The Immaculate Conception in the Divine Will – Novena from November 29th to December 8th

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 NOVENA FROM NOVEMBER 29 to DECEMBER 8
Pray for Luisa’s intersession
to receive the Graces
 of December 8th of the Feast  Immaculate Conception
through the Divine Will.

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From the Writings of
The Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta
The Little Daughter of the Divine Will

 

 

BOOK OF HEAVEN  Volume 34 – December 8, 1936)

“My child, I want to honor my Celestial Mother.  I want to narrate to you the story of her Immaculate Conception.  Only I Who am the Author can worthily speak of this great, prodigious Act.  Her acts, her words, her steps—before having life in her person—were first conceived in Me, Son of the Living God.  Her love, incarnate in Mine, enclosed everything and everyone and loved as God loves, with the same madness toward Us—and toward all creatures.  Even her prayer was conceived in Mine.

“…My child, really no one is qualified to speak of the Immaculate Conception of my Divine Mother.  Even Holy Church, up till now, did not reveal but tiny bits of knowledge of her sanctity, of her greatness, and of the gifts with which She was enriched.  Only I, having conceived Her in Me, can narrate the true story of her life, and reveal the marvels that were accomplished in Her by our Divine Fiat.”

NOVENA OF THE IMMACULATE

 Introduction

Luisa wrote this novena as a little example of how to thank and requite God for the Most Holy Virgin (e.g. Dec.18, 1920 Volume 12); of how to thank and requite our Celestial Mother Herself (e.g. June 26, 1926 Volume 19), and of how to put into practice the teachings contained in the chapters about the Immaculate Conception (e.g. Dec.8, 1922 Volume 15).  More than simply reciting it with words, we should follow it with the will, truly uniting ourselves to the acts that Luisa did. (J.L. Acuña)

“Day”, in God, means the time in which one operates and acts…  And when it is a Divine Will that operates and acts, then a “day” becomes an eternity, and the acts or works done in that “day” are infinite and inexhaustible goods placed at everyone’s disposal.  The six “days” of Creation are not yet ended, because God continues to operate, in every instant, by preserving all things and maintaining them in existence.  The “day” of the creation of man, in which God says, “Let us make man in our Image and Likeness”and infuses His life-giving breath in him, is certainly not ended, because this act of God is eternal and continuously in act, and from this act we receive life and preservation at this very moment!  The seventh “day”, then, is the eternal day in which God, far from ceasing to operate, actively enjoys and delights in His works, resting in them because they fulfill the purpose for which He made them.  The longed-for seventh day is the Kingdom of His Will reigning on earth as it does in Heaven – the eternal perennial sunny day in which man possesses the Will of God as his own life, and does all that God does together with Him, in perfect Unity and mutual Rest.

With this novena of nine “days”, Luisa is calling us to enter the Divine Will and participate actively – with our acts – in the eternal Day of the Will of God.  Every single act of love, of reparation, of thanksgiving that we do in the Divine Will fills Heaven and earth, and all eternity.  Therefore, each “day” of this novena can be an eternity of love and glory that we give to God, and of good that we do for all, if we call His very Will to animate and vivify all of our acts.  But eternity never ends…! In the same, this novena must never end within us!   Indeed Luisa wrote it for us in order to help us to acquire and to exercise, for “ninety times nine days”, the continuous attitude of going around in the Divine Will, to trace all of Its acts and repeat them within us, so as to let Divine Life grow in us, increasing our Likeness to our Creator and Father, and therefore fulfilling the purpose for which we were created!

How infinitely greater and more profound than a simple devotion or pious practice!  Thank you Luisa.  Guide us in this eternal Day!

 

Day One

Let us honor Mary with nine acts of love.  Let us do these acts in the Divine Will, so as to be able to place a most refulgent Sun over the august head of our Queen, with all the fullness of grace, of light and all the good which the Divine Will contains.

  • In the first act we will give to Mary all the love of the Father.
  • In the second, the love of the Son.
  • In the third, the love of the Holy Spirit.
  • In the fourth, the very love of Her Heart of Mother.
  • In the fifth, the love of the Angels.
  • In the sixth, the love of the Saints,
  • In the seventh, the love of all present creatures.
  • In the eighth, the love of all the creatures who will come.
  • In the ninth, the love of all of Purgatory.

Ejaculatory prayer:  O Sacrosanct Trinity, send a flow of your love into my heart, that it may be enflamed completely with love, so as to form, with your own love, a most refulgent Sun over the august head of our Queen.

 

Day Two

In creating the world, God lavished so many beauties as to leave the mark of His beauty everywhere.  He did this first, in order to prepare a sweet dwelling for the Humanity of Jesus who was to come upon earth, and also for the Virgin, the purest, holiest and most beautiful creature after Jesus.

Let us enter into the Divine Will; let us make all this love our own – the love which God transfused into Creation:  in the Sun, in the moon, in the stars, in the flowers…, and let us give it to the Virgin, so that She may receive, not a love from nature, but the love of all Three Divine Persons, loving Her within this nature.

Ejaculatory prayer:  My God, infuse in my heart all the love which is spread in Creation, so that, as I go to the Virgin, I may give Her all the love and glory that You placed in the Creation.

