The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Novena – First Day

          NOVENA IN PREPARATION FOR 
            THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE
               BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

                             FIRST DAY

                The Annunciation

           PREPARATORY PRAYER

My Queen, my Mother, remember I am thine own. Keep me, guard me, as thy property and possession!

                        MEDITATION

At Nazareth, a mountain village in Judea, lived poor and in obscurity Mary, the virgin selected by God to become the Mother of His Son. On March 25th she was in prayer in her chamber, and perhaps sent up to heaven the yearning petition, “Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just; let the earth be opened and bud a Saviour” (Is. xlv. 8). Behold, suddenly the chamber is suffused by a heavenly light. The archangel Gabriel stands reverently before her and says, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women. And when Mary heard the angel’s words, she was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be” (Luke i. 28, 29).

                   PRACTICE

The angel’s salutation comprises two titles of ineffable greatness. Mary is called “full of grace,” because of her innocence and purity; she is called “blessed among women,” because she is the elect Mother of God. Never before was a human being thus greeted. It was God Himself who sent the message to Mary. A good angel now repaired the harm once done by a bad angel. For Lucifer, the fallen angel, seduced Eve to sin and thereby caused the ruin of the whole human race; now another angel, Gabriel, was sent to announce the glad tidings to Mary, that she was to conceive the Redeemer from sin, who was to accomplish the salvation of mankind.

Mary was troubled at the angel’s words, and reflected on the meaning of the message. St. Ambrose writes: “Mary was troubled, not because the angel was a heavenly spirit, but because he appeared to her in the form of a youth. Still more was she troubled at the praises spoken to her. She was innocent and humble, and therefore reflected on the meaning of the message. She had always considered herself as a poor and unknown virgin; she deemed herself unworthy of God’s grace; therefore she was troubled at the salutation. In that decisive moment she was and remained our model.”

HAIL FULL OF GRACE

                   PRAYER

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we unto whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may, by His passion and cross, be brought to the glory of the resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.              

Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us,

Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.

God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.

Holy Mother of God, pray for us.

Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.

Mother of Christ, pray for us.

Mother of divine grace, pray for us.

Mother most pure, pray for us.

Mother most chaste, pray for us.

Mother inviolate, pray for us.

Mother undefiled, pray for us.

Mother most amiable, pray for us.

Mother most admirable, pray for us.

Mother of good counsel, pray for us.

Mother of our Creator, pray for us.

Mother of our Redeemer, pray for us.

Virgin most prudent, pray for us.

Virgin most venerable, pray for us.

Virgin most renowned, pray for us.

Virgin most powerful, pray for us.

Virgin most merciful, pray for us.

Virgin most faithful, pray for us.

Mirror of justice, pray for us.

Seat of wisdom, pray for us.

Cause of our joy, pray for us.

Spiritual vessel, pray for us.

Vessel of honor, pray for us.

Singular vessel of devotion, pray for us.

Mystical rose, pray for us.

Tower of David, pray for us.

Tower of ivory, pray for us.

House of gold, pray for us.

Ark of the covenant, pray for us.

Gate of heaven, pray for us.

Morning star, pray for us.

Health of the sick, pray for us.

Refuge of sinners, pray for us.

Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us.

Help of Christians, pray for us.

Queen of angels, pray for us.

Queen of patriarchs, pray for us.

Queen of prophets, pray for us.

Queen of apostles, pray for us.

Queen of martyrs, pray for us.

Queen of confessors, pray for us.

Queen of virgins, pray for us.

Queen of all saints, pray for us.

Queen conceived without original sin, pray for us.

Queen of the most holy rosary, pray for us.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: Have mercy on us, O Lord.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God:

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His passion and cross be brought to the glory of His resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

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NOVENA TO ST. GABRIEL THE ARCHANGEL

                             NOVENA TO

        ST. GABRIEL THE ARCHANGEL

                MARCH 15 – MARCH 23

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, I venerate you as the Angel of the Incarnation, because God specially appointed you to bear the messages concerning the God-Man to Daniel, Zechariah, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Give me a very tender and devoted love for the Incarnate Word and his Blessed Mother more like your own. I venerate you also as the “Strength from God” because you are the giver of God’s strength, consoler and comforter chosen to strengthen God’s faithful and teach them important truths. I ask for the grace of a special power of the will to strive for holiness of life.

Steady my resolutions; renew my courage; comfort and console me in the problems, trials and sufferings of daily living, as you consoled our Savior in his agony and Mary in her sorrows and Joseph in his trials. I put my confidence in you. Saint Gabriel I ask you especially for this favor…

         (Mention your request here).

Through your earnest love for the Son of God made man and for his Blessed Mother I beg of you, intercede for me that my request may be granted, if it be God’s holy will.

Pray for us, Saint Gabriel the Archangel, that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.

