Posted in DECEMBER - The DIVINE INFANCY and The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, NOVENAS, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus By St Alphonsus, Day Nine – 24 December

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus
By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)

THE NINTH DAY
24 December
Meditation 9:
The Birth of the Infant Jesus in the cave of Bethlehem.

Since the Roman Emperor’s edict said that everyone was to enrol in his own country, Joseph and his wife, Mary, departed for Bethlehem. The trip took four days, travelling over mountainous roads, in the cold of winter wind and rain. Think of how much the Blessed Virgin must have suffered on that journey.

As soon as they arrived, the time of her delivery was at hand, so Joseph went around the Town looking for lodging where Mary could give birth to her child. But, because they were poor, they were driven away by everyone, even from the Inn where poor people were normally sheltered. So, they left the Town and found a cave. As Mary entered, Joseph protested, saying, “My dear wife, how can you spend the night in this cold, damp place? Can you not see that this is a stable for animals?” But she answered, “Joseph, this shed is the Royal Palace where the Son of God chooses to be born.”

And since the time for the birth had arrived, the Holy Virgin was in prayer. Suddenly the cave became brilliantly lit, as if by the sun or a star and the Son of God came forth into the world, as a tender Infant, crying and trembling with cold. The first thing Mary did was to adore Him as her God. Then she held Him to her bosom and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes which she had brought along. Finally, she laid Him on a little straw in the manger, the feeding trough for animals.

That is how the Son of the eternal God chose to be born for love of us.

A saint once said, that those who love Jesus Christ most, ought to kneel at the feet of the Holy Infant and, in spirit, perform for Him the same service as the beasts in the stable at Bethlehem did, who warmed Him with their breath. We should warm Him with our sighs of love.

Affections and Prayers:

O Adorable Infant Jesus!
I should not have the boldness
to cast myself at Thy feet,
if I did not know that Thou, Thyself,
invitest me to draw near Thee.
It is I, who by my sins,
have made Thee shed so many tears
in the stable of Bethlehem.
But since Thou hast come on earth
to pardon repentant sinners,
forgive me too, now that I am heartily sorry
for having spurned Thee, my Saviour and my God,
Who art so good and Who hast loved me so much.

In this night,
in which Thou bestowest great graces
on so many souls,
grant too, Thy heavenly consolation
to this poor soul of mine.
All that I ask of Thee
is the grace to love Thee always,
from this day forward,
with all my heart.
Set me on fire with Thy holy love.
I love Thee, O my God,
Who hast become a Babe for love of me.
Never let me cease loving Thee evermore.

O Mary, Mother of Jesus and my Mother,
thou canst obtain everything
from thy Son by thy prayers.
This is the only favour I ask of Thee.
Do thou pray to Jesus for me.
Amen.

Posted in ADVENT, ADVENT PRAYERS, DECEMBER - The DIVINE INFANCY and The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, NOVENAS, REDEMPTORISTS CSSR, The DIVINE INFANT

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus By St Alphonsus, Day Eight – 23 December

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus
By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)

THE EIGHTH DAY
23 December
Meditation 8:
The sojourn of the Infant Jesus in Egypt and Nazareth.

Our blessed Redeemer spent His Infancy in Egypt, living there for seven years in poverty and contempt. Joseph and Mary were unknown there, with neither relatives nor friends. And they could scarcely earn enough to get by, through the labour of their hands. Their cottage was poor, their bed was poor and their food was poor.
In this humble hu holy home, Mary weaned Jesus. At first she fed Him from her breast. Later on, she took a little bread soaked in water and placed it in His mouth. It was in that cottage that she made His first little garments, taking off His swaddling clothes and dressing Him in tiny children’s garb. In that cottage, the Child Jesus took His first steps, although He kept faltering and toppling many times, just as all children do. There, also, He uttered His first words.

Imagine what God has reduced Himself to for love of us!
God, stumbling and falling as He walked!
God, stammering while He learned to speak!

The life Jesus led at the house in Nazareth, after His return from Egypt was much the same – poor and humiliating. Until age thirty, He was a simple shop boy, obeying Joseph and Mary. And He was obedient to them (Luke 2:51).
Jesus went to fetch water; Jesus opened and closed the shop; Jesus swept the house; He gathered wood for the fire and worked all day helping Joseph and following his requests, teachings in the trade and commands.

Imagine God living as a boy!
God sweeping the floor!
God sweating as He planed a piece of wood!
And who was He?
The all-powerful God, Who, with a simple nod, created the whole universe and Who could destroy it, just as easily, if He wished! Should not the mere thought of this move our hearts to love Him?

How inspiring it must have been to watch the devotion with which Jesus said His prayers, the patience with which He laboured, the haste in which He obeyed, the moderation He used in eating and the kindness and charity, with which He spoke and interacted with others!
Every word, every action of Jesus, was so virtuous that it filled everyone around Him with love for God — but especially Mary and Joseph, who were constantly with Him!

Affections and PrayersL

O Jesus, my Savior!
When I consider how, for love of me.
Thou didst spend thirty years of Thy life
hidden and unknown in a poor workshop,
how can I desire the pleasures
and honours and riches of the world?
Gladly do I renounce all these things,
since I wish to be Thy companion on this earth,
poor as Thou wast,
mortified and humble as Thou wast,
so that I may hope to be able, one day
to enjoy Thy companionship in Heaven.
What are all the treasures
and kingdoms of this world –
Thou, O Jesus, art my only treasure,
my only Good!

I keenly regret the many times in the past
when I spurned Thy friendship
in order to satisfy my foolish whims.
I am sorry for them, with all my heart.
For the future, I would rather lose my life
a thousand times than lose Thy grace by sin.
I wish never to offend Thee again
but always to love Thee.
Help me to remain faithful to Thee until death.

O Mary, thou art the refuge of sinners,
thou art my hope.
Amen.

Posted in DECEMBER - The DIVINE INFANCY and The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, NOVENAS, REDEMPTORISTS CSSR, The DIVINE INFANT

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus By St Alphonsus, DAY SEVEN – 22 December

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus
By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)

THE SEVENTH DAY
22 December
Meditation 7:
The journey of the Infant Jesus to Egypt.

The Son of God came from Heaven to save humanity. But no sooner was He born, than they began to persecute Him, even unto death. Herod, afraid that this Infant would take away his kingdom, tried to put the Child to death. So in a dream, an Angel advised Saint Joseph to take Jesus and His Mother to Egypt.
Informing Mary, Joseph promptly obeyed. He took along with him the tools of his trade that he had available, to use in providing a livelihood, while in Egypt, for himself and his poor family.
For her part, Mary packed a small bag of clothes for the Holy Infant. Then, drawing near the crib with tears, she said to her sleeping Child, “O my Son and my God, Thou hast come down from Heaven to save humanity, yet hardly after Thou art born, they already seek to take away Thy life.”

That very night, still crying, she took the Infant Jesus and she and Joseph set off on their journey.