 

Day Three

As soon as She was conceived, Mary offered Her first adorations.  All Three Divine Persons concurred in the conception of Mary.  The Father inundated Her with a sea of Wisdom; the Son, with a sea of Sanctity; the Holy Spirit, with a sea of Love.  From the union of these three seas came Mary, the most perfect of all creatures; and, newly conceived, She did Her first act of adoration.

Together with the sweet Mama, let us do a round in the Will of God:  let us take all the adorations of all creatures, animate and inanimate, and in the flight of each thought, of each gaze, of each word, of each ray of the Sun, in the twinkling of the stars and in the murmuring of the waters, let us give to the Father a continuous and complete act of adoration.

Ejaculatory prayer:  My Mama, for the sake of that first act of adoration which You did for God, let it be that my mind, my heart, my affections, my desires and all of my being, may, from now on, be but one continuous act of adoration.

 

Day Four

After the act of adoration, on seeing Herself enriched with all the gifts of the Sacrosanct Trinity which competed with Itself in filling Her with graces – confused, the Virgin prostrated Herself before the Supreme Majesty and offered all of Herself as an act of sacrifice, keeping nothing for Herself – not even one thought, one gaze, one word, one affection or one heartbeat.  Then She looked at the world, and on seeing the ruin of so many souls, She offered all of Herself for the salvation of these souls.

And we – in obsequy, beginning from the morning, let us do a round in the Divine Will together with our Mama, offering all of our thoughts, our gazes, our words, etc. in a spirit of sacrifice and for the salvation of souls.

Ejaculatory prayer:  My Mama, I come to your feet, I throw myself into your arms; and You, pour all of your love into my heart, so as to infuse in me the love of sacrifice of the mind, of the heart, of the will and of all my being.

 

Day Five

After the act of sacrifice, the Virgin turned Her gaze to the world, and upon seeing the immense number of souls that were lost and all the evil committed, from the first father Adam up to the last creature, having before Her all generations, past, present and future, She did Her first act of reparation – the most complete act, because it embraced all, and each thought, gaze, word, step and affection of all creatures!

And we – together with our Mama, always fused in the Divine Will, we will do our acts of reparation for all creatures, for each gaze, for each word etc.

Ejaculatory prayer:  My Mama, take my heart in your hands, and hold it very tightly, so as to infuse in me the true spirit of reparation.

 

Day six

Upon seeing the many offenses that are given, the Virgin felt Her Heart catch with sorrow, and from that moment She began Her continuous, uninterrupted prayer for the good of all.

And we – let us unite with our Mama to do what She did together with Her, so as to bind Heaven and earth once again, which sin had disunited.

Ejaculatory prayer:  My Mama, press me to your maternal Heart, and with your heartbeats infuse in me the spirit of true prayer, so as to impetrate from God that His Will reign in all hearts.

 

Day Seven

From the very first instant of Her conception, the Virgin, the greatest of all Saints, never let one thought, one gaze, one word, one sigh escape Her – She did everything in the Divine Will.

And we – today let us unite our thought to the Divine thought, our gaze, our word, our actions to the Divine; in this way we will form another Sun ray which will shine over the august head of our Queen.

Ejaculatory prayer:  My Mama, I unite myself with You; let all of my being live always in the Divine Will.

 

Day Eight

In order to fill the void which was produced, before the Divine Majesty, by the lack of thanksgiving for having given us a Mother so great, preserving Her from original sin, we will do nine acts of thanksgiving in the Supreme Volition in the name of all creatures, from Adam up to the last creature which will exist on earth.  And then, nine acts of thanksgiving to the Virgin, for having accepted us as Her children, though ungrateful and inconsiderate of such a great favor.

Ejaculatory prayer:  My Mama, You who are the fullness of grace, reserve it in my heart, that I may thank God for having preserved You from original sin.

 

Day Nine

We will honor the first tears that Our Lady shed before the Divinity.

It was then that God, on seeing in Her the littleness crying – She, who is little and great, little and strong, little and bright, on whom everything depends – touched and softened, was moved to let His Son descend upon earth.

And we – today we will do a round in the Divine Will and, for nine times, we will gather all the human tears that have been shed, are shed and will be shed on earth until the end of the world, and we will bring them all onto lap of our Mama, that She may take them before the Divine Majesty and change them all into tears of conversion and of love.

Ejaculatory prayer:  My Mama, let your tears descend into my heart, that it may be softened, and if it is bad it may be converted, if it is good it may be sanctified.  And then, let them descend into the hearts of creatures, so that all may be converted.

 

Feast Day

Today, for nine times, let us honor Mary by thanking the Divine Will for having given Her to us as our Queen, as our Mother and as our Intercessor.  Then we will recite nine ‘Glory Be’s’ for the nine choirs of Angels, praying them to unite with us in giving to Mary all that ever increasing glory which the Divine Will contains.  And submerging all Angels and all Saints in this Divine Will, we will give Mary all the glory which befits Her, and which is due to Her.

Ejaculatory prayer:  My Mama, Queen of all, reign and take dominion over all, and let all recognize You for who You are.

Click here for more Readings on the Immaculate Conception

Pray the following in the Divine Will, in the Name of Jesus, Under the Mantle of Mary and through the intercession of Luisa, the Little Daughter of the Divine Will

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THE REQUEST OF OUR BLESSED MOTHER FOR THE HOUR OF GRACE

MARIA ROSA MYSTICA

REQUEST OF BLESSED MOTHER FOR THE HOUR OF GRACE

1. Day and time of Hour of Grace – December 8th, Feast of the Immaculate Conception – to be started at 12 noon and continue until 1 pm for one full hour of prayer.

