St. Maria Goretti's sacred remains move to Northlake

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015
St. Maria Goretti relic comes to Chicago
The relic of St. Maria Goretti, the youngest canonized saint, is on display at St. Cantius Church in the city's Goose Island neighborhood.

NORTHLAKE, Ill. (WLS) -- The sacred remains of St. Maria Goretti, the youngest canonized saint in the Catholic Church, moved to a church in northwest suburban Northlake.

The faithful can visit the relic at St. John Vianney Church, located at 46 North Wolf Road in Northlake, for 24 hours on Tuesday.

Venerated as a saint of purity and mercy, St. Maria Goretti died at age 11 when her next door neighbor, Alessandro Serenelli, stabbed her 14 times during an attempted rape. She forgave her killer on her death bed. Goretti is also considered the patron saint of youth and young people.

Thousands are gathering to witness a first in Chicago. The relic of the youngest canonized saint in the Catholic Church is on display at a church in Goose Island.

Her sacred remains arrived at St. John Cantius Church in Chicago's Goose Island neighborhood on Monday, as part of the Pilgrimage of Mercy. Thousands of people prayed in front of the glass case holding St. Maria's body.

This is the first time the relic has traveled to the U.S. and only the second time it has left Italy. Goretti's arrival in Chicago was very meaningful to the faithful.

"It's very rare, in our country, that we get to see a saint's body. It's really an incredible moment, that we get to see a saint, let alone the youngest canonized saint. One with a story that reads pretty much like a Chicago headline: Stabbed 14 times in an attempted rape, but that incredible forgiveness that she gave her attacker," Father Joshua Caswell said.

St. Maria will travel to St. Francis of Assisi Church in Orland Park on Wednesday and to St. Mary Immaculate Church in Plainfield on Thursday.

For more information on St. Maria Goretti's 48-city tour, visit