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Novena of a Thousand Aves!

This post is released to propose praying the Novena for the feast of the Immaculate Conception, nevertheless it may be undertaken in preparation for any Marian Feast that you desire to particularly honour. The challenge is simple, though it may be daunting: Pray the Hail Mary 1,000 times a day – for 9 days. The 1,000 Aves devotion has a longer history and more variations than we’re going to look at here (there will be other posts for that!) but we’re just going to take one example from St. Faustina’s diary as a witness to it:

This is now the third time I have said such a novena to the Mother of God; that is, a novena made up of a thousand Aves each day. Thus the novena consists in nine thousand salutations. Although I have done this now three times in my life, and two of these while in the course of my duties, I have never failed in carrying out my tasks with the greatest exactitude. I have always said the novena outside the time of my exercises; that is to say, I have not said the Aves during Holy Mass or Benediction. Once, I made the novena while lying ill in the hospital. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Apart from recreation, I have only prayed and worked. I have not said a single unnecessary word during these days. Although I must admit that such a matter requires a good deal of attention and effort, nothing is too much when it comes to honoring the Immaculate Virgin.” (1413)

So the details of the challenge are simple. There are a few ways of counting your Aves:

  • You can say them as Rosaries. That will be 20 Rosaries a day, which will amount to 5 roses according to the typical Golden Rose counting.
  • You can say them ‘straight’ in a row with no other prayers and trimmings. In this case, every 250 Aves equates to a rose, making it 4 roses a day.
  • Of course these two approaches may be mixed. For example you may pray 10 Rosaries a day and 500 Aves. In that case there would be 2 roses for the Aves and 2 and a half for the Rosaries. Of course we don’t actually count half roses, so in effect what you would do is ‘carry over’ two Rosaries to the next day until they have been included in a rose count… The same carrying over can be done with Aves for the duration of the Novena.
  • I’ve also read a suggestion for praying the 20 mysteries with 50 Aves in each ‘decade’. I would be inclined to say count this as 4 roses unless you include a reading or Scriptural meditation for each mystery, but if you do this count it as 5…

If praying your Novena before the Blessed Sacrament, you will need to decide if you are ‘cultivating’ Adoration or Rosary roses – that is which you want to count. Again you can mix and match so long as you count only one or the other at any given time…

Receiving God’s Will With Magnanimity

VirtueResponding to God’s Will with Magnanimity
ObjectiveTo try to be more magnanimous in our disposition towards life
Seedtime20 minutes (watch 8 minutes of videos, read 12 minute blog)
Feedtime1 hour 10 minutes
DirectiveSeek to cultivate magnanimity in daily life in three twenty minute challenges (instructions given in blog)
To check out how these boxes work, click here!

If you look up the word magnanimous in the Oxford English Dictionary you’ll find the following definition: “generous or forgiving, especially towards a rival or less powerful person”

Breaking that down a little, magnanimity points to a self gift. We can only be ‘generous or forgiving’ if we are willing to give of ourselves. And if it is magnanimous, this gift of self is given in a way that looks beyond failures, reaches beyond competition and sees the something precious when many may fail to. It’s a reaching out in love – and in a Christian context that means seeking to communicate the love of Christ to that person, as and where they are.

Bearing that in mind, let’s kick off the rose with a video:

Why I chose that video will become more apparent as we go on. But for now I want you to think about what Ryan was talking about and make a quick mental survey of the things he was interested in, his particular gifts and how he hoped they could be used for the Lord in his future priestly ministry. Consider his attitude in the light of the definition we had above. Can you see a desire to make a gift of self in the things he said? What was he hoping he had to give? Who was he hoping he could serve? Beneath the silly jokes and the multiplicity of interests he refers to, what do you think was the underlying desire that prompted him to seek to become a priest?

Having made that mental note, take a pen and paper, forget about him for a while, and look at your own life, gifts and calling. Taking only about 10 minutes, jot a few notes on the questions given below.