Think about how much these lonely pilgrims must have suffered, while making such a long journey, deprived of every comfort. The Infant was not yet able to walk, so Mary and Joseph had to take turns carrying him in their arms.
During the journey through the desert of Egypt, their only bed at night was the bare earth in the open air.
The Infant wept in the cold and Joseph and Mary also wept, out of compassion for Him. Who would not weep, seeing the Son of God, poor and persecuted, wandering about on the earth, so that He would not be killed by His enemies?

Affections and Prayers:

Dear Infant Jesus, crying so bitterly!
Well hast Thou reason to weep
in seeing Thyself persecuted by men,
whom Thou lovest so much.
I, too, O God, have once persecuted Thee, by my sins.
But Thou knowest that now I love Thee,
more than myself
and that nothing pains me more,
than the thought that I have so often spurned Thee,
my Sovereign Good.

Forgive me, O Jesus
and let me bear Thee with me, in my heart,
on all the rest of the journey
which I have still to travel through life,
so that, together with Thee,
I may enter into eternity.
So often have I driven Thee
from my soul by my sins.
But now, I love Thee above all things
and I regret, above other misfortunes,
that I have offended Thee.
I wish to leave Thee no more,
my beloved Lord.
But do Thou give me the strength
to resist temptations.
Never permit me to be separated from Thee again.
Let me rather die,
than ever again lose Thy good grace.

O Mary, my hope,
make me always live in God’s love
and then, die in loving Him.
Amen
.

Posted in DECEMBER - The DIVINE INFANCY and The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, NOVENAS, REDEMPTORISTS CSSR, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus By St Alphonsus – Day 6, 21 December

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus
By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)

THE SIXTH DAY
21 December
Meditation 6:
The Mercy of God in coming from Heaven,
to save us, by His Death.

Saint Paul says, the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared (Titus 3:4). It was then, when the Son of God made Man appeared on earth that we saw how great the goodness of God is toward us. Saint Bernard wrote that the power of God first appeared, through the creation of the world and sustaining the world, has shown God’s wisdom. But God’s mercy appeared, to an even greater degree, when God took human flesh to save lost humanity, by His sufferings and Death. And what greater mercy could the Son of God have shown us, than to take upon Himself, the pains we have deserved?

Imagine Him as a newborn Infant, wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger, unable to move or feed Himself. Just to survive, He relied on Mary to feed Him with a little milk. Imagine Him many years later, in the judgement hall before Pilate, bound to a column by ropes, from which He could not loosen Himself and scourged from head to foot. Imagine Him on the journey to Calvary, falling down as He went along the road, from weakness and from the weight of the Cross which He carried. Finally, imagine Him nailed to that infamous tree upon which He finished His life, in agony and suffering.

Jesus Christ wished to gain all the endearments of our hearts, by His love for us and,, therefore, He would not send an Angel to redeem us but came Himself, to save us by His Passion and Resurrection. If an Angel had been our redeemer, we would have a divided heart—loving God as our Creator and the Angel as our redeemer. But because God, Who is our Creator, wants our whole heart, He chose to also be our Redeemer.

Affections and Prayers:

O my dear Redeemer!
Where should I be now,
if Thou hadst not borne with me so patiently
but hadst called me from life,
while I was in the state of sin?
Since Thou hast waited for me till now,
forgive me quickly, O my Jesus,
before death finds me still guilty
of so many offences
which I have committed against Thee.
I am so sorry for having vilely despised Thee,
my Sovereign Good that I could die of grief.
But Thou canst not abandon a soul that seeks Thee.

If hitherto I have forsaken Thee,
I now seek Thee and love Thee.
Yes, my God, I love Thee
above all else;
I love Thee more than myself.
Help me, Lord, to love Thee always
during the rest of my life.
Nothing else do I seek of Thee.
But this I beg of Thee,
this I hope to receive from Thee.

Mary, my hope, do thou pray for me.
If thou prayest for me,
I am sure of grace.
Amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, NOVENAS, REDEMPTORISTS CSSR, The DIVINE INFANT

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus By St Alphonsus – The Fifth Day, 20 December

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus
By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)

THE FIFTH DAY
20 December
Meditation 5:
The Life of sorrow which Jesus lived, even from His birth.

Jesus could have saved us without suffering and without dying. But He willingly chose a life full of tribulations, to show how much He loved us. The prophet Isaias called Him, the man of sorrows (Isaias 53:3) because the life of Christ was to be full of woe. His passion did not begin at the time of His death but, from the beginning of His life.

Imagine Jesus, as soon as He was born, lying in a stable, where everything caused distress for Him. His sight was troubled because he could see nothing in that cave but dark, rough walls. His sense of smell was haunted, by the stench of dung from the animals, lying nearby. His skin was irritated by the itchy straw that served as His bed. Soon after birth, He was forced to flee to Egypt, where He lived several years of His childhood, poor, and despised as a foreigner. The life He led afterward, in Nazareth, was not much better. Then, consider how His life ended in Jerusalem, dying in anguish on a Cross.

So the life of Jesus was one of continual anxiety, even worse than that because he had constantly, before His eyes, all the sadness that would be His on the day of His death.
One day a Nun, complaining before the Crucifix, said to Him, “O Lord, Thou remained on the Cross for three hours but I have suffered my pain for several years.
Jesus answered her, “What you have said shows how unaware you are. I suffered even from my mother’s womb, all the pains of my life and death.
But because Jesus voluntarily chose those afflictions, they did not hurt Him as much as did the sight of our sins and our ingratitude for His great love.
One particular saint could never stop lamenting over the offences she committed against God. Her Confessor said to her, “Cease crying. God has already forgiven you.” But she replied, “How can I cease crying, when I know that my sins kept Jesus in a state of agony all his life?!

Affections and Prayers:

O Jesus, my sweet Love!
I too have kept Thee suffering
through all Thy life.
Tell me, then, what I must do
in order to win Thy forgiveness.
I am ready to do all Thou askest of me.
I am sorry, O sovereign Good, f
or all the offences I have committed against Thee.
I love Thee more than myself,
or at least I feel a great desire to love Thee.
Since it is Thou who hast given me this desire,
do Thou also give me the strength to love Thee exceedingly.

It is only right that I,
who have offended Thee so much,
should love Thee very much.
Always remind me of the love
Thou hast borne me,
in order that my soul may ever burn
with love of Thee and long to please Thee alone.
O God of love,
I, who was once a slave of hell,
now give myself all to Thee.
Graciously accept me and bind me to Thee
with the bonds of Thy love.
My Jesus, from this day and forever,
in loving Thee will I live
and in loving Thee will I die.

O Mary, my Mother and my hope,
help me to love Thy dear God and mine.
This is the only favour I ask of thee
and through thee, I hope to receive it.
Amen
.

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, NOVENAS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus By St Alphonsus – The Fourth Day – 19 December

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus
By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)

THE FOURTH DAY
19 December
Meditation 4:
The Life of humility which Jesus lived, even from His Infancy.

All the clues that the Angels gave the shepherds to help them find the Saviour, Who had just been born, were marks of humility –
This will be a sign for you: you will find a Child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12).
This is how you will find the newborn Messiah, the Angel said. You will find Him as an Infant, wrapped in poor ragged clothes, in a stable, lying on straw in a manger for animals. That is how the King of Heaven, the Son of God, was born because ,He came to destroy the pride which had been the cause, of humanity’s spiritual ruin.

