NOVENA to OUR LADY of LOURDES – DAY ONE – 2 FEBRUARY (we Pray the Novena for our own intentions and for the sick, the infirm within our own communities but also for all those throughout the world who suffer, especially those who have no-one to pray for them in preparation for the Wold Day of the Sick on 11 February.)
O Mary Immaculate,
Our Lady of Lourdes,
virgin and mother, queen of heaven,
chosen from all eternity to be the Mother of the Eternal Word
and in virtue of this title preserved from original sin,
we kneel before you as did little Bernadette at Lourdes
and pray with childlike trust in you
that as we contemplate your glorious appearance at Lourdes,
you will look with mercy on our present petition
and secure for us a favorable answer to the request
for which we are making this novena.
(make your request)
O Brilliant star of purity,
Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes,
glorious in your assumption,
triumphant in your coronation,
show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God,
Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother,
be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
On this holy feast-day we each have an opportunity to consecrate our lives anew to the Lord. How do we do this? We can simply make a prayer of re-dedication to God which can take many forms. It can be a simple heartfelt prayer reaffirming our baptismal promises or a re-visiting of our religious or marriage vows. Or it can be a prayer which asks the Holy Spirit to renew our sense of vocation as a priest or religious or as a lay person in our chosen job, trade or profession.
We gave our life to the Lord when we were baptised but the call to conversion continues to resound throughout our lives and ‘this second conversion is an uninterrupted task for the whole church’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1428). A re-dedication or renewal of vows or promises is a movement of conversion within our heart and is always a work of the Holy Spirit.
Today, step out in faith, whatever your vocation, whatever your calling and give your life to the Lord, in the assurance of God’s grace, blessing and renewal in the power of the Holy Spirit.
LET US PRAY FOR ALL CONSECRATED MEN & WOMEN AND FOR VOCATIONS:
Loving God, You call all who believe in You
to grow perfect in love
by following in the footsteps
of Christ Your Son.
Call from among us more men and women
who will serve You as religious.
Open the hearts of many, raise up
faithful servants of the Gospel, dedicated,
holy priests, sisters, brothers and deacons,
who will spend themselves for Your people
and their needs.
Bless those who are serving now
with courage and perseverance.
Grant that many will be inspired by their
example and faith.
By their way of life, may they provide a convincing sign
of Your Kingdom for the Church and the whole world.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
“O Blessed Mother, the sword is already in your heart.
You foreknow the future of the Fruit of your womb.
May our fidelity in following Him through the coming mysteries
of His public life bring some alleviations
to the sorrows of your maternal heart. ”
Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered;………..Heb 5: 7-9
REFLECTION – “On this Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the Church is celebrating the Day of Consecrated Life. This is an appropriate occasion to praise the Lord and thank him for the precious gift represented by the consecrated life in its different forms; at the same time it is an incentive to encourage in all the People of God, knowledge and esteem for those who are totally consecrated to God. Indeed, just as Jesus’ life in his obedience and dedication to the Father is a living parable of the “God-with-us”, so the concrete dedication of consecrated persons to God and to their brethren becomes an eloquent sign for today’s world of the presence of God’s Kingdom.”……..Pope Benedict XVI 2 February 2006
PRAYER – May the Lord renew in you and in all consecrated people each day the joyful response to His freely given and faithful love. Dear brothers and sisters, like lighted candles, always and everywhere shine with the love of Christ, Light of the world. May Mary Most Holy, the consecrated Woman, help you to live to the full, your special vocation and mission in the Church for the world’s salvation. And may we all follow our Lord in obedience. Amen!
PRAYER OF DEDICATION TO THE LORD
by St Francis de Sales
Lord, I am Yours
and I must belong to
no one but You.
My soul is Yours
and must live only by You.
My will is Yours
and must love only for You.
I must love You
as my first cause,
since I am from You.
I must love You
as my end and rest,
since I am for You.
I must love You more
than my own being,
since my being subsists by You.
I must love You more than myself,
since I am all Yours
and all in You. Amen.
(This beautiful prayer from Treatise on the Love of God by St. Francis de Sales is a prayer of giving oneself totally to God, of wanting to love Him above all thing and is a very appropriate Daily Prayer but particularly on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord)
Begun in 1997 by Pope John Paul II, the World Day for Consecrated Life was intended to serve three purposes
• to praise the Lord and thank him for the great gift of consecrated life
• to promote a knowledge of and esteem for the consecrated life by the entire People of God
• to allow those in consecrated life to celebrate together the marvels which the Lord has accomplished in them, to discover by a more illumined faith the rays of divine beauty spread by the Spirit in their way of life and to acquire a more vivid consciousness of their irreplaceable mission in the Church and in the world
It serves an opportunity to highlight the extraordinary contributions of men and women religious as well as a time to pray for vocations to the consecrated life.
2 February – Feast of the Presentation of the Lord – This is known as a “Christmas feast” since it points back to the Solemnity of Christmas. Many Catholics practice the tradition of keeping out the Nativity creche or other Christmas decorations until this feast. The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple is an early episode in the life of Jesus that is celebrated by the Church on the holiday of Candlemas. It is described in the Gospel of Luke of the New Testament. Within the account, “Luke’s narration of the Presentation in the Temple combines the purification rite with the Jewish ceremony of the redemption of the firstborn (Luke 2:23-24).”
At the end of the fourth century, a woman named Etheria made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Her journal, discovered in 1887, gives an unprecedented glimpse of liturgical life there. Among the celebrations she describes is the Epiphany, the observance of Christ’s birth, and the gala procession in honor of his Presentation in the Temple 40 days later. (Under the Mosaic Law, a woman was ritually “unclean” for 40 days after childbirth, when she was to present herself to the priests and offer sacrifice—her “purification.” Contact with anyone who had brushed against mystery—birth or death—excluded a person from Jewish worship.) This feast emphasizes Jesus’ first appearance in the Temple more than Mary’s purification.
The observance spread throughout the Western Church in the fifth and sixth centuries. Because the Church in the West celebrated Jesus’ birth on December 25, the Presentation was moved to February 2, 40 days after Christmas.
At the beginning of the eighth century, Pope Sergius inaugurated a candlelight procession; at the end of the same century the blessing and distribution of candles which continues to this day became part of the celebration, giving the feast its popular name: Candlemas.
Presentation of the Lord (Feast)
Our Lady of Candelaria
World Day for Consecrated Life
St Adalbald of Ostrevant
St Adeloga of Kitzingen
St Agathodoros of Tyana
St Andrea Carlo Ferrari
St Apronian the Executioner
St Bruno of Ebsdorf
St Burchard of Wurzburg
St St Candidus the Martyr
Catherine del Ricci
St Columbanus of Ghent
St Cornelius the Centurion
St Felician the Martyr
St Firmus of Rome
St Flosculus of Orléans
St Fortunatus the Martyr
St Giovanni Battista Clemente Saggio
St Hilarus the Martyr
St Jean Theophane Venard
St Jeanne de Lestonnac
St Lawrence of Canterbury
Bl Louis Alexander Alphonse Brisson
Bl Maria Domenica Mantovani
St Marquard of Hildesheim
Bl Peter Cambiano
St Rogatus the Martyr
St Saturninus the Martyr
St Sicharia of Orleans
St Simon of Cassia Fidati
Bl Stephen Bellesini
St Theodoric of Ninden
St Victoria the Martyr
Martyrs of Ebsdorf