Thousands of Catholics flocked to the Saint Francis Assisi Church in Orland Park on Wednesday to see the remains of Saint Maria Goretti, the patron saint of chastity, rape victims, girls, youth, teenage girls, poverty, purity and forgiveness.
The nearly complete skeletal remains are encased in a wax statue and displayed in a glass-sided casket.
The International Business Times reports that when Maria Goretti was just 11-years-old her neighbor Alessandro Serenelli threatened to rape her with a knife and tried to force himself on her.
She fought him off and told him that she would rather die than let him rape her.
He flew into a rage and stabbed her 14 times.
As Goretti was on her death bed she held a picture of the Virgin Mary and forgave her attacker before tragically dying of her injuries. [More]