The prophets foretold that our Redeemer would be treated as the most wretched person on earth and that He would be overwhelmed with insults.
How much ridicule Jesus had to tolerate because of us!
He was treated as a drunkard, as a magician, as a blasphemer and a heretic. Think of how many insults He had to endure during His passion. He was abandoned by His own disciples.
One of them even sold Him for thirty pieces of silver,and another, denied having ever known Him.
He was led through the streets bound like a criminal, scourged like a slave, treated like a madman and mocked as a bogus king.
He was struck, spat upon in the face and finally, He was put to death on a Cross, suspended between two thieves.
One would think that he had been the greatest lawbreaker the world had ever seen.

Saint Bernard commented that the noblest of all men, Jesus Christ, was treated like the most depraved person of all. “But, my Jesus,” he adds, “the more degraded Thou art, the more dear Thou art to me.
The more humbled and despised He appears, the more esteemed and worthy of our love He becomes.

Affections and Prayers:

O Dearest Saviour,
Thou hast embraced so many outrages for love of me,
yet, I have not been able to bear
one word of insult without at once,
being filled with resentful thought –
I who have so often deserved
to be trodden under foot by the demons in hell!
I am ashamed to appear before Thee,
sinful and proud as I am.
Yet, do not drive me from Thy presence, O Lord,
even though that is what I deserve.
Thou hast said that Thou wilt not spurn
a contrite and humbled heart.
I am sorry for the offences
I have committed against Thee.
Forgive me, O Jesus. I will not offend Thee again.

For love of me Thou hast borne so many injuries;
for love of Thee, I will bear all the injuries
that art done to me.
I love Thee, Jesus, Who wast despised for love of me.
I love Thee above every other good.
Give me the grace to love Thee always
and to bear every insult, for love of Thee.

O Mary, recommend me to Thy Son,
pray to Jesus for me.
Amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, NOVENAS, The DIVINE INFANT

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus By St Alphonsus, The Third Day, 18 December

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus
By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)

THE THIRD DAY
18 December
Meditation 3:
The life of poverty which Jesus lived, even from His birth.

God planned that when His Son was to be born on earth, an edict would be promulgated by the Emperor, obliging the head of every household to go to the place of his birth and register. And so, Joseph had to go with his wife to Bethlehem, to enrol according to the Decree of Caesar.
While there, Mary’s time of delivery arrived. Because she had been driven from all the other houses and even from the common shelter for poor people, she ended up spending the night in a cave, and there, gave birth to the King of Heaven.
It is true that Jesus would have been just as poor if he had been born in Nazareth. But at least there, He would have had a dry room, a little fire, warm clothes and a comfortable cradle. But no, He chose to be born in a cold cavern without a fire to warm Him. He chose to have the livestock’s manger for His cradle and a little prickly straw for His bedding, in order that He might experience what poor people have to experience.

Let us enter that cave in Bethlehem but, let us enter with faith. If we go without faith we will see nothing but a poor Infant, Who moves us to compassion, by seeing Him so beautiful but shivering with cold and crying, from the itchiness of the straw on which He lies. But if we enter with faith, we will believe that this Child is the Son of God, Who loved us so much that He came down to earth and endured so much, to pay for our sins.
How could we not thank Him and love Him?

Affections and Prayers:

O dear Infant Jesus,
how could I be so ungrateful
and offend Thee so often,
if I realised, how much Thou hast suffered for me?
But these tears which Thou sheddest,
this poverty which Thou embraces!
for love of me, make me hope
for the pardon of all the offences
I have committed against Thee.

My Jesus,
I am sorry for having so often,
turned my back on Thee.
But now I love Thee above all else.
“My God and my all!”
From now on Thou, O my God,
shalt be my only treasure and my only good.
With Saint Ignatius of Loyola
I will say to Thee,
“Give me the grace to love Thee –
that is enough for me.”
I long for nothing else;
I want nothing else.
Thou alone art enough for me,
my Jesus, my life, my love.

O Mary, my Mother,
obtain for me, the grace
that I may always love Jesus
and always be loved by Him.
Amen
.

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, NOVENAS, REDEMPTORISTS CSSR, The DIVINE INFANT

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus By St Alphonsus – The Second Day, 17 December

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus
By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)

THE SECOND DAY
17 December
Meditation 2:
The love of God in being born as an Infant.

The Son of God, in becoming human for our sake, might have appeared in the world at the age of a grown man, the way Adam appeared when he was created. But since children usually attract greater love to themselves from those who take care of them, Jesus chose to appear on earth, as an Infant and as the poorest and most miserable Infant ever born.

Saint Peter Chrysologus wrote: “Our God chose to be born this way because he wanted to be loved.” The prophet Isaiah had already predicted that the Son of God was to be born an Infant and give Himself entirely to us through the love He bore for us:
A child is born to us, a son is given to us (Isaiah 9:6a).

O my Jesus, almighty and true God, what else could possibly have attracted Thee to come from Heaven and be born in a cave, if not Thy love for us?
What convinced Thee to leave the lap of Thy Father and lay Thyself down in a manger?
What drew Thee down from Thy throne above the stars, to stretch Thyself out on a little pile of straw?
What, from the midst of the Nine Choirs of Angels, has placed Thee between these sheep and oxen?
Thou inflame the Seraphim with holy fire, yet look, Thou trembles from the cold in this stable! Thou give the sun, the stars and the planets their paths of movement, yet now Thou cannot move at all without being carried in someone’s arms!
Thou provide food for all creatures and yet now, Thou depends on a little milk to sustain Thy life. Thou ary the delight of Heaven and yet, how is it that I now hear Thee whimper and cry? Tell me, who has reduced Thee to such lowliness? “Who has done this? Love has done it,” says Saint Bernard. Yes, the love that Thou hast for us has done it!

Affections and Prayers:

O Dearest Infant!
Tell me, what hast Thou come on earth to do?
Tell me, whom art Thou seeking?
Yes, I already know.
Thou hast come to die for me,
in order to save me from hell.
Thou hast come to seek me, the lost sheep,
so that, instead of fleeing from Thee any more,
I may rest in Thy loving arms.
Ah my Jesus, my Treasure, my life, my love and my all!
Whom will I love, if not Thee?
Where can I find a father, a friend, a spouse,
more loving and lovable than Thou art?

I love Thee, my dear God;
I love Thee, my only good.
I regret the many years,
when I have not loved Thee
but rather, spurned and offended Thee.
Forgive me, O my beloved Redeemer;
for I am sorry that I have thus treated Thee
and I regret it with all my heart.
Pardon me and give me the grace
never more to withdraw from Thee
but constantly, to love Thee in all the years
which still lie before me in this life.
My love, I give myself entirely to Thee.
accept me and do not reject me as I deserve.

O Mary, thou art my advocate.
By thy prayers thou dost obtain whatever thou wilt
from thy Son.
Pray Him then to forgive me
and to grant me holy perseverance until death.
Amen.