2. During this hour the person making the ‘Hour of Grace’ either at home or in the Church must put away all distractions but totally concentrate on your union with God during this Special Hour of Grace.

3. Begin the Hour of Grace by praying three times the 51st Psalm with outstretched arms

4. The rest of the Hour of Grace may be spent in silent communication with God, meditating upon the Passion of Jesus, saying the Holy Rosary, praising God in your own way or by using favorite prayers, singing hymns, meditating upon other Psalms, etc.

Seventh Apparition on 8th December, 1947.

On this great feast countless priest were present. It was only with a great deal of effort that Pierina was able to get into the Basilica. She knelt in the center of the church, just where the other apparitions had taken place. During the recitation of the Holy Rosary, Pierina called out: “Oh, Our Lady!”

Great silence ensued! Our Lady appeared on a large white staircase, decorated with a white, red and yellow rose. She said with a smile: I am the Immaculate Conception. And descending several steps with great majesty She continued: I am Mary, full of grace, Mother of My Divine Son Jesus Christ. Descending even more, She said: Through my coming to Montichiari, I wish to be known as the

ROSA MYSTICA

It is my wish that every year, on 8th December, at noon, the HOUR OF GRACE FOR THE WORLD

be celebrated . Many divine and bodily graces will be received through this devotion.

Our Lord, my Divine Son Jesus, will send His overflowing mercy if good people will pray continuously for their sinful brother. One should very soon notify the Holy Father of the Church, Pope Pius XII, that it is my wish that the HOUR OF GRACE FOR THE WORLD be made known and spread throughout the world. If anyone is unable to visit his church, yet will pray at noon at home, he will also receive graces through me. Whoever prays on these tiles and weeps tears of penance, will find a secure heavenly ladder and receive protection and grace through my motherly heart.

Then Our Lady showed Pierina her heart and said: Look at this heart which loves mankind so very much, but most people only shower offenses upon it. If the good and the bad unite in prayer they will obtain mercy and peace through this heart. The Lord is still protecting the good and is holding back a great punishment because of my intercession. Our Lady smiled again and went on: Soon one will recognize the greatness of this Hour of Grace.

When Pierina saw that Our Lady was going to depart, she said: “Dear Lady, I thank you! Bless my homeland Italy and the whole world, but especially the Holy Father, the priest, the religious, and the sinners.”

Our Lady replied: I have already prepared a flood of graces for all the children who listen to my words and keep them in their hearts. She assured Pierina that she would return at a suitable time when the Secret entrusted to her, would be made public through the Ecclesiastical authority. Our Lady then said ‘good-bye’.

Psalm 51

Prayer for Cleansing and Pardon

To the leader. A Psalm of David, when the prophet Nathan came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

1  Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.

3  For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
4  Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence
and blameless when you pass judgment.
5  Indeed, I was born guilty,
a sinner when my mother conceived me.

6  You desire truth in the inward being;a
therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
7  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8  Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
9  Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.

10  Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and rightb spirit within me.
11  Do not cast me away from your presence,
and do not take your holy spirit from me.
12  Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in me a willingc spirit.

13  Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
14  Deliver me from bloodshed, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.

15  O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16  For you have no delight in sacrifice;
if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased.
17  The sacrifice acceptable to Godd is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

18  Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,
19  then you will delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

During the period of November 24, 1946 to December 8, 1947, Our Blessed Mother appeared to Sister Pierrina in a little church in Montichiari, Italy, eleven times.

On the first appearance Our Blessed Mother told Sister Pierrina that She wanted to be known as the ‘Mystical Rose’ and that an Hour of Grace should be kept at noon on December 8th in all the Catholic Churches of the world. Our Blessed Mother wanted this to be known through all of Italy and the entire world.

It was November 16, 1947 when Sister Pierrina was finishing her thanksgiving after Holy Communion when she saw a great light. She then saw a vision of Our Blessed Mother as the ‘Mystical Rose.’

Sister was so deeply moved by the stunning beauty of Our Lady that she began talking to Her. All of a sudden a gentle force made her kneel down in front of Our Lady. The Blessed Mother spoke these words.

“My Son is greatly offended by the sins of impurity. He is already planning to send the deluge upon the people, for their destruction, but I have asked him to show mercy and not send the destruction. So that is why I have appeared to ask for penance and atonement for the sins of impurity.”

Then Our Blessed Mother asked for an Act of Humility by Sister Pierrina. She asked her to make the sign of the cross with her tongue on each of the stones in the Sanctuary. “This shall be a reminder to the people that I have appeared here and do not have the people step on those stones.”

Our Blessed Mother then stepped on each of the stones so that Her gown touched all four stones.

On the 22nd of November, Sister Pierrina felt the overwhelming urge to go to Church at 4:00. The Mother Superior, four Sisters and a group of friends accompanied her. They were all saying the Rosary when the Blessed Mother appeared as before.

She instructed Sister Pierrina to make the sign of the cross on the stones and fence them off so that no one would step on them.

Again Our Lady asked for penance. She said “Penance is nothing more than accepting all your crosses daily willingly. No matter how small, accept them with love”.

