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Prayers

Marian devotions of religious orders, congregations and societies

1.    Benedicta tu (Augustinian)
2.    Vigil of our Lady I (Servite)
3.    Vigil of our Lady II (Servite)
4.    Devotion to the 7 Joys of Mary (Franciscan)
5.    Rosary of the 7 joys of Mary (Franciscan)
6.    Rosary of the 7 sorrows (Servite)
7.    Rosary of the 7 sorrows (Servite)
8.    The corona of the B.V. Mary (Augustinian)


BENEDICTA TU


This devotion may be observed on Saturdays, especially when the commemoration of our Lady in the Liturgy of the Hours cannot be celebrated.

Ant. Blessed are you, Mary, among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

Psalm 8
The majesty of the Lord and man’s dignity

How great is your name, O Lord our God,
through all the earth!

Your majesty is praised above the heavens;
on the lips of children and of babes
you have found praise to foil your enemy,
to silence the foe and the rebel.

When I see the heavens, the work of your hands,
the moon and the stars which you arranged,
what is man that you should keep him in mind,
mortal man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him little less than a god;
with glory and honour you and crowned him,
gave him power over the works of your hands,
put all things under his feet.

All of them, sheep and cattle,
yes, even the savage beasts,
birds of the air, and fish that make their way through the waters.

How great is your name, O Lord our God,
through all the earth!

Ant. Blessed are you, Mary, among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

V. Hail Mary, full of grace (Eastertide: Alleluia)
R. The Lord is with you (Eastertide: Alleluia)

One of the following readings is read:

St. Augustine -- Thirteenth Century Prayer -- St. Thomas of Villanova -- Philip Balzofiore, O.S.A.

I.    From the writings of our holy father Augustine

If Mary was blessed for having conceived the body of Christ, she was even more blessed for having accepted faith in Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ came to free men; both male and female are predestined to salvation. For this reason he rejected neither man nor woman: in fact, he took the male sex for himself and was born of a woman. A great sacrament is hidden here, because, just as death came to us through a woman, so through a woman was Life born to us. Thus was the devil defeated by both sexes, male and female.

The union between the Word and the flesh is a nuptial union. The nuptial chamber of this union is the womb of the Virgin, for there the body was joined to the Word. The Word is the groom and human flesh is the bride. Both together constitute the only Son of God, who is at the same time the son of man. The womb of the Virgin Mary is the nuptial chamber where he became head of the Church. Physically, Mary gave to the world the head of this Body, while the Church begets the members of the Body spiritually. In each of them virginity is not an obstacle to fecundity; in each of them fecundity does not take away virginity.

The fact that this singular and holy Virgin gave birth is a glory for all holy virgins. They, along with Mary, are mothers of Christ, provided they do the will of the Father. The universal Church is the mother of Christ, in so far as , by divine grace, she begets his members, that is, the faithful. Moreover, it can be said that every devout soul is the mother of Christ, in the sense that, by doing the will of the Father, it can through love, a most fertile virtue, give life to  all those on whom it imprints the form of Christ. As for Mary, she did fulfill the will of the Father. Hence, one can say that, while physically she was only the Mother of Christ, spiritually she was both his sisters and his mother.

Mary, then, is the only woman who is at the same time mother and virgin, both in spirit and in body. Spiritually, however, she was not the mother of our head, that is, our Saviour, from whom she, like all who believe in him, received life in the spirit. For even she is one of those who are rightly called children of the Spouse. She is, however, undoubtedly the mother of his members, of us, that is, in the sense that she cooperated by her love to give birth to Christ’s faithful, who form the members of the head. But as regards his human body, she is properly the mother of the head.

Go to Responsory

II. A Prayer used in the Order since the Thirteenth Century by an Unknown Author

Holy Mother of God, let our prayers be among those that you will hear.

Blessed Virgin Mary, who can possibly number the reasons for our praise and our thanks to you? You, the chosen one among all creatures, now in heavenly glory, are concerned for us, your fallen children. How can we, in our sad condition, sing your praise, since the possibility of raising ourselves depends entirely on your coming to our aid? Nevertheless, gentle Virgin, accept our thanks, poor and feeble as they are, and not in proportion to your worth. As you listen to our earnest desires, forgive us our sins by interceding with your Son, our Lord and Judge.

Holy Mother of God, let our prayers be among those that you will hear, and bring us the medicine of forgiveness. Obtain pardon for us in those things to which, by your help, we have begun to apply the remedy. Help us to obtain what we confidently ask for. Accept our homage, grant what we ask, overlook our fearfulness, for you are the only hope for us sinners. Through you we hope for pardon for our sins; in you, holy Mother, we await our reward.

Holy Mary, comfort of the sorrowful, encourage the doubtful, and strengthen those who are faltering. Pray for your people, be close to priests and religious, intercede for those who are consecrated to virginity. Let all who celebrate your memory experience your loving presence. Listen willingly to the prayers of those who call on you, and grant to all the favors they desire.

Pray always for the People of God - you, O Blessed Virgin, who were worthy to bear the Redeemer of the world. Be compassionate with those who are suffering, and show your motherly love to us who are on the way to our fatherland in heaven. Guard us that we may not fall, save us that we may not perish, help us to win the crown of victory. Amen.

Go to Responsory

III. From the Sermons of St. Thomas of Villanova, bishop

She was Mother on earth of Him who had God as his Father in Heaven

It was no easy matter to restore man in his humanity, while condemning the sin that was committed by reason of that very humanness.

Redemption was a complicated business; it was an undertaking that required the highest and deepest wisdom. Human nature, the guilty one, was powerless; God has the power, but he was not the guilty one. So let God become man, and thus bring together God with his power and man with his guilt.

A truly excellent and admirable plan but difficult to realize. The defilement of the flesh can in fact be cancelled out by sinless flesh, but “Can a man be found who is clean of defilement?” (Job 14, 4). Where could that flesh without stain be found? Every man was corrupted by the enticement of the serpent. It is true that God has already promised often and had confirmed by oath to our father Abraham (cf Lk 1, 73) that he would give himself to us, but, as Isaiah says (Is 41, 2): “Who has stirred up from the East the champion of justice, and summoned him to be his attendant,” so that he might bring together those who were to be combatants from the beginning, to renew the creatures he had created and to restore his image? What flesh could be so immaculate as to please God, one in which the Word might become flesh? One that would not offend the eyes of his majesty by even a single stain, that would please him by its purity and attract him by its beauty.

The wisdom of God did not find among all the masses of mankind a single way by which he might come, as he planned, to help its sorrowful condition, until he came to that Virgin about whom we are speaking.

