THE IDEA OF A NOVENA
The word “novena” comes from “novem”, the Latin word for the cardinal number nine. Since the foundation of the Church, believers have prayed with confidence over a period of nine days for all sorts of intentions.
The focus on nine days has been a feature of prayer in the Church from its very beginnings. In fact we learn from the Acts of the Apostles that the Church came into existence at the end of a “novena”. It began on the afternoon of Ascension Thursday and ended on the morning of Pentecost Sunday, nine days later.
The Scriptures give us a detailed account of what happened over those nine days:
“While Jesus was at table with His disciples (after the Resurrection) he had told them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for what the Father had promised. “It is”, he had said, “what you have heard me speak about……you will receive the power of the Holy Spirit which will come on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judaea and Samaria and indeed to earth’s remotest end”………..So from the Mount of Olives, as it is called, they went back to Jerusalem, a short distance away, no more than a Sabbath walk; and when they reached the city they went to the upper room (cenaculum) where they were staying; there were Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas , Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Jude son of James. With one heart all these joined constantly in prayer, together with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus and with his brothers” cf. Acts I: 1-14.
This is the only passage in Scripture where we learn that the eleven Apostles, some women, and “his bothers”, described in the Bible of Jerusalem as “close relations of Jesus” were privileged to be constantly in the physical presence of Mary the mother of Jesus over a period of a “novena”. We can be sure that this Mother of All Goodness will be with us in spirit over the period of our own Novena as we prepare for the Annual Global Rosary Relay for the Sanctification of Priests on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, her Divine Son, on Friday, June 28th.
Bernard J.McGuckian S.J.
SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI: THURSDAY, JUNE 20.
Today’s Feast of Corpus Christi was first entered into the Liturgical Calendar of the Universal Church 775 years ago in 1264. This initiative came from revelations by the Risen Lord Himself to Saint Juliana in her Congregation near Liege, Belgium. To this humble nun, He revealed His desire that a day be set apart to celebrate with special solemnity the Sacrament of His Body and Blood. Although the inestimable gift of the Blessed Eucharist was made possible through the cruel, unjust slaughter of the Lamb of God, for which all of humanity should be ashamed and ask forgiveness, the special emphasis of today’s feast is the joyful celebration of the Supper of the Lamb. Without our priests, there would be something missing in our efforts to respond to this divine call to joyful celebration. So, let us lift up our hearts! Sursum corda!
St Juliana, pray for our Priests, especially those who minister to us in our Church community……
As there are people participating in our Novena on all five continents, we suggest that you pray for your priests through the saints of your own country. While there are thousands of canonised saints and blessed in heaven, there are only 365 days in the year. So, not all of them find their names in the Universal Calendar of the Church. Without the ministry of their priests none of these great saintly people would have reached the heights of sanctity to which they attained.
O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament have left us a memorial of your Passion, grant us, we pray, so to revere the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood that we may experience in ourselves the fruits of your redemption. Who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever.
Mission Lands is a new initiative by Worldpriest that reaches out to priests, lay faithful, religious, families and young people who will contribute captivating content on a monthly basis.
You will receive real-life experience from home lands and foreign lands, with stories from around the world for readers to reflect upon covering evangelisation, catechetical, pastoral, intellectual, human and spiritual outreaches.
The first contribution comes from our Worldpriest Representative for Indonesia and Pakistan, Father Mushtag Anjum, Mi.
Should you wish to contribute to this new, exciting, though at times challenging section, please email Worldpriest Global Apostolate at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be delighted to welcome you as a contributor and we hope you enjoy exploring new horizons in the spiritual and religious world. \lsdsemihidde
The devotion to Our Lady Undoer of Knots is known around the world and more and more people from all races are becoming devoted to the one who can undo the knots of our lives.
But what are these knots?
They are the problems and struggles we face and for which we see no solution.
Knots of discord in your family, disrespect, violence, the knots of deep hurts between husband and wife, the absence of peace and joy at home. They are also the knots of anguish and despair, dissolution of the family, the knots of a drug addict son or daughter, sick or separated from home or God, knots of alcoholism, the practice of abortion, depression, unemployment, fear and solitude – the knots of our life! How they suffocate the soul, beat us down and betray the heart’s joy and separate us from God.
