In just a few days, we will reach the Feast of the Annunciation–celebrating the “fullness of time” when Christ took on our human nature to save us!
We celebrate the day when a teenager, the Blessed Virgin Mary, announced a new dawn for us by accepting the role of the mother of God! How inspiring this can be to all children! Just think of the role God gave to a young woman.
And if that isn’t exciting enough…
every child also knows it means this:
We will be only nine months away from Christmas!
Like the seasons of Advent and Lent, these nine months from the Solemnity of the Annunciation to the Solemnity of the Nativity can also be a season of spiritual growth for us.
This year, why don’t you have your family
meditate and contemplate side-by-side with Mary
during the months of her pregnancy until the birth of Our Savior?
Here are two ways that my family tries to “take part” in the patient waiting.
FIRST: my family prays a nine-month novena during this time starting on the Annunciation and ending on Christmas Eve. The novena is composed of several popular Marian prayers, which the entire family will already knows by heart, but they are put into an order that “makes sense” once you begin to practice it.
We recite it during night prayers. we print it out so that if someone is not home, they can take a copy (we older ones have it memorized!) and are able to say it on their own.
Here’s a great thing about this novena: This novena is an intercession to Our Blessed Mother for THREE specific intentions. Each of us chooses his or her own personal intentions, but make sure that they will be relevant for the entire nine months.
Rather than asking for something that will not matter in two weeks, ask Mary for something really important and longer term (so we persevere in prayer, just as she did). In the past years, I’ve prayed for my family, Holy Heroes, and my parish family. This year, I know at least one intention will be for a seriously ill friend.
The novena prayers are below, so all of you will be able to pray with us for these next nine months!
SECOND: Another great thing to do for 9 months is to take part in our “Spiritual Adoption Prayer Adventure.” Many people like to begin on the Annunciation so it will end on Christmas! You can sign up for it now (it’s another of our FREE “Adventures” that sends you email reminders).
It’s based on the Spiritual Adoption which Venerable Fulton Sheen promoted in the 1970’s.
With our Adventure we’ve made it easy to remember to do, plus we give you updates on how your baby is developing in his or her mother’s womb—just like you did before you were born!
And just think: When you get the emails about “your baby’s” development, realize: Baby Jesus was developing along this timeline, too, from when He was conceived in Mary at the Annunciation until He was born on Christmas Day!
Your family can spiritually adopt an unborn child, praying for it every day. You will receive emails every other week with videos and updates on how your adopted baby is doing.
HERE’S the NOVENA:
Hail Holy Queen
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy,
Our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
to thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn, then, most gracious advocate,
Thine eyes of mercy towards us;
And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus:
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Pray for Us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
O Virgin of the Incarnation, a thousand times we praise thee, a thousand times we greet thee, for the joy thou didst know when the Son of God became flesh in thy womb. Because thou art most powerful, O Virgin Mother of God, grant what we beseech thee for the love of God
(Pause and silently name your THREE intentions)
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Hail Mary (we all know that, right?)
May the Heart of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, be praised, adored and loved with grateful affection at every moment in all the tabernacles of the world and in the hearts of all men, even until the end of time. Amen.
Pray with us, pray with Mary!