 

WEDNESDAY IN THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT

WEDNESDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT

                 STATION AT ST. CECILIA’S

(Indulgence of 10 years and 10 quarantines)

                          Violet vestments

The Station is in the basilica of Saint Cecily. This church, one of the most venerable in Rome, was the house of the illustrious virgin and martyr whose name it bears. The body of Saint Cecily is under the high altar, together with those of Saints Valerian, Tiburtius, and Maximus, and of the holy Popes Urban and Lucius, all martyrs.

                           Commentary

               By Fr. Leonard Goffine

        INTROIT – Psalm 37:22-23, 2

Ne derelínquas me, Dómine, Deus meus, ne discédas a me: inténde in adjutórium meum, Dómine, virtus salútis meæ. Ps 37:2. Dómine, ne in furóre tuo árguas me: neque in ira tua corrípias me. Glória Patri.

Forsake me not, O Lord; my God, be not far from me! Hasten to help me, O Lord, my salvation! Ps. O Lord, in Your anger punish me not, in Your wrath chastise me not. Glory be to the Father.

                     COLLECT

Look mercifully upon Your people, we beseech You, O Lord, and grant that they whom You command to abstain from food, may also refrain from harmful vices. Through our Lord.

EPISTLE – Esther 13:8-11,15-17

In those days, Mardochai prayed to the Lord, saying: O Lord, Lord, almighty King, for all things are in Your power, and there is none that can resist Your will, if You determine to save Israel. You have made heaven and earth, and all things that are under the cope of heaven. You are Lord of all, and there is none that can resist Your Majesty. And now, O Lord, O King, O God of Abraham, have mercy on Your people, because our enemies resolve to destroy us, and extinguish Your inheritance. Despise not Your portion, which You have redeemed for Yourself out of Egypt. Hear my supplication, and be merciful to Your lot and inheritance, and turn our mourning into joy, that we may live and praise Your Name, O Lord, and shut not the mouths of those who sing to You, O Lord our God.

Aman, one of the favorites of the Persian King Assuerus, aspired in his pride and conceit to divine honors. Mardochai, a Jew and foster-father of Queen Esther, refused them to him, because they are due only to God. In revenge Aman sought to destroy all the Jews, and bring Mardochai to the gallows, which he had already erected for him. In this strait Mardochai prayed to God, and his prayer was heard. Aman himself, when his evil intentions became known, was hung on the very gallows he had prepared for Mardochai. Consider the effect of Mardochai’s prayer, and on the truth that God ruins the proud (Luke i. 52.), and that he who diggeth a pit for his neighbor, generally falls in it himself.

       GRADUAL – Psalm 27: 9, 1

Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thine inheritance. Unto Thee have I cried, O Lord my God; be not Thou silent to me, lest I become like to them that go down into the pit.

TRACT – Psalm 102: 10; 78: 8, 9

O Lord, deal with us not according to our sins, nor requite us according to our crimes.  Ps. O Lord, remember not against us the iniquities of the past; may Your compassion quickly come to us, for we are brought very low. [Kneel.] V. Help us, O God, our Saviour, because of the glory of Your Name, O Lord; deliver us and pardon our sins for Your Name’s sake.

Dante’s first example of humility is taken from the Annunciation – Canto 10

GOSPEL – Matthew 20:17-28

At that time, as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and said to them: Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the Scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and will deliver Him to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified; and on the third day He will rise again. Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Him with her sons; and worshipping, she made a request of Him. He said to her: What do you want? She said to Him: Command that these my two sons may sit, one at Your right hand and one at Your left hand, in Your kingdom. But Jesus answered and said: You do not know what you are asking for. Can you drink of the cup of which I am about to drink? They said to Him: We can. He said to them: Of My cup you shall indeed drink; but as for sitting at My right hand and at My left, that is not Mine to give you, but it belongs to those for whom it has been prepared by My Father. And when the ten heard this, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to Him, and said: You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. Not so is it among you. On the contrary, whoever wishes to become great among shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; even as the Son the Man has not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.

For the last time the Saviour goes to Jerusalem, and, on His way, announces His death on the cross to the twelve apostles. Of this St. Chrysostom says: “The salvation of men is all in the death of Christ, and there is nothing for which we should thank God more than for the death of His Son. Therefore, Christ took the twelve apostles aside, and told them of the mystery of His death, that this precious treasure might be enclosed in the best hearts, that is, in the hearts of the apostles,” that they might give it to all men.

     To the ambitious request of the mother of James and John, Jesus replied, that they must indeed suffer, but to sit on His right hand He could not give. Of this St. Remigius and St. Bede write: “It is not suitable for me to give them the place on my right hand, because you are ambitious. This place is prepared for the humble. If you are humble, it is also ready for you.” See how necessary is humility, for even martyrdom is not rewarded without it.

ST. PATRICK NOVENA – THIRD DAY

             NOVENA TO ST. PATRICK  

                                 Third Day        

O Blessed Apostle of Ireland! glorious St. Patrick! who didst become my father and benefactor long before my birth, receive my prayers, and accept the sentiments of gratitude and veneration with which my heart is filled towards thee. Thou wert the channel of the greatest graces to me; deign then to become also the channel of my grateful thanksgivings to God for having granted me, through thee, that precious gift of faith, which is dearer than life. O most blessed father, and patron of my country! do not, I beseech thee, despise my weakness. Remember, that the cries of little children were the mysterious invitation thou didst receive to come among us. Listen then to my most humble supplications; I unite them to the praises and blessings which will ever follow thy name and thy memory throughout the Irish Church; I unite them to the prayers of the multitude of my ancestors, who now enjoy eternal bliss, and owe their salvation, under God, to thy zeal and charity. They will eternally share thy glory, because they listened to thy word, and followed thy example. Ah! since I am descended from saints, may I blush to differ from them; may I begin from this moment to love God with all my heart, and serve him with all my strength. For this end I most humbly beg thy blessing, O great St. Patrick! and thy particular intercession, for obtaining whatever grace thou seest to be most necessary for me, and also the particular intentions of this Novena.

         (Mention intentions here)

O charitable Shepherd of the Irish Flock! who wouldst have laid down a thousand lives to save one soul, take my soul, and the souls of all Christians, under thy special care, and preserve us from the dreadful misfortune of sin. Thy zealous preaching provided us the blessings of religious instructions which we now enjoy; obtain that none of us may receive them in vain. Thou didst teach our ancestors how to connect the pursuit of virtue with that of science; deign also to take my studies under thy protection, and to obtain for me the grace to sanctify them by a pure motive of pleasing God and my superiors. I most humbly recommend to thee this country, which was so dear to thee while on earth. Protect it still; and above all, obtain for its pastors, particularly those who instruct us, the grace to walk in thy footsteps, that they may share in thy eternal bliss.

LITANY OF ST. PATRICK

V. Lord have mercy on us
R. Lord have mercy on us.

V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.

V. Christ, hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of heaven, Have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us.
St. Patrick, Pray for us.
St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland, Pray for us.
St. Patrick, most worthy in God’s eyes, Pray for us.
St. Patrick, model of Bishops, Pray for us.
St. Patrick, enemy of infidelity, Pray for us.
St. Patrick, truly humble, Pray for us.
St. Patrick, always trying to do good, Pray for us.
St. Patrick, example of charity, Pray for us.
St. Patrick, patron of our Congregation, Pray for us.
St. Patrick, teacher of the true faith, Pray for us.
St. Patrick, our powerful protector, Pray for us.
St. Patrick, our compassionate helper, Pray for us.

V. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,
R. Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, O glorious St. Patrick
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

           Let us pray

O God, you sent your blessed servant St. Patrick, to teach and save the people of his time and place. You gave our Patron a loving heart like your own. You filled him with great faith and a burning desire to work hard for your kingdom. Please listen when he prays for us, his sons. Grant to us, though his intercession, a lively faith, a firm hope and a strong will to build your Kingdom. Amen.

 St. Patrick, ora pro nobis!

MEDITATIONS FOR LENT – FIRST FRIDAY

                   First Friday of Lent

THE FEAST OF THE HOLY LANCE AND 

           THE NAILS OF OUR LORD

              By St. Thomas Aquinas

 

One of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, and immediately there came out blood and water. John xix. 34.

  1. The gospel deliberately says opened and not wounded, because through Our Lord s side there was opened to us the gate of eternal life. After these things I looked, and behold a gate was opened in heaven. (Apoc. iv. i). This is the door opened in the ark, through which enter the animals who will not perish in the flood.
  1. But this door is the cause of our salvation. Immediately there came forth blood and water a thing truly miraculous, that, from a dead body, in which the blood congeals, blood should come forth. This was done to show that by the Passion of Christ we receive a full absolution, an absolution from every sin and every stain. We receive this absolution from sin through that blood which is the price of our redemption. You were not redeemed with corruptible things as gold or silver from your vain conversation with the tradition of your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled (1Pet. i. 18).

We were absolved from every stain by the water, which is the laver of our redemption. In the prophet Ezechiel it is said, I will pour upon you clean water and you shall be cleaned from all your filthiness (Ezech. xxxvi. 28), and in Zacharias, There shall be a fountain open to the house of David and to the in habitants of Jerusalem for the washing of the sinner and the unclean woman (Zach. xiii. i).