She, unlike other mothers, did not have a son by participation with a man. She conceived him alone, she bore him alone. He was hers from every point of view, procreated entirely from her. The Son had no father on earth, and she knew no man to take part in the birth of her Son. She alone for him alone, and he for her. She had her Son together with, not a man, but God. She was mother on earth of him who had God as his father in heaven. What inexpressible love the Virgin had! What value beyond compare, this sweet maiden!

With respect to acquired love, if love can be acquired by the exercise of it, she undoubtedly acquired it in a measure superior to anyone else. For she lived with him dya and night for thirty-three years, never did she leave his side.She nursed him as an infant, took care of him as a child, reared him as an adolescent, and served him like a faithful slave until his death. With him she shared all the secrets of her heart. Tell me, if you can. From so much time together, so many conversations, and such very close companionship, how much burning love did she build up in her heart?

As regards infused love, who does not notice the quantity she was endowed with? Conceived in grace, she ever increased by good works the grace she had received and which she never lost by sin. In the incarnation of the Word of God, she was greeted by the angel as full of grace, so that through her Son all might receive of her fullness. Since infused love is nothing other than grace itself or the effect of grace, what measure of infused love must there not have been when there was such fullness of grace?

Go to Responsory

IV. From “Belezza e amore’, by Philip Balzofiore, O.S.A.

Mary, advocate of sinners

A mother’s prayer has irresistible power over the heart of a man. A thousand affections may rule there, but one’s love for his mother can never be wiped out. Its strength may change somewhat from time to time, but that love will always be back to reclaim its rights.

Like an invincible voice that rises up from the very depth of our being, the voice, the prayer of a mother exercises such a hidden power over our hearts that no advocate can possibly be more effective than a mother, because none can be more acceptable than a mother.

Mary is an effective advocate not only because of her purity, but also because she is the most acceptable.  Mary loves us. She, the Queen of heaven, is our advocate before the throne of God.

God, who came on earth, not to abolish the law but to bring it to perfection, cannot pull back from the duty of showing his filial love by honoring Mary, for to honor and respect one’s parents is an article of the law. Indeed, Jesus Christ in heaven has a certain duty to fulfill by hearing the requests of his Mother. The prayers of the Virgin Mother are, in a sense, a command, since it is impossible that she not be heard by her Son. Mary, having before God the authority of a mother, and recognized by God as truly his mother cannot fail to obtain what she asks of him. For Mary was predestined by God, chosen beforehand and prepared by him, according to his plan. From the beginning for the world, she was prepared by eternal Love to be the temple of divinity and the dwelling place of the Creator. She is the bridal chamber which the eternal Word before coming into the world, prepared for himself; she is the house which he built for himself to suit his plan; she is the tabernacle of his love his joy, his divine pleasure. Thus Mary is not only a Mother, but the most acceptable Mother. The most acceptable on earth because of her perfect conformity to the will of God, her patience in sharing the sufferings of Jesus, her cooperation in the redemption of mankind, and especially, her great purity.

Since Mary was so acceptable on earth, how much more must she be in heaven? After the union with the Father and the Holy Spirit, with whom he is consubstantial, Jesus Christ has no closer union with anyone in heaven than he has with Mary. Therefore, there cannot be any person more acceptable to the divine Judge, and any advocate more suitable to present the case for sinners.

The prayers of Mary in heaven have far more effect on the heart of the Son, than did those of Esther on the soul of Ahaseurus. Reasons for moving him to mercy are not lacking to Mary, nor can they be, for hers are the hands that carried him, hers the womb that bore him. When one places side by side her part with his – his cross and her anguish, his nails and her anxiety, his blood and her desolation, his sufferings and her cruel martyrdom – it is not possible that any favor can be denied to her by Jesus. On the contrary, the Son himself has so great a desire to please her, that when she prays, she seems to command rather than to plead, she has more the appearance of a lady than of a servant. Hence, one can say that, if the divine Son is omnipotent by nature, the Mother, so acceptable to the Son, is powerful by grace. Although in heaven she can no longer give commands to her Son, her prayer will always be effective for obtaining hat she asks.

Holy Virgin, you are Mother most acceptable to your Son, and therefore entirely worthy to defend the cause of us sinners. Excuse our faults before God, make the prayers of your children be heard, forgive their mistakes and grant what they ask for with lively faith.

RESPONSORY

V. Virgin Mary, you are the Gate of heaven, Star of the sea, and Mother of the eternal King.
Make us acceptable to your Son. * In you every virtue, beauty and glory shines forth.

R. You are the channel of divine pardon, Mother of grace and Hope of the world.
Hear us, as we have recourse to you. * In you every virtue, beauty and glory shines forth.

Let us pray

Lord,
fill our hearts with your love,
and as you revealed to us by an angel
the coming of your Son as man,
so lead us through his suffering and death
to the glory of his resurrection,
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.


VIGIL OF OUR LADY I


The Vigil of our Lady may particularly be prayed on Friday evenings, in anticipation of the Saturday commemoration of the Blessed Virgin.

Ant.1 Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

Psalm 8
The majesty of the Lord and human dignity

The Almighty has done great things for me (Lk. 1:49)     

How great is your name, O Lord our God,
through all the earth!

Your majesty is praised above the heavens;
on the lips of children and of babes
you have found praise to foil your enemy,
to silence the foe and the rebel.

When I see the heavens, the work of your hands,
the moon and the stars which you arranged,
what is man that you should keep him in mind,
mortal man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him little less than a god;
with glory and honor you crowned him,
gave him power over the works of your hand,
put all things under his feet.

All the sheep and cattle,
yes, even the savages beasts,
birds of the air, and fish
that make their way through the waters.

How great is your name, O Lord our God,
through all the earth!

Ant.1 Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

Ant.2 Your holiness, O Mother of God, is like the fragrance of choice myrrh.

Psalm 19
Hymn to the creator of the universe and Lord of the law

When the Word became flesh, like a bridegroom he united himself to human nature; and the nuptial chamber was the womb of the Virgin (St. Augustine).

The heavens proclaim the glory of God
and the firmament shows forth the work of his hands.
Day unto day takes up the story
and night unto night makes known the message.

No speech, no word, no voice is heard
yet their span extends through all the earth,
their words to the utmost bounds of the world.

There he has placed a tent for the sun;
it comes forth like a bridegroom
coming from his tent,
rejoices like a champion to run its course.

At the end of the sky is the rising of the sun;
to the furthest end of the sky is its course.
There nothing concealed from his burning heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
it revives the soul.
The rule of the Lord is to be trusted
it gives wisdom to the simple.

The precepts of the Lord are right,
they gladden the heart.
The command of the Lord is clear,
it gives light to the eyes.