At this time, she told sister Pierrina to come again on December 8th at noon. “This will be My Hour of Grace.” The Sister asked how she was to prepare for this Hour of Grace? To which Our Blessed Mother replied, “With Prayers and Penance. Pray the 51st Psalm with outstretched arms three times. During the Hour of Grace, many spiritual graces will be granted. The most hard-hearted sinners will be touched by the grace of God.”

The Blessed Virgin promised that whatever a person asked Her for during this Hour of Grace (even in impossible cases) would be granted to them, if it was in accordance with the Will of the Eternal Father.

It was December 7th when Sister Pierrina felt the urge to go to Church. This time she was accompanied by the Priest and the Mother Superior.

The Blessed Mother appeared with a young boy and girl dressed in beautiful white clothing. Sister Pierrina was sure these little ones were angels because they were so beautiful.

The Blessed Mother said “Tomorrow I will show you My Immaculate Heart which is so little known among the people.”
She asked people to pray for Russia. “There are so many people being held prisoners which their families know nothing of because they have been gone for so many years. Pray for the conversion of Russia, the suffering of the soldiers and their sacrifices and martyrdom will bring peace to Italy.

The little children are Francisco and Jacinta. I am giving them to you as your companions. You will have much to suffer for My sake. I want simplicity and goodness from you as of these little children.” The Blessed Mother then blessed Sister Pierrina, the Priest and all those who were gathered there.

On the morning of December 8th people began arriving at the little Church at 8:00 in the morning from neighboring towns. By noon, some 10,000 people had gathered to see the Blessed Mother, many of whom had to stand outside because the Church did not have enough room for the large crowd.

Sister Pierrina was accompanied to Church by her Mother and Brothers, the Mother Superior and the Chief of Police from Montichiari. Sister was reciting the Rosary with the crowd in the middle of the Church.

Suddenly a brilliant white light appeared from the ceiling. Stairs were coming from the light down to the floor of the Church about fifteen feet in length. The staircase was beautifully decorated with red, white and yellow roses.

The Blessed Virgin appeared so radiant, dressed in white, with Her Hands folded. She was standing on a splendid carpet at the top of the stairs made of the red, white and yellow roses.

In the most gentle and loving voice, Our Lady smiled and began to speak.

“I am the Immaculate Conception, the Mother of all Graces and the Mother of my Beloved Son, Jesus.

I wish to be known as the Mystical Rose. My wish is that every year on the 8th of December at noon an ‘Hour of Grace’ will be installed. Many spiritual Graces and physical blessings will be received by those who pray undisturbed during this hour.”

Then slowly she began to ascend the staircase gracefully scattering roses as She went along until She reached midway of the staircase. Here again Our Blessed Mother spoke.

“I am very happy to see this great demonstration of Faith.”

Sister Pierrina asked for many of the sinners to be forgiven. Our Blessed Mother replied

“My Divine Son will show his Greatest Mercy as much as the people will pray for them. I want this to be known and told to Pope Pius XII. Tell him I wish him to install the ‘Hour of Grace’ throughout the whole world and those who are not able to go to Church during this time, may obtain this Grace in their homes at noon”.

She also asked that a Statue be made and placed on the spot where She stood. This should be called the ‘Rosa Mystica’ and carried in procession through the town at which time many Graces will be given and cures will take place. Then the Statue is to be returned to the Church.

Our Lady prayed for the sick, some will be cured others not. Many men, women and children were cured at that very instant.

A twenty-six year old woman who could not say a word for nine months, suddenly began shouting, “I see Her. I see the Blessed Virgin.”

An eighteen year old girl with ulcers was instantly cured.

A five year old boy who had been paralyzed was told by Our Blessed Mother

“Come to Me, you will be walking now.”

He was placed on the Blessed Stones and was able to walk.

There were three others who were very sick and were immediately cured. But of course, the greatest miracles taking place were those of the spiritual blessings being shed upon the people gathered in the Church.

Our Blessed Mother said “This is the last time I will come here. Pray, weep and do penance on these Stones and you will receive the care of My Motherly Heart.”

She then left the little Church, but because of the Unending Love of Our Heavenly Mother, She has given us the ‘Hour of Grace’ to be spread throughout the entire world. She had given all people the opportunity to demonstrate our love and trust to Her and to help make reparation for the grievous sins offending Her Beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena

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M_Christmas Novena St Anthony

The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena
is often called simply the “Christmas Anticipation Prayer,”

it is prayed 15 times every day from the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle (November 30) until Christmas.

It is addressed to God Himself, asking Him to grant our request in honor of the birth of His Son at Christmas.

The prayer is prayed 15 times each day, all at once; or divide up the recitation as necessary (perhaps five times at each meal).

A very good way to help focus the attention of your children on the Advent Season.

The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena

“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 piercing cold.

In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God!

to hear my prayer and grant my desires,

through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ,

and of His Blessed Mother.” Amen.

Blessing of Christmas Tree

a_angel-bellchrist-tree-and-child

This blessing may be made by any family, led by one of the parents or one of the children.

Verse.  Our help is in the name of the Lord.

Response.  Who hath made heaven and earth.

All say the antiphon:

Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for He is come.

PSALM 95

Sing unto the Lord a new song; * Sing unto the Lord, all the earth.

Sing unto the Lord, bless His name, * Proclaim His salvation from day to day.

Declare His glory among the Gentiles, * His marvelous works among all the peoples.