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, NOVENAS, REDEMPTORISTS CSSR, The DIVINE INFANT

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus – 16 December – the First Day

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus
By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)

THE FIRST DAY
16 December
Meditation 1:
The love that God has shown to us in becoming human.

Think about the great love God has shown us by becoming human, in order to obtain eternal life for us.

Our first parents, Adam and Eve, rebelled against God and were driven out of paradise. As a result, they and all of us, their descendants, were condemned to everlasting death.
But the Son of God, grieving because humanity was lost, took upon Himself our human flesh.
Then, in order to save us from death, He died on a Cross, condemned as a criminal.

My child, consider the hardships thou will have to undergo while on earth. Thou will be born in a cold cave, with no place to be laid except in the trough where animals come to feed.
As an infant, thou will have to flee to Egypt to escape the hands of Herod. After returning, thou will have to live in a workshop as a poor, humble servant. And finally, worn out by sufferings, thou will have to give up thy life, dying on a cross, insulted and forsaken by all.

And Jesus would respond:

Father, it does not matter. I am happy to endure whatever comes, provided that humanity is saved.

How would we react if a millionaire took compassion on a dead worm and chose to become a worm himself, offering his own blood as a transfusion and died, in order to restore life to the other worm? Yet the Eternal Word has done even more than that for us. God, the Creator, has become like us, one of His own creatures, to share in our human life, so that we can share, once again, in His Divine Life. When God saw that all the natural gifts He had bestowed on us could not win our love for Him, He became one of us and gave Himself entirely to us.

The Word became flesh and lived among us”(John 1:14a).

Through sin, humanity separated itself from God. But God, because of His great love for us, came from Heaven to seek us. Why? In order that we might realise how much God loves us and, in gratitude, love God in return. Any time a cat or a dog comes to us from across the room, we cannot help but respond, by petting it and speaking to it. So why do we ignore God, Who comes to us all the way from Heaven?

Once, when a Priest proclaimed the words, “and the Word became flesh,” someone in the Church neglected to make a proper reverence. This prompted the devil to give that person a blow, saying, “Oh, ungrateful one! If only God had done for me what He has done for you, I would remain with my head always bowed down in thanksgiving.”

Affections and Prayers:

O Great Son of God
Thou hast become man
in order to make Thyself loved by men.
But where is the love that men give Thee in return?
Thou hast given Thy life blood to save our souls.
Why then are we so unappreciative
that, instead of repaying Thee with love,
we spurn Thee with ingratitude?
And I, Lord, I myself more than others
have thus ill treated Thee.
But Thy Passion is my hope.
For the sake of that love
which led Thee to take upon Thyself human nature
and to die for me on the Cross,
forgive me all the offences
I have committed against Thee.

I love Thee, O Word Incarnate;
I love Thee, O Infinite Goodness.
Out of love for Thee, my God,
I am so sorry for all the injuries I have done Thee
that I could die of grief for these offences.
Give me, O Jesus, Thy love.
Let me no longer live in ungrateful forgetfulness
of the love Thou bearest me.
I wish to love Thee always.
Grant that I may always persevere in this holy desire.

O Mary, Mother of God and my Mother,
pray for me that Thy Son may give me the grace
to love Him always, unto death.
Amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, NOVENAS, REDEMPTORISTS CSSR, The DIVINE INFANT

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus by St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori – BEGINS 16 December

Christmas Novena to the Divine Infant Jesus
By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)

Bishop of Sant’Agata de’ Goti, C.Ss.R (Founder)
Doctor zelantissimus (Most Zealous Doctor)

This Novena is translated from the Italian of Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori and was first published in 1758.
Although this Novena is intended, primarily as a preparation for the Feast of our Lord’s Nativity, it can be used with spiritual profit at any time of the year, as a devotion in honour of the Infant Jesus.
This translation by the Redemptorists of the UK.

The Novena begins on 16 December.

Posted in ART DEI, IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Novena, MARIAN NOVENAS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Novena in Honour of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – DAY EIGHT – 6 December

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):
https://anastpaul.com/2021/12/06/immaculate-conception-novena-day-eight-6-december/
NOTE on Indulgences HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/11/29/novena-in-honour-of-the-immaculate-conception-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-day-one-29-november/

PREPARATORY PRAYER:
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

MEDITATION:
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).

PRACTICEL
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.

PRAYER:
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.

Hail Mary, Glory be … etc.

LITANY of LORETO:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/11/29/novena-in-honour-of-the-immaculate-conception-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-day-one-29-november/

Aspiration: O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Indulgence. 100 days, once a day. (Pope Leo XIII, 25 March 1884).

Posted in IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Novena, MARIAN NOVENAS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Novena in Honour of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – DAY SEVEN – 5 December

Novena in Honour of the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary

THE SEVENTH DAY – 5 December
The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Chastity

A simple short Novena DAY SEVEN here (which also attracts Indulgences):
https://anastpaul.com/2021/12/05/90957/
NOTE on Indulgences HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/11/29/novena-in-honour-of-the-immaculate-conception-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-day-one-29-november/

PREPARATORY PRAYER:
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

MEDITATION:
Holy Scripture and the Fathers agree, in the statement that the Blessed Virgin Mary made the vow of perpetual virginity. For when the Archangel Gabriel brought God’s message to the Immaculate spouse of St Joseph, that she was to become the Mother of the Most High, she asked, “How shall this be done, for I know not man?” (Luke 1: 34.)
Indeed, Mary would not have been, in the full and most excellent sense of the word, the “Virgin of virgins,” had she not, from her own free choice, vowed her virginity to God.
During the whole Christian era there have been heroic souls who made the vow of perpetual chastity, consecrating themselves to God.
Trusting in the powerful protection of the Immaculate Virgin, they persevered, in their resolve to bear this priceless treasure, before God’s throne, despite the dangers of the world, the temptations of concupiscence and the assaults of hell and, with the help of the Queen of Virgins, they achieved a triumphant victory!

PRACTICE:
Since the fall of Adam our senses are in rebellion against the law of God. “I see another law in My members, fighting against the law of My mind and captivating Me in the law of sin” (Rom 7: 23). Chastity is the virtue which causes us the greatest struggles.
St Augustine says: “The fiercest of all combats, is the one for the preservation of chastity and, we must engage in it, everyday!”
Fierce as this combat is, the aid which Mary gives her children to achieve victory, is all-powerful.
She sustains them by her maternal love and protection.
Those who lead a chaste life receive the Divine Spirit, are happy in this life and will receive a special crown in Heaven.

Among the means for the preservation of chastity, the following are especially recommended:
The assiduous and constant practice of self-denial;
the frequentation of the Sacraments;
the daily invocation of Mary for her aid and protection;
scrupulous avoidance of the occasions of sin.
St Chrysostom writes: “He errs who believes that he can overcome his sensual propensities and preserve chastity, by his own efforts. God’s mercy must extinguish nature’s ardour.”
Have recourse to the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin and rest assured, you will obtain this mercy!

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.

