Wednesday, September 30, 2015

ST. THERESA NOVENA - DAY 9

I am sorry for not posting yesterday's Novena. It was my first day home after two months and I slept a lot and rested.  I pray you have followed elsewhere in this case and I'm sending up my prayers and my love for you to St. Theresa.

~*~

Peace be with you!
 
We're almost finished! We have one more prayer to pray together tomorrow as we celebrate St. Therese' feast day. We hope this novena has been a great blessing for you!
 
Today, let's pray for selflessness. St. Therese gave of herself to her Carmelite sisters in love.
 
Let's pray that God will give us the grace to unconditionally love our friends, family and even our enemies. Let us ask through St. Therese's intercession that we may love those who we find most difficult to love!

Additionally, let's pray for all those who are working selflessly to provide for their families, as well as those looking for work.

And if you have any answered prayers to share from this novena, you can do that here:

http://www.praymorenovenas.com/blog/answered-prayers-from-the-st-therese-novena-2015/#respond
 
Here are the prayers for today:


Day 9 - The St. Therese Novena
(Audio/Video Version)
Dearest Saint Therese of Lisieux, you said that you would spend your time in heaven doing good on earth.
Your trust in God was complete. Pray that He may increase my trust in His goodness and mercy as I ask for the following petitions…
(State your intentions)
Pray for me that I, like you, may have great and innocent confidence in the loving promises of our God. Pray that I may live my life in union with God’s plan for me, and one day see the Face of God whom you loved so deeply.
Saint Therese, you were faithful to God even unto the moment of your death. Pray for me that I may be faithful to our loving God. May my life bring peace and love to the world through faithful endurance in love for God our savior.
Loving God, St. Therese never doubted that her life had meaning. Help me to see how I can bless and love everyone in my life. Especially…
I love your people, Lord. Help me to love them more!
I reflect you to the world, Lord. Help me to reflect you more clearly!
I rely on you, Lord. Help me to rely on you more!
I accept your will, Lord. Help me to accept your will every day!
I try to forgive, Lord. Help me to forgive 70 times 7 times!
I am humble, Lord. Give me more humility!
I see you, Lord. Help me to see you more!
I trust you, Lord. Help me to trust you more!
I love you, Lord. Help me to love you more!
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 
Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

Amen.
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God bless you!
John-Paul & Annie - PrayMoreNovenas.com

Monday, September 28, 2015

ST. THERESA NOVENA - DAY 7

Peace be with you!
 
Today, let's pray for a greater dependence on God. Our culture is constantly pushing us to rely on ourselves, to be totally self-sufficient.
 
But, we are not, we belong to God -- we must rely on Him for everything just like St. Therese.
 
St. Therese, pray for us!
 
Here are the prayers for today:
Day 7 - The St. Therese Novena
(Audio/Video Version)
Dearest Saint Therese of Lisieux, you said that you would spend your time in heaven doing good on earth.
Your trust in God was complete. Pray that He may increase my trust in His goodness and mercy as I ask for the following petitions…
(State your intentions)
Pray for me that I, like you, may have great and innocent confidence in the loving promises of our God. Pray that I may live my life in union with God’s plan for me, and one day see the Face of God whom you loved so deeply.
Saint Therese, you were faithful to God even the moment of your death. Pray for me that I may be faithful to our loving God. May my life bring peace and love to the world through faithful endurance in love for God our savior.
Loving God, St. Therese offered to You her weakness. Help me to see in my weakness an opportunity to rely completely on you.
I rely on you, Lord. Help me to rely on you more!
I accept your will, Lord. Help me to accept your will every day!
I try to forgive, Lord. Help me to forgive 70 times 7 times!
I am humble, Lord. Give me more humility!
I see you, Lord. Help me to see you more!
I trust you, Lord. Help me to trust you more!
I love you, Lord. Help me to love you more!
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 
Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

Amen.
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God bless you!
John-Paul & Annie - PrayMoreNovenas.com
 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

ST. THERESA NOVENA - DAY 6

Peace be with you!
 