For great is the Lord, and highly to be praised; * He is to be feared above all gods.

For all the gods of the peoples are idols, * But the Lord made the heavens.

Honor and majesty are before Him: * Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

Give to the Lord, ye kindreds of the peoples, * Give to the Lord glory and strength.  * Give to the Lord the glory due unto His name.

Offer sacrifice, and come into His courts. * O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

Tremble before Him, all the earth. * Say among the heathen: ‘The Lord Reigneth.’

The world also is established that it cannot be moved; * He will judge the peoples with equity.

Let the heavens be glad and let the earth rejoice; * Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof; * Let the field exult, and all that is therein.

Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy; *

Before the Lord, for He is come; * For He is come to judge the earth.

He will judge the world with righteousness, * And the peoples in His truth.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be; * world without end.  Amen

The antiphon is repeated:

Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for He is come.

A member of the family reads the following Lesson from the Prophet Ezechiel (xvii, 22-24):

Thus saith the Lord God:  I Myself will take the top of the high cedar, and will set it:  I will crop off a tender twig from the top of the branches thereof,

and I will plant it on a mountain high and eminent.  On the high mountains of Israel will I plant it, and it shall shoot forth into branches, and shall bear fruit,

and it shall become a great cedar; and all birds shall dwell under it, and every fowl shall make its nest under the shadow of the branches thereof.

And all the trees of the country shall know that I the Lord have brought down the high tree, and exalted the low tree; and have dried up the green tree,

and have caused the dry tree to flourish.  I the Lord have spoken and have done it.

R.  Thanks be to God.

V.  And there shall come forth a shoot.

R.  Out of the root of Jesse.

V.  In Him was life.

R.  And the life was the light of men.

V.  O Lord hear my prayer.

R.  And let my cry come unto Thee.

V.  The Lord be with you.

R.  And with thy spirit.

Let us pray:

Holy Lord, Father Almighty, Eternal God, who hast caused Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to be planted like a tree of life

in Thy Church by being born of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, bless, we beseech Thee, this tree that all who see it may be filled

with a holy desire to be ingrafted as living branches into the same Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end.

R.  Amen.

12/3 St. Nicholas, co-patron of Bari, Italy along with San Sabino

S_St Nicholas
St. Nicholas
Feast Day is December 6th

The charm of Nicholas is fueled by the mystery about his origins, since very little or nothing is known of his family or childhood. He was probably born in Patara in Lycia (today’s Turkey), between 261 and 280, from Epiphanius and Joanna who were affluent Christians. He grew in an environment of Christian faith, but lost his parents prematurely because of the plague, and became therefore a wealthy man. About that period is dated the so-called Miracle of the three girls, masterfully represented by a painting of Sebastian Dayg (1525), as well as by Beato Angelico.

At this point however history fades into legend: a nobleman of Patara had become poor and decided to start his three daughters of marriageable age into prostitution because he could not marry them decently; Nicola learned of that situation and on three consecutive nights threw into the man’s house three cloth bundles full of gold coins, so that the three girls could have a dowry. On the third night the father stayed awake to discover who the benefactor was, but Nicholas asked him not to reveal what had happened. Also for this episode he is revered as a protector of children.

Later on, Nicholas left his hometown and moved to Myra (now Demre, Turkey) where he was ordained as a priest. On the death of the metropolitan bishop of Myra, he was hailed by the people as the new bishop. Imprisoned and exiled in 305 during the persecution by Diocletian, he was later freed by Constantine in 313 and continued his apostolic activity. It is not certain that he was one of the 318 participants at the Council of Nicea in 325: according to the tradition, however, during the Council he condemned Arianism defending the Catholic faith, and in a rush of rage he is said to have slapped Arius. The writings of Andrew of Crete, and Johannes Damascene confirm his faith was rooted in the principles of Catholic orthodoxy.

A famous episode in the life of Nicholas took place when Roman troops commanded by General Nepotianus, Ursus and Erpilion stopped at Myra during an expedition to quell a rebellion in Phrygia. The presence of soldiers in the city created riots, and in the ensuing chaos, the corrupt governor Eustathius agreed to condemn to death the three innocent generals. The execution was stopped by the bishop personally. However, upon their return to Constantinople, the three generals who had quelled the uprising were hailed as winners and this aroused the jealousy of the prefect Ablabius who organized a conspiracy, took them prisoners and sentenced them to death without trial. The three remembered the Bishop of Myra and implored his help: at night Nicholas appeared in a dream to both the prefect and the emperor threatening them of dire punishments if they had harmed the three innocent men. Once released, the three generals went to Myra to say thanks to their savior.

St. Nicholas died at Myra on December 6, presumably in the year 343.

12/4 How did the Bishop of Myra become ‘Saint in Bari’?

It’s a long way from Lycia to the eastern coast of Italy.

S_St. Nicholas Church, Myra_Demre, Turkey
St. Nicholas Church, Myra, Demre, Turkey
St. Nicholas’ Feast Day is December 6th

St. Nicholas’ tomb in Myra was a popular place of pilgrimage. As Myra was a seaport, sailors heard the stories of the saint’s shrine and carried them to many distant places. If a town were fortunate enough to host such a significant religious site, it enjoyed considerable commercial benefit because pilgrims needed to be housed, fed, and otherwise provided for. After Myra fell under the control of the Seljuks, who were not sympathetic to Christian faith, Italian merchants in both Venice and Bari, saw an opportunity to bring such advantage to their cities. Their motives were opportunistic, but also spiritual, as there was real fear that pilgrimage could become difficult and dangerous or that the shrine might even be desecrated.

Early in 1087, three ships with sailors and merchants from Bari stopped in Myra on their way home from Antioch. When they visited Nicholas’ tomb, the monks showed them where the manna was extracted. The sailors then asked where the saint’s body lay. The monks, perhaps naively, showed them. But the monks became suspicious and questioned the visitors about their intentions, “Surely you do not intend to take the saint’s remains to your own region? If so, we won’t allow it.” However, in the end the Barians prevailed and broke open the tomb with an iron bar. The sailors spirited the bones away to the ship, escaping just ahead of the townspeople coming in hot pursuit.

The men of Bari sailed away on the long voyage back to the southeast coast of Italy. Before getting there, they stopped at a nearby port to make a beautiful box (casket) to hold the saint’s relics. When they arrived in Bari, May 9, 1087, the townspeople thronged to the harbor to welcome the saint’s remains. The returning men made a solemn vow to build a magnificent church to honor St. Nicholas. The crypt was completed by October 1089 and Pope Urban II laid the relics of St. Nicholas beneath the crypt’s altar, consecrating a shrine that became one of medieval Europe’s great pilgrimage centers. The main church was built in ten years, but it wasn’t until the middle of the 12th century that the imposing and majestic Basilica di San Nicola was complete.

From the earliest time St. Nicholas devotees have asked for protection and health in mind and body through the use of the manna. It was diluted and made available in bottles decorated with images of the saint. Over the centuries a unique art of painting these glass bottles developed in Apulia. Every year the translation of the Nicholas relics to Bari is celebrated with a great festival which culminates in the extraction of the manna by the rector of the Basilica.

The “manna of Saint Nicholas”, which was once commonly called ‘oil’, is actually transparent pure water that is formed in the tomb of the Saint in the crypt of the Basilica in Bari. This phenomenon is not easily explainable. It is absolutely excluded that there is some kind of infiltration of water from the outside for it has been proven that the casket containing the bones of the Saint is impermeable. Notwithstanding the various solutions that are arrived at from numerous hypothesis forwarded, whether supernatural or natural explanations of the phenomenon, the manna is an authentic relic, because it is a liquid that remained in contact with the bones of the Saint, and therefore explains the very reason why there is such a great devotion springing up from this relic. The manna also exuded in the tomb of the Basilica of Myra immediately after the death of Saint Nicholas, as attested to by numerous biographies and eulogies, all are in accord of the exemplary virtue of the miracle worker.

The Legends of the translation likewise affirm that the urn containing the remains of Saint Nicholas of Myra was full of “manna”. After the translation to Bari the phenomenon continued uninterruptedly. It is also fully proven that the pilgrims coming to Bari, are attracted to the tomb of the Saint in view of the fact that the “manna” is famous because of the miracles St. Nicholas accomplishes through it. Between 1954 and 1957, the authenticity that this liquid truly came from the bones of the Saint, as was commonly held, was put into question. In 1954, because of the renovation being done in the crypt, the tomb was opened and the bones were exhumed. Then they were placed inside an urn, where it remained exposed to the public to see and venerate for three years in the hall of the treasures (of the Saint in the Basilica). Sometimes it was observed that the bones “perspired” a certain kind of fluid; one time the linen sheet which held the relics was found to be soaking wet when the mortal remains of St. Nicholas were re-interred in the tomb. This linen cloth has been preserved up to this day.

Translated from the Italian by Fr. Winston Fernandez-Cabading, OP
—from the Centro Studi Nicolaiani di Bari

12/2 December 8th is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception – Hour of Grace from 12 Noon to 1 PM

REQUEST OF BLESSED MOTHER FOR THE HOUR OF GRACE

 

1. Day and time of Hour of Grace – December 8th Feast of the Immaculate Conception – to be started at 12 noon and will continue until 1 PM (one full hour of prayer)

 

2. During this hour the person making the ‘Hour of Grace’ either at home or in the Church must put away all distractions (do not answer the telephone or answer any doors or do anything but totally concentrate on your union with God during this Special Hour of Grace)

 

3. Begin the Hour of Grace by praying three times the 51st Psalm with outstretched arms. Psalm 51 can be found below.

 

4. The rest of the Hour of Grace may be spent in silent communication with God meditating upon the Passion of Jesus saying the Holy Rosary, praising God in your own way or by using favorite prayers, singing hymns, meditating upon other Psalms, etc.

 

 

Psalms

Chapter 51

 

1
For the leader. A psalm of David,
2
when Nathan the prophet came to him after his affair with Bathsheba.
3
Have mercy on me, God, in your goodness; in your abundant compassion blot out my offense.
4
Wash away all my guilt; from my sin cleanse me.
5
For I know my offense; my sin is always before me.
6
Against you alone have I sinned; I have done such evil in your sight that you are just in your sentence, blameless when you condemn.
7
True, I was born guilty, a sinner, even as my mother conceived me.
8
Still, you insist on sincerity of heart; in my inmost being teach me wisdom.
9
Cleanse me with hyssop, that I may be pure; wash me, make me whiter than snow.
10
Let me hear sounds of joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
11
Turn away your face from my sins; blot out all my guilt.
12
A clean heart create for me, God; renew in me a steadfast spirit.
13
Do not drive me from your presence, nor take from me your holy spirit.
14
Restore my joy in your salvation; sustain in me a willing spirit.
15
I will teach the wicked your ways, that sinners may return to you.
16
Rescue me from death, God, my saving God, that my tongue may praise your healing power.
17
Lord, open my lips; my mouth will proclaim your praise.
18
For you do not desire sacrifice; a burnt offering you would not accept.
19
My sacrifice, God, is a broken spirit; God, do not spurn a broken, humbled heart.
20
Make Zion prosper in your good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
21
Then you will be pleased with proper sacrifice, burnt offerings and holocausts; then bullocks will be offered on your altar.