The fear of  the Lord is holy
abiding forever.
The decrees of the Lord are truth
and all of them just.

They are more to be desired than gold,
the purest of gold,
and sweeter are they than honey,
than honey from the comb.

So in them your servant find instruction;
great reward is in their keeping.
But who can detect all his errors?
From hidden faults acquit me.

From presumption restrain your servant
and let it not rule me.
Then shall I be blameless,
clean from grave sin.

May the spoken words of my mouth,
the thoughts of my heart,
win favor in your sight,  O Lord,
my rescuer, my rock!

Ant. 2 Your holiness, O Mother of God, is like the fragrance of choice myrrh.

Ant. 3 Gathered in her presence, let us sing the praise of the holy Virgin.

Psalm 24
The Lord's entry into his temple

The gates of heaven were opened to Christ because he assumed our human nature.  (St. Irenaeus)

The Lord's is the earth and its fullness,
the world and all its peoples.
It is he who set it on the seas;
on the waters he made it firm.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The man with clean hands and pure heart,
who desires not worthless things,
who has not sworn so as to deceive his neighbor.

He shall receive blessings from the Lord,
and reward from the God who saved him.
Such are the men who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter the King of glory!

Who is the King of glory?
The Lord the mighty, the valiant,
the Lord, the valiant in war.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter the King of glory!

Who is the King of glory?
He, the Lord of armies,
He is the King of glory.

Ant. 3 Gathered in her presence, let us sing the praise of the holy Virgin.

V. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
R. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.

READING - PRAYERS

These three traditional reading-prayers may be substituted with a Marian passage from Scripture, the documents of the Church or Order, the Fathers, or other approved authors.

FIRST READING

O holy Mary, Virgin of virgins,
Mother and daughter of the King of Kings,
bestow on us your consolation
that through you we may deserve
to have the reward of the heavenly kingdom
and to reign with the elect of God
through all eternity.

RESPONSORY

V. O virginity, holy and pure, how can I praise your beauty?
R. For the Lord whom the heavens cannot encompass was carried in your womb.

V. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
R. For the Lord whom the heavens cannot encompass was carried in your womb.

SECOND READING

Holy Mary, most compassionate,
intercede for us.
Through you, o Virgin,
may he who was born for us,
and now reigns over all,
receive our prayers
and in his mercy wash away our sins.

RESPONSORY

V. How blessed are you, Virgin Mary, for you carried within you the Lord, the creator of the world.
R. Mother of your maker, you remain a virgin for ever.

V. Hail, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you.
R. Mother of your maker, you remain a virgin for ever.

THIRD READING

O holy God-bearer,
made worthy to conceive him
whom the whole world could not contain,
by your gracious intercession,
may our sins be forgiven
so that we may ascend
to that realm of glory
where you reign with your Son, forever.

GREATER ANTIPHON

Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy,
our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To you do we cry,
poor banished children of Eve.
To you do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
your eyes of mercy toward us,
and after this exile
show to us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving,
O sweet Virgin Mary.

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

Let us pray

All powerful and ever living God,
by the power of your Spirit,
you prepared Mary, the glorious Virgin Mother,
to be a worthy dwelling place of you Son.
As we celebrate her memory with joy,
grant that through her motherly intercession
we may be preserved from evil in this world
and from eternal death.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

Instead of the above prayer, one of the following three prayers may be said:

Prayer for the Church and the Order.

In your loving kindness, Lord,
break the chains of our sinfulness.
Through the intercession of blessed Mary, Mother of God,
our Seven Holy Founders,
your servant St. Philip
and all the saints,
assist and make holy
Benedict, our pope,
N., our brother and prior General,
(N., our Sister and prioress general/president)
our communities and all our benefactors;
deliver our parents, relatives and friends
from evil and fill them with every gift  of life;
grant us peace and health;
drive far from us all enemies seen and unseen
and repel every sinful desire.
Give us wholesome air and fruitful soil;
free the world from hunger, war, and every disaster,
and protect this city (country, place)
and all its inhabitants from every misfortune.
Pour out your love
upon our friends and upon our enemies
and grant eternal rest
to all those departed in faith.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.  

Prayer for light and grace for the celebration of chapters

Look kindly, Lord, upon this family
that trusts in you
as we prepare to celebrate
a special moment in our fraternal life:
a time when we meet
to review our commitment to the gospel.
Help us hear the voice of your Spirit
and receive your word in faith;
renew within us ideals of true service,
love for your Church
and zeal for your kingdom.

Assist and make holy our prior general (prioress general)
and all brothers (sisters)
who take part in the chapter.
Give them wisdom in discernment,
prudence in judgment,
firmness in decision
and vision in planning.
May nothing hinder their true harmony
and may the diversity of views
be reflected in common goals;
respecting our traditions
and attentive to the signs of the time,
may they act always with true concern
for the present and the future of the Order.

May they be supported by our prayers
and by the motherly presence of the Virgin Mary
so that what they do
may benefit the Church and our Order
and so witness our love for you
and all your people.  
We ask this through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

Prayer to the Virgin in our Sanctuaries

O Mary, Blessed of the Most High
and Mother of grace,
through you the Church lifts up her prayer of praise.

Beloved Daughter of the Father,
by your acceptance of the word of an angel,
you cooperated in the salvation of the world,
for in you the creature once again obeys its Creator.

Mother of Jesus,
by pondering the word in your heart
you showed us the way to wisdom,
and opened to all people this same word of glad tidings.

Spouse, beloved of the Spirit
by accepting the word of God
you gave life to the world,
and in you humanity had become
the dwelling place of the divine.

(For us this image recalls your unique vocation
and maternal intercession)

Loving Mother,
woman of prayer,
we turn to you and pray:
support our prayers
for ourselves,
for all your Servants,
for our friends and families,
for those who share the Christian faith
and for every person on earth
that all may know peace and salvation.

Ask the Father that we may truly know Christ,
be filled with the gifts of the Spirit,
protected in all adversity
and freed from every evil.
Help us to build God’s kingdom:
a kingdom of everlasting praise,
a kingdom of justice and peace
that will endure forever and ever.  R. Amen.


VIGIL OF OUR LADY II


The Vigil of our Lady may particularly be prayed on Friday evenings, in anticipation of the Saturday commemoration of the Blessed Virgin.

V. Blessed are you among women.
R. And blessed is the fruit of your womb.

V. Come, let us praise the Lord
for the wonders he has worked in the Virgin Mary.

R. Great and wonderful are your works,
Lord, God almighty;
just and true are your ways,
O King of the nations.

HYMN

A suitable Marian hymn may be sung.