Despite great suffering during her life, St. Therese still trusted deeply in God. Today, let's pray to have the same trust and strength when we suffer through hard times.
 
The suffering can come in many forms, but none of us are immune to it. Jesus carried His cross and asked us to take up ours and follow Him.
 
Since that is what He asks, He will give us the grace and strength to endure the suffering of this life as long as we continue to trust and hope in Him.
 
St. Therese, pray for us!

Let's particularly pray for those suffering with anxiety or depression. 
Here are the prayers for today:
Day 6 - The St. Therese Novena
(Audio/Video Version)
Dearest Saint Therese of Lisieux, you said that you would spend your time in heaven doing good on earth.
Your trust in God was complete. Pray that He may increase my trust in His goodness and mercy as I ask for the following petitions…
(State your intentions)
Pray for me that I, like you, may have great and innocent confidence in the loving promises of our God. Pray that I may live my life in union with God’s plan for me, and one day see the Face of God whom you loved so deeply.
Saint Therese, you were faithful to God even unto the moment of your death. Pray for me that I may be faithful to our loving God. May my life bring peace and love to the world through faithful endurance in love for God our savior.
Loving God, St. Therese experienced every day as a gift from You. She saw it as a time to love You through other people. May I, too, see every day as an opportunity to say yes to You.
I accept your will, Lord. Help me to accept your will every day!
I try to forgive, Lord. Help me to forgive 70 times 7 times!
I am humble, Lord. Give me more humility!
I see you, Lord. Help me to see you more!
I trust you, Lord. Help me to trust you more!
I love you, Lord. Help me to love you more!
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 
Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

Amen.
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We are praying for you!

God bless you!
John-Paul & Annie - PrayMoreNovenas.com

Saturday, September 26, 2015

SPIRITIAL GEMS

Pope Francis Speaks, Let Us Listen and Obey

One way to make sure Jesus is the center of our lives is to ask "His mother to take you to Him.  A priest, a brother, a nun who does not love Mary, who does not pray to her-I would even say one who does not recite the Rosary-well, if you don't love the mother, the mother will not give the Son."

Pope Francis, remarks in Naples, Italy March, 2015 

ST. THERESA NOVENA - DAY 5

Peace be with you!
 
As we continue this powerful novena, I'd like to pray for spiritual motherhood. Religious Sisters need to be spiritual mothers to all those they encounter. 
 
So, let's pray for them and for all women praying with us to have the spiritual motherhood of the Saints!

Here are the prayers for today:
Day 5 - The St. Therese Novena
(Audio/Video Version)
Dearest Saint Therese of Lisieux, you said that you would spend your time in heaven doing good on earth.
Your trust in God was complete. Pray that He may increase my trust in His goodness and mercy as I ask for the following petitions…
(State your intentions)
Pray for me that I, like you, may have great and innocent confidence in the loving promises of our God. Pray that I may live my life in union with God’s plan for me, and one day see the Face of God whom you loved so deeply.
Saint Therese, you were faithful to God even unto the moment of your death. Pray for me that I may be faithful to our loving God. May my life bring peace and love to the world through faithful endurance in love for God our savior.
Loving God, You gave St. Therese the gift of forgiving others even when she felt hurt and betrayed. Help me to be able to forgive others who have wounded me, especially…
I try to forgive, Lord. Help me to forgive 70 times 7 times!
I am humble, Lord. Give me more humility!
I see you, Lord. Help me to see you more!
I trust you, Lord. Help me to trust you more!
I love you, Lord. Help me to love you more!
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

Amen.
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We are praying for you!

God bless you!
John-Paul & Annie - PrayMoreNovenas.com

Friday, September 25, 2015

ST. THERESA NOVENA - DAY 4

I apologize fir missing Day 3, byt was with my father and his doctors all day. Forgive me ease🌹

Peace be with you!
 
Today, let's pray for more women to answer God's call to the religious life.

