Novena of the Immaculate Conception (Nov. 29 – Dec. 7)
Written by radioadmin on November 29, 2020
This year, the Novena of the Immaculate Conception begins on the First Sunday of Advent, the very first day of the new liturgical year. With ominous events of 2020 showing no signs of abatement, it’s comforting to begin the year praying this powerful novena. We invoke heavenly aid from our Blessed Mother for our fragile world, so troubled by sin and evil in so many forms: threatening shadowy forces that seem to control our government, media, and the general culture; fiery riots, chaos, and racial tension; the evils of biological warfare, medical tyranny, media terror, and genocidal hatred.
What, or better, who is the Immaculate Conception?
The term “immaculate conception” refers to a privilege granted by God to the Blessed Virgin Mary, a privilege that no other human person ever received or ever will: to be conceived without sin. This privilege was given to her, a unique exception to the rule of original sin which plagues all of the other “sons of Adam,” in view of another great privilege given to her alone: the Divine Maternity. She had to be free from sin in order to be a fitting Mother of the Incarnate Word.
Mary identified herself with this title at Lourdes in 1858, when St. Bernadette asked her: “Who are you?” She replied (in the local dialect): “Que soy era Immaculada Counceptiou,” which means “I am the Immaculate Conception.” It was as if she were confirming the dogma that Pope Blessed Pius IX had just declared four years earlier, which proclaims her to be free from even the slightest stain of sin, from the very first moment of her material existence.
What is a novena?
Deriving its name from the Latin word “novem,” meaning “nine,” a novena is a nine days-long prayer to obtain special graces, to obtain specific intentions, for thanksgiving, or to prepare for a specific feast, such as Christmas or a Saint’s day, or in our case, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (December 8).
Novenas, often, but not necessarily, have about them a sense of “urgency”; they are typically made for special intentions, one’s own or another’s (“I’ll make a novena for you”).
There are four main types of novenas:
- novenas of mourning, such as the novena made during the novemdiales — the nine day period following the death of a Pope
- novenas of preparation, or “anticipation,” such as the Christmas Novenas or Novena to the Magi, prayed before a given Feast commemorating a Saint or an event in the life of Christ, His Mother, the angels, or the Church
- novenas prayed to petition or offer thanksgiving
- the indulgenced novenas
When a Novena is prayed in anticipation of a Feast, it is typically begun such that it ends the day before the Feast (i.e., to know when to start a Novena in anticipation of a Feast, count 10 days back from the Feast, with the Feast itself counting as “one.”)
Novena of the Immaculate Conception: 2020
It is especially appropriate, now, as our nation languishes in a state of electoral crisis, that faithful American Catholics pray in a particularly intense way for a peaceful, honest resolution to the contestation that has been dragging on for weeks.
America was consecrated to Mary under her specific title of “the Immaculate Conception” in 1850, by decree of the United States bishops. Therefore, we can be confident that Our Blessed Lady has a particular interest in helping us through this crisis.
So we name as one particular intention: our fervent petition for a fair and honest outcome of the current presidential election, and that after that, our country might receive the grace to engage in a serious “examination of conscience,” on the part of all private citizens and public servants, that we might be converted to God and His Law, and that we might find the courage and conviction as a nation to set right the corruption that for so long has threatened the public welfare. May Our Blessed Mother obtain for us reconciliation and a time of real cultural renewal, in the Christian spirit of truth and charity.
Our Lady is praying for us and urging us to choose God, and intercede for others, and receive once again the grace of God’s peace. With this novena we proclaim our assent, and offer veneration for the Woman chosen by God from before creation to be the Mother of God and Our Savior’s closest collaborator in the work of Redemption.
Please select the day below and pray with the friars, Radio Cor Mariae staff and listeners, and many other Catholic citizens this special 2020 Franciscans of the Immaculate Novena of the Immaculate Conception.
- Day 7, December 5