[Holy Virgin, by God’s decree,
you were called eternally;
that he could give his Son to our race -
Mary, we praise you, hail, full of grace.
Ave, ave, ave, Maria.

By your faith and loving accord,
as the handmaid of the Lord,
you undertook God’s plan to embrace -
Mary we thank you, hail, full of grace.
Ave, ave, ave, Maria.

Joy to God you gave and expressed,
of all women none more blessed,
when in our flesh your Son took his place.
Mary, we love you, hail, full of grace.
Ave, ave, ave, Maria.

Refuge for your children so weak,
 sure protection all can seek.
Problems of life you help us to face-
Mary, we trust you, hail, full of grace.
Ave, ave, ave, Maria.

To our needy world of today
love and beauty you portray,
showing the path to Christ we must trace-
Mary, our mother, hail, full of grace.
Ave, ave, ave, Maria.]

PSALMODY

Ant.1 Hail, faithful Virgin, woman of the new covenant, first to enter the kingdom.

Psalm 111
God's marvelous works

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord... the Almighty has done great things for me (Lk 1:46,49).

I will thank the Lord with all my heart
in the meeting of the just and their assembly.
Great are the works of the Lord;
to be pondered by all who love them.

Majestic and glorious his work,
his justice stands firm for ever.
He makes us remember his wonders.
The Lord is compassion and love.

He gives food to those who fear him;
keeps his covenant ever in mind.
He has shown his might to his people
by giving them the lands of the nations.

His works are justice and truth:
his precepts are all of them sure,
standing firm for ever and ever:
they are made in uprightness and truth.

He has sent deliverance to his people
and established his covenant for ever.
Holy his name, to be feared.

To fear the Lord is the first stage of wisdom;
all who do so prove themselves wise.
His praise shall last forever!

Psalm Prayer

We thank you, Lord; through Mary, your faithful servant, you have given us the Mediator of the new covenant. Grant that we too may obey your commands with love and be always faithful to your Word and to our commitment of service.

Ant.1 Hail, faithful Virgin, woman of the new covenant, first to enter the kingdom.

Ant.2  Hail, glorious Mother of Christ: in you the lowly are raised up and through you the hope of the poor is renewed.

Psalm 113
The glory and mercy of God

He has looked with favor on his lowly servant ... and has lifted up the lowly (Lk 1:48, 52).

Praise, O servants of the Lord,
praise the name of the Lord!
May the name of the Lord be blessed
both now and for evermore!
From the rising of the sun to his setting
praised be the name of the Lord!

High above all nations is the Lord,
above the heavens his glory.
Who is like the Lord, our God
who has risen on high to his throne
yet stoops from the highs to look down,
to look down upon heaven and earth?

From the dust he lift up the lowly,
from his misery he raises the poor
to set him in the company of princes,
yes, with the princes of his people.
To the childless wife he gives a home
and gladdens her heart with children.

Psalm Prayer

From the rising of the sun to its setting may your name be praised, O Lord. You chose Mary, a poor and humble woman, to be the glorious Mother of your Son and the firstborn of all the redeemed. You have given her to the Church as the joyful mother of numberless children.

Ant.2 Hail, glorious Mother of Christ: in you the lowly are raised up and through you the hope of the poor is renewed.

Ant.3   Hail, woman of hope: of you was born the light of the world, through you we have the Bread of life.

Psalm 146
Happy is he who hopes in the Lord

He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation (Lk 1:50)

My soul, give praise to the Lord;
I will praise the Lord all my days,
make music to my God while I live.

Put no trust in princes,
in mortal men in whom there is no help.
Take their breath, they turn to clay
and their plans that day come to nothing.

 He is happy who is helped by Jacob's God,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who alone made heaven and earth,
the seas and all they contain.

It is he who keeps faith for ever,
who is just to those who are oppressed,
It is he who gives bread to the hungry,
the Lord, who sets prisoners free,

the Lord who gives sight to the blind,
who raises up those who are bowed down,
the Lord, who protects the stranger
and upholds the widow and the orphan.

It is the Lord who loves the just
but thwarts the path of the wicked.
The Lord will reign for ever,
Zion's God, from age to age.

Psalm Prayer

Receive, O Lord, the praise of the Servants of Mary, for you have sent your Son to proclaim the good news to the poor and liberty to captives. Renew us in our promise to love and support the needy and to defend the oppressed with the strength that comes from the Gospel.

Ant.3 Hail, woman of hope: of you was born the light of the world, through you we have the Bread of life.

V. Blessed is she who believed.
R. In her the Son of God was made flesh.

FIRST READING

To the Virgin of the Fiat

Holy Mary,
lowly servant of the Lord
and glorious mother of Christ, we greet you.
Faithful Virgin
and sacred bearer of the Word,
teach us to be aware of the call of the Spirit
and to know life in the hearing of the word:
the word we hear
 in the profound depths of our own hearts,
the word spoken
in the lives of our brothers and sisters,
the word spoken
in the world around us
and in the crises of our times.
Attentive Virgin
and woman of prayer,
receive the prayer of your Servants.

RESPONSORY

V. O Mary, you are the promised land, the sign of the kingdom to come,
R. and image of the Church that lives by the power of the Word.

V. You are the earth made holy by Christ, the living tabernacle of God's own Word.
R. and image of the Church that lives by the power of the Word.

SECOND READING

To the Virgin of the Magnificat

Holy Mary,
poor and lowly,
blessed of the Most High God, we greet you.
Virgin of hope
and bright promise of a new age,
join us as we sing your song of praise
and walk the pilgrim journey
to announce the kingdom of justice,
freedom and peace.
Help us to create with our brothers and sisters
an ever richer communion of love in Christ.
May we too glorify the mercy of God
and sing his praise
for the gift of life and salvation.
Holy Virgin, ark of the Covenant,
and firstborn of the Church,
receive the prayer of your Servants.

RESPONSORY

V. You are the voice of ancient Israel, the glory of the faithful remnant.
R. The joyful song of the virgin Church.         

V. Through you ascends the praise of all the redeemed, of the poor and humble who trust in the Lord.
R. The joyful song of the virgin Church.         

THIRD READING

To the Virgin at the foot of the Cross

Holy Mary,
woman of sorrow
and Mother of all the living, we greet you.
You are the new Eve,
the Virgin bride at the Cross
where love is consummated
and life comes forth.
Mother of disciples,
inspire us to serve.
Teach us to stand with you
at the foot of those countless crosses
where the Son of Man is still being crucified;
make us living witnesses of Christian love,
welcoming everyone as brother and sister.
Help us to escape our blindness
to follow Christ, the light of all peoples.
O Holy Virgin of Easter,
and glory of the Spirit,
receive the prayer of your Servants.

