Madonna and Child, with Saints - by CORREGGIO - from Gemäldegalerie, Dresden
|Around the Madonna and Child are set St Gimignano who is holding a Model of the City-of-Modena, of which he is the Patron; along with St John the Baptist; St Peter the Martyr, Patron of the Confraternity; and St George with his foot on the Dragon's Head.|
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).
"Morning-Star" - Saint-John-Damascen 'Calls' Mary, "the Star which 'Indicates' the 'Rising' of the Sun". As the Morning Star 'Precedes' the Sun, so does Devotion 'Towards' the most Blessed Virgin, 'Precede' the Sun-of-Divine-Grace; for Saint-Germanus 'Says' that, "Devotion in a Soul 'Towards' Mary, is a Sign either that it is already in a State-of-Grace, or that it will very soon be so". Our Lady is also 'Called' the Star-of-the-Sea by the Church; for, as Saint-Thomas 'Explains' it, "as Mariners, in Tempestuous Weather, are Guided by the Star-of-the-Sea, into Port, so are Souls Guided by Mary, over the Sea-of-this-World, into Paradise". Hence Saint-Bernard Warns us, 'Saying', "If you do not Wish to be Lost in the Storm-of-Temptations, "Turn" not your Eyes from this Star-of-Salvation". He then 'Continues', "if you Follow Mary, you will not go Astray; if Mary Protects you, you cannot Fear to be Lost; if Mary Favors you, you will Reach Paradise".
- Second Meditation -
"Health-of-the-Weak" - Mary is Called-by Saint-Simon-Stock "the Medicine-of-Sinners"; and by Saint-Ephrem, not only Medicine, but Health itself: "Robust Health for those who have 'Recourse' to her". Hence, those who have 'Recourse' to Mary, not only find in her a Remedy, but Health itself; and this, she herself 'Promises' to All who 'Seek' her: "He that shall 'Find' me, shall 'Find' Life, and shall have Salvation from the Lord". Neither let us Fear that, on-account-of the Bad Odor of our Wounds, she may 'Refuse' to take Care-of us; she is our Mother, and as a Mother, does not Srink-from 'Dressing' the Wounds of her Child, neither does this Celestial Physician 'Refuse' to Heal her Servants, who have 'Recourse' to her. Wherefore Saint-Bernard 'Says':
- Third Meditation -
"Refuge-of-Sinners" - Thus is Mary Called-by Saint-Germanus; he 'Says', "She is the ever-ready Refuge-of-Sinners". Yes, of All Sinners; for as the Abbot-of-Celles 'Says', "She can Despise no-Sinner, but Receives All, and Welcomes All, the Moment they have Recourse to her". Hence Saint-John-Damascen 'Affirms', that Mary is not only the Refuge-of the Innocent, but also of the Wicked, who 'Implore' her Protection: "I am a City-of-Refuge to all who Fly-to me". Therefore Saint-Anselm 'Exclaims', "Thou Embracest with Maternal Affection, a Sinner who is even Despised-by the Whole World, nor dost thou Cease thine Embrace, until thou hast Reconciled him with his Judge". By this, the Saint 'Gives' us to Understand, that a Sinner being 'Hated' by God, is also Odious and Abominable to All Creatures; but, if he has 'Recourse' to Mary, the Refuge-of-Sinners, not only she does not 'Despise' him, but 'Embraces' him with Affection, and does not Leave him, until her Son Jesus Christ, Who is our Judge, has 'Forgiven' him.