PRAYER:
Mary Immaculate,
rising morn of purity,
I rejoice with thee,
gazing in wonder upon thy soul,
confirmed in grace,
from the very first moment of thy conception
and rendered inaccessible to sin.
I thank and magnify the Ever-Blessed Trinity,
Who chose thee, from all our race,
for this special privilege.
Holy Virgin, obtain for me,
utter and constant hatred of all sin,
and let me rather die,
than ever again fall into sin.

Hail Mary, Glory be … etc.

LITANY of LORETO:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/11/29/novena-in-honour-of-the-immaculate-conception-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-day-one-29-november/

Aspiration: O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Indulgence. 100 days, once a day. (Pope Leo XIII, 25 March 1884).

Posted in IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Novena, MARIAN NOVENAS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Novena in Honour of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – DAY SIX – 4 December

Novena in Honour of the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary

THE SIXTH DAY – 4 December
The Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Refuge

A simple short Novena DAY SIX here (which also attracts Indulgences):
https://anastpaul.com/2021/12/04/immaculate-conception-novena-day-six-4-december/
NOTE on Indulgences HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/11/29/novena-in-honour-of-the-immaculate-conception-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-day-one-29-november/

PREPARATORY PRAYER:
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. (Pope Pius VI, 21 November 1793).

MEDITATION:
We carry the precious treasure of sanctifying grace in a frail vessel. Our inclination to evil remains with us and continues to impel us to that which is forbidden.
On whom shall we call for aid? Call on Mary! She is conceived without sin. She, the lily among thorns, who never lost God’s friendship. She, is our advocate!
Let her, who was found worthy to become the Mother of our Redeemer, inspire you with trust and confidence.
The Church invokes her as the refuge of sinners and, under no other title, does she show her love for us more convincingly and, her power with God, more efficiently.

PRACTICE:
We may trust confidently in Mary’s intercession and aid, in all temptations and trials, if we but have recourse to her. Therefore, St John Damascene writes:
“Come to my aid, O Mother of my Redeemer!
Thou art my help, my consolation in life.
Come to my aid and I shall escape. unscorched.
from the fire of temptation;
amongst a thousand I shall remain unharmed;
I shall brave the storms of assault unwrecked.
Thy name is my shield,
thy help my armour,
thy protection my defence.
With thee, I boldly attack the enemy
and drive him off in confusion;
through thee, I shall achieve a triumphant victory.”
In all temptations, therefore, let us have recourse to Mary and through her intercession we shall overcome them.

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.

PRAYER:
Mary Immaculate, most brilliant star of purity,
I rejoice with thee
because thy Immaculate Conception
has bestowed upon the Angels in Paradise,
the greatest joy.
I thank and bless the Ever-Nlessed Trinity,
Who enriched thee with this high privilege.
O let me, too, one day enter into this heavenly joy,
in the company of Angels,
that I may praise and bless thee,
world without end.

Hail Mary, Glory be … etc.

LITANY of LORETO:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/11/29/novena-in-honour-of-the-immaculate-conception-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-day-one-29-november/

Aspiration: O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Indulgence. 100 days, once a day. (Pope Leo XIII, 25 March 1884).

Posted in IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Novena, MARIAN NOVENAS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Novena in Honour of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – DAY FIVE – 3 December

Novena in Honour of the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary

THE FIFTH DAY – 3 December
Hail Mary! Full of Grace

A simple short Novena DAY FIVE here (which also attracts Indulgences):
https://anastpaul.com/2021/12/03/immaculate-conception-novena-day-five-3-december/
NOTE on Indulgences HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/11/29/novena-in-honour-of-the-immaculate-conception-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-day-one-29-november/

PREPARATORY PRAYER:
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

MEDITATION:
Man’s relationship to God, as His child, was severed by sin. The beautiful image of God imprinted on man’s soul, was disfigured by it. But with the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a being full of grace, an object of God’s supreme complacency, entered this world.
After the lapse of four thousand years God, in His wisdom, power, and love, for the first time again created a human being, in that state, in which He had originally created our first parents. Mary, from the first moment of her existence was, in virtue of the sanctifying grace, infused into her soul, most intimately united with God and endowed with the most precious gifts of Heaven.
Because she was predestined to become the Mother of the Redeemer of mankind, it was fitting that she should unite in herself all the gifts becoming to such an ineffable dignity. Hence, she surpassed in grace and holiness, all other created beings and was Consecrated a worthy temple of the Incarnate Word. Therefore, she was saluted by the Angel as “full of grace” and the Church, in our behalf, addresses the Almighty: “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 the death of that 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.”

PRACTICE:
The world considers men according to their rank and station, their wealth and knowledge.
God recognises in them but one difference, that caused by the presence or absence of sanctifying grace in their soul. A soul in the state of sanctifying grace is God’s friend; without it, His enemy. A man dying in the state of sanctifying grace is sure of eternal bliss.
Therefore, we ought to prize this grace, above all else and do everything in our power, to preserve it.
St Leo exhorts us, “Recognise, O man, thy dignity! As thou hast received Divine grace, beware of returning to your former sinful condition by a wicked life!”

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.

PRAYER:
Mary, bright moon of purity,
I rejoice with thee
because, the mystery of thy Immaculate Conception
was the beginning of salvation for the race of man
and the joy of the whole world.
I thank and bless the ever-blessed Trinity,
Who thus did magnify and glorify thee
and I beg of thee,
to obtain for me the grace,
so to profit by thy dear Son’s Passion and Death,
that His Most Precious Blood
may not have been shed upon the Cross in vain
but that, after a holy life,
I may reach Heaven in safety.

Hail Mary, Glory be … etc.

LITANY of LORETO:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/11/29/novena-in-honour-of-the-immaculate-conception-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-day-one-29-november/

Aspiration: O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Indulgence. 100 days, once a day. (Pope Leo XIII, 25 March 1884).

Posted in IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Novena, MARIAN NOVENAS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Novena in Honour of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – DAY FOUR – 2 December

Novena in Honour of the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary

THE FOURTH DAY – 2 December
The Blessed Virgin Mary, Without Actual Sin

A simple short Novena DAY FOUR here (which also attracts Indulgences):
https://anastpaul.com/2021/12/02/90764/
NOTE on Indulgences HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/11/29/novena-in-honour-of-the-immaculate-conception-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-day-one-29-november/

PREPARATORY PRAYER:
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

MEDITATION:
The Blessed Virgin Mary, conceived without sin, is the most blessed daughter of the eternal Father, the real and true Mother of the Divine Son, the elect spouse of the Holy Ghost. But in the world, in what condition do we behold her? She dwells not in a splendid palace; she is not surrounded by a retinue of servants, ready at every moment to do her bidding; she is not exempt from trials and suffering. On the contrary, she is poor; she lives in obscurity and suffered so much on earth that, without shedding her blood, she merits to be styled – the Queen of Martyrs.
Her heart was transfixed with the sword of sorrow. Mary is not exempt from tribulations and adversity but one thing God does not permit to touch her, – SIN.
Hence Holy Church applies to her the words, “Thou art all fair, O my love and there is not a spot in thee” (Cant iv 7).