Here are the prayers for today:
Day 4 - The St. Therese Novena
(Audio/Video Version)
Dearest Saint Therese of Lisieux, you said that you would spend your time in heaven doing good on earth.
Your trust in God was complete. Pray that He may increase my trust in His goodness and mercy as I ask for the following petitions…
(State your intentions)
Pray for me that I, like you, may have great and innocent confidence in the loving promises of our God. Pray that I may live my life in union with God’s plan for me, and one day see the Face of God whom you loved so deeply.
Saint Therese, you were faithful to God even unto the moment of your death. Pray for me that I may be faithful to our loving God. May my life bring peace and love to the world through faithful endurance in love for God our savior.
Loving God, You taught St. Therese how to find You through the “little way” of humility and simplicity. Grant that I may never miss the grace hidden in humble service to others.
I am humble, Lord. Give me more humility!
I see you, Lord. Help me to see you more!
I trust you, Lord. Help me to trust you more!
I love you, Lord. Help me to love you more!
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

Amen.
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We are praying for you!

God bless you!
John-Paul & Annie - PrayMoreNovenas.com
 
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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

ST. THERESA NOVENA - DAY 2

Peace be with you!
 
Today, let's pray for all the relationships in our lives. Let's pray that we can be more loving and open within our relationships with family, friends and God. 
 
You can post your prayer intentions here: 
 
Day 2 - The St. Therese Novena
(Audio/Video version)
Dearest Saint Therese of Lisieux, you said that you would spend your time in heaven doing good on earth.
Your trust in God was complete. Pray that He may increase my trust in His goodness and mercy as I ask for the following petitions…
(State your intentions)
Pray for me that I, like you, may have great and innocent confidence in the loving promises of our God. Pray that I may live my life in union with God’s plan for me, and one day see the Face of God whom you loved so deeply.
Saint Therese, you were faithful to God even unto the moment of your death. Pray for me that I may be faithful to our loving God. May my life bring peace and love to the world through faithful endurance in love for God our savior.
Loving God, you loved St. Therese’s complete trust in your care. Help me to rely on your providential care in each circumstance of my life, especially the most difficult and stressful.
I trust you, Lord. Help me to trust you more!
I love you, Lord. Help me to love you more!
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

Amen.
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We are praying for you!

God bless you!
John-Paul & Annie - PrayMoreNovenas.com
 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

ST. THERESA NOVENA - DAY 1

Peace be with you!
 
We hope you're as excited as we are to pray this novena!

Before we get to the novena, we have an announcement. You can now pray the novenas via audio podcast or video! Click here if you're interested in that.
 
St. Therese is well known for answering prayers in spectacular ways :)
 
Just keep an eye out for roses!
 
Let's pray today specifically for the intentions of everyone joining us in prayer here through Pray More Novenas. You can see their intentions and share your own here: 
 
 

Here are the prayers for today:
Day 1 - The St. Therese Novena
Dearest Saint Therese of Lisieux, you said that you would spend your time in heaven doing good on earth.
Your trust in God was complete. Pray that He may increase my trust in His goodness and mercy as I ask for the following petitions…
(State your intentions)
Pray for me that I, like you, may have great and innocent confidence in the loving promises of our God. Pray that I may live my life in union with God’s plan for me, and one day see the Face of God whom you loved so deeply.
Saint Therese, you were faithful to God up until the moment of your death. Pray for me that I may be faithful to our loving God. May my life bring peace and love to the world through faithful endurance in love for God our savior.
Loving God, you blessed St. Therese with a capacity for a great love. Help me to believe in your unconditional love for each of your children, especially for me.
I love you, Lord. Help me to love you more!
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

Amen.
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Thank you for praying with us!
 
Don't forget to click here to let everyone know what you're praying for so we can pray for you too!

And as we pray the St. Therese Novena, please consider the One Rose Project -- an annual initiative to invite young women to consider the call to consecrated life as a religious sister. It was inspired by St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

"Do you know a young woman you think would make a great sister? Let her know by giving her a single red rose on October 1st. The rose is a symbol of the invitation to consider religious life, and an affirmation of the beauty of that young woman’s soul." 

We are praying for you!

