Today is the first day of Pray More Novenas's St. Maria Goretti novena. Have ya signed up? Ya getting the reminders every morning?
Even when I don't really feel a strong connection to one of their chosen saints, I still pray the novena anyway, because you never know what fruit will come to bear. Trusting in the saints to intercede is a powerful thing, plus you get the added bonus of getting closer to them and learning why they were chosen by the Church to be saints (really, chosen by God). What you learn via prayer, and the closeness you feel as a result, may surprise you.
This is the case with Maria Goretti. Do you know her story? It's gruesome, and it's why she's the patron of chastity, among other things. Short version: as a child, a worker on her family's farm attempted to rape her, and rather than submit, she allowed herself to be stabbed to death by her attacker. Not only that! As she died, she forgave him. Then she then appeared to him in a dream while he was in prison and he repented utterly, eventually being forgiven by Maria's mother and becoming a lay brother of a Capuchin order. Oh and she was 11 when this all happened.
So, there is not much there that I really relate to. She lived a brief life; at 11 years old she was more saintly than I will ever be; she was clearly predisposed to many virtues and the grace of a mighty forgiving heart. Nonetheless, I 100% see things in her that I could better explore and emulate, of course, so pray I will do. And it is nice to think that by spending just a few moments in prayer with her every day, I will get to know one of God's very special children.
St. Maria Goretti, pray for us!