PRACTICE:
Although we were not preserved from sin like Mary, yet God, in His ineffable goodness and mercy, granted us the grace to be cleansed from sin and to be clothed with the garment of sanctifying grace in Baptism.
No treasure of the world can be compared with this prerogative.
But as we bear this grace in a fragile vase, we must be most careful to protect and preserve it in ourselves and others, from all danger.
Let the Blessed Virgin Mary be our example.
Well knowing the inestimable value of the grace conferred upon her, she guarded it with the greatest care.
Although exempt from concupiscence and “full of grace,” she was so distrustful of herself, as if she were in continual danger.
How much more, then, must we use precaution, to preserve in ourselves and in others, this treasure of grace, since we feel in ourselves constantly, the law of the flesh which resists the law of the spirit and urges us onto evil, whilst the world and the devil, never weary in placing snares for us, in order to accomplish our ruin.
Therefore, let us have recourse to Mary and invoking her aid, bravely resist all temptations!

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.

PRAYER:
Mirror of holy purity,
Blesed Mary, Virgin Immaculate,
great is my joy while I consider that,
from thy Immaculate Conception,
the most sublime and perfect virtues
were infused into thy soul
and, with them all, the gifts of the Holy Ghost.
I thank and praise the Most Holy Trinity,
Who bestowed on thee these high privileges.
I pray thee, gentle Mother,
obtain for me grace to practise virtue
and to make me worthy
to become partaker of the gifts
and graces of the Holy Ghost.

Hail Mary, Glory be … etc.

LITANY of LORETO:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/11/29/novena-in-honour-of-the-immaculate-conception-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-day-one-29-november/

Aspiration: O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Indulgence. 100 days, once a day. (Pope Leo XIII, 25 March 1884).

Posted in IMMACULATE CONCEPTION Novena, MARIAN NOVENAS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Novena in Honour of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – DAY THREE – 1 December

Novena in Honour of the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary

THE THIRD DAY – 1 December
The Ever-Virgin Mary, the Victrix of Satan

A simple short Novena DAY THREE here (which also attracts Indulgences):
https://anastpaul.com/2021/12/01/immaculate-conception-novena-day-three-1-december/
NOTE on Indulgences HERE: https://anastpaul.com/2022/11/29/novena-in-honour-of-the-immaculate-conception-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-day-one-29-november/

PREPARATORY PRAYER:
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

MEDITATION:
The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Ever-Virgin Mary inaugurated the fulfilment of the Divine promise made to our first parents in Paradise, in the words addressed to the serpent: “I shall put enmities’ between thee and the woman and thy seed and her seed; she shall crush thy head” (Gen. iii. 15).
Mary is the woman in whom Satan never had a part. Her intimate connection with God was announced by the Angel: “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee!” Now was fulfilled the saying of the Psalmist, “The Most High hath sanctified His own tabernacle.
God is in the midst, thereof, it shall not be moved: God will help it in the morning early” (Ps. xlv. 5-6).
Mary was chosen to be the glorious tabernacle of the Son of God “in the morning early,” that is, in the first moment of her existence. God, called her into being that she might assume the exalted dignity of the Mother of His Son and, therefore, granted her the singular privilege of exemption from Original Sin.
In her were fulfilled Solomon’s prophetic words of praise, “Thou art all fair, O my love and there is not a spot in thee” (Cant. iv. 7).
It was in view of her Son’s merits, applied to her beforehand that God thus produced in her, the image of the new man regenerated in the Holy Ghost.

PRACTICE:
The spirit of darkness holds mankind enslaved but one human being escapes him.
A destructive fire lays waste the whole earth but one tree remains unscathed.
A terrible tyrant conquers the whole world but one fortified city repels his assaults.
This human being retaining liberty, this tree escaping destruction, this city repelling the enemy’s attack is the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Will the Almighty and Merciful God, Who has accomplished such great things in Mary, Who has selected her for His Mother, not to listen to her prayers, when she intercedes for us?
St William of Paris exclaims: “No other created being can obtain for us, so many and so great graces from God, as His Mother. By the all-powerful might of her intercession, He honours her – not only as His handmaid but also, as His Mother.”
Therefor,e we ought not be surprised when the holy Fathers maintain that a single sigh of Mary, is more effective with God, than the combined intercession of all the Angels and Saints.
If, then, Mary’s power is so great, she will surely hear us when we invoke her help, in our combat with Satan. Having conquered him herself, she will also help us to conquer him!

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.

PRAYER:
Mary, thou mystical rose of purity,
my heart rejoices with thine
at the glorious triumph
which thou didst gain over the infernal serpent
by thy Immaculate Conception
and because thou wast conceived
without stain of Original Sin.
I thank and praise, with my whole heart,
the ever-blessed Trinity,
Who granted thee this glorious privilege
and I pray thee,
to obtain for me strength to overcome
all the wiles of the infernal foe,
and never to stain my soul with sin.
Be thou mine aid;
make me, by thy protection,
victorious over the common foe of our eternal welfare.

Hail Mary, Glory be … etc.

LITANY of LORETO:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/11/29/novena-in-honour-of-the-immaculate-conception-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-day-one-29-november/

Aspiration: O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Indulgence. 100 days, once a day. (Pope Leo XIII, 25 March 1884).

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, NOVENAS

The St Andrew’s Christmas NovenaThe Christmas Anticipation Prayer

The St Andrew’s Christmas Novena
The Christmas Anticipation Prayer

The Novena is not actually addressed to Saint Andrew but to God Himself, asking Him to grant our request in honour of the birth of His Son at Christmas. You can say the prayer all 15 times, all at once; or divide up the recitation as necessary (perhaps five times at each meal). We say ours after the Family Rosary each day, with each member saying it a number of times to total 15.

Prayed as a family, the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is a very good way to help focus the attention of your family and children on the Advent season. nd the reason for the festivities to come.

Pray 15 Times each day, until Christmas Day

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment,
in which the Son of God was born,
of the most pure Virgin Mary,
at midnight, in Bethlehem,
in the piercing cold.
In that hour vouchsafe,
I beseech Thee, O my God,
to hear my prayer and grant my desires,
…………………
[here mention your request]
through the merits of Our Saviour, Jesus Christ
and of His Blessed Mother.
Amen

Posted in MARIAN NOVENAS

Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,Queen of the Most Holy Rosary – Day Nine – 6 October

Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary

By Father Joseph Cacella, 1947

NINTH DAY

Intention: “The Spiritual Welfare of our Children”

Oh Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Mother of the Infant Babe of Bethlehem,
and Our Mother, enkindle in our hearts
the spark of youthful innocence.
We know of thy great love for little children.
It was to innocent children
that thou deigned to appear,
revealing the Message of Fatima
and charging them with its propagation.
We know no better way
to show our regard for them,
dear Mother, than to offer our prayers
for all children everywhere.

Therefore, O Mother dear,
we ask thee to watch over all children
in all parts of the world,
to guard and protect their homes,
to preserve the schools wherein they learn
and to keep them from being tainted
by Godless education.
Direct them in their play
and in all their works
that they may grow in age,
wisdom and the love of God.
Grant too, Blessed Mother,
that the prayers of our children
may hasten the end of all wars of carnage
and devastation and grant unto this world
an era of just and lasting peace.
We pray that the world may return to Jesus,
thy Son, through Reparation to thy Immaculate Heart.

