Starts: June 28th
Feastday: July 6th
Maria Goretti was born on October 16, 1890 in Italy.
By the time Maria was five, her family had become so poor that they were forced to give up their farm, move, and work for other farmers, where they lived in a house that they shared with another family (the Serenellis).
On July 5, 1902, eleven-year-old Maria was sitting on the outside steps of her home, while a young man named Alessandro was close by. Knowing she would be alone, he returned to the house and threatened her with a knife if she did not do what he said; he was intending to rape her. She would not submit, however, protesting that what he wanted to do was a mortal sin and warning him that he would go to Hell.
She fought desperately, and he stabbed her numerous times.
The following day, Maria forgave Alessandro and said that she wanted to have him in Heaven with her, then she died of her injuries.
Alessandro was captured and sentenced to to 30 years in prison.
A bishop, Monsignor Giovanni Blandini, visited him in jail. He wrote a thank you note to the Bishop asking for his prayers and telling him about a dream, “in which Maria gave him lilies, which burned immediately in his hands.”
After his release, Alessandro visited Maria’s mother and begged her forgiveness. She forgave him, saying that if Maria had forgiven him on her death bed then she could not do less, and they attended Mass together the next day, receiving Holy Communion side by side.
He reportedly prayed to her every day and referred to her as “my little saint.” He attended her canonization in 1950.
Alessandro later became a lay brother of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, living in a monastery and working as its receptionist and gardener until he died peacefully in 1970 at age 87.
St. Maria Goretti is the patron saint of chastity, rape victims, girls, youth, teenage girls, poverty, purity and forgiveness.
Intro Prayers (start each day with this prayer)
Saint Mary Goretti who, strengthened by God’s grace, did not hesitate, even at a young age, 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, (Mention your intention here) and may we one day enjoy with Thee the imperishable glory of heaven.
Daily Novena Prayers
Day1: Most lovable little Saint, who valued your purity above any earthly gain, and who sealed this choice with a martyr’s death, obtain for me also a strong love of this virtue, so consoling to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The pleasures of the world create many temptations for me. I turn to your powerful intercession in Heaven,so that with this help I may remain ever loyal to God, no matter what the price. In danger inspire me to repeat with you, No, it is a sin!
Day2: Dear Saint Mary Goretti, model of loving obedience to parents, teach me to imitate your example. Help me to overcome all selfishness and stubborn pride, draw my parents to Thee, then lead me to accept this authority as the Voice of God in my life. Help them to direct me aright and enable me to obey their every wish.
Day3: Dear Little Saint Mary! You were ready for the moment of martyrdom because your short life was given over to daily and heroic self-denial. Your great love of the Sacred Hearts made all this possible.
Teach me to love Jesus and His Blessed Mother, so that I too will be inspired to daily self-denial. I am inclined to pamper myself, to gratify my senses, and to excuse myself from all penance. This keeps me from being a true follower of Christ. Help me, lovable Little Martyr, to a sincere practice of self-denial, so that I may be your worthy follower and thus gain Heaven for all Eternity.
Day4: Dear Little Saint! Your days were spent in the filth of the marshes, willingly helping your desperately poor parents and family. Obtain for me the grace to accept my present circumstances in life, no matter how difficult or humiliating they may be.
Just one little drop of water, was the only request that fell from your parched lips during those last horrible hours of life. How much I demand, how unhappy I am when I cannot have my share of the world’s conveniences and gaudy attractions! Teach me by your heroic example to be content with what I have, to be grateful for the blessings God has already showered upon me.
Day5: Dear Little Saint, I depend a great deal upon the help of my friends in time of trouble or sorrow. I look for their approval in many things I do. I am disconsolate and lonely when they desert me.
Through your powerful intercession in Heaven, obtain for me the grace to place all my confidence in God. Only by walking constantly in His presence and depending upon His help, will I have the courage to stand up for His laws, even though it may mean loss of friends, criticism and complete removal of worldly comfort. Help me to look for all of my strength in Him.
