Bishop Kelley Only U.S. School To Display Remains Of Murdered Saint
TULSA, Oklahoma - The remains of a young saint murdered more than 100 years ago will soon be on display in Tulsa.
Thousands lined up to see her at a Catholic church in Dallas and the excitement is building in Tulsa - especially at Bishop Kelley, the first and only U.S. school to host the relic.
Bishop Kelley freshman, Allie Johnson said, "The relic coming to Bishop Kelley is a huge deal because we're the only Catholic high school in the U.S. to get it."
The wax-covered bones of Saint Maria Goretti are on tour in the U.S., making five stops in Oklahoma next week. One of those stops is at Bishop Kelley, where Father Brian O'Brien will receive her remains.
"I've been a Catholic all my life and have never seen anything like this," he said.
Maria was an impoverished girl living in Italy when she was attacked and stabbed by a man attempting to rape her; she forgave him on her death bed.
"Her words were, 'I want Alessandro to be with me in heaven forever,’" O'Brien said.
"I'm just super excited to pray next to such an important Catholic figure," Johnson said.
Father O'Brien said Maria's message is universal, to love your enemy.
It also kicks off Pope Francis's year of mercy which begins next month.
“That message of mercy, of forgiveness, that she had for this man that was so violent toward her is just, I think, a great message that we all need to hear," O’Brien said.
The relic will visit churches in Collinsville and Tulsa Tuesday then will travel to Bishop Kelley and another Tulsa church Wednesday.
Saint Maria will fly back to Italy at the end of the week.