Novena To Our Lady Of Perpetual Help. Day 9
ACT OF CONTRITION
My Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true man, my father and redeemer, behold at Thy feet a poor sinner who has so grievously afflicted Thy loving Heart. O lovable Jesus, how could i have offended thee and filled with bitterness that Heart that love me so and that has spared no effort to attain my love? How great has been my in gratitude! But, O my saviour, be consoled, be consoled, I say to thee; now i find myself repentant, such grief i feel for the afflictions i have caused thee, that i would like to die of poor sorrow and contrition. O my Jesus! who could have make me weep for sin as Thou hast wept for them in Thy mortal life! My soul is oppressed for having offended Thee. Eternal father, in satisfaction for my offences I offer Thee the affliction and sorrow the Heart of Thy Divine Son has felt for them. And Thou, O Loving Jesus! give me such a horror for sin that from now on it may make me avoid even the most trifling of faults. Depart from my heart, earthly affections; I do not want to love anything now but my most bountiful Redeemer. O my Jesus, help me, strengthen me, and pardon me.
My Mother of perpetual help, intercede for me and obtain for me the pardon of my sins.
(To be said everyday)
O Most Blessed Virgin Mary! Who to inspire us with boundless confidence has been pleased to take the sweet name of Mother of Perpetual help, I implore Thee to come to my aid always and everywhere, in my temptations, after my falls, in my difficulties, in all the miseries of life, and above all, at the hour of my death. Give me, O loving Mother, the desire, nay more, the habit always to have recourse to Thee, for i feel assured that if i am faithful in invoking Thee, Thou will be faithful in coming to my assistance. Obtain for me, then, this grace of graces, the grace to pray to Thee without ceasing, and with childlike trust, that, by means of my constant plea, I may ensure Thy Perpetual Help and final perseverance. Bless me, O tender and solicitous Mother, pray for me now and at the hour of my death. Amen
NINTH DAY MEDITATION
Our Lady of Perpetual Help assists Her devotees in Purgatory.
Will the exercise of Mary’s mercy be limited, by chance, to the threshold of eternity or before the tribunal of Jesus Christ? O no! Remember that Her help is perpetual. With maternal solicitude, She continues working on our behalf until She sees us at Her side in glory. This compassionate Mother helps Her devotees not only in all the necessities of life and at death, but also in Purgatory. since the imprisoned souls need greater help, because they are more tormented and cannot be relieved by their own efforts, this Queen of mercy busies Herself with greater efficacy in helping them.
Above all, just hearing Her most holy name pronounced alleviates those unhappy prisoners. They are consoled on thinking that the help of their Mother is perpetual and that it extends, therefore, even to that horrifying prison. One day, Jesus told Her, as St. Bridget heard it: “Thou art My Mother, the Mother of mercy, the consolations of those who find themselves in Purgatory;” and the Blessed Virgin said to the aforementioned saint, that just as the words of consolation she addresses to a poor, sick, afflicted and abandoned one, on his bed of sorrow, delights him, so also were those souls consoled with just hearing her name. For Her dear children, this name is a great relief in that prison, for which they invoke it often. And the loving Mother, on hearing them invoke it, provides them Her maternal help, directs Her pleas to God with which many souls are helped and refreshed, as with heavenly dew, in their great sufferings.
Moreover, as sovereign Queen, She exercises in that prison Her dominion and the fullness of Her powers, not only to relieve, but also to free from their pains those holy prisoners. And in regard to relieving them, St. Bernadine of Siena, applying to the matter we are dealing with, those words of Ecclesiasticus, “I have walked in the waves of the seas, “says: “this is, visiting and helping in the necessities and pains of My devotees, who are My children. The pains of purgatory may be called waves, ” adds the aforementioned saint, ” that never pass; and they may be called waves of the sea, because they are very bitter pains.”
Afflicted by those pains, the devotees of Mary are often visited and aided by Her. Mary Herself revealed to St. Bridget that She was the Mother of all the souls that are found in Purgatory, because all the pains they deserve for the offences they committed in life, in a certain manner, are mitigated, hour by hour, by Her pleas. the compassionate Mother does not disdain descending at times to that holy prison to visit and console Her afflicted children. How important is it, then, to dedicate oneself to the veneration of that kindest Queen, since Her devotees are not forgotten in the purifying flames of Purgatory!
