Saturday, January 24, 2015

Novena to Our Lady of Candlemas

Main altar, Candelaria Church, San Salvador.
Given the successful Novena launched in this Blog at year’s end, the faithful followers of Archbishop Romero are invited to participate in a second Novena offered for his beatification. This Novena of Our Lady of Candelaria (Candlemas/the Lady of the Presentation), would have much pleased Archbishop Romero. Along with the prayers of the Novena, you will find reflections centered on the preaching of Abp. Romero in 1977, his most Marian year. This novena also recalls the Candelaria Novena prayed in Argentina in January-February 2013 which culminated with a Mass celebrated by the then Cardinal Bergoglio. 
Please join us in prayer and kindly forward this prayer request to your contacts.
Reference: Luke 2:22-35.
DAY 1: Sunday, January 25, 2015  

Novena prayer: “Immaculate Lady of the Presentation: you who being pure in the sight of God, were yet willing to be purified like a sinner to teach us the importance of living in God's grace, grant that we, in imitation of you, seek to give due importance to being purified in the eyes of God, even though we should humble ourselves to recognize our sins in confession. Amen.”
Reflection: “Mary is the first Christian. Mary is the model of a gospel that becomes life. Mary is the ideal of the Church. How much the Church desires in her work with people to make all men and women appear like Mary, the model person who allowed herself to be redeemed, the model person who says to God as he presents his plan of salvation: Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.  —Archbishop Romero, December 19, 1977
Romero Beatification Prayer: “Oh! Jesus, Eternal Shepherd, You have made Archbishop Oscar Romero a living example of faith and charity, and have granted him the grace to die at the foot of the altar in a supreme act of love for You. Grant us, if it is Your will, the grace of his beatification. May we follow his example of love for Your Church, for Your Word and the Eucharist; and may we love You in the poorest and the neediest. We ask this through the intercession of [the Virgin of Candelaria]. Amen.”
DAY 2: Monday, January 26, 2015
Memory of Saints Timothy and Titus, bishops

Novena prayer: “Immaculate Lady of the Presentation, who, being full of holiness have nevertheless presented yourself at the temple to fulfill the Law of God, grant that we, in imitation of you, come to love our church and consider it more each day as a place to approach God. Amen.”

Reflection: “At the time of his presentation the various laws of Moses were fulfilled: the circumcision of the first male child and the purification of his mother who, even though she was immaculate, wanted to give us this gesture of obedience to God’s law, as well as a gesture of humility and respect for what God had stipulated.  Here in the Cathedral, we venerate this beautiful image of the Virgin of the Presentation. I would like everyone in the Capital and in the Diocese to remember that this was the first image of the Virgin that our people venerated.  —Archbishop Romero, February 5, 1978
Romero Beatification Prayer
DAY 3: Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Memory of Saint Angela Merici 

Novena prayer: “Immaculate Lady of the Presentation: you who did not hesitate to put your son Jesus into the hands of Simeon, knowing how he prayed in the temple for the grace of seeing the Redeemer grant that we too may sigh to have Christ in our heart so that you may hand it to God. Amen.”
Reflection: “My beloved sisters and brothers, we have reflected and asked the Virgin Mary to enable us to understand the mystery of her child.  She has summed all of this up through my humble word:  My child is nothing more and nothing less than the manifestation of men to men:  their dignity and the greatness of God which they bear as images of God.  Know how to be worthy of this seal that each person bears.  And finally Mary says:  this child that is in my arms is the most beautiful image of the Church that will be prolonged for centuries and that will bring the life of God into the midst of human deficiencies, into the midst of the poverty of the manger in Bethlehem.  —Archbishop Romero, December 25, 1977
Romero Beatification Prayer
DAY 4: Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Memory of St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church

Novena prayer: “Immaculate Lady of the Presentation: You who upon presenting your son Jesus in the temple heard the announcement of your pain and accepted it as the will of God, grant, that we shall not become that prophesied sword and our sins the cause of your pain. Amen.”
Reflection: “This image is a great treasure, not the image, but the trust in this mother who can say to all mothers who suffer that no one has suffered like her. During her lifetime, no other mother has carried within herself the prophecy that Mary carried from the time that she cradled her son in her arms. No other mother has heard at the beginning of the life of her son a prophet proclaim a disgraceful, bloody end to his life. If a mother were to hear during her child’s infancy that this son would be tragically murdered and that a sword would pierce her heart, then, my sisters and brothers, the whole life of this mother would be one of suffering, a Calvary.  —Archbishop Romero, December 1, 1977
Romero Beatification Prayer
DAY 5: Thursday, January 29, 2015 

Novena prayer: “Immaculate Lady of the Presentation, You who neither upon presenting yourself in the temple nor at any time thereafter invoked your condition as Mother of God, demonstrating the importance and value of humility, let us put aside everlasting self-concern and based on your example may we grow in appreciation of humility. Amen.”
Reflection: “When Mary, the virgin, the most spiritual being of Yahweh, sings her praises to God who will free those who are humble and poor there appears to be a political dimension to her words: The hungry he has filled with good things and the rich he has sent away empty. Mary also proclaims words that today might be considered words of insurrection: He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. This is the political dimension of our faith, a faith that was lived by Mary and also lived by Jesus.  —Archbishop Romero, February 17, 1980
Romero Beatification Prayer
DAY 6: Friday, January 30, 2015
Memory of St. Martina, martyr 

Novena prayer: “Oh Blessed Lady of the Presentation: we pray that you obtain for us from your beloved Son Our Lord Jesus Christ the grace to imitate your virtues, keep the commandments and be repelled by the horror of mortal sin. So one day we will rejoice eternally in heaven. Amen.”
Reflection: “In the sight of God we are mischievous children who have disfigured his eternal plans. But thanks to God, there is someone who has perfectly accomplished his plans, someone who responds with the words that we heard in this morning’s gospel: Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word. There is no alienation here. Alienation is characteristic of those persons who say: I will not serve you. I will act according to my own desires. Such people are living the darkness of their being. The Council says that when people sin: the thread that unites them with their Creator fades away and is broken and ruined or as Jesus said: every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. Every sinner is a branch that is cut off. On the other hand, Mary tells the Lord that she is a branch that is firmly attached to the tree: I do not want to separate myself from you. I want to bear fruit, that which you give me, that which is in your mind. May it be done to me according to your will. This is the story of salvation.  —Archbishop Romero, December 24, 1978
Romero Beatification Prayer
DAY 7: Saturday, January 31, 2015
Memory of St. John Bosco

Novena prayer: “Immaculate Lady of the Presentation: aware of our weaknesses, we come to you, so that you may obtain for us the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, to be able to lead a life worthy of our Christian vocation, to imitate your virtues and thus obtain the reward of eternal life. Amen.”
Reflection: “This Church that is on pilgrimage among the persecutions and sorrows of the earth looks to Mary and contemplates in Mary her immortal destiny. She is encouraged to suffer all these pains and persecutions because she knows that God, through this pain (like he did with Mary’s pain), is molding those living stones for that glorious temple where God will reign forever in majesty and beauty.  —Archbishop Romero, August 15, 1977
Romero Beatification Prayer
DAY 8: Sunday, February 1, 2015 

Novena prayer: “Immaculate Lady of the Presentation, through your virginal purity, your immaculate conception and your prerogative as Mother of God, obtain for me from your beloved son, humility, serenity, purity of heart, body and spirit, holy perseverance in what is good, the gift of prayer, a holy life and glorious eternity. Amen.”
Reflection: “Mary is the first stone of that glorious edifice upon which God is going to build his temple for all eternity. Thus Mary is the beginning and the model that the Church Mary is called the prima redenta, the first person to be redeemed, the model of all those redeemed, the one who has been redeemed par excellence, the most beautiful flower of redemption, the abundance of the crucified Christ on the cross. The blood of Christ could not spring forth from a more beautiful rock than Mary, his own mother.  —Archbishop Romero, December 19, 1977
Romero Beatification Prayer
DAY 9: Monday, February 2, 2015
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

 Novena prayer: “Immaculate Lady of the Presentation; by your obedience to the Father, aware of our pride and arrogance, we beseech you to assist us to accept the will of God, so that our whole life may become a renewed Yes to the will of the Eternal Father. Amen.”

Reflection: “The Virgin of the Presentation will be seen as the patroness and the sign of the love of a people who were born to be a people of Mary, a people for Mary, and a people of Christ.  —Archbishop Romero, April 9, 1978
Romero Beatification Prayer

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