Lourdes Novena: 3-11 February 2024

Saturday 3rd to Sunday 11th February 2024, we join in a Novena of Prayer to Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Visitors to Ireland are often struck by the beauty of the scenery throughout the country, from the Lakes of Killarney to the Glens of Antrim and the many places in between. In the stillness and peace of such places it is easy to encounter God’s presence in His Creation.
It is not an accident that many of our monastic sites in Ireland are found in beautiful places (Clonmacnoise, Glendalough, Gougane Barra, Skellig Michael, Cashel, to name a few). The early monks obviously encountered God’s presence in these locations (thin places in Celtic Spirituality), and the centuries of silence, prayer and worship that followed, only added to their tranquility and peace. What God is saying to us through His Creation cannot be heard by those who do not love silence. The monks can teach us how to listen and encounter God. “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.” Psalm 23:2-3 

Lourdes is a similar place of tranquility and peace, despite the sickness of most who go there. Pilgrims returning from Lourdes often speak of how they experienced the presence of God in this holy place where they journeyed to honour Mary His Mother. They share how the experience strengthened them (restored their soul) as they returned home to face their daily routine and the ongoing difficulties of everyday life. We all need such experiences and occasions to restore our souls.

You are invited to join us at our daily Novena Mass at 10.00am in St Joseph’s SMA Church in Wilton, Cork – either in person or by webcam – go to www.smawilton.ie or www.sma.ie and click on the Webcam links there. On each of the seven days, the reflection / homily at Mass will be given by a different SMA priest.

The special Novena prayers will be recited during the Mass. Prayer Leaflets are available in the church, as well as “petition envelopes”. For those who can’t attend in person, see the prayers below so you can join from your home, nursing home, hospital or wherever you find yourself, particularly those who are ill.

© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro Wikimedia commons

On the final day, 11th February – World Day of the Sick – emphasis will be placed on Healing. This is something that is so necessary in our day. Mother Earth needs healing. International, national, church, family, personal lives and relationships urgently need healing.

We invite you to join in this Novena as we pray for the various Intentions people have asked us to remember. As well as praying for those Intentions, we will also remember those who care for the sick, the ‘frontline’ staff in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and those who care for family members at home. May the Lord keep them and their families safe.

Donate to the Lourdes Novena here.

During the nine days, Make room for Mary in our families. She is a Mother! She is there – attentive and concerned. (Pope Francis). 

Prayers of the Novena

Introductory Prayer: “You have been blessed, O Virgin Mary, above all other women on earth by the Lord, the Most High God. God so exalted your name that praises shall never fade from the mouths of men and women.” [Judith 13:23-25]

Mary crowned with living light,
Temple of the Lord
Place of peace and holiness,
Shelter of the Word.

Mystery of sinless life,
in our fallen race,
Free from shadows you reflect
Plenitude of grace.

Virgin Mother of our God,
Lift us when we fall,
Who was named upon the Cross
Mother of us all. Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Heaven sings your praise,
Mary, we magnify your name
Through eternal days.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen”.

Repeat Introductory Prayer

We then recite a Decade of the Rosary followed by this Litany

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.
Mary our Mother, pray for us.
Mary full of grace, pray for us.
Mary, cause of our joy, pray for us.
Mary, health of the sick, pray for us.
Mary, Queen of all saints, pray for us.
Mary, Queen of peace, pray for us.

The Memorare
“Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to you, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother. To thee I come. Before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.  O Mother of the Word incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy clemency, hear and answer me. Amen.” 

Concluding Rite
“O God, who through the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, prepared a fit dwelling for your Son; we humbly ask you to grant us, who celebrate the apparition of the Virgin Mary, health of soul and body. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.”  

“O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee”.  (Three times)

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