After the reading-prayers, the Salve Regina with its prayer is sung, or another Marian hymn may be sung, or the following supplication recited.

SUPPLICATION OF THE SERVANTS

Grant, Mother of all goodness,
that we, your servants, be filled with hope.
Strengthen us in the difficulties
and trials ahead;
keep us faithful in your service.
Renew our sacred, timeless  commitment
to follow Christ.
With you as guide
may we serve you, and our brothers and sisters, with love.
And at the end
be our gateway
to unending life.

Or:

Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy,
our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To you do we cry,
poor banished children of Eve.
To you do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
your eyes of mercy toward us,
and after this exile
show to us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving,
O sweet Virgin Mary.

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

Let us pray

All powerful and ever living God,
by the power of your Spirit,
you prepared Mary, the glorious Virgin Mother,
to be a worthy dwelling place of you Son.
As we celebrate her memory with joy,
grant that through her motherly intercession
we may be preserved from evil in this world
and from eternal death.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

DISMISSAL

V. May our Lady protect us and guide us on the way of life.
R. Amen.


ROSARY OF THE SEVEN SORROWS



V. In the name of the Father + and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
R. Amen.

V. We praise and we bless you, O Lord.
R. Because you willed that the Virgin Mother share in the work of salvation.

V. We contemplate your sorrows, holy Mary.
R. May we follow you in the pilgrimage of faith.

1st Sorrow: Mary accepts in faith the prophecy of Simeon.

Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined to be the downfall and rise of many in Israel, and a sign that is spoken against, so  that the thoughts of many hearts will  be revealed. And a sword will pierce through your own soul also" (Lk. 2:34-35)

Recite the Lord’s Prayer once and the Hail Mary seven times, followed by:

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Saviour crucified.

2nd Sorrow: Mary flees into Egypt with Jesus and Joseph.

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him."  And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt. (Mt. 2: 13-14)

Recite the Lord’s Prayer once and the Hail Mary seven times, followed by:

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Saviour crucified.

3rd Sorrow: Mary seeks Jesus lost in Jerusalem.

When the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it,  but supposing him to be in the company they went a day's journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him. (Lk.2: 43-45)

Recite the Lord’s Prayer once and the Hail Mary seven times, followed by:

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Saviour crucified.

4th Sorrow: Mary meets Jesus on the way to Calvary.

And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.  And there followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him. (Lk. 23: 26-27)

Recite the Lord’s Prayer once and the Hail Mary seven times, followed by:

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Saviour crucified.

5th Sorrow: Mary stand near the Cross of her Son.

So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!"  Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.(Jn. 19: 25-27)

Recite the Lord’s Prayer once and the Hail Mary seven times, followed by:

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Saviour crucified.

6th Sorrow: Mary receives the body of Jesus taken down from the Cross.

And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus.  And Pilate granted the body to Joseph.  And he brought a linen cloth, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud. (Mk. 15: 42-46)

Recite the Lord’s Prayer once and the Hail Mary seven times, followed by:

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Saviour crucified.

7th Sorrow:   Mary places the body of Jesus in the tomb awaiting the Resurrection.  

They took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.  Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb where no one had ever been laid.  So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, as the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there. (Jn. 19:40-42)

Recite the Lord’s Prayer once and the Hail Mary seven times, followed by:

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Saviour crucified.

LITANY OF OUR LADY OF SORROWS

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously  hear us.

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

Mother of the Crucified, pray for us
Mother of the pierced heart,
Mother of the Redeemer,
Mother of the redeemed,
Mother of all the living,
Mother of disciples,

Obedient Virgin,
Prayerful Virgin,
Faithful Virgin,
Virgin of silence,
Virgin of forgiveness,
Virgin of contemplation,

Woman of exile,
Woman of strength,
Woman of courage,
Woman of sorrow,
Woman of the new covenant,
Woman of hope,

New Eve,
Disciple of the Redeemer,
Servant of reconciliation,
Defence of the innocent,
Courage of the persecuted,
Strength of the oppressed,
Hope of sinners,
Consolation of the afflicted,
Refuge of the poor,
Comfort of exiles,
Support of the weak,
Relief of the sick,
Queen of martyrs,
Glory of the Church,
Virgin of Easter,

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

Let us pray.

O God,
when your Son was raised on the cross,
you willed that his sorrowing Mother be near to him.
Like her, may we be united to the passion of Christ
and share in the glory of his resurrection.
He lives and reigns forever and ever.
Amen.


ROSARY OF THE SEVEN SORROWS II



V. In the name of the Father + and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
R. Amen.

V. We praise and we bless you, O Lord.
R. Because you willed that the Virgin Mother share in the work of salvation.

V. We contemplate your sorrows, holy Mary.
R. May we follow you in the pilgrimage of faith.

1st Sorrow: Jesus, the Son of God, is born in a cave: There was no room for His Mother at the inn.

And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Lk 2:6-7)

Recite the Lord’s Prayer once and the Hail Mary seven times, followed by:

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Saviour crucified.

2nd Sorrow: Jesus, Saviour of Humankind, is a sign of contradiction.

His father and his mother marvelled at what was said about him; then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against, so  that the thoughts of many hearts will  be revealed. And a sword will pierce through your own soul also" (Lk 2:33-35)

Recite the Lord’s Prayer once and the Hail Mary seven times, followed by:

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Saviour crucified.

3rd Sorrow:  Jesus, the new-born Messiah, is persecuted by Herod.

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him."  And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt. (Mt 2: 13-14)

Recite the Lord’s Prayer once and the Hail Mary seven times, followed by:

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Saviour crucified.

4th Sorrow: Jesus, brother of all, is rejected by his neighbours.

When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath.  And they rose up and put him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong. (Lk 4:28-29)

Recite the Lord’s Prayer once and the Hail Mary seven times, followed by:

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Saviour crucified.

5th Sorrow: Jesus, the Holy One of God, is arrested by the High Priests and abandoned by his disciples.

Judas came up to Jesus at once and said, "Hail, Master!" And he kissed him.  Jesus said to him, "Friend, why are you here?" Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. But all this has taken place, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples forsook him and fled. (Mt 26: 49-50, 56)

Recite the Lord’s Prayer once and the Hail Mary seven times, followed by:

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Saviour crucified.

6th Sorrow: Jesus, the Just One, dies on the Cross.

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!" Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. (Jn 19:25-27)

Recite the Lord’s Prayer once and the Hail Mary seven times, followed by:

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Saviour crucified.