And so these two things may be thought of in relation to two of the sacraments, the water to baptism and the blood to the Holy Eucharist. Or both may be referred to the Holy Eucharist since, in the Mass, water is mixed with the wine. Although the water is not of the substance of the sacrament. Again, as from the side of Christ asleep in death on the cross there flowed that blood and water in which the Church is consecrated, so from the side of the sleeping Adam was formed the first woman, who herself foreshadowed the Church. (In John xix.)

MEDITATIONS FOR LENT – FIRST THURSDAY

                   MEDITATIONS FOR LENT

                 By St. Thomas Aquinas

                               First Thursday

 IT WAS FITTING THAT CHRIST SHOULD BE

             CRUCIFIED WITH THE THIEVES

Christ was crucified between the thieves because such was the will of the Jews, and also because this was part of God s design. But the reasons why this was appointed were not the same in each of these cases.

  1. As far as the Jews were concerned Our Lord was crucified with the thieves on either side to encourage the suspicion that he too was a criminal. But it fell out otherwise. The thieves themselves have left not a trace in the remembrance of man, while His cross is everywhere held in honour. Kings laying aside their crowns have broidered the cross on their royal robes. They have placed it on their crowns; on their arms. It has its place on the very altars. Everywhere, throughout the world, we behold the splendour of the cross. In God’s plan Christ was crucified with the thieves in order that, as for our sakes he became accursed of the cross, so, for our salvation, he is crucified like an evil thing among evil things.
  1. The Pope, St. Leo the Great, says that the thieves were crucified, one on either side of him, so that in the very appearance of the scene of his suffering there might be set forth that distinction which should be made in the judgment of each one of us. St. Augustine has the same thought. The cross itself, he says, was a tribunal. In the centre was the judge. To the one side a man who believed and was set free, to the other side a scoffer and he was condemned. Already there was made clear the final fate of the living and the dead, the one class placed at his right, the other on his left.
  1. According to St. Hilary the two thieves, placed to right and to left, typify that the whole of mankind is called to the mystery of Our Lord’s Passion. And since division of things according to right and left is made with reference to believers and those who will not believe, one of the two, placed on the right, is saved by justifying faith.
  1. As St. Bede says, the thieves who were crucified with Our Lord, represent those who for the faith and to confess Christ undergo the agony of martyrdom or the severe discipline of a more perfect life. Those who do this for the sake of eternal glory are typified by the thief on the right hand. Those whose motive is the admiration of whoever beholds them imitate the spirit and the act of the thief on the left-hand side.

As Christ owed no debt in payment for which a man must die, but submitted to death of his own will, in order to overcome death, so also he had not done anything on account of which he deserved to be put with the thieves. But of his own will he chose to be reckoned among the wicked, that by his power he might destroy wickedness itself. Which is why St. John Chrysostom says that to convert the thief on the cross and to turn him to Paradise was as great a miracle as the earthquake.

ST. PATRICK NOVENA

ST PATRICK MARCH 17

        NOVENA TO ST. PATRICK           

             MARCH 8 – MARCH 16        

O Blessed Apostle of Ireland! glorious St. Patrick! who didst become my father and benefactor long before my birth, receive my prayers, and accept the sentiments of gratitude and veneration with which my heart is filled towards thee. Thou wert the channel of the greatest graces to me; deign then to become also the channel of my grateful thanksgivings to God for having granted me, through thee, that precious gift of faith, which is dearer than life. O most blessed father, and patron of my country! do not, I beseech thee, despise my weakness. Remember, that the cries of little children were the mysterious invitation thou didst receive to come among us. Listen then to my most humble supplications; I unite them to the praises and blessings which will ever follow thy name and thy memory throughout the Irish Church; I unite them to the prayers of the multitude of my ancestors, who now enjoy eternal bliss, and owe their salvation, under God, to thy zeal and charity. They will eternally share thy glory, because they listened to thy word, and followed thy example. Ah! since I am descended from saints, may I blush to differ from them; may I begin from this moment to love God with all my heart, and serve him with all my strength. For this end I most humbly beg thy blessing, O great St. Patrick! and thy particular intercession, for obtaining whatever grace thou seest to be most necessary for me, and also the particular intentions of this Novena.

         (Mention intentions here)

O charitable Shepherd of the Irish Flock! who wouldst have laid down a thousand lives to save one soul, take my soul, and the souls of all Christians, under thy special care, and preserve us from the dreadful misfortune of sin. Thy zealous preaching provided us the blessings of religious instructions which we now enjoy; obtain that none of us may receive them in vain. Thou didst teach our ancestors how to connect the pursuit of virtue with that of science; deign also to take my studies under thy protection, and to obtain for me the grace to sanctify them by a pure motive of pleasing God and my superiors. I most humbly recommend to thee this country, which was so dear to thee while on earth. Protect it still; and above all, obtain for its pastors, particularly those who instruct us, the grace to walk in thy footsteps, that they may share in thy eternal bliss. Amen.

V. Pray for us, O glorious saint Patrick.

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.