Our Lady of Fatima, we beseech thee
to inflame our hearts
with the love of Reparation
and protection of the souls of our children.. Amen

We pray our Daily Rosary now
with the same Intention:
“The Spiritual Welfare of our Children”

Posted in MARIAN NOVENAS

Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,Queen of the Most Holy Rosary – Day Eight – 5 October

Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary

By Father Joseph Cacella, 1947

EIGHTH DAY

Intention: “The Conversion of Sinners”

Oh Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Refuge of the human race,
thou have given unto us the means
of destroying the menace of atheism
and godless lives.
Thy Promise of conversion
for those unfortunate victims
of false beliefs, has instilled joy and hope
into the nations of the earth.
We grieve for those who are victims of such vice.
Grant, we beseech thee. Oh Mother,
that grace and faith
may come to those separated
from thy Son by error and discord.
We fail, if we heed not thy Message of Fatima.
We know thy wishes and,, therefore,
we promise to make
Reparation to thy Immaculate Heart,
through the Most holy Rosary
and the Five First Saturdays,
that sinners may hear the Word of God
and keep it.

Our Lady of Fatima, Refuge of the human race,
inflame our hearts with the love of Reparation.
Amen

We pray our Daily Rosary now
with the same Intention:
“The Conversion of Sinners.”

Posted in MARIAN NOVENAS

Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,Queen of the Most Holy Rosary – Day Seven – 4 October

Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary

By Father Joseph Cacella, 1947

SEVENTH DAY

Intention: “Forgiveness of Sin”

Oh Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Refuge of Sinners,
to whom else will we turn
in our sorrow for sin, if not to thee.
From whom shall we find comfort
and consolation, in the shame of our sins,
except from thee?
Lead us back, dear Mother of Love,
to the path of righteousness
which leads to the Sacred Heart of thy Divine Son.
We have sinned often, oh dear Mother
and the remembrances
of the errors of our ways troubles us.
It shall be no more.
We know that thy protecting care,
will find peace and hope for us
and the remission of our sins.
We know too that as with Mary Magdalene of old,
thy Son shall welcome us with a loving smile
because, you have always pleaded for us.
Amen.

Our Lady of Fatima, Refuge of sinners,
inflame our hearts with
the love of Sorrow, Repentance, Penance and Reparation.

We pray our Daily Rosary now
with the same Intention:
Sorrow, Repentance, Penance and Reparation.

Posted in MARIAN NOVENAS

Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,Queen of the Most Holy Rosary – Day Six – 3 October

Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary

By Father Joseph Cacella, 1947

SIXTH DAY

Intention: “Purity of Body and Soul”

Oh Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Virgin most pure,
have compassion on those
who are prone to the allurements of impurity.
Give us, we beseech thee,
strength to overcome our weaknesses
and courage in the struggle against sin.
We know it is thy ardent wish
that we renew our pledge of holy purity.
Oh, Immaculate Heart of Mary,
we consecrate to thee here and now,
without reserve,
our eyes, ears, tongues, hearts–
our whole beings.
We promise that, with thy help,
we shall be steady in our purpose to serve thee,
with undefiled chastity.
Give us the courage to resist all temptations
and to avoid all things
which may be the occasion of sin.
Amen.

Our Lady of Fatima, Virgin most pure,
enflame our hearts with the love of Purity
and Reparation for sin.

We pray our Daily Rosary now
with the same Intention:
“Purity of Body and Soul”

Posted in MARIAN NOVENAS

Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,Queen of the Most Holy Rosary – Day Five – 2 October

Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary

By Father Joseph Cacella, 1947

FIFTH DAY

Intention: Reparation for the Salvation of Souls

Oh Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Virgin most powerful,
we know that the vision
of the terrible fires of hell
which thou showed
to the three little shepherd children at Fatima,
was really meant for us.
We beseech thee, Oh Mother Mary,
to spare us the fate of a judgement
which ordains such a punishment!
Grant unto us, a faith so strong
that we may ever realise
that the evil of sin will be justly repaid
with eternal punishment.
I believe in the Infinite Justice
of the One True God
and the Infinite Love
of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
We pray and beseech thee
that through thy intercession,
we may be given the grace
to live so worthy a life on earth,
as to enjoy the reward of eternal happiness
in the Kingdom of thy Divine Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Amen.

Our Lady of Fatima, Virgin most powerful,
inflame our hearts with the love
of Reparation for the Salvation of Souls.

We pray our Daily Rosary now
with the same Intention:
Reparation for the Salvation of Souls.

Posted in MARIAN NOVENAS

Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,Queen of the Most Holy Rosary – Day Four – 1 October

Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary

By Father Joseph Cacella, 1947

FOURTH DAY

Intention: “Relief for the Souls in Purgatory”

Oh Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Mother most merciful,
to thee do we plead the cause
of the poor suffering souls in Purgatory, e
specially those most abandoned.
In obedience to thy request at Fatima,
we beg for their relief.
Oh Mother most merciful,
we ask thee to lessen their toll of expiation.
Deign to accept our humble prayers
and sacrifice in reparation
and payment for the punishment
that is due from them.
We pray that through the treasures
of thy Divine Son,
thou own special merits and sorrows
and those of the Saints
that God may be mindful of our prayers
on behalf of the suffering souls in Purgatory
and bring them into His Kingdom,
to love and serve Him forever.
Amen.

Our Lady of Fatima, Mother most merciful,
inflame our hearts with the love and repartion
for the Souls in Purgatory.

We pray our Daily Rosary now
with the same Intention:
“Relief for the Souls in Purgatory”

Posted in MARIAN NOVENAS, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE

Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,Queen of the Most Holy Rosary – Day Three – 30 September

Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary

By Father Joseph Cacella, 1947

THIRD DAY

Intention: “The True Peace of Christ”

Oh Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Mother of Jesus and Our Mother,
we pray that the hope and promise
made by thee at Fatima,
will soon be realised.
We know it is thou ardent wish and desire
that there be peace in the world
and it is only through Reparation
to thou Immaculate Heart
that such can be accomplished.
Thou has told us thy wish
in the Message of Fatima –
Reparation through the Rosary
and the practice of the First Saturdays.
We beg of thee, Oh Mary Immaculate
that, through thy pleadings,
our prayers and example
may show the world,
the road to the true peace
which the world itself cannot give.
Bless, we beseech thee, our country
and inspire us and our leaders
to receive, understand and promote
that glorious Message
delivered by thee at Fatima.

Our Lady of Fatima, Queen of Peace,
inflame our hearts with the love
of “The True Peace of Christ.”
Amen

We pray our Daily Rosary now
with the same Intention:
“The True Peace of Christ.”

