There is always room for one more focus of prayer in our Catholic Church. As the Season of Advent and the Year of Consecrated Life begins, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity also anticipate the coming Feast of the Immaculate Conception with a simple novena.
Throughout the centuries, Franciscans became the defenders of the Immaculate Conception. St. Francis’ constant love and in turn his followers’ special devotion to our Blessed Lady was the basis of the promotion and the defense of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception. In 1854, Blessed Pope Pius IX, a Secular Franciscan, proclaimed this belief to be a dogma of the Church. How fitting in 1847 that the Bishops of the United States request permission from the Holy Father, Pope Pius IX, to declare the Blessed Virgin Mary as patroness of the United States under the title of “The Immaculate Conception.” This title reflects Mary’s privilege of being free from Original Sin.
We share our novena from our Community Book of Prayers:
Leader: Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in whose honor the angelic choirs exult and with canticles of joy, pour forth their praises to the Son of God. You are all fair, O Mary;
All: and there is in you no stain of original sin.
Leader: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
All: as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Leader: Let us pray All: Holy Mary, Queen of heaven, Mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who forsakes and despises no one, look upon us, gracious Lady, with your eyes of pity and obtain for us of your beloved Son the pardon of all our sins that we, who now celebrate devoutly your holy and Immaculate Conception, may hereafter be rewarded with the prize of everlasting blessedness, through the mercy of that selfsame Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, whom you, pure virgin, brought forth into the world, and Who, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns in perfect unity, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Leader: Lord, have mercy on us. All: Christ, have mercy on us.
Leader: Lord, have mercy on us.
All: pray for us who have recourse to you. Leader: Let us pray,
All: O God, who by the Immaculate Conception wondrously preserved the Mother of Your only begotten Son from the stain of original sin, grant, we beseech you, that strengthened by her intercession, we may with stainless hearts ever celebrate her memory. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen