Thousands Gathered at St. Mary's to Venerate the Relics of St. Maria Goretti
An estimated 8,800 pilgrims went through the doors of St. Mary's Visitation Church to witness the major relics of St. Maria Goretti, the Patroness of Mercy on October 17 and 18. St. Mary's was honored to be the only parish in the Milwaukee Archdiocese to host the relics, part of the Pilgrimage of Mercy: the Tour of the Major Relics of St. Maria Goretti. It is the first time that St. Maria Goretti's body has traveled to the United States, and only the second time that it has left Italy.
"To have the relics of a saint in our parish church is a source of grace not only for those who made time to come for the Mass or to simply pray quietly, but also for the entire parish community,” said Father Peter Berger, Pastor at St. Mary’s Visitation.
While St. Maria is universally known as the Patroness of Purity, her greatest virtue was her unyielding forgiveness of her attacker even in the midst of horrendous physical suffering, a forgiveness that would completely convert him and set him on a path to personal holiness. In March His Holiness, Pope Francis, announced an Extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy beginning December 8th. This visit of the major relics of St. Maria Goretti is an effort on the part of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and Treasures of the Church to prepare and catechize the United States for this great celebration in the life of the Church.
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