The Novena to St. Maria Goretti

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About St. Maria Goretti

St. Maria Goretti is the youngest canonized saint in the Church. The attendance at her canonization exceeded one half million souls, the largest of any canonization up to that point and time. And when you learn more about Saint Maria Goretti, it’s not hard to tell why so many people showed up ;)

Saint Maria Goretti was born to a poor farming family in Italy. Maria was one of six children. The family lived and worked on the property of another family’s farm, the Serenelli’s family farm. The Serenelli family consisted of the father and the son, Alessandro. The Gorettis lived downstairs on the property while the Serenelli’s lived upstairs.

When Maria was only 9 years old, her father died from malaria. After that, Maria had to begin taking care of the rest of the children in the family while her mom worked in the fields. She also cleaned and cooked for the Serenelli’s, and all the while, she did not complain. Rather, she was a source of encouragement and joy for her mother. She would told her mom that Jesus would take care of them.

Maria was a pious child. She attended Mass often, loved the Lord with all her heart, and she grew in many virtues. She was also very beautiful.

Alessandro Serenelli noticed her beauty and began to have impure thoughts of her. He spoke to her cruelly and often would make sexual advances on her. Maria would always rebuke his advances and say, “No, never, that is a sin! God forbids that and we would go to hell!”

This harassment continued for months and Maria tried to avoid Alessandro.

On July 5, 1902, Alessandro approached Maria one more time and told her that if she didn’t allow him to have sex with her that he would kill her. She again refused. She said she would rather die than allow him to do what he wanted to do to her.

In a rage, Alessandro stabbed Maria fourteen times with a file, which was used to sharpen farm tools. The file passed through Maria’s small body from the front all the way through to the back. Maria was only 11 at the time.

She was found and taken to the hospital where she had surgery, but she was not going to survive. She died the next day, but not first without forgiving her attacker. Her last words were, “I forgive Alessandro Serenelli … and I want him with me in heaven forever.”

St. Maria Goretti’s feast day is July 6th.

You can read more about St. Maria Goretti & her story of mercy here, including how her forgiveness led to the conversion of her attacker:

A Story of Great Mercy: St. Maria Goretti & Alessandro Serenelli

and here:

Who Is St. Maria?

Patronage

Among mercy, forgiveness and love, St. Maria Goretti is also known for her intercession for purity and chastity. And, she is known as a patron of the youth and of rape victims.

The Novena to St. Maria Goretti Prayers

The Novena to 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 here).

Amen.

The Novena to St. Maria Goretti - 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 neighbor 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 here).

Amen.

The Novena to St. Maria Goretti - Day 3

O St. Maria Goretti, 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 will hurt me.

Please pray for my own healing from these past hurts so that I can move forward and offer forgiveness.

Please also pray for (mention your intentions here).

Amen.

The Novena to St. Maria Goretti - Day 4

O St. Maria Goretti, beautiful model of chastity, you guarded your virginity with such fervor. Even at the age of 11, you knew the value of the virtue of chastity.

Please pray that I will become better at practicing 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 here).

Amen.

The Novena to St. Maria Goretti - Day 5

O St. Maria Goretti, 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 may consider our Lord, as you did.

Please also pray for (mention your intentions here).

Amen.

The Novena to St. Maria Goretti - 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 me.

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

Please also pray for (mention your intentions here).

Amen.

The Novena to St. Maria Goretti - 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 anesthesia. 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 here).

Amen.

The Novena to St. Maria Goretti - 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 here).

Amen.

The Novena to St. Maria Goretti - 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.

Also, please also pray for (mention your intentions here).

Amen.