Here there should be a certain amount of assessing where the rubber meets the road. There are the ideals, the things we’d like to do, the gifts, talents, ideas and hopes of course. But there are also human limitations. The challenges, the blocks, the things we struggle with. There are ways in which we fail to live up to the ideal of giving ourselves completely – and ways in which we may feel just plain blocked. You don’t have to try to work out how to deal with those things in your writing, simply survey the situation and make notes on what you observe. Here are your questions:

  • What interests, gifts and talents do you have that you’d most like to offer in the service of the Kingdom?
  • How do you feel you are generally of best service to souls?
  • At this point in your life, there a particular group or demographic in the Church you feel most particularly called to witness to or serve? If so, how do you feel called to do that?
  • What helps you in the things you feel called to do, and what most seems to stand in your way?
  • Are there steps you can take to make a greater effort to put who you are and what you have in God’s service?

Once you have your list together, it’s time for us to go a little deeper. To begin, I want to refine our understanding of magnanimity a little bit. This time, instead of looking to a dictionary, we will turn to St. Thomas Aquinas. For the purpose of this rose, we’re not going to explore everything he says on the topic. If, in your own time, you want a more precise understanding of what I (in a very vague and summary fashion) outline below you can find the Summa entry here – and the reading can count towards a perennial rose! However here we’re going to take an overview, beginning with this quote:

“Magnanimity by its very name denotes stretching forth of the mind to great things.”
(Original: …magnanimitas ex suo nomine importat quandam extensionem animi ad magna.”)

What do we mean by ‘stretching forth… the mind (or soul) to great things?’ Well, in his subsequent reflection upon the matter, St. Thomas asserts the following things about magnanimity:

  • It is a special virtue, pertaining in a particular way to honours – and at that great honours. Honours here should be understood to pertain to that which is in itself honourable rather than being honoured by men.
  • It is related to hoping for something difficult. As such part of fortitude (which gives one firmness of mind to do this) and related to confidence and security (since these derive from hope and fortitude).
  • One can be more magnanimous when one has more to offer, and when one strives against more difficult and towards more perfect things.

In 1 Corinthians 12, St. Paul discusses a wide array of Spiritual gifts. Whilst affirming the importance of these things and how we should use them and appreciate them, he goes on in chapter 13 of the same letter to point out that love surpasses all of these things. We can see similar affirmations in the Gospel. Jesus tells the rich young man to go sell everything and come follow Him, and says that it is very difficult to enter into the Kingdom with riches. His concern is not so much how much money the man gives away, but what he does and doesn’t have left. We see this clearly when the Lord is moved profoundly by the generosity of the widow who gives the mite that she had to live on, and insists that she gave more than all those who gave generous amounts from their surplus. Jesus isn’t so concerned about how much one has to give in a worldly sense, but whether we are willing to give everything. The Lord asks what a man can offer in exchange for his soul or life (depending on the translation) – and there is no answer because no gifts, spiritual, corporal or temporal can replace the offering that God most desires of us – that of our life, heart and will in their entirety.

We are magnanimous, then, when we love most perfectly and when we give that which costs us most… It is possible to doubt this when reading through the points from the Summa – since it states that one can be magnanimous when one has more to give. But judging this ‘more’ by the above standards of the Gospel, we can come to understand more deeply the extent of the opportunities for magnanimity in what seem to be even the most simple and monotonous of lives. Remember, the Summa does not and cannot contain within itself the last word of St. Thomas Aquinas on that in which greatness consists. A few months before he died, St. Thomas had an experience of God, after which he refused to write any more. Based on what he had come to know of God, he considered all his writings, all his active efforts, to be ‘as straw’. This doesn’t undermine his work and the spiritual heritage that he left to the Church, but it puts it firmly in perspective. Whatsoever we can say or think of Him, God is more. And whatsoever we can attempt to do for Him, what He can do with our total abandonment is more.

Bearing these things in mind, let’s pick up with our ‘deacon to be’ from above – now as an ordained priest!

Fr. Ryan eventually died on 21st June 2021, about two years after his priestly ordination. May he rest in peace.

How would you compare the two interviews we have watched? Do you think Fr. Ryan was more magnanimous in his initial desire to serve God with all the things he loved, or in his acceptance of circumstances that he didn’t choose? What do you think has helped him to live out his vocation to the full? How can this speak into your life, and how you can serve Jesus in all circumstances – both those you desired and chose, and those you didn’t choose (and maybe wouldn’t have chosen!)?

