St. Maria Goretti's Biography

Ten Inch Blade of Steel

Not much time had gone by when Alessandro asked Assunta to get onto his cart, saying that he needed to go up into the house for a moment to do something. Assunta suspected nothing, and got onto the cart. Alessandro made his way towards the house and up the steps. All went according to his plan. Maria was alone; there was plenty of noise outside in the case she tried to call for help. Maria had foreseen the immediate danger and had quickly snatched up the shirt and sat outside on the top step in full view of the workers only 130 yards away. Her sleeping sister, Teresa, was still on a blanket at her side. Alessandro ran quickly up the stairs, past Maria, into the house. He arranged the kitchen, placing on a chest nearby the weapon he would use, a dagger with a ten inch blade which he himself had fashioned. He called her to come inside; she refused. He picked her up and brought her in, slammed the door and locked it behind him.

Maria knew this battle was to the death. She was afraid - not so much of him who could kill the body, but of the danger to the attacker's soul. She cried out those immortal words,

"What are you doing, Alessandro? It is a sin! God does not want it! You will go to Hell!"
She fought with all her strength as he held her. Seeing that she was determined to resist him, hatred welled up in his heart and seized the weapon, and plunged it into her body fourteen times. Thinking that Maria was dead, Alessandro threw the dagger into the closet, went into his room, closed the door, and feigned sleep.

Assunta noticed something wrong as she passed in front of the house. She heard the baby Teresa shrieking desperately, indicating that Marietta was not there. She then quickly told her son, Mariano, to go and see where she was, and at the same time she, too, made slowly for the house. On her way she noticed that Mr. Cimarelli had been called away. It was then that Assunta began to fear something awful had taken place indoors. The Goretti boys and Assunta left the barnyard, rushed to the house, and saw Cimarelli carrying Maria in his arms; her head was resting on his shoulder and she appeared to be dead. Poor Assunta screamed but was told by Cimarelli to be quiet, that Marietta had hurt herself. Not even he realized what had actually happened. Assunta then noticed that Alessandro was missing, and began to suspect what had taken place. Marietta was ghastly white and was quickly laid on the bed. The gaping wounds were quite visible, with entrails exposed to view. Assunta cried out to God to save her daughter and collapsed to her knees, weeping.

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