Br. Patrick McNamara, FMS, Marist Brothers U.S. Provincial has invited the Marist family to pray a novena starting on April 1 and ending on April 9. Together, we will ask for Mary and Lord's protection during the COVID-19 pandemic and will be in solidarity with all who are suffering from this illness throughout the world.
A novena is an ancient prayer in our Christian tradition in which we ask nine times for a particular request. The prayer can be offered in private or in community. Over a period of nine days, we grow closer to the Lord and to Mary by our daily conversations and heart sharing. Why nine times? In some studies, the number 9 is the number of harmony, meditation, inspiration, and perfection. Like the number 3 which denotes completion, 3 x 3 (9) takes us to a greater level of perfection.
In our Marist tradition, we remember our good Father Champagnat encouraged the early rothers and now to each of us in the Marist family that Mary is our ordinary resource. So, please join me in calling upon her for help.
We will pray each day the prayer Pope Francis composed to Mary, Our Lady, Health of the Sick.
O Mary, you shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick.
At the foot of the Cross you participated in Jesus’ pain,
with steadfast faith.
You, Salvation of the Roman People, know what we need.
We are certain that you will provide, so that,
as you did at Cana of Galilee,
joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the Father’s will
and to do what Jesus tells us:
He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and bore our sorrows to bring us,
through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen.
We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God.
Do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test – and deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.