Here, then are your three challenges to complete this Rose!

  1. This one builds upon your 10 minute reflection, completed during reading the blog post. Looking over that list, determine one thing you can do, something simple taking 20 minutes, to actively seek to put some gift(s) you identified at God’s disposal.
  2. The second task is a prayer one, and it’s very simple: Pray lying prostrate for 20 minutes. That means lying flat-out, face down like a priest at his ordination, or on Good Friday. The 20 minutes can be consecutive or broken up. If health concerns prevent this you can kneel or pray as appropriate – but convenience or embarassment are not sufficient excuse for exemption from lying prostrate! If at all possible, make your prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. The Church doesn’t have to be crowded – sadly it generally isn’t difficult to find a relatively abandoned Tabernacle… nevertheless, this aspect is not compulsory for the rose. What is essential to the rose is to give yourself over in this 20 minutes of prayer to pondering the greatness of God, your own littleness, and seeking to offer yourself to be entirely at His disposal. As you pray, ask God to reveal to you how you can offer yourself more fully to Him within the context of your most fundamental vocation.
  3. The final challenge is to spend 20 minutes on a ‘distraction’. Like the first video in the post, the reflection time you took at the start should take account of gifts you have and active ways to put these things at God’s disposal. And this is good. However the reality is that life ‘interrupts’ at times. We might have envisioned projects of evangelisation and plans for personal spiritual growth etc., and yet wound up battling with certain problems or having to help with things that don’t have anything to do with our objectives. This 20 minutes should be given to intentionally offering to God something that takes you away from the way in which you might otherwise want to serve Him. It may be a ‘block’ you identified in your initial time of reflection – or something else altogether. It could be struggling through a sickness or inconvenience, caring for someone who needs it, undertaking a task you’d rather avoid because another requests it, or simply fulfilling one of your less glamorous duties of state.

The aim, through the tasks, is to grow in magnanimity by finding ways to put our entire being at God’s service, and both by wilfully choosing things by which we discern we may serve him and by accepting those things which He allows, but which may be difficult for us to understand…

Novena Pick & Mix!

Whilst periodically we post novenas here in advance of a feast or occasion, the fact is it’s pretty much impossible to keep track with all of the possibilities that come and go in the course of a year – and even if one could it would distract a bit from the overall mission of Golden Rose to be posting a new one every day!

Accordingly, whilst those posted still stand, and whilst one can expect more to be posted at periodic intervals in the future, it seems that something of a ‘once and for all’ Seasonal Rose post, providing an array of novenas that the reader may use to cultivate roses, is in order!

Accordingly, below we have posted a variety of options.
For all those here given, completing the Novena amounts to a rose IF:

  1. It is said at an appropriate time. For some Novenas we post we will give guidance as to when it can be counted as a rose. Where this is absent, you can assume that intentionally preceding or beginning on a Feast day (of whichever liturgical calendar) works. But also if there is a good devotional reason to make it at other times you can count it – so for example the obvious time to make a Novena to the Sacred Heart is before that feast. However if you have a particular desire to do it, say some other time in June or before a given First Friday, you can. And so on and so forth…
  2. Each day’s prayer should take about 5-7 minutes. This will vary with given novenas, but if the prayers of the Novena are much shorter than this, they should be supplemented, e.g. with a few minutes of mental prayer or a decade of the Rosary.
  3. The prayers are said each day of the Novena. The Novena can’t be offered as a full rose if you fall behind and have to catch up, but if you find yourself doing this on a regular basis with novenas, whilst intending to remember each day, you accumulate ‘caught up’ ones and count them as indicated below… (I think one can’t really come up with perfect systems for these things, but the hope is to encourage perseverance whilst acknowledging the effort towards regulating the spiritual practice!)
  • One day missed in the course of the Novena and caught up the next day: Half a rose
  • Two or more days missed, consecutively or at different points, and caught up when remembered in time to finish the novena: One third of a rose

A final point to consider:

Some novenas are longer than others. The completion of one of the novenas given below counts as a rose not because of the length of the prayers said but because of the regularity of the commitment. Above we have said novenas counted as Rosaries should generally take about 5-7 minutes a day. However, without getting into counting every minute as ‘overtime’, if you are praying something that takes much more than this, you can reckon the extra devotions as they may feature according to perennial roses.