But Mary not only consoles, aids and visits Her children in that prison of expiation, but also at times, She takes them away from there to carry them to Heaven. On the day of Her glorious assumption, one pious tradition holds, Purgatory was left vacant, because Mary had asked and obtained from Jesus Christ the privilege of taking with Her to glory all the souls that were then grieving in that place where fire purifies all stains. And it is a matter of faith that with Her plea and petitions She has the singular privilege of freeing as it pleases Her, the souls in Purgatory, and especially those of Her most devoted children. Be a sincere devotee of this tender Mother, therefore, so you, too, may feel the sweet effects of Her maternal help when you are in Purgatory. Even more: ask Her to grant you, before death, the grace of making an act of such perfect love that you may fly to Heaven without even passing through those purifying flames
Meditate and ask for what you wish to obtain from Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
AT THE END OF EACH PARAGRAPH SAY
Thou art Perpetual Help benign;
Come, therefore, I implore Thee:
Come hasten to assist me.
O Mother sweet and kind!
Hear, O Virgin pure,
Our fervent prayers of love
That fly to Thee above
On Thine exalted Throne.
Stained by guilt and sin
I bow my head and cry;
And at Thy feet I sigh
for clemency and love.
Free the careless soul
From it tepid ways,
And set the soul ablaze
with fervour in devotion
Wretched in this vale
Of pain and tribulation,
For heavenly consolation
I humbly beg of Thee.
If my virtue wanes
When tempests howl and roar,
My energies restore
Beloved Morning Star.
To Thy faithful child
And toward virtue guide
His weak unsteady step.
Free my fickle heart
from all its lassitude,
And grant it fortitude
To lead a sinless life.
In the final clash
With death in all its fright,
How great my soul’s delight
If then i can exclaim:
In purgatory’s fire,
Dear Mother, please be sweet;
Great Lady, I entreat,
Alleviate my pains.
Grant me, Mother dear,
As fond farewell to Thee,
To sing eternally
With love and praise to Thee:
Come hasten to assist me
O Mother sweet and kind!
O Mother of Perpetual Help! Have mercy on the souls in Purgatory and especially those who were most devoted to Thee. Amen
Hear Mass and receive Communion in honour of Our Lady of Perpetual Help for souls.
O Mother of Perpetual Help! O Thou Who does never abandon Thy children and help them perpetually in life, in death, and even in Purgatory itself, behold here at Thy feet a poor sinner who, filled with confidence, has recourse to Thee and gives himself to Thee. Many and great are the sins I have committed; I hope, O my Mother, that they have been forgiven; but i do not know if I have done for them the penance due, and it is likely that I may have to continue expiating them in Purgatory. Ah, if such would be my lot, do not cease to visit me in that terrible prison; console me then and alleviate my pains. Finally, be my perpetual help until you see me in Heaven, praising Thee and singing of Thy mercies for all eternity. Amen.
Austria 1876: A God-fearing woman had a son of very bad character and with very bad habits. To maternal advice he was apt to reply: “I know what I must do.” One day the mother, filled with confidence, made a pilgrimage to Catzelsdodrf, some four league distant, by a laborious road, to a sanctuary of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. As soon as she arrived before the altar of the Virgin she knelt down and prayed a long time, begging with abundant tears for the conversion of her son. Meanwhile, her son, who remained at home, began to feel a sudden change of heart, together with a great confidence in Her Who is the Refuge of sinners.
The good mother returned to her home, related what she had seen and heard, and spoke of her emotion in the presence of the holy image. The prodigal son, on hearing this, could not resist grace and made a resolution to make that same pilgrimage as soon as possible. He did it alone and without his mother’s knowing of it. Our Lady finished what she had begun, granting to that unfortunate one, as a reward for that act of virtue, the grace of a sincere contrition and of a good confession. Reconciled with his God, he received communion and returned home. It was his luck that he had not been deaf to the voice of God, for a little later he was a victim in a sad accident and died suddenly. His poor mother was ignorant of this conversion. How great, then, was her bitter and inconsolable sorrow, believing her son had died in the sins of his past. She could do nothing but weep day and night.
But She Who had saved the sinner, did not leave the pious mother without consolation. One night she saw her son in her dreams. He was in Purgatory and from the midst of the flames he extended his arms, crying” “My mother, my mother, I am not condemned, but I suffer horribly in this place. Go, I beg you, on a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Catzelsdorf!”
As soon as she awoke, the poor woman, without concerning herself with her duties, went to the Church mentioned.
Prostrate at the feet of the Virgin, after having received Holy Communion, she prayed fervently for her dead son. And then she learned from his confessor: what she has being ignorant of: that a few days before, her son, too, had come to pray before the protective image and had not returned to his house without having reconciled himself with God and prepared himself for death.
On hearing such happy news, her grief was transformed into pure joy. Praising and blessing the merciful Mother, she went to relate everywhere the wonders worked by Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
May the virgin tof Perpetual Help be loved, praised, invoked and eternally blessed! May she be my hope, my love, my Mother, My refuge and my life. Amen.