Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Novena for the Solemnity of the Annunciation on March 25

On March 25 Holy Mother Church celebrates the feast of the Solemnity of the Annunciation.  As we remember in the first joyful mystery of the Holy Rosary, this feast honors that moment when the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, greeting her, "Hail full of grace!  Blessed art thou among women."  He then related that God wanted her to be the mother of His Son.  Mary, hearing the angel's message of God's will for her, to be the mother of His Son and remain a virgin, humbly responds, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.  Be it done to me according to thy word."  It was at that moment, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Incarnation occurred.  With Mary's complete trust in God and her simple yes to Him, the Son of God became Man to redeem fallen mankind.This mystery is in contrast to the message given by a fallen angel, Lucifer, to Eve.  His words were a message of deceit and hate, not of God, and Eve's response was one of disobedience.  Let us remember these two scenes throughout this Lent, but especially ponder on the beautiful vision of the Annunciation.  May we hear God's Word to us and answer, not as Eve, but as the Blessed Virgin Mary did, a simple yes, remaining in grace and virtue.  To honor our Lady on the Solemnity of the Annunciation and ask for her help in our spiritual life, a fitting devotion to pray is the following novena.  The novena is prayed from March 17 to March 25.

Novena in preparation of the Annunciation

I greet you, Ever-blessed Virgin, Mother of God, Throne of Grace, miracle of Almighty Power!  I greet you, Sanctuary of the Most Holy Trinity and Queen of the Universe, Mother of Mercy and refuge of sinners!  Most loving Mother, attracted by your beauty and sweetness, and by your tender compassion, I confidently turn to you, miserable as I am, and beg of you to obtain for me from your dear Son the favor I request in this novena:

(Mention your request).  Obtain for me also, Queen of heaven, the most lively contrition for my many sins and the grace to imitate closely those virtues which you practiced so faithfully, especially humility, purity, and obedience.  Above all, I beg you to be my Mother and Protectress, to receive me into the number of your devoted children, and to guide me from your high throne of glory.  Do not neglect my petitions, Mother of Mercy!  Have pity on me and do not abandon me during life or at the moment of my death.  Amen.

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