The devotion to Mary Undoer of Knots is not new. It is more than 300 years old. However, it is
not based on an apparition of the Virgin Mary to a person like in Lourdes or Fatima, but rather it is a respected devotion as many other in the Catholic Church, despite the fact that the Virgin Mary is only one.
How was this devotion started?
To show us the mission granted to the Virgin Mary by Her Son, an unknown painter in 1700 painted Mary Undoer of Knots with great grace. Since then his painting has been adored in the Church of St. Peter in Perlack, Germany. Its inspiration was the result of St. Irineus’s meditation. He, who in the light of the parallel made by St. Paul between Adam and Christ, created the comparison of Eve and Mary saying:
‘Eve, by her disobedience, tied the knot of disgrace for the human race; to the contrary, Mary, by her obedience, undid it’.
The painting shows an angel giving the Virgin Mary a ribbon full of knots, which represents the ribbon of our life and our problems. Mary interceding for us with Jesus, undoing with love and mercy the knots and another angel receives the plain ribbon with no knots, which has been undone by our Holy Mother. The knots are undone with our prayers described in an infallible Novena.
The devotion to Mary Undoer of Knots is known in many different countries, and the Novena is printed in nineteen languages and in Braille. More than 1,700,000 copies were distributed and it has the Cardinal’s ecclesiastic approval, receiving the ‘NIHIL OBSTAT and IMPRIMATUR’.
This Novena is known around the world … and can change your life.
Why a Novena? Why nine days?
Mary stayed for nine days surrounded by the apostles in the cenacle, praying for the presence of the Holy Spirit.
In this persevering prayer she taught us the constancy of faith and ardour, in order for us not to be discouraged about a request directed to God. The Mother of God prayed and gave courage to the apostles to pray for nine days, in order to receive the most important and precious treasure for human life – The Holy Spirit.
Pakistan has won the Ninth Worldpriest Annual Global Rosary Relay Award held on Friday, 8 June 2018 on the solemn feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus – a day reserved for praying for the sanctification of priests worldwide.
The Ninth Worldpriest Annual Global Rosary Relay 2018 award was presented by Rev. Father Nazar Nawab, parish priest of St. Paul’s Parish Karachi, and the local representative of the Worldpriest Global Apostolate for Pakistan, Naveed Anjum, to His Eminence Cardinal Joseph Coutts, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Karachi-Pakistan on Friday 25 January 2019, on the solemn feast of the conversion of St. Paul the Apostle and The Golden Jubilee Celebration Day of St. Paul’s Parish Mehmoodabad Karachi-Pakistan (the biggest Parish of Metropolitan Karachi, Pakistan).
His Eminence Cardinal Joseph Coutts is Pakistan’s second Cardinal, elevated as Cardinal last year on 28 June, by Pope Francis, after twenty years serving with the Church in Pakistan. The first Cardinal of Pakistan, His Eminence Joseph Marie Anthony Cordeiro died on 11 February 1994, having been elevated as Cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1978.
There were five apparitions recorded at Guadalupe in Mexico.
The first apparition: At dawn on 9 December 1531, Juan Diego, an Indian convert, was going to Tlatelolco to attend catechism class and hear Mass. As he was passing Tepeyac Hill, he saw a brilliant light on the summit and heard the strains of celestial music. Filled with wonder, he stopped. Then he heard a feminine voice asking him to ascend. When he reached the top he saw the Blessed Virgin Mary standing in the midst of a glorious light, in heavenly splendour. The beauty of her youthful countenance and her look of loving kindness filled Juan Diego with unspeakable happiness as he listened to the words she spoke to him in his native language. She told him she was the perfect and eternal Virgin Mary, Mother of the true God, and made known to him her desire that a shrine be built there where she could demonstrate her love, her compassion and her protection. “For I am your merciful Mother”, she said, “to you and to all mankind who love me and trust in me and invoke my help. Therefore, go to the dwelling of the Bishop in Mexico City and say that the Virgin Mary sent you to make known to him her great desire.”
The second apparition: The bishop was reluctant to believe Juan Diego’s story. Juan returned to Tepeyac Hill where he found the Blessed Virgin waiting for him, and told her of his failure. She bade him return to the bishop the next day and repeat her wishes.