OK so let’s take a look at some Novena Options!

This prayer manual contains novenas on pages 560-615. Any of these can be used!

This web page has a selection of novenas with the most appropriate dates of recitation given.

This whole site is dedicated to novenas, with hundreds of them and dates given! You can also explore what is there sorted by dates which makes it really easy to find upcoming ones.

Do you speak Spanish? There is a really cute selection of old novena booklets in Spanish available at this link.

Calling on the Angels in Latin

The next rose in the Latin series focuses on Learning the two most common prayers addressed to angels in Latin – the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, and the prayer to one’s guardian angel.

Faith FormationLearning Basic Prayers to Angels in Latin
ObjectiveLearn the prayers in question well enough to say each one 5 times consecutively without mistakes, three days in a row
Seedtime10-15 minutes reading blog/watching videos
Feedtime+/- 1 hour learning, practising and testing memorisation of the prayers
DirectiveLearn the prayers! Text, videos and further directions are given below…
To check out how these boxes work, click here!

The Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

  1. The text

Sáncte Míchael Archángele,
defénde nos in proélio,
cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli
ésto præsídium.
Ímperet ílli Déus, súpplices deprecámur:
tuque, prínceps milítiæ cæléstis,
(1) Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos,
(2) qui ad perditiónem animárum
(3) pervagántur in múndo,
(4) divína virtúte, in inférnum detrúde.
Ámen. 

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle,
be our protection
against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host,
(4) by the power of God, thrust into hell
(1) satan and all the evil spirits
(3) who prowl about the world
(2) seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.

2. Some videos:

3. The aim, notes and some tips:

  • The aim is to be confident that you know the prayer by memory. As a guideline to test this, you may count the rose as complete when you can recite the prayer three times in a row from memory, without mistakes or hesitations, for three consecutive days (that is three recitations on each day). As you can’t very well read to check as you recite, it may be a good idea to ask someone else to listen and call you up on mistakes, or to record yourself and check back over it after.
  • Whilst the translation above is pretty literal, the order of words and phrases differs somewhat in between the Latin and English translations. The first example is that the third and fourth lines as the prayers are written above (be our protection – against the wickedness and snares of the devil) need to be reversed to match. In the second half of the prayer the differences are a little more complicated, so the lines are numbered to show how to match up the words with their meaning.
  • The videos have different pronuntiation! Take your pick, there are no penalties for which version you learn. And no harm to be familiar with both. Of the two chanted videos the first is more Germanic and the second more Italian. You can hear the difference in certain ‘c’ and ‘g’ usages. In most English speaking countries I think people tend to side with the Italian version, as does the spoken video above.

The Prayer to One’s Guardian Angel

  1. The text

Ángele Dei,
qui custos es mei,
me, tibi commíssum
pietáte supérna,
illúmina, custódi,
rege et gubérna. Amen.

O Angel of God,
who art my guardian,
to whose care I have been entrusted
by heavenly piety*
shed light upon me, watch over me,
rule/direct and govern me. Amen.

2. Some videos:

I don’t know if Gabriel’s Oboe is actually going to help you learn the prayer to be honest… but you gotta love it!

