“Mondays with Mary” – Litany in Honor of the Holy Infancy of the Blessed Virgin

Since tomorrow, November 21, is the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the West (East – The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple), I thought I provide you with a litany to pray before or after Mass, or if you can’t make daily mass, you could recite in it your home in from a Marian image or statue. It is the Litany in Honor of the Holy Infancy of the Blessed Virgin Mary written by St. John Eudes.

In the book, The Wondrous Childhood of the Most Holy Mother of God, written by the aforementioned saint, he explains the twelve mysteries that belong to the Holy Childhood of the Blessed Virgin. The eighth through the twelfth mysteries focus on tomorrow’s memorial, particularly the ninth mystery which is actually – her Presentation in the Temple. Mary’s presentation in the Temple of Jerusalem, at the age of three years old, was a great day for not just Mary and her parents, Sts. Joachim and Ann, but it was a glorious day for all of creation. It was the day that set forth the path for many great things to come beginning most notably at the Annunciation.

In the chapter focusing on the tenth mystery, St. John Eudes says,

“From the first moment of her entrance into the Temple she realizes that she is in the house of God, a house not less holy than heaven and meriting the same veneration and respect, since the God of heaven makes His dwelling there…She contemplates, adores, praises, loves, glorifies Him, and offers; consecrates and sacrifices herself entirely to His Divine Majesty. She renders to God adoration and praise more holy and more agreeable to Him than all which has risen from this Temple during the thousand years it has been in existence.”

Litany in Honor of the Holy Infancy of the Blessed Virgin Mary –

Lord, have mercy on us,
Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us,
Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us,
Lord, have mercy on us.

Infant Jesus, hear us,
Have mercy on us.

Infant Jesus, graciously hear us,
Have mercy on us.

God the Father of heaven,
Have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the World,
Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Infant Mary,
Pray for us.

Infant Daughter of the Father,
Pray for us.

Infant, Mother of the Son,
Pray for us.

Infant, Spouse of the Holy Ghost,
Pray for us.

Infant, Sanctuary of the Holy Trinity,
Pray for us.

Infant, fruit of the prayers of thy parents,
Pray for us.

Infant, riches of thy father,
Pray for us.

Infant, delight of thy mother,
Pray for us.

Infant, honor of thy father,
Pray for us.

Infant, honor of thy mother,
Pray for us.

Infant, miracle of nature,
Pray for us.

Infant, prodigy of grace,
Pray for us.

Immaculate in thy Conception,
Pray for us.

Most holy in thy Nativity,
Pray for us.

Most devout in thy Presentation,
Pray for us.

Masterpiece of God’s grace,
Pray for us.

Aurora of the Sun of Justice,
Pray for us.

Beginning of our joy,
Pray for us.

End of our evils,
Pray for us.

Infant, joy of earth,
Pray for us.

Infant, joy of heaven,
Pray for us.

Pattern of our charity,
Pray for us.

Model of our humility,
Pray for us.

Infant, most powerful,
Pray for us.

Infant, most mild,
Pray for us.

Infant, most pure,
Pray for us.

Infant, most obedient,
Pray for us.

Infant, most poor,
Pray for us.

Infant, most meek,
Pray for us.

Infant, most amiable,
Pray for us.

Infant, most admirable,
Pray for us.

Infant, incomparable,
Pray for us.

Infant, health of the sick,
Pray for us.

Comfortess of the afflicted,
Pray for us.

Refuge of Sinners,
Pray for us.

Hope of Christians,
Pray for us.

Lady of the Angels,
Pray for us.

Daughter of the Patriarchs,
Pray for us.

Desire of the Prophets,
Pray for us.

Mistress of the Apostles,
Pray for us.

Strength of Martyrs,
Pray for us.

Glory of the Priesthood,
Pray for us.

Joy of Confessors,
Pray for us.

Purity of Virgins,
Pray for us.

Queen of all Saints,
Pray for us.

Infant, our Mother,
Pray for us.

