Goretti and all the innocent who have had horrible atrocities of evil committed against them. I will present these lilies to our Blessed Mother and Jesus along with at least 14 Holy Rosaries prayed for those who have been abused, those who struggle with sins of lust, and for our Church. If you would like to join me in doing so, please do. May we fill our chapels, our hearts, and our world with purity, chastity, and innocence spreading white lilies everywhere. May we also support those who have been abused and do everything we can to help these innocent souls along their paths of healing.
A Call to Action
Jesus Christ defeated sin and death once and for all! It is God who saves us from our sins and it is God who will continue to save us from our sins. We must turn to Him now along with His Blessed Mother who is Co-Redemptrix. No longer can we try to rely on ourselves to drive sin out. It is our own selfish pride that makes us think that we can do this on our own. No longer can we be a people void of prayer, fasting, and penance. No longer can we wander in the desert of our sin yearning for true food and true drink. We can no longer live without Christ. We can no longer live without Love.
“Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink” John 6:54-55.
“Never cease offering me the incense of fragrant prayers for the salvation of souls, for I want to be merciful to the world. With your prayers and sweat and tears I will wash the face of my bride, holy Church” St. Catherine of Siena.
Behold, your mother
What are we as Catholics to do?
“Pray your Rosary. Pray your Rosary every day and stay very close to our Blessed Mother. … Almost the very first papal act was what? Denying our Lord three times and running away. What did almost all the other bishops do? They ran away too. Who is the only one who stayed faithful. St. John. Why did St. John stay faithful? Because St. John stayed next to our Blessed Mother as our Lord bled out on the cross. He knew that if he stayed close to our Blessed Mother that he would be alright” Veritas Caritas.
St. Mary Magdalene was there as our Lord bled out on the cross as well. Another repentant sinner turned into a great saint.
“But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home” John 19:25-27.
Here am I! Send me
“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me” Isaiah 6:8.
Here are a few concrete ways we can go to battle against sin, death, and the devil (the world, the flesh, and the devil):
- Pray the Rosary
- Again, “One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, she [Mary] will save the world” St. Dominic.
- “Prayer, particularly the prayer of the rosary is (what) will deliver us from the claws of this demon, the demon of terrorism. And of course, it is working” Bishop Dashe from Nigeria.
- “The Rosary is the ‘weapon’ for these times” St. Padre Pio.
- How to pray the Rosary
- Pray for seminarians, deacons, priests, bishops, cardinals, and our holy father
- Pray for the grace to die for the truth and embrace the truth
- Occupy yourself with your duties in your state of life
- Once when St. Charles Borromeo was playing billiards, someone asked what he would do if he knew he only had fifteen more minutes to live. “Keep playing billiards,” he replied.
- Love Begins at Home
- Read Scripture, the Catechism, and the lives of the saints
- Read John 6
- Renew your devotion to Our Lady
- Frequent the Sacraments
- Go to Confession and Communion often
- Spend time with our Eucharistic Lord – commit to at least one Holy Hour per week
- Pick up the habit of mental prayer
- Start with 15 minutes a day and every three months add 5 minutes until you reach an hour
- A great book and easy read on mental prayer is Conversation with Christ
- Enroll in the Scapular – we need our spiritual sword and shield!
- “Whosoever dies wearing this Scapular shall not suffer eternal fire” Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
- Where to get a Scapular
- Read Humanae Vitae
- Penance and Fast – maybe start with no meat on all Fridays of the year
- “Friday should be in each week something of what Lent is in the entire year. For this reason we urge all to prepare for that weekly Easter that comes with each Sunday by freely making of every Friday a day of self-denial and mortification in prayer remembrance of the passion of Jesus Christ. Among the works of voluntary self-denial and personal penance which we especially command to our people for the future observance of Friday, even though we hereby terminate the traditional law of abstinence binding under pain of sin, as the sole prescribed means of observing Friday, we give first place to abstinence from flesh meat. We do so in the hope that the Catholic community will ordinarily continue to abstain from meat by free choice as formerly we did in obedience to Church law” USCCB.
- Sacred Heart devotion – urged by Jesus to St. Mary Alacoque
- Immaculate Heart devotion – Our Lady of Fatima’s message to the three shepherd children
- Divine Mercy devotion – urged by Jesus to St. Maria Faustina
- Home Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary
- Fight against sin!
- Start with yourself – frequent confession
- Protect the innocent
- Fight against the sins that fuel lust – pornography, child pornography, sex trafficking, contraception, abortion, fornication, homosexual acts, adultery, infidelity, abuse, rape, molestation, and all the other sins of lust
- Pray outside of abortion clinics, but not without your sword, the Rosary!
- Protect the innocent who are murdered every day
- Write your bishop
- If your bishop has not put out a firm statement against these abuses then write to him urging him to do so
- Write Pope Francis – he has the authority over the bishops and they are entrusted to his care
A few promises to leave you with
“It is the Lord who goes before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you or forsake you; do not fear or be dismayed” Deuteronomy 31:8.
“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” Matthew 16:18.
“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” Matthew 28:18-20.
“After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you also wish to go away?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God'” John 6:66-69.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away” Revelation 21:4.
“… Towards the end of the world, and indeed soon, because Almighty God and his holy Mother are to raise up great saints who will surpass in holiness most other saints as much as the cedars of Lebanon tower above little shrubs. … These great souls filled with grace and zeal will be chosen to oppose the enemies of God who are raging on all sides. They will be exceptionally devoted to the Blessed Virgin. Illumined by her light, strengthened by her food, guided by her spirit, supported by her arm, sheltered under her protection, they will fight with one hand and build with the other. With one hand they will give battle, overthrowing and crushing heretics and their heresies, schismatics and their schisms, idolaters and their idolatries, sinners and their wickedness. With the other hand they will build the temple of the true Solomon and the mystical city of God, namely, the Blessed Virgin, who is called by the Fathers of the Church the Temple of Solomon and the City of God. By word and example they will draw all men to a true devotion to her and though this will make many enemies, it will also bring about many victories and much glory to God alone” St. Louis Marie de Montfort.
“In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph” Our Lady of Fatima.
Resources from Other Catholics regarding the scandal
- **Father Robert Altier August 19 Homily**
- Fatima Parish Mission
- Bishop Barron Q&A about the Sexual Abuse Crisis
- Ascension Presents: The Pennsylvania Sex Abuse Scandal
- Sexual Abuse, Sackcloth, and Ashes: Meeting Scandal with Acts of Reparation
- Cardinal Burke Addresses the Clergy Scandal
- Pastoral Letter from Bishop Olmsted and Bishop Nevares Regarding Recent Abuse Scandals
- President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Announces Effort That Will Involve Laity, Experts, and the Vatican as U.S. Bishops Resolve to Address “Moral Catastrophe”
- President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Renews Commitment for Greater Effectiveness and Transparency in Disciplining Bishops
- Grieving With You: On the Catholic Clergy Abuse + What We Can Do
- The McCarrick Mess
- An Open Letter to Pope Francis, All Bishops, Priests and Deacons of the Catholic Church