7th Sorrow: Jesus, Master and Lord, is persecuted in his disciples

About that time Herod the king laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church.  He killed James the brother of John with the sword; and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread.  So Peter was kept in prison; but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. (Ac 12:1-3,5)

Recite the Lord’s Prayer once and the Hail Mary seven times, followed by:

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Saviour crucified.

LITANY OF OUR LADY OF SORROWS

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously  hear us.

God the Father in Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Holy Spirit, Paraclete,
Holy Trinity, One God,

Mother of the Crucified, pray for us
Mother of the pierced heart,
Mother of the Redeemer,
Mother of the redeemed,
Mother of all the living,
Mother of disciples,

Obedient Virgin,
Prayerful Virgin,
Faithful Virgin,
Virgin of silence,
Virgin of forgiveness,
Virgin of contemplation,

Woman of exile,
Woman of strength,
Woman of courage,
Woman of sorrow,
Woman of the new covenant,
Woman of hope,

New Eve,
Disciple of the Redeemer,
Servant of reconciliation,
Defence of the innocent,
Courage of the persecuted,
Strength of the oppressed,
Hope of sinners,
Consolation of the afflicted,
Refuge of the poor,
Comfort of exiles,
Support of the weak,
Relief of the sick,
Queen of martyrs,
Glory of the Church,
Virgin of Easter,

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

Let us pray.

O God,
when your Son was raised on the cross,
you willed that his sorrowing Mother be near to him.
Like her, may we be united to the passion of Christ
and share in the glory of his resurrection.
He lives and reigns forever and ever.
Amen.


THE FRANCISCAN CROWN or ROSARY OF THE 7 JOYS



V. In the name of the Father + and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
R. Amen.

The first Joy: the Annunciation

The virgin is with child and shall bear a son, and she will call him Emmanuel. (Is 7:14)

Recite the Lord’s Prayer once and the Hail Mary 10 times.

The second Joy: the Visitation

All generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things for me. Holy is his name. (Lk 1:48-49)

Recite the Lord’s Prayer once and the Hail Mary 10 times

The third Joy: the Nativity

Daughter of Zion, exult; should aloud, daughter of Jerusalem! Your King is coming, the Holy One,l the Saviour of the world. (Zec 9:9)

Recite the Lord’s Prayer once and the Hail Mary 10 times

The fourth Joy: the Adoration of the Magi

The Lord and Ruler is coming; kingship is his, and government and power (Mal 3:1, 1 Chr 19:12)

Recite the Lord’s Prayer once and the Hail Mary 10 times

The fifth Joy: the Annunciation

Jesus went down with his parents and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother meanwhile kept all these things in her heart. (Lk 2:51)

Recite the Lord’s Prayer once and the Hail Mary 10 times

The sixth Joy: the Risen Christ appears to his Mother

Christ has become our Paschal sacrifice; let us feast with unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Cor 5:7-8)

Recite the Lord’s Prayer once and the Hail Mary 10 times

The seventh Joy: the Assumption and Glorification of  Mary as Queen

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, the moon beneath her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars. (Rev 12:1)

Recite the Lord’s Prayer once and the Hail Mary 10 times

At the conclusion, the Hail Mary is said two further times and then the following versicles

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

Let us pray

Almighty God,
grant that your faithful who rejoice in the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
may be delivered from every evil here on earth through her prayer,
and come to the enduring joys of heaven.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen


DEVOTION OF THE SEVEN JOYS OF MARY


INTRODUCTORY RITE

A hymn may be sung.

[Sounds of joy have put to flight
All the sadness of the night;
Now a maid beyond compare
Hears her praises fill the air:
Virgo Maria!

Who is she whom angels sing,
Making all creation ring?
She it is who wins our praise,
As on earth our voice we raise:
Virgo Maria!

Queen of virgins, Maiden mild,
Hear me, take me for your child.
Ever my protector be;
Bring eternal life to me:
Virgo Maria!

Mighty Godhead, Three in One,
While eternal ages run,
Look to Mary, full of grace,
And forgive the human race:
Virgo Maria!

Or:

Sing we of the blessed Mother
who received the angel's word,
and obedient to the summons
bore in love the infant Lord;
sing we of the joys of Mary
at whose breast the child was fed
who is Son of God eternal
and the everlasting Bread.

Sing again the joys of Mary
when she saw the risen Lord,
and in prayer with Christ's apostles,
waited on his promised word;
from on high the blazing glory
of the Spirit's presence came,
heavenly breath of God's own being,
manifest in wind and flame.

Sing the chiefest joy of Mary
when on earth her work was done,
and the Lord of all creation
brought her to his heavenly home;
where, raised high with saints and angels,
in Jerusalem above,
she beholds her Son and Savior
reigning as the Lord of Love.]

The minister invites all to pray in these or similar words

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God
for the seven joys of Mary, our Mother.

All stand for the reading which introduces each joy.

The First Joy:The Angel Announces Good News to Mary

READING

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a virgin named Mary. The angel said to her: “Rejoice, O full of grace! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women. You have found favour with God. You shall conceive and bear a son and give him the name  “Jesus.” And Mary said: “I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done to me, as you have said.” (Lk 1:26-33)

Response

Let us thank God for his presence to us in his word.

Pause for silent reflection.

PRAYER

Almighty Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
you have revealed the beauty of your power
by exalting the lowly virgin of Nazareth
and making her the mother of our Savior.  
May the prayers of this woman
bring Jesus to the waiting world
and fill the void of completion
with the presence of her child,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.  
R. Amen.
 
V. Virgin, most holy!
R. Pray for us.

The Second Joy: The Visitation

Mary set out, proceeding in haste to a town of Judah.  She entered Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth.  Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried out: "Blest are you among women and blest is the fruit of your womb.  Blest is she who trusted that the Lord's words to her would be fulfilled."  Then Mary said: "My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit finds joy in God my Savior".(Luke 1:39-47)

Response: Let us thank God for his presence to us through others.

Prayer

Eternal Father,
you inspired the Virgin Mary, mother of your Son,
to visit Elizabeth and assist her in her need.  
Keep us open to the working of your Spirit,
And with Mary may we praise you forever.  
We ask this through Christ our Lord.  
R. Amen.

V. Mary, Ark of the Covenant!
R. Pray for us.

Third Joy: The Nativity

(Luke 2:4-7): Joseph went from the town of Nazareth to Bethlehem to register with Mary who was with child.  While they were there she gave birth to her first-born son, wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger.

