"Restore All Things In Christ"
serving trafficking survivors since 2013
St. Maria Goretti
Saint Maria Goretti was born 1890 in Corinaldi, Italy. The Gorettis were a very devout, but also very poor family, eventually having to sell their own farm to work in the fields. One day, eleven-year-old Maria was at home watching her baby sister while her mother and siblings were out working (her father had died years before). Their neighbor’s nineteen-year-old son, Alessandro Serenelli, tried to force himself upon her, but she refused, warning him that it was against God’s will. Furious at her resistance, Alessandro stabbed Maria to death. After his arrest for attempted rape and murder, the unrepentant Alessandro was sentenced to a long prison term. One night, Maria appeared to him in a dream, offering him flowers; the same number of flowers as the amount of times he had stabbed her. When Alessandro awoke, he repented and converted, determined now to be a better man. When released, he begged Maria’s mother to forgive him as well, and they both attended her canonization in 1950. Saint Maria Goretti is the patron saint of chastity, purity, victims of rape, young girls, and forgiveness.
St. Josephine Bakhita
St. Josephine Margaret Bakhita was only a young girl when she was kidnapped by slave traders in Darfur, Sudan. The fear and trauma from her enslavement was so terrible that she forgot her own name, so her captors named her Bakhita. She was beaten, flogged until she bled daily, and had salt rubbed into her wounds, scarring her for life. In 1882 she was bought by a kinder master and brought to Italy, where she became the nanny of her master’s daughter. Both were sent to stay at a convent in Venice belonging to the Canossian Sisters, where Bakhita began to learn the Catholic faith. After a life of abuse and humiliation at the hands of human masters, she finally encountered the true Master, who loved her and had suffered for her sake. In 1890 she received baptism, confirmation, and first communion. When her master wanted to take her back to Sudan, she refused to leave the convent, and when the issue was taken to court the judge ruled in her favor. Soon after she took vows as a Canossian Sister, choosing the name Josephine Margaret. Her reputation for sanctity spread throughout Italy, and she remains a powerful witness of God’s providence and forgiveness. Truly He has come to set the captives free.