6 July 2020 (MIA)
Macedonian Orthodox Church Calendar
The Holy Martyr Agrippina
St Agrippina was born and brought up in Rome. She trained herself from childhood to live by the Gospel. She was betrothed to Christ the Lord and suffered as a bride of Christ in the reign of Emperor Valerian. She endured beating with staves until her bones were crushed. An angel of the Lord appeared to her to strengthen her until she surrendered her soul to God under new tortures. Her friends, Vassa, Paula, and Agathonica, took her relics to the island of Sicily and buried them there. A church was later built there in her name, where countless miracles were wrought over her relics. She entered into eternal rest and was crowned with glory in the year 275.
St. Maria Goretti
(Patron of youth, young women, purity, and victims of rape)
There isn’t much to tell about St. Maria Goretti because she died when she was 12 years old. Born in Corinaldo, Ancona, Italy, on Oct. 16, 1890; her farmworker father moved his family to Ferrier di Conca, near Anzio. Her father died of malaria, and her mother had to struggle to feed her children. In 1902 an eighteen-year-old neighbor, Alexander, grabbed her from her steps and tried to rape her. When Maria said that she would rather die than submit, Alexander began stabbing her with a knife. As she lay in the hospital, she forgave Alexander before she died. Alexander was captured and sentenced to thirty years. He was unrepentant until he had a dream that he was in a garden. Maria was there and gave him flowers. When he woke, he was a changed man, repenting of his crime and living a reformed life. When he was released after 27 years, he went directly to Maria’s mother to beg her forgiveness, which she gave. When Maria was declared a saint in 1950, Alexander was there in the St. Peter’s crowd to celebrate her canonization. She was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1950 for her purity. She is called a martyr because she fought against Alexander’s attempts at sexual assault. Her feast day is July 6. St. Maria Goretti is the patroness of youth and for the victims of rape.