Response: Let us thank God for his presence to us in Jesus

Prayer:

Father, source of light in every age,
the virgin conceived and bore your Son
who is called Wonderful God, Prince of Peace.  
May her prayer, the gift of a mother's love,
be your people's joy through all ages.
May her response, born of a humble heart,
draw your Spirit to rest on your people.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

V. Mother of our Saviour!
R. Pray for us.

Fourth Joy: The Adoration of the Magi

(Matt 2:9-11): After their audience with King Herod, the Magi set out.  The star which they had observed at its rising went ahead of them until it came to a standstill over the place where the child was.  On entering the house, they found the child with Mary his mother.  They prostrated themselves and did him homage.  Then they opened their coffers and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Response: Let us thank God for his presence in the wonder of his creation

Prayer:

Father of light, unchanging God,
you revealed your Son to the nations
by the guidance of a star.  
Your light is strong; your love is near.  
Lead us to your glory in heaven
by the light of faith.  
We ask this through Christ our Lord.  
R. Amen.

V. Mary, Mother of Christ!
R. Pray for us.

Fifth Joy: The Finding in the Temple

(Luke 2:43-46): As Mary and Joseph were returning from Jerusalem at the end of the feast, the child Jesus remained behind. Mary and Joseph returned to Jerusalem in search of him. On the third day they came upon Jesus in the temple sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.

Response: Let us thank God for his presence when we gather together in his name.

Prayer:

Father in heaven, creator of all,
teach us the sanctity of human love,
show us the value of family life.
Help us to live as the holy family,
united in respect and love.  
Bring us to the joy and peace of your eternal home.  
We ask this through Christ our Lord.  
R. Amen.

V. Mother, comforter of the afflicted!
R. Pray for us.

Sixth Joy: Jesus appears to his Mother on Easter morning after his Resurrection

(Luke 24:1-6): Very early on Sunday morning the women went to the grave carrying the spices they had prepared.  They found the stone rolled away from the entrance to the grave, so they went in; but they did not find the body of Jesus. Suddenly, two men in bright shining clothes stood by them.  Full of fear, the women bowed down to the ground. The men said: "Why are you looking among the dead for the
one who is alive?  He is not here; he has been raised."

Response: Let us thank God for the presence of the Risen Lord

Prayer:

God our Father,
by raising Christ your Son
you conquered the power of death
and opened for us the way to eternal life.  
Raise us up and renew our lives
by the Spirit that is within us.  
Grant this through Christ our Lord.  
R. Amen.

V. Mary, seat of wisdom!
R. Pray for us.

Seventh Joy: The Crowning of Our Lady in Heaven

(Rev 12:1; Ps 45:14-15): Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, adorned with the sun.  She was standing on the moon with the twelve stars on her head for a crown.  With jewels set in gold, and dressed in brocades, the king's daughter is led in to the king.

Response: Let us thank God for the gift of eternal life

Prayer:

All-powerful and ever-living God,
you raised Mary, mother of your Son,
body, and soul to the glory of heaven.  
May we see heaven as our final goal
and come to share her glory.  
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

V. Queen of all holy men and women!
R. Pray for us.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection,
implored your help or sought your intercession,
was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence,
I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother;
to you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in your mercy hear and answer me.
R. Amen.

The minister concludes the service with the following prayer:

Lord,
as we honor the glorious memory of the Virgin Mary,
we ask that by the help of her prayers
we too may come to share the fullness of your grace.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.


CORONA OF OUR LADY OF CONSOLATION


This little rosary of the Blessed Virgin is intended to proclaim our faith as we find it expressed in the Apostles’ Creed. We do this while calling to mind the scene in the Cenacle when the Apostles “devoted themselves to constant prater. There were some women in their company, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers” (Acts 1: 14)

The following is a fitting way to recite the corona:

V. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
R. Amen.

After the announcement of each article of the Apostles Creed, a brief reading may be taken from among the following selections of the works of St. Augustine, or readings may be taken from other works that deal with the articles of the Creed. There follows a brief silence, then the Hail Mary is recited. One or two of the following readings may be chosen.

1. I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth.

You Lord, created heaven and earth. They are beautiful because you are beauty; they are good because you are goodness; they exist because you exist. They are not as beautiful or as good, nor do they have being, as do you, their creator; compared with you they are neither beautiful nor good nor do they exist.

Or:

When I asked the earth, it responded: “I am not God;” when I asked the waters and the deep, they responded: “We are not your God. Look above us.” When I asked the heavens, the sun, the moon, the stars: “Nor are we the God you seek,” they said. To all of them I said: “Speak to me of my God. If you are not he, tell me something about him.” Loudly they exclaimed: “It is he who made us.” The heavens, the earth, and everything that is in them, all these things tell me to love you.

Or:

Every created thing precedes other created things, some by reason of time, others by reason of causality. God, however, precedes everything that he created, not only because he is eminently superior, since he is the source of causality, but also because he is eternal.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you!
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.

Every breath yearns for Christ. He alone is the desired one, the most beautiful of all. He loved us in our unloveliness, in order to make us beautiful like himself.

Or:

I am the way, the truth and the life. It is by me that you come; it is I that you come to, and in me you remain. How do you wish to go? I am the way. Where do you wish to go? I am the truth. Where do you wish to remain? I am the life. Christ as God is the fatherland where we are going; Christ as man is the way we must travel.

Or:

We, it is true, shall become sons of God by his gift, but Christ has always been God’s Son by his nature. We, once converted shall be united to God, though always different from him, but Christ who never separated himself from God, remains equal to him. We shall participate in eternal life, but Christ is eternal life.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you!
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

3. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.

Oh, incredible kindness and mercy! He was the only Son, but he did not want to remain alone. In order that men might be born of God, God first was born of men. He had to seek on earth only a mother, since his Father he already had in heaven. Begotten of God is he through whom we were created; born of a woman is he through whom we are to be recreated. The Word first wished to be born of man, so that you might be assured of being born of God.

Or:

His human birth was both humble and extraordinary. Why humble? Because as man he was born of a human creature. Why extraordinary? Because he was born of a virgin. Virgin she conceived, virgin she gave birth, and virgin she remained.

Or:

What has appeared to you as weakness is in fact hidden divinity. He is rich because of what he is, poor because he was like you. And yet, his poverty is our wealth, in the same sense that his weakness is our strength, his ignorance our wisdom and his mortal condition our immortality.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you!
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

4. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.

Exalted is the fatherland, humble is the way. The fatherland is the life of Christ, his death is the way. The fatherland is above where Christ dwells with the Father, his suffering is the way. If anyone rejects the way, how can he seek the fatherland?

Or:

For you he allowed himself to be crucified, to teach you humility. He was alive and you were dead; he died that you might live. God vanquished death so that death might not overcome man.