Infant, Queen of our hearts,
Pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, Infant Jesus.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, Infant Jesus.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us, Infant Jesus.

Infant Jesus,
Hear us.

Infant Jesus,
Graciously hear us.

LET US PRAY:

O almighty and merciful God,
Who through the cooperation of the Holy Ghost,
didst prepare the body and soul
of the Immaculate Infant Mary
that she might be the worthy Mother of Thy Son,
and didst preserve her from all stain,
grant that we who venerate with all our hearts
her most holy childhood,
may be freed,
through her merits and intercession,
from all uncleanness of mind and body,
and be able to imitate her perfect humility,
obedience and charity.
Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Most Holy Blessed Virgin Mother…Pray for Us

“Mondays with Mary” – Reasons Why We Should Honor and Imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary in Her Childhood

Since Saturday was the Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I found it fitting to focus today’s “Mondays with Mary” on the words of St. John Eudes. In his book, The Wondrous Childhood of the Most Holy Mother of God, the 18th century saint meditates upon the childhood of the Blessed Mother examining different aspects of her life. For today’s post, we will read the exact words of the saint as he writes on reasons why we should honor and imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary in Her childhood.

First Point –

“Consider that we are obliged to honor the sacred Virgin in her childhood; firstly, because the twelve years of this sacred period contain in themselves almost an infinitude of greatness and holiness, which merits the highest honor, and will be for eternity the object of the praises of the inhabitants of heaven. Count the mysteries, the virtues, the thoughts, affections, words, actions and mortifications of this holy Child; reflect upon the holy use she made of the powers of her soul, and of her interior and exterior senses. You will find herein sufficient reasons for entertaining a singular devotion to her. For all that passed in the interior or exterior of this blessed Child was full of perfection and sanctity, and worthy of particular veneration.

Secondly, we should revere this admirable Child, because her infancy was a continual exercise of adoration, praise and love towards God. Since she was full of grace, she gave more glory to God by the smallest action than the first among the Saints by the practice of the most heroic virtues.

Thirdly, we should render all possible honor to this most holy Child, because all the virtues of her infancy were employed in preparing her to give us a Savior and to co-operate with Him in our salvation. May all these reasons urge us to a singular devotion and particular love for this amiable Babe.”

Presentation of the BVM #3

Second Point –

“Among other considerations, we must remark that we are indebted to the holy childhood of Mary for three great favors. Let us observe here that the Son of God when about to be born into the world could have created a virgin of perfect age and become incarnate in her. But His infinite goodness towards us obliged Him to choose for His Mother a daughter of Adam, thus to honor all the human race with three signal favors.

First, by this birth of the Infant Mary divine Bounty gave us two treasure of sanctity, St. Joachim and St. Ann, whom, otherwise we should not have had in their quality of father and mother of Jesus and Mary, and of their children.

The second favor is that by the birth of this holy Infant God bestowed upon the race of Adam another inestimable gift, an immense treasure of good, the holy and precious Mother of God, born or Adam’s race, our sister and our Mother.

The third favor consists in the treasure she has given us, the God-man, our Brother.

Weight all these three great favors God has given us in the birth of this most holy Infant, and let these considerations excite in us a great desire to honor Mary in every possible way.”

Third Point

“Consider that the Son of God wished His worthy Mother to pass through the state of infancy that she might given an example and rule of life which all Christians might follow. For all are obliged by the laws of the Gospel to be children in innocence, in simplicity, in humility, in obedience, and in all virtues. “Amen I say unto you, unless you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Give thanks to the Son of God for having given us an example so noble and so charming, and a rule so holy and so sweet. Venerate this divine example, and love this amiable rule. See if you have followed it in the past. Humble yourself and ask pardon for the shortcomings of which you have been guilty. Begin carefully to imitate the virtues of the holy infancy of your most holy Mother. Beg her to assist you to annihilate in yourself all that maybe an obstacle thereto.”

As we begin this week, let us ask for the grace and fortitude to follow the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary by honoring and imitating her in our daily lives. Let us also pray this week for those people in our lives who don’t understand Mary’s role in Salvation History and don’t respect her live when it comes to the life of Jesus Christ and ours.