3. The aim, notes and tips:

  • The aim, as above, is to learn the prayer – the litmus test being the ability to recite it, without reading and without mistakes or hesitations, three times in a row for three consecutive days.
  • You may notice that the English prayer given above is not quite the one you are used to reciting – ‘O Angel of God, my Guardian dear…’. In this case, the common translation is a little less literal as far taking the text the word for word (as opposed to communicating the sense in general) goes. This may confuse the meaning of the Latin words somewhat. For this reason, we have opted to give a more literal translation for the purposes of the rose.
  • In the videos on the left, you may note different pronunciations of the ‘g’ in ‘Angele’ and ‘rege’. The story is much the same as the varying pronunciation in the St. Michael versions. The version in the lower video (g sounding much like it does in the name Angela) is the Italian one, more common in English speaking countries, but for the purpose of the rose you are free to take your pick.
  • This bullet point got a bit rambly, so I’m preceding it with a note to say it it speculative on my part and NONE of this information is necessary for the rose, take or leave it 😉
    A note on ‘me, tibi commissum pietate superna’ – so in the common version of the prayer we say ‘To whom God’s Love commits me here’. Pietate implies a few things and translating it directly into piety (as above), whilst it may be a bit more ‘word for word’ than the typical translation, perhaps isn’t the most helpful for understanding. Pietas in a Roman context is a quality that denotes a kind of ordered and dutiful love that incorporates relationships in the spheres of worship, patriotism and family… We do get the English word piety from it, but in Latin the scope and importance of the word tends to carry a greater significance than our general understanding of piety, especially according to 21st Century usage. Linguistically it may be a little ambiguous as to whether the quality here pertains to the Heavenly commission of the Angel or the illumination of the one praying – but since the standard approved devotional translation evidently sides with the former interpretation it seems to makes sense to stick with that. Thus the sentence would indicate that the angel has been assigned from above the task to be guardian of the person, and this by the inherently ordered, loving and wise decree of Heaven. According to my best understanding.

Invitations from Our Lady – Recruitment for Golden Rose

One of the ways you can contribute a rose for Wild Rose week is to commit a significant effort, generally amounting to an hour or more of your time, to active recruitment. But how does that work? Well in many ways the world is your oyster. You can hire an aeroplane with a banner or stand on a soapbox with a megaphone for an hour telling people to sign up… However the suggestions heretofore aren’t quite your style we’re going to explore a few alternative options in this blog post!

Giving out Business Cards / Flyers

This can often be one of the least intimidating ways to invite people to join. Basically it involves handing out business cards or flyers with information about Golden Rose (or at least the website url). Since it’s difficult to quantify such activity by time, the guideline for roses is that every 30 cards and/or flyers given to people can be counted as a rose. This can be done as a concentrated recruitment effort, or simply by handing cards as occasions arise in day to day life.

Having Conversations

Experience would indicate that it is difficult to beat this method of recruitment for effectivity. To quantify for the purposes of offering it as a rose is a little more difficult though. As a general rule of thumb, we’ll say the initiation of five conversations that go beyond a few minutes and include at least 4/5 of the following can be counted:

  • Giving a general outline of what Golden Rose is
  • Talking a bit about your personal experience with Golden Rose
  • Asking the person about their own experience with similar such movements or Marian Consecration, asking what they think and checking if they have any questions etc. as appropriate to the conversation
  • An invitation with encouragement – either to the meeting or to contributing to the monthly online bouquet
  • Showing the person the website or giving something with the url so the person can do further research

Conversations you initiated but couldn’t get to go this far may be counted as a ‘half’ conversation – so, e.g. 10 of them would be a rose, or 2 of them and 4 ‘full’ conversations would be a rose etc. Conversations which are fruitful and highly engaged and which take over 20 minutes (where the full focus remains on Golden Rose) can be counted as two conversations for the purposes of completing the rose. This is left for the individual to measure.

Internet Promotion

This can seem like a handy option, but it shouldn’t really make up any more than 20% of the time you give to recruitment because it effectivity tends to be limited. Accordingly, if you spend 10-15 minute doing something to promote Golden Rose on social media etc., you can use it to replace 20% of another effort – e.g. one conversation or the distribution or 6 flyers/business cards. However internet promotion cannot be used instead of these activities to offer as a complete recruitment rose. If you are in a position where your Wild Rose contribution needs to be online rather than in person, consider writing for the website instead…

Final note…

In time, perhaps we will to be able to add more options here that presently aren’t appropriate to how developed the apostolate is. Things like approaching parishes and organising stands at events etc… but all of that is in God’s hands. For now we leave these three options and a ‘watch this space’, nevertheless if you have further suggestions do let us know!

Darling Buds of May!

As Our Lady’s month draws closer, we thought it would be appropriate to set a few seasonal Rose Challenges you might want to think about undertaking in order to honour Her in May devotions!