God bless you!
John-Paul & Annie - PrayMoreNovenas.com

Friday, September 18, 2015

ABOUT YOU AND GOD



This Day's Thought from The Ranch
 
The love of God is the first and great commandment.  But love for our neighbor is the means by which we obey it.  Since we cannot see God directly, God allows us to catch sight of him through our neighbor.  By loving our neighbor we purge our eyes to see God.  So love your neighbor and you will discover that in doing so you come to know God.
Augustine
 
 
ABBEY'S COMMENTS:
 
By the same token, God allows others to Him in each of us. As you love your neighbor or the stranger on the street or the clerk at the market, you are representing Christ and the Father God.
 
This brings me to the subject of simple kindness. In kindness, others surely must see Christ and the Father God in you, especially when you say "have a Blessed Day."  Sometimes people are a bit taken aback by such a statement. I've had people who have become completely tongue-tied in trying to respond. Ah, but this means that I have represented Christ and our Father God, and most persons are already prepared to simply say "Have a nice day," but they simply cannot get the words out.
 
I also practice such things as referring to females as "Sweetheart", and carry on very sweet conversation with them while they are ringing up my items. Or in making doctor appointments and speaking with representatives, as I have done continually for six weeks, I have always been "thank you so much and have a blessed day".  It is TRUE that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, but my primary source of being kind is based on reaping what one sows.
 
If you have a problem with a mechanic, the painter on your home, an appointment clerk, etc., and many more, you will find that being kind to them, even if they still remain gruff, you leave the situation knowing that you have done what Jesus would do, and that's a wonderful feeling.
 
Use Christ as your example in all that you do. Practice kindness in every situation. Take every opportunity to bring grace and blessings to everyone you meet.  Christ was LOVE. Hard as it is, you must love your enemy and you must pray for them in all sincerity.  Also practice patience and think before you speak in a gruff manner, stop and change that to something originating in the love of Christ.
 
Lovingly in Jesus Christ,
ABBEY 

This Day's Verse
 
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
1 Peter 5:7
 

This Day's Smile
 
The best minister is the human heart;
the best teacher is time;
the best book is the world;
the best friend is God.
Yiddish folk saying
 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

ST. MARIA GORETTI

I came across this on National Catholic Register today and it was too good not to share with you, Dear Ones. Oh how I wish I could see "her"!

Lovingly in Christ,
ABBEY

~*~
Body of St. Maria Goretti Arriving in the U.S.
   
September the 16th is drawing closer.  That is the day St. Maria Goretti will be arriving in the USA for her “Pilgrimage of Mercy,” a tour that will run through 18 states. In Part I we looked at the reasons, hopes and expectations for the pilgrimage of this youngest canonized saint in the Catholic Church. Now it’s time for a few more fascinating details and insights generally not well known.



Father Carlos Martins, the Director of the tour, shared a number of these additional facts and insights. A member of the Companions of the Cross, an order with the charism and mission of evangelization, he is an expert biographer of St. Maria Goretti.

As the Director of the Treasures of the Church, a ministry that evangelizes through the use of relics of the saints, he has seen countless hearts moved and healings realized through the intercession of Maria Goretti.
“Venerable Pope Pius XII beatified and canonized Maria. He loved her and had a heartfelt devotion to her,” said Father Martins. “He felt especially connected with Maria following his beatification and canonization of her.  In the hospital room where she died—now converted into a chapel—stands a glorious marble altar.  It was personally donated by him.”
Her canonization in 1950 was the first ever held outdoors.  St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world, was too small to contain the 500,000 people that came to attend it from all over the world. In the words of Pope Pius XII, “I have been forced by the piety of the whole world to leave the Basilica of St. Peter which, for the first time in its glorious history, is hopelessly inadequate.” 

Maria’s 82-year-old mother, Assunta, was present and heard Pius XII in his homily call her daughter a “powerful intercessor with the Lamb of God.”

Prominent American Connections

Father Martins revealed a good reason why Maria is coming here. “America has a connection with the Goretti family and with her personally,” he said.

Two years prior to Maria’s martyrdom in 1902, her father died of malaria. Father Martins explained that, as the family didn’t own the land they farmed (nor even the seed which they planted), his death was a terrible blow to the family. “To make ends meet Maria took the role of ‘mother’ while her mother took her father’s place in the field. They would lose the land and the dwelling otherwise. They were the abject poor.”

