6th July Saint Maria Goretti

St. Maria Goretti

Maria Teresa Goretti is an Italian virgin-martyr of the Catholic Church, and one of the youngest saints to be canonized. She was born to a farming family. Her father died when she was nine, and the family had to share a house with another family, the Serenellis. One afternoon, Alessandro, the Serenellis’ twenty-year-old son, made sexual advances to her. When she refused to submit to him, he stabbed her fourteen times. Maria was found bleeding to death and rushed to the hospital. She survived for 20 hours in the hospital, undergoing surgery without anesthesia and died at the age of 11. Her last words were, “I forgive Alessandro Serenelli … and I want him with me in heaven forever.” Unrepentant, Alessandro was convicted, and sentenced to 30 years in prison. In his eleventh year of imprisonment, he had a vision of Maria. He saw a garden. where a young girl, dressed in white, was gathering lilies. She smiled, and came near him, and encouraged him to accept an armful of the lilies. As he accepted them, each lily transformed into a still white flame. Maria then disappeared. From that moment, he was a completely changed. He repented of his crime and lived a reformed life. After 27 years, he was released from prison and visited her mother to beg forgiveness, which she granted. He later became a lay brother in a Capuchin monastery and died in 1970.

She was beatified in 1947 and canonized in 1950 by Pope Pius XII.

She is especially venerated in the Congregation of the Passion (Passionists).

Prayer to St. Maria Goretti

Oh Saint Maria Goretti who, strengthened by God’s Grace, did not hesitate even at the age of twelve to shed your blood and sacrifice life itself to defend your virginal purity, look graciously on the unhappy human race which has strayed far from the path of eternal salvation.

Teach us all, and especially youth, with what courage and promptitude we should flee for the love of Jesus anything that could offend Him or stain our souls with sin.

Obtain for us from our Lord victory in temptation, comfort in the sorrows of life, and the grace which we earnestly beg of thee (pause, insert special intention here), and may we one day enjoy with thee the imperishable glory of Heaven. Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be … St. Maria Goretti, pray for us!

Saint Maria Goretti

Heroic and angelic Saint Maria Goretti, we kneel before you to honor your persevering fortitude and to beg your gracious aid. Teach us a deep love for the precepts of our Holy Church; help us to see in them the very voice of our Father in Heaven. May we preserve without stain

our white baptismal robe of innocence. May we who have lost this innocence kneel humbly in Holy Penance, and with the absolution of the priest, may the torrent of Christ’s precious Blood flow into our souls and give us a new courage to carry the burning light of God’s love through the dangerous highways of this life until Christ our king shall call us to the courts of Heaven. Amen.

Novena: St Maria Goretti

Day 1
O St. Maria Goretti, beautiful model of purity, you defended your virginity unto your death.

Even at the age of 11, you held dear to your heart what is dear to our Lord’s heart, your purity. Pray for me that I may do the same, especially when I am tempted.

Please pray that God will give me the strength to avoid sin and say, “yes” to a life which will lead to eternity in Heaven with you and our Lord.

Please also pray for (Mention your intentions…) but may God’s will be done. Amen.

Day 2
O St. Maria Goretti, beautiful model of love, your love for God was so clear in how you cared for your family during such hardships and in how you loved your enemies — even while you were dying.

Even at the age of 11, you understood what it meant to love the Lord and to love your neighbour as yourself. Pray for me, that I may be able to do the same.

Please pray that I will truly be able to serve my family joyfully, and others who need my help and love. And most of all, pray that our Lord will come first in my heart.

Please also pray for (Mention your intentions…) but may God’s will be done. Amen.

Day 3
O St. Maria Goretti, a beautiful model of forgiveness, pray for me.

Even at the age of 11, you did not withhold forgiveness from your attacker. You didn’t wish him unwell. On the contrary, you wanted Heaven for him. You loved him in that way. Pray for me, that I, too, will be able to love my enemies like you did. Pray that I will want Heaven for them.

Please pray that it will become easier and easier to forgive those who have hurt me and those who hurt others. Please pray for my own healing from past hurts so that I can move forward and offer forgiveness.

Please also pray for (Mention your intentions…) but may God’s will be done. Amen.

Day 4
O St. Maria Goretti, beautiful model of chastity, you guarded your virginity with such fervour.

Even at the age of 11, you knew the value of the virtue of chastity. Please pray that I will become better at practising chastity in my own life.

Pray that I will learn to live a life in which desire is subservient to reason. Please pray that I will be able to love as Jesus does: selflessly.

Please also pray for (Mention your intentions…) but may God’s will be done. Amen.

Day 5
O St. Maria Goretti, a beautiful model of mercy, pray for me. God’s mercy is the only hope for mankind. I know we are called to imitate our Father’s mercy to those around us, but it is hard, and I often fail.

But you, even at the age of 11, were strong and courageous enough to offer mercy to your attacker, the one who hurt you the very most.

Please pray that I will be able to do the same to those who hurt me. Please pray that I will not consider their unworthiness but that I will recall our Lord’s merciful acts for me, as you did.

Please also pray for (Mention your intentions…) but may God’s will be done. Amen.

Day 6
O St. Maria Goretti, beautiful model of living a holy, everyday life, pray for me. I often feel as though my life must be extraordinary if I am to be a saint but you show me another way. You show me that I can be a saint if I love our Lord with all my heart and if I serve my family and put them before myself.

Please pray that I may be selfless as you were and that I can learn to deny my own desires so that I can fulfil our Lord’s will.

Please also pray for (Mention your intentions…) but may God’s will be done. Amen.

Day 7
O St. Maria Goretti, beautiful model of Christian suffering, pray for me. You carried your cross so courageously while you suffered through surgery without anesthetic. You thirsted and were not able to be given water, and you accepted that cross because you loved our Lord. Pray for me, St. Maria Goretti, that I will become better at carrying my cross.

Pray that I will not complain about my cross and that I will remember to offer it up to our Lord, for I know that He does not waste any ounce of suffering given to Him.

Please also pray for (Mention your intentions…) but may God’s will be done. Amen.

Day 8
O St. Maria Goretti, patron of youth, please pray for the children in my life and the youth across the world. Please pray that their faith may be as strong as yours was when you were 11 years old.

Pray that I may do what I can to support children in their faith, and to encourage them to love our Lord, to put Him first in their lives, and to follow His commandments.

Please also pray for (Mention your intentions…) but may God’s will be done. Amen.

Day 9
O St. Maria Goretti, patron of victims of rape, please pray for all those whose dignity has been attacked. Pray for their healing, for comfort and for peace for them.

Please pray that we, as a society, may be able to better protect those who are survivors of sexual assault. And please pray for justice for their attackers, but most of all, for their contrition and conversion.

Please also pray for (Mention your intentions…) but may God’s will be done. Amen.

Prayer to St. Maria Goretti, the Patroness of Abused Children

Dear God, we ask you to help all those who suffer from abuse. Help them find healing and peace in their life. May Maria Goretti who was strengthened by Your Grace join with us in prayer for healing of all victims of abuse, particularly those abused as children or young adults. Grant us your Love that we might reach out to them in Your Name with hope in times of trial. As Maria prayed for her attacker, grant us the grace to pray for the true conversion of all involved with the abuse, that they might seek Your Mercy through prayer and penance. Loving God, pour into our hearts and lives your healing Spirit, that the sacredness of every human person might be respected and protected as the precious image of God. Help us to live in the peace which Maria Goretti had found in Christ and in the love of his mother Mary.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.