Day6: Dear Little Saint! Help me to greater love of my Faith. I have many God-given opportunities to study it but, sad to say, I neglect them. I am even critical of the Priests, Brothers and Sisters who offer their lives that I may better know and love my holy religion.
Dear Saint Mary Goretti, teach me to be thankful for these grace which you did not have.Make me proud of my Faith and ready to die for it, if God should require that of me.
Day7: Dear Little Saint, never was Jesus more welcome in a human heart than in yours. The Great Dayof First Communion could not come quickly enough. In borrowed clothes and head crowned with flowers of the field, you knelt to receive Him into your soul, so rich with Innocence and Love, and this after months of keen anticipation!
O Powerful Intercessor with the Lamb of God, inflame my soul with your ardent longing to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. Obtain for me the grace to put aside laziness and indifference, so that I may often, even daily, allow myself to be consumed in the burning Furnace of Charity. Teach me what true Love really is!
Day8: Dear Little Martyr! To the last you followed your beloved Jesus. He, while hanging upon His Cross of Suffering, uttered through parched lips, Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. And you upon your bed of pain, burning with fever,forgave your murderer with the words, I too, pardon him… I too, wish him to join me in Paradise.
Grant me the grace, O Heroic Saint, to be charitable to others. Much of my time is spent on vengeful thoughts, seeking how I may pay back to others the harm they have done to me. Teach me to forgive, so that I may not only gain Heaven, but also lead others there who might otherwise be doomed to Hell. If I am to follow Christ, help me to imitate His Charity, even as you have done.
Day9: Dear Saint Mary Goretti, once again I turn to you, and beg of you in the words of Our Holy Father, Pope Pius XII, that serenity of spirit and deep joy which is the heritage of those who are pure of heart.
Help me to turn to Our Blessed Lady, confident in the hope that she will take my hand as she did yours, and lead me on to Paradise, my heavenly country, there to enjoy with you and Her, the company of God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost for all Eternity.
Concluding Prayer for each day
Pray the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Lord, have mercy on us Christ, have mercy on us Lord, have mercy on us Christ, hear us Christ, graciously hear us
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us. Mother of Christ, pray for us. Mother of Divine Grace, pray for us.
Mother most pure, pray for us.
Mother most chaste, pray for us.
Mother inviolate, pray for us.
Mother undefiled, pray for us.
Mother most amiable, pray for us.
Mother most admirable, pray for us.
Mother of good counsel, pray for us.
Mother of our Creator, pray for us.
Mother of our Saviour, pray for us.
Virgin most prudent, pray for us.
Virgin most venerable, pray for us.
Virgin most renowned, pray for us.
Virgin most powerful, pray for us.
Virgin most merciful, pray for us.
Virgin most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of justice, pray for us.
Seat of wisdom, pray for us.
Cause of our joy, pray for us.
Spiritual vessel, pray for us.
Vessel of honour, pray for us.
Singular vessel of devotion, pray for us.
Mystical rose, pray for us.
Tower of David, pray for us.
Tower of ivory, pray for us.
House of gold, pray for us.
Ark of the covenant, pray for us.
Gate of heaven, pray for us.
Morning star, pray for us.
Health of the sick, pray for us.
Refuge of sinners, pray for us.
Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us.
Help of Christians, pray for us.
Queen of Angels, pray for us.
Queen of Patriarchs, pray for us.
Queen of Prophets, pray for us.
Queen of Apostles, pray for us.
Queen of Martyrs, pray for us.
Queen of Confessors, pray for us.
Queen of Virgins, pray for us.
Queen of all Saints, pray for us.
Queen conceived without original sin, pray for us.
Queen assumed into heaven, pray for us.
Queen of the most holy Rosary, pray for us.
Queen of Peace, pray for us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Grant we beseech Thee, O Lord God, that we, Thy servants, may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body: and, by the glorious intercession of the blessed Mary, ever Virgin, be delivered from present sorrow and enjoy eternal gladness. Through Christ, our Lord.