Maria and Mary
St. Maria Teresa Goretti, even in name we would consider her Mary-like. Maria found out at an early age the wonderful model we all are welcome to imitate. Maria imitated Mary's virtues in a child like way, but in a mature understanding. She knew Mary would lead her to Jesus, she counted on her, because she had confidence in her that she would never let her down. And did she, did Mary? I should say not, with Maria's strong will of resisting sin, and dying in a glorious martyrdom at the age of 12. Mary's hand was there all the time.
When she stride to imitate Mary she placed herself entirely under her director. Mary being entirely "fashioned and formed by the Holy Spirit" (L6 56) Maria let herself be given over to his sanctifying work. And by Him she was made to grow in faith and charity, into Christ Himself, our first and primary model.
St. Maria had been consecrated to Mary when she was one day old. At the age of six she received her Confirmation. Mary and the Holy Spirit were welcomed into her soul at a very young age.
St. Louis de Montfort wrote, "The more we honor the Blessed Virgin, the more we honor Jesus Christ, because we honor Mary only that we may the more perfectly honor Jesus, since we go to her only as the way by which we are to find the end we are seeking, which is Jesus." Maria's love for Mary made her long for a closer union with Jesus, especially in Holy Communion. Maria was under the age permitted for receiving this sacrament when she felt this overbearing urge. Maria Mother, Assunta confided this concern to the Archpriest of Nettuno who examined Maria himself. He told Assunta, "Be at ease good mother. Your daughter is very well prepared. Put away all your vain fears and confide her to Mary Immaculate. Place her under the Virgin's protecting mantle and have no fear."
St. Louis wrote again, "We must not fail to unite to the inward practice certain external observances because the outward practices, well performed, aid the inward ones."
Maria made sure of this point also. She was member of the Children of Mary, she wore the Miraculous Medal from the day she got it till her death. The Rosary became a necessity to her and she loved to adorn the pictures of the Blessed Virgin.
"St. Augustine calls our Blessed Lady `the mold of God.' He who is cast in this mold is presently formed and molded into Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ in him, because he has been cast in the same mold which has formed a God. . . But remember that we cast in a mold only what is melted and liquid, you must destroy and melt down in yourself the old Adam to become the new one in Mary." This `melting down,' destroying ones self love and love of the world can be done and St. Maria can help us. Imitate her and in turn devotion to Mary will sprout and blossom; nurture it and God's grace will do the rest.