Here are our three suggestions:

  1. Build a May Altar!
  2. Undertake May Devotions
  3. Encourage others to increase their devotion to Mary during this month

Let’s take a look at each one in a little more detail…

Build a May Altar

So you can offer the making of a May Altar as a rose, but here are your parameters for it to count:

  • Something special for the month. OK so you might have to use the same statue you pray before all year round, but you need to do something to make her surroundings particularly beautiful for the time that’s in it…
  • Something extra to aid devotion. Depending on what’s already there, you could try adding blessed Candles
  • Fresh Flowers. Ok this takes a little more effort and creativity than just setting it up with something you don’t have to change during the course of the month, but it’s also more beautiful and more personal, especially if you find and pick them yourself! It doesn’t have to be dramatic or expensive, but do make the effort to keep the Altar topped up with fresh flowers for the month – or at the very least provide a few for some point at the beginning, middle and end. You could aim at the feasts of St. Joseph the Worker, Our Lady of Fatima and the Visitation (i.e. 31st, according to Novus calendar).

N.B. The above assumes an indoor altar, something appropriate in the garden is also highly countable for those who can undertake such a project!

Doing May Devotions!

Unfortunately these just aren’t commonplace these days. If there are public May devotions you can join, do that and count them! But if not, here are guidelines for coming up with your own that can be offered as a Rose:

  • To count this you should have some appropriate place to offer the devotions set up. The obvious place here is the May altar if you’ve made it as above, but if not you need to do some sort of preparation of a corner of the house or garden for prayer.
  • Determine what your devotions will look like. Here we’re giving three basic requirements for them to be counted. When these requirements are met, every three days of completed devotions can be counted as a Rose. You can of course add whatever you like to these and count these extra prayers additionally, according to regular perennial rose guidelines. However these are the necessary stipulations to count the devotions themselves towards a rose:
    1) Include a Marian Litany – Loreto being the obvious, approved and indulgenced one but you can go with Our Lady of Sorrows or the Immaculate Heart etc. as you prefer…
    2) Pray the Hail Mary at least three times. As I’ve said above, you can include a full Rosary or whatever else you like but to count the devotions in and of themselves towards a rose three Aves are required. What I suggest is including them in another devotion, e.g. by praying the Angelus or this consecration or this prayer to Our Lady of the Trinity with an Ave added after each invocation… However to meet requirements all that is necessary is that you pray the Hail Mary at least three times.
    3) Open and close with a hymn. I don’t care if you’re embarrassed – daily daily sing to Mary! …and nope, it doesn’t have to be that hymn. Actually I suggest closing with the appropriate Antiphon as your hymn if you know it. That will be Regina Coeli till Pentecost and (for years when Pentecost falls in May) the Salve Regina thereafter. But if you don’t know it, or devotion leads elsewhere, any hymn is fine!

Marian Evangelisation

We’re going to make this one really simple for you. For the month of May roses which pertain to this category come on a ‘buy one get one free’!

What do I mean by that? Well above we’ve said if you make a May altar that’s a rose for you to offer. If you convince your neighbour to make a May altar that’s a rose for them to offer. AND for you to offer as an evangelisation rose, for having persuaded them. This is an especially beautiful offering if, say in the case of a child or elderly person, you give some necessary assistance in getting the altar together. This can also go for multiple altars within a household – e.g. if you want to make one in a living space and encourage a child to make one in his or her room that may be offered as multiple roses. In order for you to be sure you can offer this rose, you need to see the altar, so either go and visit them or ask them to send you a picture when it’s done! Apart from the practical assurance that it is made to specifications, just showing an interest like that is likely to build up the other person and encourage them in their devotional efforts.

As regards inviting people to join devotions, for every invite that is accepted for the first time, you may offer a rose. This counts as an evangelisation Rose whether the person is in your household or visiting, and it counts as a single rose whether they simply join you for that solitary evening or trek back to your May altar every evening for 31 days! However if they themselves are offering rses those are counted separately from yours and they can offer them in accordance with however many times they join.

Golden Rose Marian Consecration Preparation 2022!

It’s that time of year again! If you’re interested in joining us in preparing for a total consecration (or renewal of the same) to Our Lady, we begin on (Palm) Sunday 10th April, to finish on 13th May… and everything you need for the consecration preparation (except for a Bible – and anything else you may require for devotion!) is contained in the PDF below.