But when Maria died, there was no one left to take her place, and her mother could no longer provide for her family.  Thus, the same week that her eldest daughter died, her mother was forced to give up all five of her remaining children for adoption. Maria’s two sisters were raised by Franciscan nuns and the three boys were sent to live in Rome.

“Then Angelo, the oldest brother, immigrated to America, being processed at Ellis Island,” Father Martins continued. “Within a year the second brother Sandrino came. Unfortunately, he died in an accident in less than a year.  He is buried in Phillipsburg, N.J. Finally, Mariano came who also settled in New Jersey. The two brothers married and started families. There are Goretti descendants throughout the northeastern United States today.

Another American connection came during World War II. In January 1944 the Allies made a major landing—“Operation Shingle”—in Anzio and Nettuno, an area 37 miles south of Rome and alongside the Basilica that holds St. Maria’s remains. However, the powerful German army was able to surround them.  A fierce battle went on for weeks.  Although the Americans and other allies suffered a staggering 43,000 casualties, they ultimately drove the Germans back and pushed on.  That contingent was the contingent that eventually liberated Rome.

Father Martins pointed out, “Maria’s hometown was liberated from Hitler’s army by the Americans. Today, there is an enormous American military cemetery in Nettuno where nearly 8,000 US soldiers are buried.  It is one of the largest US cemeteries on foreign soil.”

An interesting side note is that while American soldiers were stationed in Nettuno, they taught the locals to play baseball. That was the beginning of baseball in Italy, and the sport caught on. Eventually the people formed a team called the Nettuno Baseball Club.

“The Nettuno Baseball Club is a powerhouse team,” added Father Martins. “It’s won more national championships than any other team in Italy — all from what was taught by the American GI’s.”

An American Cardinal Steps In

But America’s involvement doesn’t end there.  At the time of the canonization the Goretti house in Nettuno, where Maria had lived and where she endured the attack that would kill her, had fallen into terrible disrepair. Enter the great American churchman and Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Francis Spellman.  He had a great devotion to the saint.

“Spellman spearheaded the renovation of the house where she was martyred,” Father Martins affirmed.  “He was one of those great Catholic New Yorkers who seemed to be able to move the world.”

The house was structurally preserved and the renovation was completed in 1953. Inside the house, next to the spot where Maria fell, mortally wounded, a plaque in Italian commemorates this outstanding American involvement. The translation reads:

On the Fiftieth Anniversary of the passing of
St. Maria Goretti
Through the munificence of the Eminent Cardinal Francis Spellman
Archbishop of New York
Of the American Association of the Knights of Malta
And of Mister John S. Burke of New York,
This humble house was restored
With greatest care
And was returned to its state during the time of the
Glorious Martyr.
The Passionist Fathers are grateful.
1953

“If not for Cardinal Spellman, the Knights of Malta and Burke, the house would be a pile of rubble today,” Father Martins said.

To honor the memory of the cardinal’s great involvement, when preparations for this tour officially kicked off last November, Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, Grand Master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre and former personal secretary to Spellman, celebrated a Mass at her shrine in Italy.
Organized by the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, it was a glorious liturgy.  “We used Cardinal Spellman’s chalice.  The miter he wore during Vatican II and his crimson zucchetto we placed in the sanctuary as a tribute to him,” said Father Martins. He added that one of the goals of the tour is to once again renovate the house in Nettuno—which is now a chapel—and which is in need again because “nothing has been done in the almost 65 years after Cardinal Spellman did what he did.”

“But here again, America shines,” says Father Martins. “I explained the situation to Sir Patrick Allen, a Knight Commander of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre and president of a top-rated masonry company in New Jersey.  He immediately accepted to become involved in both the restoration work and the tour of St. Maria, accepting the position of National Coordinator.  “He has been indispensable to this project and has shown himself a true friend of St. Maria. I am grateful for his assistance in these substantial projects,” says Father Martins.

“So much of America is tied up in this story,” Father Martins affirms.