Reminders about the Hour of Grace abounded in the days before December 8th.

Below, some of Our Lady’s words embedded in this particular sharing of the message.

While it focuses on the Hour of Grace, it doesn’’t mention that Our Lady came in these apparitions appealing especially to the consecrated souls of clergy and religious, promising to protect them and deepen their vocations if they but honor Her in this devotion as Rosa Mystica. Consecrated souls today have been under great attack and they need our prayers.

 http://www.marypages.com/MontichiariEng.htm

 

May no soul be lost! Maria Rosa Mystica, pray for us!

 During the period of November 24, 1946 to December 8, 1947, the Blessed Mother appeared to Sister Pierrina in a little church in Montichiari, Italy, eleven times.

 On the first appearance the Blessed Mother told Sister Pierrina that She wanted to be known as the ‘Mystical Rose’ and that an hour of grace should be kept at noon, December 8th in all the Catholic Churches of the world. The Blessed Mother wanted this to be known through all of Italy and the entire world.

 It was November 16, 1947 when Sister Pierrina was finishing her thanksgiving after Holy Communion when she saw a great light. She then saw a vision of the Blessed Mother as the ‘Mystical Rose’.

 Sister was so deeply moved by the stunning beauty of Our Lady that she began talking to Her. All of a sudden a gentle force made her kneel down in front of Our Lady. The Blessed Mother spoke these words. “My Son is greatly offended by the sins of impurity. He is already planning to send the deluge upon the people, for their destruction, but I have asked him to show mercy and not send the destruction. So that is why I have appeared to ask for penance and atonement for the sins of impurity.”

 Then the Blessed Mother asked for an Act of Humility by Sister Pierrina. She asked her to make the sign of the cross with her tongue on each of the stones in the Sanctuary. “This shall be a reminder to the people that I have appeared here and do not have the people step on those stones.”

 The Blessed Mother then stepped on each of the stones so that Her gown touched all four stones.

 On the 22nd of November, Sister Pierrina felt the overwhelming urge to go to Church at 4:00. The Mother Superior, four Sisters and a group of friends accompanied her. They were all saying the Rosary when the Blessed Mother appeared as before.

 She instructed Sister Pierrina to make the sign of the cross on the stones and fence them off so that no one would step on them.

 Again Our Lady asked for penance. She said, “Penance is nothing more than accepting all our crosses daily willingly. No matter how small, accept them with love. “At this time, she told sister Pierrina to come again on December 8th at noon.” This will be My Hour of Grace.” The Sister asked how she was to prepare for this Hour of Grace. To which the Blessed Mother said, “With Prayers and Penance. Pray the 51st Psalm with outstretched arms three times. During the Hour of Grace, many spiritual graces would be granted. The most hard-hearted sinners will be touched by the grace of God.”

 The Blessed Virgin promised that whatever a person asked Her for during this Hour of Grace (even in impossible cases) would be granted to them, if it was in accordance with the will of the Eternal Father.

 It was December 7th when Sister Pierrina felt the urge to go to Church. This time she was accompanied by the Priest and the Mother Superior.

 The Blessed Mother appeared with a young boy and girl dressed in beautiful white clothing. Sister Pierrina was sure these little ones were angels because they were so beautiful.

 The Blessed Mother said, “Tomorrow I will show you My Immaculate Heart which is so little known among the people.” She asked people to pray for Russia.” There are so many people being held prisoners which their families know nothing of because they have been gone for so many years. Pray for the conversion of Russia, the suffering of the soldiers and their sacrifices and martyrdom will bring peace to Italy.

 The little children are Francisco and Jacinta. I am giving them to you as your companions. You will have much to suffer for My sake. I want simplicity and goodness from you as of these little children.” TheBlessed Mother then blessed Sister Pierrina, the Priest and all those who were gathered there.

 On the morning of December 8th people began arriving at the little Church at 8:00 in the morning from neighboring towns. By noon, some 10,000 people had gathered to see the Blessed Mother, many of whom had to stand outside because the Church did not have enough room for the large crowd.

 Sister Pierrina was accompanied to Church by her Mother and Brothers, the Mother Superior and the Chief of Police from Montichiari. Sister was reciting the Rosary with the crowd in the middle of the Church. Suddenly a brilliant white light appeared from the ceiling. Stairs were coming from the light down to the floor of the Church about fifteen feet in length.

 The staircase was beautifully decorated with red, white and yellow roses. The Blessed Virgin appeared so radiant, dressed in white, with Her Hands folded. She was standing on a splendid carpet at the top of the stairs made of the red, white and yellow roses.

