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Novena to St Maria Goretti

Pray to St Maria Goretti, a teenage martyr for chastity, who died following a sexual attack. Her story speaks powerfully of forgiving the unforgivable. This novena was written exclusively for CTS.

Day 1

St Maria Goretti, your family were sharecroppers and lived a life that was financially very precarious. You understand very well what it is to be anxious about the future. We pray for all those who are facing uncertainty – financial or otherwise. May they be comforted and helped. May they, and we, know, as you did, the security and peace which comes from knowing God’s love and protection.

Holy St Maria Goretti, Marietta, who loved the Lord so much on earth and who are now with him in heaven, I ask you to intercede for me that he may hear my petition.

(Make your petition here)

Father, I know you love me. I place all my trust in you.

Day 2

You lost your father when you were very young and you felt that loss very deeply. Yet he was not entirely lost to you as you prayed for his soul. We pray for all fatherless children, especially those who have no contact and no faith. We ask that they, and we, may come to know the fatherhood of God.

Holy St Maria Goretti, Marietta, who loved the Lord so much on earth and who are now with him in heaven, I ask you to intercede for me that he may hear my petition.

(Make your petition here)

Father, I know you love me. I place all my trust in you.

Day 3

With the loss of your father, your mother had to do his job and you had to take responsibility for your young siblings and the housework for two families. We pray for all children who are burdened with responsibility too young. Help them and us to see that all we do in love for others, we also do for the Lord.

Holy St Maria Goretti, Marietta, who loved the Lord so much on earth and who are now with him in heaven, I ask you to intercede for me that he may hear my petition.

(Make your petition here)

Father, I know you love me. I place all my trust in you.

Day 4

You were a calm and cheerful person despite all the hard work you had to do. We ask for the gift of a grateful heart and a deep trust in the Lord. May we live joyfully knowing that with God we can overcome all hardships.

Holy St Maria Goretti, Marietta, who loved the Lord so much on earth and who are now with him in heaven, I ask you to intercede for me that he may hear my petition.

(Make your petition here)

Father, I know you love me. I place all my trust in you.

Day 5

You shared your home with men who were not family members. One of them made sexual advances although you were only eleven years old. We pray for those who are not safe in their own homes. We ask to be more aware of anyone in danger, and to know how to help. We pray for their protection.

Holy St Maria Goretti, Marietta, who loved the Lord so much on earth and who are now with him in heaven, I ask you to intercede for me that he may hear my petition.

(Make your petition here)

Father, I know you love me. I place all my trust in you.

Day 6

You resisted all these advances because you understood the gift of purity. You respected the holiness of your body. In this world which is flooded with pornography and self hatred, we ask to regain the understanding of how to live our sexuality. You were pure in body, mind and heart. In these days this is derided or disbelieved. We ask to desire this purity.

Holy St Maria Goretti, Marietta, who loved the Lord so much on earth and who are now with him in heaven, I ask you to intercede for me that he may hear my petition.

(Make your petition here)

Father, I know you love me. I place all my trust in you.

Day 7

Finally, you were threatened with death if you did not give in. You did not and were murdered, stabbed fourteen times with a file. Your concern was not just for yourself, but for your assailant. You were afraid he would go to hell and you wanted to save him. You died for him as well as for your faith. We pray for all victims of violence. May we come to love the Lord so much that we would die for others and for our faith.

Holy St Maria Goretti, Marietta, who loved the Lord so much on earth and who are now with him in heaven, I ask you to intercede for me that he may hear my petition.

(Make your petition here)

Father, I know you love me. I place all my trust in you.

Day 8

You died in great pain but you accepted it and offered your suffering for your murderer. Intercede for us, that we may accept our own sufferings without complaining and learn to offer them for the good of those we love; and, eventually, that we may learn to offer them for the good of those who have sinned against us. Give us a little of your spirit. We also pray for those who are dying. May they have a holy death.

Holy St Maria Goretti, Marietta, who loved the Lord so much on earth and who are now with him in heaven, I ask you to intercede for me that he may hear my petition.

(Make your petition here)

Father, I know you love me. I place all my trust in you.

Day 9

After your death you appeared to your unrepentant murderer. In a vision you offered him fourteen lilies: one for each stab wound. After this he repented, and when he was finally released from prison he begged forgiveness of your mother, and went to live as a lay brother in a Capuchin monastery until his death. He was at peace and so was your mother. We ask that we can forgive as fully as you did, not holding any resentment back. We ask to give the full fourteen lilies and to understand that our forgiveness has real power.

Holy St Maria Goretti, Marietta, who loved the Lord so much on earth and who are now with him in heaven, I ask you to intercede for me that he may hear my petition.

(Make your petition here)

Father, I know you love me. I place all my trust in you.


This novena was written especially for CTS by Glynn MacNiven-Johnston. Discover the books she has written for CTS here.

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