Nearby is the Basilica of Our Lady of Grace and of St. Maria Goretti, where St. Maria’s relics—her skeletal remains reposed in her wax likeness—are venerated.  “We are attempting to tackle the Basilica’s needed repairs too,” states Father Martins.

Unique in Touching All Hearts

There is something unique about St. Maria Goretti and her story. Father Martins has the answer why.
“She is so incredibly disarming for everyone,” he said. “She disarms men, disarms women and is irresistibly appealing to children. There is no segment of the population that is not attracted to her. Maria leaves nobody unaffected when they hear her story.”

It’s a story of mercy and of forgiveness and heroism, all from an 11-year-old girl.

“For many men, a male saint does not appeal to them because they cannot relate,” says Father Martins. He points out the effects on prison inmates to illustrate what he means.

“I’ve done a lot of prison ministry.  Prisons are a collection of exterior tough guys who are really weaklings inside,” he said. “Most prisoners are unsure of their own identity, and they possess a fragile masculinity. They’re unsure of themselves. Presenting a male saint who’s got it all together often makes them feel worse.  But a little girl saint is different.  Maria Goretti is appealing to them because she is not a threat to their broken masculinity. That sets her up to be a very powerful witness to them.  She is able to ‘slip past security’ and enter their hearts in a gentle way.  She effects powerful change among inmates.”

After all of the horrible suffering Maria went through, she still forgave her attacker and killer, in his prison cell, no less. It was a deep forgiveness “that turned a very hardened man’s life around.”

“For women, too, there’s a connection because women have an affinity for one another,” Father Martins said. “She’s a little sister. It melts their heart. Some women, however, feel resentment toward other women because their own image of themselves is so poor. Like many men, a lot of women resent other women because they are a threat to their identity.  But because Maria is 11-years-old, that resentment doesn’t come in.  Rather than the jealous instinct, the ‘big sister’ instinct kicks in.”
She’s the saint for children too. “Little kids identify with her because she’s one of them,” explains Father Martins.  “When children encounter her they are changed.  Sainthood is all of a sudden a very different thing for them.  It is something close, something achievable.  She didn’t accomplish extraordinary things like some of the more famous saints.  St. Thomas Aquinas was a genius, St. Thomas More resisted the cunning entrapment set for him by the King of England, and St. Joan of Arc commanded armies.  Maria agreed to do what God wanted her to do — forgive a guy who did ugly things to her. That puts sainthood within the orbit of these children.”

In his many years of operating his Treasures of the Church ministry, Father Martins has seen St. Maria Goretti accomplish many great things. “In my experience there isn’t anyone who remains unmoved after hearing about Maria. Her witness simply works magic.”

Miracles Aplenty

Miracles that change hearts, bring about forgiveness, and also a return to purity —she’s a patroness of Mercy and a patroness of Purity — are highly anticipated on this September –November tour. So are other healings.

Just one of the many highly visible physical miracles he’s witnessed concerns a man’s arm which was hours away from amputation. Father Martins shared the details:

“I was told of a man whose arm was scheduled to be amputated from a terribly infected spider bite. When I was asked to pray for the man I recalled that Maria’s father died of an insect bite. I thought, ‘Maria is going to be very interested in this.’ So I visited the man in his hospital room, taking along a relic of St. Maria, with which I touched his inflected arm. His arm was as black as night from infection.”

The result? “When the surgeons began to prepare the man for his surgery just hours afterwards, they discovered that there wasn’t a single thing wrong with that arm. Examining it carefully, they discovered that there was not even a bite mark to be found.

“Since then there have been five other amputations she has prevented, which I have witnessed. Every
time I asked her to intervene for someone in such a state, she always has. Dramatically so.”

Considering St. Maria Goretti’s track record with healings, her family and hometown’s U.S. connections, and Pius XII’s naming of her as a “powerful intercessor with the Lamb of God,” Father Martins is led to conclude:

“I think she is prepared to repay America for what it has done for her. I think you’re going to see miracles like you’ve never seen on a tour.  This will be Homecoming for a powerful saint who loves America.  You’ll see.”