1. Religion & Spirituality
Scott P. Richert

Novena of the Week: Prayer of Pope Pius XII

By December 10, 2013

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As the Month of the Immaculate Conception continues, what better way is there to celebrate than to offer a novena in honor of the Immaculate Conception?A statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary as she appeared at Lourdes, France, in 1858. Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Hanceville, Alabama. (Photo © Scott P. Richert)

This Prayer of Pope Pius XII was composed by the Holy Father in 1954, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the promulgation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception by his predecessor, Pope Pius IX. Theologically rich, this prayer calls to mind the great gifts that God granted to the Mother of His Son, from the moment of her conception to her Assumption and Coronation as Queen of Heaven.

This prayer is especially appropriate during Advent, not only because the The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception falls during this time, but because the fifth verse of the prayer recalls the words of the Prophet Isaiah in the Scripture Reading for the First Sunday in Advent: "Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatreds . . . "

Pope Pius XII thus reminds us that Mary always points us toward her Son. Her life was the perfect model of Christian charity; if we wish to draw closer to Christ, how can we do better than to live our lives as the Mother of God lived hers?

(A statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary as she appeared at Lourdes, France, in 1858, where she announced, "I am the Immaculate Conception." Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Hanceville, Alabama. Photo © Scott P. Richert)

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