Posted in MARIAN NOVENAS, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE

Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,Queen of the Most Holy Rosary – Day Two – 29 September

Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary

By Father Joseph Cacella, 1947

SECOND DAY

Intention: Greater love and appreciation for the Holy Rosary

Oh Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary,
teach us to love those little beads.
In every trial, tribulation and sorrow,
they have been a source of comfort
to all who trust in thee.
We are happy in the possession of our Rosaries.
May thy Rosary,
O Immaculate Heart of Mary,
ever strengthen us in all our weaknesses,
be our peace in time of affliction,
comfort in all matters of doubt,
courage in time of temptation
and a source of consolation
throughout all our days on the earth.
May it be our strong influence,
in success or in failure.
In all things, may we live in peaceful union
with thee through the medium
of thy Holy Rosary.
Amen.

Our Lady of Fatima, Queen of the Rosary,
inflame our hearts with the love
of thy Most Holy Rosary.

We pray our Daily Rosary now
with the same Intention:
“Greater love and appreciation for the Holy Rosary”

Posted in IMMACULATE HEART PRAYERS, MARIAN NOVENAS, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, SACRED and IMMACULATE HEARTS, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE

Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,Queen of the Most Holy Rosary – Day One – 28 September

Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary

By Father Joseph Cacella, 1947

FIRST DAY

Intention: Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Oh Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Jesus,
Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary,
inspire me to grieve sincerely,
for the sins
which weigh heavily upon the souls of men.

Sorrowfully I recall the bitter and harsh punishments
heaped upon thy Divine Son,
when He was cruelly scourged at the pillar,
unmercifully crowned with thorns.
I recall His sad journey to Calvary, His Crucifixion
and ignominious death on the Cross.
Yet, they were but the instruments of pain.
It was my sins which really caused
His Precious Blood to be shed.
His excessive love willed
that He should suffer for my salvation.
Thus, I will give my little love
to make amends and atone for a thoughtless
and unappreciative world.

Oh Immaculate Heart of Mary,
thy who suffered and shared with Him
each pain caused and inflicted by our sins,
intercede for us that we may be privileged
to unite our hearts with thine in an effort
to make reparation for our sins
and the sins of ungrateful mankind.
Amen.

Our Lady of Fatima
inflame our hearts with the love of Reparation.

Pray your Daily Rosary after each Day’s Novena Prayer with the same Intention.

Posted in MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN NOVENAS, NOTES to Followers, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE

Announcing a Novena to Our Lady of the Rosary – Begins 28 September

Announcing a Novena to Our Lady of the Rosary
Begins 28 September

The Feast of the Most Holy Rosary
is celebrated on 7 October.

Please join me in praying a Novena in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary for the nine days preceding her Feast on 7 October and, of course, October is the Month of the Holy Rosary.

This Feast was instituted to commemorate the victory of Christianity over the forces of Islam at the battle of Lepanto on 7 October 1571. The victory was brought about through the recitation of the Rosary. In thanksgiving for another victory over the same foes in Hungary in 1715, the Feast was extended to the entire Church.
In the course of centuries the Rosary has been a source of abundant blessings. In her apparitions at Lourdes, France, in 1858 and again at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, Mary urged Catholics to pray the Rosary daily in order to bring about the conversion of sinners and a lasting world peace.
We should resolve to say the Most Holy Rosary everyday. Besides being a beautiful tribute of love and filial piety, to our Heavenly Mother, it will be our support and joy in life and our consolation at the hour of death.

Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, NOVENAS, QUEENSHIP of MARY, THE ASSUMPTION

Thought for the Day – 15 August – The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Thought for the Day – 15 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Assumption of
the Blessed Virgin Mary

“Even as Christ, by His Own Power, rose from the grave, so, by reason of His intervention, the soul of Mary was re-united, after a short separation, with her body and she was taken up, body and soul into everlasting glory.
It was fitting that this privilege should have been bestowed upon the Mother of God.
It would have been unbecoming for the Immaculate flesh , in which the Divine Body of Jesus was formed, to have been allowed to corrupt in the grave.
It was fitting too that she, who was to be proclaimed Queen of Angels and of men, should have come immediately to her throne of glory, with her humanity integral and unimpaired.
Her resurrection was, moreover, the reward of her virginal purity.
From the first moment of her conception, she was preserved free from Original Sin and from every evil inclination and, throughout her life, she advanced, further and further, in the way of perfection.

We shall rise one day too, O Blessed Mother.
Grant in your great love for us that we may so imitate your example. to deserve to rise in glory and to be associated with you, in everlasting happiness.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/08/15/thought-for-the-day-15-august-the-assumption-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary/

Posted in MARIAN Aspirations and Ejaculations, MARIAN NOVENAS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, QUEENSHIP of MARY, The 4th Glorious Mystery - The ASSUMPTION, THE ASSUMPTION

Novena to Our Lady of the Assumption, the Ninth Day – 14 August

Novena to Our Lady of the Assumption

The Ninth Day:
Mary in Heaven,
the Help of Christians on Earth

Preparatory Prayer
by St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor of the Church

O Mary, Virgin most Blessed
and Mother of Our Lord
and Redeemer Jesus Christ,
through thy mercy I beseech thee,
to come to my aid
and to inspire me
with such confidence in thy power
that I may have recourse to thee,
pray to thee
and implore thy aid,
in all needs of soul and body.
Amen

Meditation:
Mary’s succour as Mother of mercy is not confined to individuals.
She is the protectress and helper of the whole Church.
All over the earth, wherever we cast our glance, in the records of the history of times, long past and those of recent occurrence, we find testimony of the graces and benefits, obtained through her intercession.
The feasts celebrated by the Church, throughout the year, what are they but evidences of gratitude, offered to the Queen of Heaven for the oftentimes, miraculous delivery from war, pestilence and other great afflictions?
Hence she is rightly invoked as the “Help of Christians.”

The processional Statue of St John Bosco’s Our Lady Help of Christians in Turin

Practice:
In our days, too, storms and dangers threaten the Church.
Let us, therefore, by calling on Mary for help, do our part toward shortening the days of visitation and trial.
Let us not confine our petitions, to her, within the narrow limits, of our own personal needs but let us join in the cry for assistance ascending to the Mother of mercy, throughout all Christendom.
Let us daily, for Holy Church, send up our petition to Mary’s heavenly throne: “Help of Christians, pray for us!”

Prayer of the Church: We beseech Thee, O Lord, pardon the shortcomings of Thy servants that we who, by our own works, are not able to please Thee, may be saved by the intercession of the Mother of Thy Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Novena Prayer: Day Nine

Glorious Virgin and Mother of God,
Mary, Queen of Heaven!
Forget us not!
Thou art the help of Christians;
lighten our tribulations
and help us with motherly intercession
at the throne of thy Divine Son.
With Holy Church,
I join in the petition to thee:
“Holy Mary, aid the miserable,
assist the desponding,
strengthen the weak,
pray for thy people,
plead for the clergy,
intercede for the devout mothers,
woman and consecrated woman.
Let all who have recourse to thee
experience the efficacy of thy succour!”
And my holy Mother and Queen,
forget not, my special petition …………….

Hail Mary …….

Ejaculation: Sweet heart of Mary be my salvation!

Indulgence. (1) 100 days, every time. (2) A Plenary Indulgence, once a month, on any day, to all who shall have said it everyday for a month, under the usual conditions.