St. Maria Goretti


I can analyze the life of St. Maria Goretti as an example of peace and forgiveness.

Warm Up

Activity 1: Retaliation

Answer the questions on the handout.


When Christ told His disciples to love their enemies and not to return evil for evil, this was a huge shift in thinking. For thousands of years, the culture and the laws reflected the idea of getting exactly what’s due to you if you do evil. For example, the punishment for stealing in some cultures was to have your hand cut off! Imagine what life would be like if we went around returning evil for evil. We would only be creating more evil. There would be chaos instead of peace.

Christ’s message of loving our enemies shocked His disciples. But don’t misunderstand His meekness for weakness. Someone who is weak is afraid. Christ was not afraid. He was meek. This means that he returned gentleness for violence and hatred and refused to stoop to the level of those persecuting Him. He calls us to build peace in our society, which means much more than the absence of war. Peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity.

Christ teaches us that the Father’s love is greater than simply a law that measures out what is our due. The Father’s love is merciful, meaning that His love is a pure gift. He returns mercy for sin and love for hate.

In this lesson, we are going to look at our responsibility for building a peaceful society. Christ’s law of love is the start of this peace. We are all called to love our enemies and help create a peaceful society.

St. Maria Goretti

Activity 2: St. Maria Goretti

Read the story of St. Maria Goretti’s life and then answer the focus questions.

St. Maria Goretti.pdf

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.”

Matthew 5:43-44

Activity 3: St. Maria Goretti Writing

Respond to the following prompts in complete sentences: