Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Saint Maria Goretti -A Modern Saint

When the priest walked to the altar wearing red, I knew it was another martyr's feast day.
Today the Church celebrates the heroic life and death of a 12 year old young lady named Maria Goretti.(1890-1902) A devout young lady, she was assaulted and murdered because she refused a man's sexual advances. She chose death and heaven rather than allow herself to be raped. She was stabbed over 14 times but lived for almost 20 hours after the attack in which time she prayed for and forgave her accuser. Fifty years later Pope Pius canonized her in 1950 as the Patron Saint of Modern Youth. Many miracles have been attributed to her intercession.

In our present age, when many young people idolize the wrong kind of role models we need a modern saint whose virtue and faith can be emulated. Promiscuity, materialism and hedonism are put forth as the new "virtue" for today's youth. Saint Maria Goretti shows us how to choose purity and chastity over the values that this world offers. Even in 1950, the pope knew that young people needed positive role models and examples of the faith rightly lived. St. Maria Goretti had "resisted sin to the shedding of blood."

Saint Maria Goretti, today we honor your faith and example of holiness to the point of martyrdom. We ask you to intercede to Jesus for the souls of our young people that they would be open to God's grace and power to choose a life lived for God and not self.
Through the merits of Christ we ask this in His name,

The political and social order will inevitably crumble in ambiances where the virtue of purity is disregarded. Thus, there can be no preservation of the social and political order, nor the serious building of Christian Civilization without a foundation based in purity, among other virtues. "


Anonymous Father R. said...

Dear TJ-
How would a non-Catholic explain the incorruptibility or decomposition of a person without the benefit of embalming? I understand that other denominations use the title "saint", but how do they come to that conclusion? Just wondering.

July 07, 2007 12:27 PM  
Blogger St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...

Would that we had her courage in the face of everyday vices..

St. Maria Goretti, pray for all who suffer modern culture.

July 07, 2007 1:37 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Dear Father R.:
When we were evangelical believers, we considered all believers saints based on NT scripture, and I think in a sense that is true. But we didn't accept or believe that the Catholic Church could or should make anybody "better" than anyone else via canonization. I thought, "who are they to tell us someone is definitely in heaven." Yet, as an evangelical Christian, we regularly judged people's salvation and were "salvation police" often inquiring at the time of a tragic, untimely death, "Were they saved? - I don't think so brother.. etc." In a sense I was acting as my own "canonizer."(declaring someone to be worthy of heaven)

If I am correct Father, individual Catholics, outside of papal authority, should never attempt to judge whether someone is "saved" or not because ultimately, that judgment is up to God and we believe in the promise of salvation but like St. Paul look towards heaven with a lively hope, not a surety.
I think as Catholics we can agree with non-Catholics in earthly believers being referred to as saints, based on Scripture such as Psalm 34;9 and Ro 15:26, but the canonized saints represent those who by the Petrine authority of binding and loosening can declare someone is a *saint* meaning, they are in heaven and worthy of us following their example and venerating(honoring them)and asking them to pray to God on our behalf: not praising, worshiping idolizing, necromancing etc etc ad nauseum.

For Catholics, the veil between earthly existence and those on the other side is indeed very thin made that way by the communion of saints merited for us by Christ.

Now, regarding what non-Catholics impression of incorruptibles are, what a topic! Several other religions have claimed incorruptibility but it has mostly been on the basis of mummification and many of those were actually embalmed.(Which rules out the ability to declare someone incorruptible) There is a process called saponification which has been known to occur when the precise combination of alkalinity, moisture, calcium etc is present and a human's tissues can become soap-like! Skeptics claim that Catholic incorruptibles are the result of this process, but not all incorrupt saints are chemically saponified. No one can explain the sweet odor that is often associated with an incorruptible either, or the "holy oil" that has been known to ooze from these folks.

Just for clarification, one doesn't have to be incorruptible as a requirement for sainthood, but it definitely puts you up a couple notches in the process!

As an evangelical, what did I think of incorruptibles and other supernatural aspects of Catholicism such as apparitions?
I, being a charismatic Christian, believed very much that God intervened in supernatural ways in this world and I also held that the enemy had power as an angel of light to create apparitions of Mary, miracles of Catholicism, to draw away and deceive people! It's ironic that I could believe in the miracles seen outside the Catholic Church, yet refused to accept or believe in the miracle of the Mass that occurs at a daily basis throughout the world. God's grace to change our hearts is amazing!

Thanks for the loaded questions,
Your correction on any of my information is welcomed!

that there are the saints on earth, but the

July 07, 2007 5:06 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Amen Jimbob!
I guess that's why he gives us these saints, to pray for us and inspire us that YES! A heroic holy life can be lived here on earth with his grace!

July 07, 2007 5:07 PM  
Blogger sdghjhj said...

As the over-population of humans on earth is killing 1000's of species yearly, perhaps a saint could be appointed who's trying to save the human race and the death of so many animals. Perhaps a saint who is trying to reform the church's policy in Latin America and Africa to have so many kids. Does the Church really approve of all the violence and poverty caused by over-population? I hear nothing coming out from the Pope or Bishops on this misery? The same can be said for Islam as well.

September 02, 2009 8:27 PM  

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