If you’re not yet Novena-ed out…

I’m writing this on 25th March 2022.
A Novena beginning today will end on 2nd April 2022.

That is the First Saturday of April, and it also happens to be the 17th anniversary of Pope St. John Paul II, who undertook the consecration that Sr. Lucia said was accepted by Heaven.

There’s been a lot of enthusiasm with Novenas before the consecration, which is great, but I was reading … this (google translate if you’re not Polish) … and I think it makes a really great point in encouraging prayer after the consecration too. Over the years much focus has been on the consecration, and much dissension has been over whether or not the entrustment without the naming of Russia was sufficient and the consecration is complete. Today, I think that division has to end in most reasonable minds, whatever one’s views were before. And if that division ends, we don’t have anything to worry about that we’re not in control of. What is left for us is to take responsibility for what is actually our remit according to what Our Lady asked for. So after today, we need not to drop the ball, spiritually. A novena culminating in a first Saturday is a pretty good way to mark that resolve from the outset!

So here’s a seasonal Rose for anyone who wants to undertake it. Beginning any time after 5pm today, and ending on 2nd April, the following Novena prayed for the intention of the clear Triumph of the Immaculate Heart and peace and conversion and all that that entails – for ourselves and for all. You can make your intentions more specific as you desire, and add any other perennial roses you desire – but the Novena on its own counts as a rose.

Novena Prayers

Litany of Loreto

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.
Christ hear us. Christ graciously hear us.

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

Holy Mary, 
pray for us.
Holy Mother of God,
Holy Virgin of virgins, 
Mother of Christ, 
Mother of the Church, 
Mother of Mercy,
Mother of divine grace,
Mother of Hope, 
Mother most pure, 
Mother most chaste, 
Mother inviolate, 
Mother undefiled, 
Mother most amiable, 
Mother admirable, 
Mother of good counsel, 
Mother of our Creator, 
Mother of our Saviour, 
Virgin most prudent, 

Virgin most venerable, 
Virgin most renowned, 
Virgin most powerful, 
Virgin most merciful, 
Virgin most faithful, 
Mirror of justice, 
Seat of wisdom, 
Cause of our joy, 
Spiritual vessel, 
Vessel of honour, 
Singular vessel of devotion, 
Mystical rose, 
Tower of David, 
Tower of ivory, 
House of gold, 
Ark of the covenant, 
Gate of heaven, 
Morning star, 
Health of the sick, 

Refuge of sinners, 
Solace of Migrants,
Comfort of the afflicted, 
Help of Christians, 
Queen of Angels, 
Queen of Patriarchs, 
Queen of Prophets, 
Queen of Apostles, 
Queen of Martyrs, 
Queen of Confessors, 
Queen of Virgins, 
Queen of all Saints, 
Queen conceived without original sin, 
Queen assumed into heaven, 
Queen of the most holy Rosary, 
Queen of families, 
Queen of peace.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, 
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, 
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, 
have mercy on us.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. 
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. 
Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord God, 
that we, your servants, may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body; 
and by the glorious intercession of the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, 
may be delivered from present sorrow, and obtain eternal joy. 
Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Prayer to Mary by Pope John Paul II

Immaculate Heart of Mary
help us to conquer the menace of evil
which so easily takes root in the hearts of the people of today,
and whose immeasurable effects
already weigh down upon our modern world
and seem to block the paths toward the future.

From famine and war, deliver us
From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every kind of war,
From sins against human life from its very beginning,
From hatred and from the demeaning of the dignity of the children of God,
From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both national and international,
From readiness to trample on the commandments of God,
From attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of God,
From the loss of awareness of good and evil,
From sins against the Holy Spirit,

Accept, O Mother of Christ, this cry laden with the sufferings of all individual human beings,
laden with the sufferings of whole societies. Help us with the power of the Holy Spirit to conquer all sin: individual sin and the “sin of the world”, sin in all of its manifestations.
Let there be revealed once more in the history of the world the infinite saving power of the redemption: the power of merciful love.
May it put a stop to evil. May it transform consciences. May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of hope. Amen

Sub Tuum Praesidum

We fly to Thy patronage, O Holy Mother of God. Despise not our prayers in our necessities, but ever deliver us from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. O Our Lady, our Advocate, our Mediatrix, our Comforter, reconcile us with Your Son, recommend us to Your Son, give us to Your Son.

