Faithful welcome the opportunity to see religious relics on tour in Houston

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The relics of a young saint from Italy are in Houston and thousands have made their way to local churches to see them.

St. Maria Goretti is said to have performed many miracles. The US tour is part of a pilgrimage of mercy. Catholics believe relics are connected to the Holy Spirit.

On Friday the relics were placed inside St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church.

"(It's) phenomenal showing of faith under the day," said Mickey Straeb, tour volunteer.

They were waiting in line holding rosaries, pictures of loved ones and many looking for a ray of hope.

"They are in need of severe healing, both of them are dying," said Anne Sabourin, who was there to pray for her ill friends.

Devout Catholics arrived at church Friday to see the relics of the youngest person ever sainted from Italy.

"Most people knew nothing about her until the relics took the tour across the United States," said Straeb.

Maria Goretti was stabbed to death in 1902 by a family friend who tried to rape her when she was 11 years old. She reportedly forgave the man who killed her shortly before her last breath.

"Just to be in the presence of something so sacred (is great)," said Bebee.

Cheryl Bebee came here from Louisiana and while her family was top of mind she also wanted to pray for others.

"I lost a grandson five years ago this month and I also lost a niece three years ago to domestic violence," said Bebbe.

As people made their way inside, one by one, they placed their hands over the glass, even placed their pictures and rosaries over the reliquary.

One family said they felt privileged to be here and blessed to have an opportunity to see a saint up close.

"We are connected through communion of saints and hopefully one day we will all be in heaven together," said Jacqueline O'Conner.

The tour will continue into Oklahoma on Saturday morning, and they will then return to Italy by next weekend.
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.