Madonna and Child - by CORNELIS VAN HAARLEM - from Amstelkring Museum, Amsterdam . . . .
The Pear in this Painting is Symbolic of Christ's Love for Humanity
The Novena is Nine (9) Days-of-Prayer for Special Graces,
and had its Origin in the Nine (9) Months, Our Lord was in His Blessed Mother's Womb,
from the Incarnation (25 Mar), to the Nativity (25 Dec).
"Virgin-most-Renowned" - The Holy Church 'Proclaims' that this Divine Mother is "Most Worthy of every Praise"; for, as Saint-Ildephonsus 'Says', "All Praise which is Given to the Mother, Redounds-to the Honor of the Son". With Reason, then, did Saint-George-of-Nicomedia 'Declare', "that God Accepts the Praises which are Lavished-on Mary, as if they were Bestowed-on Himself". The Blessed Virgin 'Promises' Paradise to him, who 'Endeavors' to 'Make' her Known and Loved: "They that Explain me, shall have Life Everlasting". Therefore, Richard-of-Saint-Lawrence 'Writes' that, "All who Honor her in this World, will be Honored by her, in the Next". Saint-Anselm 'Says', "That as Mary, by 'Becoming' the Mother-of-God, was the Means-of-Salvation of Sinners, so are Sinners Saved, by Proclaiming her Praises". All cannot be Preachers, but All can Praise her, and Speak-to Relations and Friends in familiar Conversation, of the Merits of Mary, of her Powers and Mercy, and thus 'Lead' them to Devotion towards this Divine Mother.
- Second Meditation -
"Virgin-most-Powerful" - And who amongst the Saints is as-Powerful with God, as His Most Holy Mother? She 'Obtains' all that she Pleases. "Thou Willest", 'Says' Saint-Bernard, "and All is Done". Saint-Peter-Damien even 'Says', "that when Mary asks Graces from God, she does not 'Ask', but, so-to-say, 'Commands'; for her Son 'Honors' her by Refusing her Nothing". Thus does the Son 'Honor' His Beloved Mother, by 'Granting' her whatever she 'Asks', even in-favor-of Sinners. Hence, Saint-Germanus 'Says':
- Third Meditation -
"Virgin-most-Merciful" - Mary is as Clement and Merciful towards those who have 'Recourse' to her Intercession, as she is Powerful with God. Saint-Bernard 'Says', "that since the Power to Save us cannot be 'Wanting' to Mary, as she is the Mother-of-God, so neither can the Will be 'Wanting' to her, for she is our Mother". Who is there that ever had 'Recourse' to Mary and was Abandoned? "Let him Cease to Praise thy Mercy", says the same Saint-Bernard, "who Remembers having ever Invoked thee, without being Graciously Heard". Saint-Bonaventure 'Writes', "that Mary has so-Great a Desire to be Invoked by us, that she may Dispense her Favors to us in Greater Abundance, that she is not only Offended by those who Speak Ill of her, but also by those who Neglect to Ask her for Graces". Thus, to 'Obtain' her Help, we are not Obliged to Entreat this Mother-of-Mercy much; it is enough to Ask for it with Confidence. "Her Mercy", 'Says' Richard-of-Saint-Lawrence, "comes to our Aid before we Invoke it"; and he Tells us why, "It is because she cannot Know and See our Miseries, without Relieving them".
Virgin most Merciful, Pray for us.