Ugo De Angelis, researcher and consultant at the “Archivio Vaticano della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede”, from Latina, has been collecting archival and documentary information about Maria Goretti for a long time, tracing her history till the martyrdom and describing the Roman rural context of the late nineteenth century.
In his book “In quella Foto c’è Maria” he gathered the historical evidence of rural life, hypothesizing the presence of the young Maria in a photo from 1902 among other women and children.
The unique black and white photo portrays a teenager in a long skirt and white apron, her face serious, almost sad.
She looked more mature than her 12 years when she was fatally attacked by Alessandro Serenelli, even though being small and thin, as confirmed by the doctors during her short stay at the hospital in Nettuno.
The girl was taken to the hospital in very serious conditions and, before passing away, she forgave her murderer. Canonized by Pope Pio XII in 1950 and Saint Patron of Latina, Santa Maria Goretti is celebrated every year on July 6.