Or:

What is it that we love in Christ? The crucified body or the pierced side, or is it not rather his love itself? When we hear it said that he suffered for us, what do we love? It is his very love that we love. The fact is that he loved us so that we might love him in return.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you!
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

5. He descended into hell and on the third day he rose again from the dead.

An example of painful toil – the cross; the reward of painful toil – resurrection. In the cross he showed us how we are to bear suffering; in his resurrection he showed us what we are to hope for.

Or:

What Christ has done counts for more than what he promised you. What did he do? He died for you. What did he promise? That you will live with him. It is more difficult to believe that the eternal One died than that man should live forever. If God has in fact died for man, why should not man live forever with God? He took on what he needed to die for you; you will take on what you need to live with him.

Or:

Our faith is strengthened by the resurrection of Christ. The passion of Christ represents the misery of our present life, while the resurrection of Christ gives us a brilliant glimpse of the happiness of future life. Let us apply ourselves energetically in the present life, and hope in the future. Now is the time for the painful struggle; then will come the recompense. Anyone who is lazy about carrying out his work will be brazenly impudent, if he expects the recompense.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you!
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

6. He ascended into Heaven, where he sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty.

Wonderful is the fact that, even though he ascended above the heavens, he remain close to those who are still living on earth. Who is this one who is so far away and yet so near, if not he who out of merciful goodness became our brother?

Or:

I removed myself from your eyes. Let this mortal body which I assumed because of your mortality be taken out of sight. Begin now to see no more this vesture that I have put on out of humility, and let it be taken up into heaven so that we may know what you are to hope for.

Or:

He ascended into heaven. And where is he now? He sits at the right hand of the Father. Do you know what “the right hand” means? “The right hand of God” means eternal happiness. It means inestimable, inexpressible, incomprehensible beatitude.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you!
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

7. Whence he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Let us welcome him as out Savior, in order not to have to fear him as our judge. Whoever now believes in him, observes his commandments and loves him, will not fear him  when he comes to judge the living and the dead. Not only will you not fear, you will desire his coming. Is there anything more joyful than the arrival of someone you are awaiting, the arrival of someone you love?

Or:

The one who is now our defending lawyer will then be our judge. Can it be that we have him as our defender and yet fear him as our judge? No! By the fact that, fully confident, we sent him ahead to  defend us, let us preserve our hope in him when he comes to judge.

Or:

Believe firmly what you believe - that he will return. What does it matter when? Prepare yourself for his coming. Put aside curiosity and develop trusting love. What does it matter when? Love as though he was coming today and you will not fear his coming.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you!
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.Amen.

8. I believe in the Holy Spirit.

What the soul is to the human body, the Holy Spirit is to the Body of Christ, the Church. The Holy Spirit is active in the whole Church in the same way that the soul animates all the members of the human body.

Or:

This excellent guest finds you empty and fills you, he finds you hungry and thirsty and satisfies you abundantly. God the Holy Spirit, who comes from God, when he enters into a man, draws him into the love of God and neighbor. Indeed, he is love itself.

Or:

The love which is of God and which is God himself is properly the Holy Spirit, through whom the love of God is poured into our hearts, thus bringing it about that the whole Trinity dwells in us. If you  wish to live by the Holy Spirit, possess charity, love truth, desire unity so that you may come to eternal life.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you!
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

9. I believe in the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints.

Let us love the Lord our God, let us love his Church. We love him as our Father, the Church as our mother. Him we love as Lord, the Church we love as his handmaid. This marriage is cemented by the deepest love. It is not possible to offend the one and enjoy the good feelings of the other. What good does it do to remain in the grace of the Father, when he will vindicate the mother if you offend her.

Or:

O Catholic Church, true mother of Christians, you are right not only in preaching that God should be adored with an entirely chaste and pure heart, for indeed, to live in him is the blessed life. You also unite brother to brother in a bonds of religion that is stronger and closer than ties of blood. You unite citizen to citizen, people to people, not by a mere grouping together but the bond of fraternity.

Or:

Mary gave birth to your head and the Church gave birth to you. The Church too is a mother and a virgin – mother because she is made of love, virgin because of the integrity of her faith.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you!
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

10. I believe in the remission of sins.

The wound is serious but the physician is all powerful. Does it seem to you so small a mercy that, while you were living in evil and sinning, he did not take away your life, but brought you to belief and forgave your sins? Does that seem to be a small mercy? What I suffer from is serious, but I trust the alighty. I would despair of my mortal wound, if I had not found so great a physician.

Or:

Driven out of paradise by you, and exiled in a distant land, by myself I cannot return, unless you come to meet me in my wandering. My return is based on hope in your mercy during all of my earthly life. My only hope, the only source of consolation, the only solid promise is your mercy.

Or:

Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. For him nothing that is good for man is impossible, and no evil is beyond repair. Here you see the true greatness of the Lord, the justification of the sinner.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you!
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

11. I believe in the Resurrection of the Body.

Will these ashes therefore on day, take on the form of beauty, be restored to life, restored to light? The bodies of all of us, of me who now speaks to you and of you who now listen, all of us in a few years will be ashes, and yet a few years ago we were not even ashes. If he was able to create what did not exist, will he not be able to remake what once existed?

Or:

As Christ took on what he needed to die for you, so will you  take on what you need to live with him. Where did he take on his mortality? In the virginity of his mother. Where will you take on life? In his equality with the Father.

Or:

The resurrection of the body will be an end and without end. The body will die no more, will have no more sufferings, no more hunger and thirst, no more afflictions; it will not become aged or ill. We shall be possessed by the Lord, we shall be his inheritance and he will be ours.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you!
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

12. I believe in eternal life. Amen.

If you should become tired of loving, you will also fail in praising. But id it is true that love will be eternal, since his beauty is inexhaustible, then have no fear! Nothing will impede you from praising forever him whom you will be able to love forever.

Or:

We shall see, we shall love, we shall praise. Our vision will not fail, our love will never end, and our praise will never fall silent. Love sings now; then, too, it is love that will sing. But now it is a yearning love that sings, then it will be an enjoying love.

Or:

There, we shall be at rest, and we shall see, we shall see and we shall love, we shall love and we shall praise. The end of our desires will be he who can be admired without end, can be loved with our being bored, can be praised without our becoming tired.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you!
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
to you do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
your  eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this our exile,
show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

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

Let us pray.

Lord Jesus Christ,
Father of mercies and God of every consolation,
grant, we pray, that your faithful,
who rejoice in the protection
of the holy Virgin Mary ,Mother of Consolation,
may, by her motherly intercession,
be freed from all evils in this life
and be worthy of coming to the eternal joy of heaven,
where you live and reign for ever and ever.
R. Amen.


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