Novena in Honour of the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
THE EIGHTH DAY – 6 December
The Image of the Immaculate Conception
A simple short Novena DAY EIGHT here (which also attracts Indulgences):
NOTE on Indulgences HERE:
In thy conception, O Virgin Mary,
thou wast immaculate;
pray for us to the Father, Whose Son Jesus,
conceived in thy womb by the Holy Ghost,
thou didst bring forth.
Indulgence. 200 days, every time. (Pius VI, 21 November
Christian art often represents the Immaculate Conception as follows:
The Blessed Virgin appears standing on a globe, about which is coiled a serpent holding an apple in its mouth. One of Mary’s feet rests upon the serpent, the other is placed on the moon. Her eyes are raised toward heaven; her hands are either joined in prayer, or she holds a lily in her right and places the left on her breast. Her dress is white; her ample mantle is of blue colour. A crown of twelve stars encircles her head. These emblems typify, in a most striking manner, Mary’s power and glory. “And a great sign appeared in heaven. A woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Apoc. xii. 1).
The representation of the Immaculate Conception is very instructive.
(1) Mary appears standing on the globe. This signifies that being human, she belongs to the earth and yet, is exalted above the world and sin; also, that she trampled under foot earthly possessions, vanities and joys.
(2) A serpent is coiled about the globe, bearing an apple in its mouth. This reminds us of the fall of our first parents and of the consequences of their sin.
(3) Mary’s foot rests on the serpent, indicating that she never was under Satan’s dominion but was preserved from sin in the first moment of her existence.
(4) Mary stands on the moon. The moon, on account of its changes, is an emblem of inconstancy. We see it at Mary’s feet, to be reminded that we ought to be constant in faith and virtue.
(5) Mary wears a crown, to indicate that she is a Queen. The crown is composed of twelve stars – she is the Queen of Heaven.
(6) Mary’s dress is white, to denote her spotless purity and innocence.
(7) She folds her hands in prayer, reminding us to imitate her example.
(8) Or she holds a lily in her right hand, to indicate her virginity and chastity and the sweet odour of her virtues.
(9) Mary’s mantle is blue, which colour is emblematic of royalty. Its folds are ample, to remind us that all who have recourse to her find a secure refuge in all dangers and necessities.
Therefore let us invoke her intercession in the words of Holy Church:
“We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God.
Despise not our petitions but in thy mercy,
deliver us from all danger,
O glorious and Ever Virgin Mary!”
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH:
O God, Who through the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin didst prepare a worthy dwelling-place for Thy Divine Son,
grant that, as in view of Thy Son,
Thou didst preserve her from all taint,
so Thou wouldst vouchsafe unto us
that cleansed from all sin by her intercession,
we too may arrive at Thine eternal glory.
Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Spotless sun! O Virgin Mary!
I congratulate thee.
I rejoice with thee because,
in thy conception,
God gave thee grace,
greater and more boundless,
than He ever shed on all His Angels
and all the Saints, together with all their merits.
I am thankful and I marvel
at the surpassing beneficence
of the Ever-Blessed Trinity,
Who conferred on thee this privilege.
O make me correspond with the grace of God
and never abuse it.
Change this heart of mine –
make me now begin to amend my life.