Controversial saints should they be emulated


She forgave her rapist, which might not be looked on kindly by the current generation.
Also…Allessandro wasn’t psychotic, he was just a creep. But he repented and actually led a very good life at the end.


Why would Maria Goretti be seen as a controversial saint? She was attacked she tried to fight off his [Alexander’s] advances, she was stabbed and while in the hospital she forgave him and prayed for his repentance. Maria died of her wounds a short time later. Alexander repented, was let out of prison,and went on to become a lay brother for the church. He testified at the inquiry of Maria who was canonized in 1950 Also the one who taught us to forgive, Jesus, look what they did to Him. God Bless.


…a creep who murdered and tried to rape a little girl. He may have turned it around years after the fact, but you can’t classify what he did as anything other than psychotic. I still don’t know why you brought up sexual consent in reference to Maria Goretti, considering that 1) she was 11, and 2) she was clearly horrified that Alessandro was coming on to her.

Most people in my generation have no problem with forgiveness, provided it’s not motivated by Stockholm syndrome (which Maria definitely didn’t have). The problem lies with making an idol out of virginity, which is a big issue I’ve witnessed among practicing Catholics.


A lot of Catholics believe she was canonized because she died defending her virginity, and they pass this misguided interpretation on to secularists. She’s a saint because she forgave someone who was utterly undeserving, much like Christ did. Even if she had been raped, it wouldn’t have affected her sainthood in any way.


Yes she was canonized I believe because she forgave him and prayed for his repentance. Undeserving because she forgave him and prayed for his repentance ? Just as the ones who literally tortured Jesus, but He did forgive them, how can I do anything less?


…Yeah. That’s what I’m saying.


I did have a wider point but I realsied it wasn’t relevant to this topic so I edited my original comment as you can see.

Psychotic is a specific thing that implies he had a mental illness or some kind of psychotic break. He didn’t…he just was lustful and suffered from a serious lack of self-control. What he did was evil and thank God he repented in later life.

In fairness, the Church points toward virginity for a reason. Perhaps it is over-emphasised. But the fact that Maria Goretti would rather die than lose her virginity in such a manner one of the reasons she is a saint. She could have gone along with it and saved her life.

What generation are you referring to. I’m talking about milllenials.


With reference to Rose of Lima, I don’t think the Church would necessarily approve of some of the stuff she did. Generally physical mortification does not do permanent damage. The reason Origen isn’t a saint is because he castrated himself.

Also, Rose of Lima did some penances in secret. Usually very harsh penances of this nature must be sanctioned by a superior or spirituall director.


He stabbed a little girl to death. Said girl was also young enough for his advances to technically qualify as pedophilia. You can’t blame that on a simple “lack of self-control.” The guy had serious issues.

Maria resisted because she didn’t want Alessandro to go to Hell for raping her. Her responses point to her being more concerned for his soul than her own virginity.


That’s what I assumed. I’m a millennial myself, and I’m tired of the constant guff my generation gets from holier-than-thou old fogies (not referring to you specifically).


I’m not denying he had issues. I’m saying to say he was psychotic is to remove responsibility in some way.

Maria Goretti is remembered by the Church as a Virgin and Martyr.


I’m 29.


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I’m 22, so you might still qualify, lol.


I don’t think so. I’d say there has to be at least a decade between two people to allow them to call someone an “old fogey”.


In that case, I’ll drop the “old” part.


Be nice, everybody’s ok God Bless.:rose:


I’m not okay (I promise).


Perhaps you could think of it as one aspect of their human imperfection. Someone may have a disordered behavior and yet have love and faith so strong as to become a saint.

God does not ask his children to disfigure or injure themselves. There is always an alternative. Jesus said “If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.” However, it is not your right hand that causes you to sin. The evil is not in your hand. It is in your heart and in your thoughts, and that is where you must go to remove it and cast it away from yourself.


To all those who said mortification is necessary when I said it is not required please note the topic of the thread. That type of mortification is not only not required it is frowned upon.
If anyone views penance and abstinence as a form of mortification then I agree that is required of us.


Saints are human and it is possible that some of them had human flaws like a mental disorder or just plain carrying things a bit too far from time to time. For example, St. Therese struggled with extreme scrupulosity, and St. Benedict Labre and St. John of God lived their lives in ways that suggested possible mental illness. See also my thread from yesterday called “God Can Use Us All”.

Going without food in an era when people were literally starving in the gutter and when a community had very scarce food if the harvest was bad or you were in the middle of winter, has a different meaning than people going without food today when we may have hungry people but if you’re not in the third world, people are not starving on the curb or eating grass because they have nothing else. In any event, Catherine did not achieve sainthood by not eating, she achieved it by doing a lot of other important things that made her a Doctor of the Church.

I’d suggest looking beyond the things Saints did that maybe don’t make sense today (like Padre Pio insisting that all women be dressed in stockings, long sleeves and skirts 8 inches below the knee at all times) and look instead at the virtues and thoughts they had that really transcend time.

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