Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

In honor of Mother's Day, I thought I would share one of my favorite prayers. It is actually a novena that I started saying with a friend some time ago, we say it regularly when she needs the support while preparing her family to face the next round of medical tests in a series of tests that will be a life-long process for them all.

A while back we decided to look for a novena, the express reason was to comfort my friend and her family, therefore I searched for novenas I thought would be fitting and let her choose which felt right to her. She chose the novena to Our Lady of Good Remedy. I had never known about this title for Mary, or this novena, until I stumbled upon it while trying to find the right one for this prayer petition. This is from The Official Website of USA Committee for the Canonization of the Blessed Anna Marie Taigi. God works in the most amazing ways, I'd never heard of her until researching this blog post, yet I find she too, is appropriate to honor on this Mother's day!

The story of the novena:

800 years ago Christians were being captured and sold into slavery by the thousands, and nobody knew what to do about it; Then,in the year 1198 a man had an idea. John de Matha founded the Trinitarians to go to the slave markets, buy the Christian slaves, and set them free. To carry out this plan, the Trinitarians needed large amounts of money. So, they placed their fund-raising efforts under the patronage of Mary. They were so successful that, over the centuries, the Trinitarians were able to free thousands and thousands of people, and to return them safely home. In gratitude for her miraculous assistance, St. John de Matha honored Mary with the tide of Our Lady of Good Remedy. This ancient devotion is widely known in Europe and Latin America, and the Church celebrates her feast day on October 8. Our Lady of Good Remedy is depicted as the Virgin Mary handing a bag of money to St. John de Matha. When in need, invoke the aid of Our Lady of Good Remedy, and you will surely experience the power of her intercession.
Still white-robed and wearing the red and blue cross, as designed by their founder, the Trinitarians are involved in many and varied apostolates, expressing their love for the Triune God as missionaries, parish priests, chaplains in prisons and hospitals, educators, friends of the left-out, the less fortunate, and all whose faith is in danger.

Although the reason for starting the novena was to comfort my friend's family, I found that I was comforted by this novena as well. My faith has faltered this last year. I have struggled terribly. I really tried to keep the faith, but life has beaten me down. In my heart I know I need to cling harder to the faith during these trying times, yet I find there is a gap between my heart and mind. Yet, every time we say this novena, it seems I find myself promising to try harder, and though the gains may be small, I'm moving in the right direction. Imagine how I felt when I read the history of the novena above. Part of the mission of the Trinitarians is to reach out to all those whose faith is in danger.

Somehow, though I asked my friend to choose what spoke to her, I think the novena turned out to be just what I needed as well.

I keep a copy of this novena by my bedside. This morning, Mother's Day, I wanted to look more into the history of the novena that has moved the hearts of two women, myself and my friend. This Mother's Day morning, I discovered another mother, Blessed Anna Maria Taigi. From the website linked above:

Anna Maria Taigi died June 9, 1837. In testimony to how an ordinary housewife and mother could become a saint and positively affect society and the lives of those who came in contact with her, the Church declared her "Blessed" in 1920. Her mortal remains lie in the Chapel of the Madonna in the Basilica of San Crisogono in Rome, Italy. The Trinitarians are actively promoting the cause of her canonization.

Here is the novena:
I. O Queen of heaven and earth, Most Holy Virgin, we venerate you. You are the beloved Daughter of the Most High God, the chosen Mother of the Incarnate Word, the Immaculate Spouse of the Holy Spirit, the sacred vessel of the Most Holy Trinity.

Mother of the Divine Redeemer, who, under the title of Our Lady of Good Remedy, comes to the aid of all who call upon you, extend your maternal protection to us. We depend on you, dear Mother, as helpless and needy children depend on a tender and caring Mother.

Hail, Mary...

II. Lady of Good Remedy, source of unfailing help, grant that we may draw from your treasury of graces in our time of need.

Touch the hearts of sinners, that they may seek reconciliation and forgiveness. Bring comfort to the afflicted and the lonely; help the poor and the hopeless; aid the sick and the suffering. May they be healed in body and strengthened in spirit to endure their sufferings with patient resignation and Christian fortitude.

Hail, Mary...

III. Dear Lady of Good Remedy, source of unfailing help, your compassionate heart knows a remedy for every affliction and misery we encounter in life. Help me, with your prayers and intercession, to find a remedy for my problems and needs, especially for...(indicate your special intentions).

On my part, loving Mother, I pledge myself to a more intensely Christian lifestyle, to a more careful observance of the laws of God, to be more conscientious in fulfilling the obligations of my state in life, and to strive to be a source of healing in this broken world of ours.

IV. Dear Lady of Good Remedy, be ever present to me and, through your intercession, may I enjoy health of body and peace of mind, and grow stronger in the faith, and in the love of your Son, Jesus.

Hail, Mary...

Pray for us, Holy Mother of Good Remedy that we may deepen our dedication to your Son, and make the world alive with His Spirit.


Part III, last paragraph, elicits a promise. This is the part that spoke to me. In my ardor to have this novena be as efficacious as possible for my friend and her family, I find myself striving to keep those promises. It is always on my mind. When I have a small victory in my spiritual life, a small victory in my calling as a wife and mother, I ALWAYS think of my promises that I make, regularly, to Our Lady of Good Remedy in this novena. I always thank her for the opportunity given, the success achieved in my life. And I always offer these small successes for the original intentions that brought Our Lady of Good Remedy into my life.

On this secular Mother's Day, I would like to remember my own mother who has gone to rest in 2005, Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, and Our Lady of Good Remedy. I would also like to remember my friend today, a mother who has survived what no mother should ever have to go through. Thanks to this friend there have been many wonderful things in my life and the lives of my family members. This novena, and the joy it has brought to me is just the latest, and I'm glad I can provide some service to her family through this prayer and the continuous prayers offered on their behalf.

Happy Mother's Day!


Mary Bennett said...

How beautiful!! You are a good friend. Is OLGR the same as Our Lady of Good Sucess?

Lily said...

Thank you, Mary. Nope, OLGS is another one we considered. In fact I say that one sometimes too.

Alexandra said...

Happy Mother's Day!

What a wonderful post! Oddly enough I was just thinking about the Christian slave trade today. Saint Patrick was one of those children stolen from his home and taken into slavery over to Ireland, but it was also common for the Muslims to abduct. I think the Trinidadians were active in Muslim areas, buying Christians back. I'll have to read more. :)

That's a beautiful novena!

Lily said...

Hello Alexandra!

I'm definitely going to be reading more on all of this. I thought all I found this morning was so interesting.

Thanks for stopping by. I've been out of the blogging loop for quite a while, but your blog is still one of my all time faves!

gena said...

Tears of thanks.... the comfort I have drawn from "our" novena times gets me through.