The students of Saint John School were given the special opportunity to view and venerate the first-class relic of St. Maria Goretti, hosted by Ms. Jennifer Piranio in early September. To venerate a relic is to regard it with great respect and reverence. A relic is a part of a deceased holy person’s body kept as an object of reverence. Ms. Piranio was given the chance to host and display the relic to the students through the Goretti Group, an organization that promotes goodness and faith.
There are three different types of relics in the Catholic faith. The first-class relic is a part of a saint’s body that has been kept or preserved over time. A second-class relic is something that a saint touched or wore. A third-class relic is a holy object (a rosary, bracelet, etc.) that touched a first-class relic.
Every grade at Saint John School was able to see the relic up close which is an experience most people would travel to the Vatican for. Students were also presented with Maria Goretti’s inspiring story, and many of them were amazed.
Goretti was canonized on June 24, 1950, which is forty-eight years after her death on July 6, 1902. She was only eleven years old at the time of her death. She became a saint after she was attacked at her home in Italy and left to die. She had the courage and compassion to completely forgive her attacker and even wish for him to be in Heaven with her. She is now the patron saint of modern youth and crime victims.
Students could see, touch and venerate the relic. Ms. Piranio believes that “Since she was so young it shows us that we can all be saints, that it is obtainable, and kids feel such a strong connection to her. She had such a strong faith that she became a saint.”
Article by Leila B. and Will B. 8th grade students