 In the most gentle and loving voice, Our Lady smiled and began to speak. “I am the Immaculate Conception, the Mother of all graces and the Mother of my Beloved Son, Jesus. I want to be known as the Mystical Rose. My wish is that every year on the 8th of December at noon an ‘Hour of Grace’ will be installed. Many spiritual graces and physical blessings will be received by those who pray undisturbed during this hour.” Then slowly she began to ascend the staircase gracefully scattering roses as She went along until She reached midway of the staircase. Here again the Blessed Mother spoke, “I am very happy to see this great demonstration of Faith.”

 Sister Pierrina asked for many of the sinners to be forgiven. The Blessed Mother replied. “My Divine Son will show his Greatest Mercy as much as the people will pray for them. I want this to be known and told to Pope Pius XII. Tell him I want him to install the ‘Hour of Grace’ throughout the whole world and even for those who are not able to go to Church during this time, can obtain this grace in their homes at noon time.”

 She also asked that a Statue be made and placed on the spot where she stood. This should be called the ‘Rosa Mystica’ and carried in procession through the town at which time many graces will be given and cures will take place. Then the Statue is to be returned to the Church.

 Our Lady prayed for the sick, some will be cured others not. Many men, women and children were cured at that very instant.

 A twenty-six year old woman who could not say a word for nine months, suddenly began shouting, “I see Her. I see the Blessed Virgin.” An eighteen year old girl with ulcers was instantly cured. A five year old boy who had been paralyzed was told by the Blessed Mother, “Come to Me, you will be walking now.” He was placed on the Blessed Stones and was able to walk.

 There were three others who were very sick and were immediately cured. But of course, the greatest miracles taking place were those of the spiritual blessings being shed upon the people gathered in the Church.

 The Blessed Mother said, “This is the last time I will appear here. Pray, weep and do penance on these Stones and you will receive the care of My Motherly Heart.” She then left the little Church, but because of the Unending Love of Our Heavenly Mother, She has given us the ‘Hour of Grace’ to be spread through the entire world. She had given all the opportunity to demonstrate our love and trust to Her and to help make reparation for the grievous sins offending Her Beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

REQUEST OF BLESSED MOTHER FOR THE HOUR OF GRACE

 

1. Day and time of Hour of Grace – December 8th Feast of the Immaculate Conception – to be started at 12 noon and will continue until 1 PM (one full hour of prayer)

 

2. During this hour the person making the ‘Hour of Grace’ either at home or in the Church must put away all distractions (do not answer the telephone or answer any doors or do anything but totally concentrate on your union with God during this Special Hour of Grace)

 

3. Begin the Hour of Grace by praying three times the 51st Psalm with outstretched arms. Psalm 51 can be found below.

 

4. The rest of the Hour of Grace may be spent in silent communication with God meditating upon the Passion of Jesus saying the Holy Rosary, praising God in your own way or by using favorite prayers, singing hymns, meditating upon other Psalms, etc.

Psalms

Chapter 51

1
For the leader. A psalm of David,
2
when Nathan the prophet came to him after his affair with Bathsheba.
3
Have mercy on me, God, in your goodness; in your abundant compassion blot out my offense.
4
Wash away all my guilt; from my sin cleanse me.
5
For I know my offense; my sin is always before me.
6
Against you alone have I sinned; I have done such evil in your sight that you are just in your sentence, blameless when you condemn.
7
True, I was born guilty, a sinner, even as my mother conceived me.
8
Still, you insist on sincerity of heart; in my inmost being teach me wisdom.
9
Cleanse me with hyssop, that I may be pure; wash me, make me whiter than snow.
10
Let me hear sounds of joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
11

Turn away your face from my sins; blot out all my guilt.
12
A clean heart create for me, God; renew in me a steadfast spirit.
13
Do not drive me from your presence, nor take from me your holy spirit.
14
Restore my joy in your salvation; sustain in me a willing spirit.
15
I will teach the wicked your ways, that sinners may return to you.
16
Rescue me from death, God, my saving God, that my tongue may praise your healing power.
17
Lord, open my lips; my mouth will proclaim your praise.
18
For you do not desire sacrifice; a burnt offering you would not accept.
19
My sacrifice, God, is a broken spirit; God, do not spurn a broken, humbled heart.
20
Make Zion prosper in your good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
21
Then you will be pleased with proper sacrifice, burnt offerings and holocausts; then bullocks will be offered on your altar.

 

Please distribute this message to as many people as you can. Remember to pray for your country during this hour. The Blessed Mother has requested that Her message be sent throughout the entire world. Please help the Blessed Virgin Mary to fulfill Her Mission well … that all souls be drawn to God and that Jesus will be loved in every heart. This is the Perpetual song of her Heart. Let it also be ours.

 

11/30 Feast Day of St. Andrew, Apostle. Start of Novena to Obtain Favors.

The Gospel tells us that Saint John the Baptist, while fulfilling his mission of preparing souls for the coming of Our Lord, pointed out the Messias to his disciple Andrew.

Prayer to Obtain Favors

It is piously believed that whoever recites the following prayer fifteen times a day from the feast of St. Andrew, November 30th, until Christmas, December 25th, will obtain what is asked.

“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 piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother.”  Amen.

+Imprimatur: Michael Augustine, Archbishop of New York
New York, February 6, 1897

Fiat, Domine, Voluntas Tua,
Sicut in Coelo et in Terra.  Amen.