Novena in Preparation for the Consecration of Russia and Ukraine

Dates: 17th-25th March 2022 (others have started novenas on 16th, but it seems the bishops of Ukraine are doing theirs on these dates so it seems to be most fitting to go with that)

Details: My suggestion is that, in accordance with one’s capacity, we try for the nine days to fulfil what was asked by Our Lady of Fatima for the First Saturday Devotions – but please let the reader pick and choose as to what suits their spiritual life and schedule! In addition to the First Friday suggestion, I’ve included a number of novenas one may want to pray at the end. Pick and choose with the Holy Spirit leading! This being a Golden Rose post, I will be including Rose counts for what I suggest as we go along. Please feel free either to ignore these or to check here for more details as to what that’s about.

Intentions: You can discern your own, but I suggest the following, or as many of them resonate with your own heart: Peace in Russia, Ukraine and the world; An end to the schism which is at the root of the east/west divide and for unity in the Church; Unity within the Catholic Church and that the consecration will be completed in such a manner as to end all controversy and dissension regarding the fulfilment of Our Lady of Fatima’s request; Participation of the bishops of the world in the consecration, in union with the Pope; for the appropriate dispositions for all involved (our little selves and our little efforts included!) that the above may be accomplished in a manner worthy of Heaven.

N.B. In listing the above intentions, it is not my objective to in any way comment on whether or not the consecration was ‘done’ already. It is irrelevant to me, I am not a bishop. I have listed intentions according to what seems to me would bear the greatest fruit. Decide for yourself what you think appropriate.

The Requirements for First Saturday devotions (suggested as daily devotions for the Novena) are as follows:

  • Holy Communion of Reparation
    If you go to Mass with it this is also a rose. Having prayertime before and after Mass is now suggested, not obligatory for the count.
  • Confession
    This is suggested at any time during the novena, you don’t need to do it every day. There isn’t a rose count for this, but obviously it’s a prerequisite to be in a state of grace to receive the Holy Communions of Reparation.
  • Praying 5 Decades of the Holy Rosary
    Pretty self explanatory. Every 20 decades is a rose, so if you follow this that’s a rose each on day 4 and day 8. On the final day of the Novena you could try praying all 20 decades and that would be a rose in and of itself!
  • 15 minutes of meditation on the Mysteries of the Rosary, Keeping Mary Company
    Every hour spent in meditation on these mysteries will be a rose, so the rose count works out much like that for Rosaries – a rose each on days 4 and 8, with a suggestion that increasing the time to an hour on the feast could be another…

Then to conclude, there are a range of Novenas once could pray. Please take your pick. Any one of these will be a rose on day 9 if prayed faithfully each day, despite the fact that they are shorter than what is usually required for a Novena Rose. And if you pray more than one of them it will be so many roses, but don’t just multiply vocal prayer unless you feel the Holy Spirit desires it of you, it’s possibly better to choose one and say it well! As I’ve said, you will see on the linked sites many are beginning these on 16th March. Whilst our suggested starting date is 17th, the roses are good for either one! Here are some choices:

Further Resources

In preparation for the Consecration you may wish to renew your own Marian Consecration or study the prayers of Consecration offered by previous Popes. Here are some resources for both:

9 Day Marian Consecration Programmes

Audio Retreat with the Marian Friars Minor or Text Based Consecration with St. Maximilian Kolbe and Scripture or 9 Days with St. Thomas Aquinas – N.B. This last one costs money and I have no idea if it’s any good – just throwing it out as an option if you want to try something new!

Prayers of Consecration/Entrustment of Russia/the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

25th March 1984 Pope St. John Paul II

31st October 1942, Pope Pius XII

Consecration of Russia and Ukraine To the Immaculate Heart of Mary

So, the Pope is consecrating Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the Feast of the Annunciation! More here.

I suggest we make a Novena in preparation, starting tomorrow. Will post details then, watch this space!