Our parish, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, is celebrating tonight. If the weather holds out there will be Mass, a procession and a parish family potluck. In preparation for the feast, the icon was traveling from home to home and parishioners were invited to visit and pray a novena. I completely forgot about this until, during confession last week, Father asked me if we’d started the nine day petition to our Mother. Well, I had to admit my forgetfulness, but no worries he said just start it tonight. So, I dug out last year’s copies of the novena and as a family we’ve spent the evenings circled around the family room coffee table trading in our routine, nightly prayers for the recitation of the novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
Unlike some novenas when I’ve prayed for a specific intention, this time I focused only on the words we were reciting, and what a beautiful and perfectly-timed blessing it turned out to be. This novena reminds us to have total confidence in our Mother’s ability to aid us and her powerful alliance with her children. So many troubling issues have struck at my heart this week and yet this novena reminded me that I am not alone in this journey towards heaven. Indeed, if I had only to rely on my own strength, wisdom and faithfulness, I’d be sunk.
Perhaps, you are in need of your Mother’s guidance or protection. Perhaps, you, too, worry that in the eleventh hour you’ll fail to keep your focus or the sufferings will be more than you are able to bear. Perhaps, you simply need to be reminded that your Mother loves you and she wants to wrap her protective mantle around your shoulders. Whatever your reasons Our Lady of Perpetual Help is waiting to hear your prayers and comfort your afflicted heart.
I’d didn’t grow up praying novenas, but I highly recommend making them part of your prayer life now and again, and teaching your children this kind of focused prayer.
Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help
1. Behold, O Mother of Perpetual Help, at thy feet a wretched
sinner, who has recourse to thee and trusts in thee. O Mother of
mercy, have pity on me; I hear all men call thee the refuge and
hope of sinners: be therefore my refuge and my hope. Help me for
the love of Jesus Christ: hold out thy hand to a fallen wretch,
who commends himself to thee and dedicates himself to be thy
servant forever. I praise and thank God, who of His great mercy
hath given me this confidence in thee, a sure pledge of my eternal
salvation. Alas, it is only too true that in the past I have
fallen miserably, because I did not come to thee. I know that with
thy help I shall conquer; I know that thou wilt help me, if I
commend myself to thee; but I am fearful lest in the occasions of
sin I shall forget to call upon thee and so I shall be lost. This
grace, then, do I ask of thee; for this I implore thee, as much as
I can and know how to do; namely, that in the assaults of hell I
may ever run to thy protection and may say to thee: Mary, help me;
Mother of Perpetual Help, permit me not to lose my God.
Hail Mary, three times.
2. O Mother of Perpetual Help, grant me ever to be able to call
upon thy powerful name, since thy name is the help of the living
and the salvation of the dying. Ah, Mary most pure, Mary most
sweet, grant that thy name from this day forth may be to me the
very breath of life. Dear Lady, delay not to come to my assistance
whenever I call upon thee; for in all the temptations that assail
me, in all the necessities that befall me, I will never leave off
calling upon thee, ever repeating: Mary, Mary. What comfort, what
sweetness, what confidence, what tenderness fills my soul at the
sound of thy name, at the very thought of thee! I give thanks to
our Lord, who for my sake hath given thee a name so sweet, so
lovable, so mighty. But I am not content merely to speak thy name;
I would utter it for very love of thee; it is my desire that love
should ever remind me to name thee, Mother of Perpetual Help.
Hail Mary, three times.
3. O Mother of Perpetual Help, thou art the dispenser of every
grace that God grants us in our misery; it is for this cause that
He hath made thee so powerful, so rich, so kind, that thou
mightest assist us in our miseries. Thou art the advocate of the
most wretched and abandoned sinners, if they but come unto thee;
come once more to my assistance, for I commend myself to thee. In
thy hands I place my eternal salvation; to thee I entrust my soul.
Enroll me among thy most faithful servants; take me under thy
protection and it is enough for me: yes, for if thou protect me, I
shall fear nothing; not my sins, for thou wilt obtain for me their
pardon and remission; not the evil spirits, for thou art mightier
than all the powers of hell; not even Jesus, my Judge, for He is
appeased by a single prayer from thee. I fear only that through my
own negligence I may forget to recommend myself to thee and so I
shall be lost. My dear Lady, obtain for me the forgiveness of my
sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance and the grace to have
recourse to thee at all times, O Mother of Perpetual Help.
Hail Mary, three times.
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