“Mondays with Mary” – The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

This coming Wednesday, November 21, is the Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (in the Temple) and that is why today’s “Mondays with Mary” is dedicated to this important date in the liturgical calendar.

As stated by tradition, the Blessed Virgin Mary, as a child around the age of three, was brought to the Temple and presented before the Lord. This celebration has its origin in an Eastern Rite of the Catholic Church (more than likely Syria). It seems from Church writings that the feast begin somewhere between the 7th-11th centuries in the East. It has its celebration origins in the Latin Church sometime during the 14th century and around the time of the Avignon Papacy. In Greek circles, the feast is known as the Entrance of the Blessed Virgin Mary into the Temple. It is believed that the Blessed Virgin Mary also during this day entered the Holy of Holies, being the first woman to ever do so. Some will disagree with that last statement; however, this memorial is to show the Blessed Virgin Mary’s dedication to the service of God and complete and total obedience to his will. Even as a small child, the Blessed Mother knew how important it was to be aligned with the will of God.

I draw upon St. Francis de Sales, one of thirty-five Doctors of the Church to assist in our understanding and reflection of this important day in the life of the Blessed Mother and the Church she would eventually protect. The excerpts below are from a sermon given by St. Francis on November 21, 1617 –

“Similarly, never was “so much perfume” and ointment offered to God in His Temple as the most holy Virgin brought with her on this day. Never until then had the Divine Majesty received so excellent and pleasing a gift as the offering He received from the blessed St. Joachim and St. Anne. They went to Jerusalem to fulfill the vow they had made to God to dedicate their glorious child to Him in the Temple, where young maidens were brought up for the service of the Divine Majesty.”

Do you not see that our glorious Lady was longing to see the day when her parents would offer to God, for it is true that she had the use of reason from the time of her Conception?…Moreover, the holy Virgin and her glorious Son, Our Lord, had the use of reason from their mother’s wombs and were, consequently, endowed with much knowledge. Nevertheless, they concealed it under the law of profound silence.”

“Oh, my God, how I wish I could adequately picture to myself the sweetness and consolation of this trip from St. Joachim’s home to the Temple of Jerusalem! What contentment this little child displayed in seeing that the long-awaited hour had finally come! Those who went to the Temple to adore and offer gifts to the Divine Majesty sang all along the way. The royal prophet David composed a psalm expressly for this purpose, and Holy Church has us say it every day in the Divine Office: “Beati immaculati in via” [Ps. 119] – “Happy are they whose way is blameless,” who walk in Your way, Lord, without stain of sin. “In Your Way” – that is to say, in the observance of Your commandments.”

St. Francis de Sales continues his sermon by explaining how we, like the Blessed Virgin Mary, must make vows and be obedient to them as we walk this earth. Religious Orders take a variety of vows during their discernment period until they profess final vows. They will also renew these vows on a yearly basis.  St. Francis de Sales says speaking of his own vows, “This commemoration of our vows is made principally to strengthen our fervor, to renew our promises, and to reaffirm our good resolutions.”

For us as Christians, dedication to God begins at the Sacrament of Baptism and continues throughout our Sacramental life. Baptism is the day that we are first dedicated to God. St. Francis says that our birthday is not as important as our Baptismal day, because at our birth we are children of Adam and without grace, but on the day of our Baptism we are filled with God’s grace. Bishop James S. Wall, Diocese of Gallup (NM) once said in a homily, parents and children should celebrate the Baptismal Day by lightening the candle that was given to them on that day just as they celebrate their birthday with candles. He continued by saying the day of our Baptism is the day we are welcomed into God’s family – the Church.

We must be humble, obedient, and always open to God’s will in our lives, just as the Blessed Virgin Mary was from the day of her presentation in the Temple. Let us pray that through her loving and motherly embrace, we may come to know Jesus Christ through the Sacramental life as deeply as she knew Him when she carried Him in her immaculate body.