Saturday, June 2, 2018
Rosary Novena Prayer to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Patroness of the Order of Preachers
O Blessed Virgin Mary, Lady of the Holy Rosary, as I prepare myself to preach, contemplate and pray God’s Word in the Sacred Mysteries of your Holy Rosary in this Novena, I proclaim you, in the presence of God and His people, to be the Second Eve, “the woman” prophesied in Scriptures who would become the Virgin Mother of the Redeemer, the “Second Adam,” the Lord Jesus Christ. As “the Mother of my Lord,” you are “the most blessed among women.” “The Lord is with you” as with no other human being. For through His conception in your womb as man by the Holy Spirit, He became “really related” to you as a Son to His Mother. In doing so, He formed a singular personal union or relationship with you not only through the body He received from you in becoming your Son, but also through the singular grace you received from Him in becoming His Mother. In this sense, your communion as Mother and Son through nature and grace is far beyond any other relationship involving God and creature. For this reason, Blessed Mary, I approach you NOT to worship you as the Uncreated God, but to “honor” you as God’s greatest creature, His Most Holy Mother. In the Scriptures God calls His people to honor their mothers. This included honoring not only the good mothers in their society, but also those mothers considered bad or imperfect. In this sense, the first and natural basis for honoring them was neither their goodness nor their imperfection as mothers, but their natural maternity or motherhood they received from God as a blessing. For this reason, their sons and daughters had a natural sacred responsibility to honor them throughout their life. For they conceived them as their children in the order of nature. Thus, “Children, honor your mother for being your mother, whether she is good or bad. In doing so, you will be acting righteously. You will be loving her faithfully as good sons and daughters as the Living God wills.” Nevertheless, Blessed Mary, natural maternity was not the only reason for honoring their mothers. They also had a second, spiritual basis for honoring “certain mothers” in their society. Specifically, God called His people to especially honor certain mothers for their spiritual goodness or righteousness. Accordingly, they could only offer this honor to those righteous or virtuous mothers among God’s people who loved God and their neighbors faithfully, including their children. These mothers alone had the goodness required for being models of spiritual motherhood to their sons and daughters and others. They lived holy lives. Hence, they could nourish, form, counsel and instruct their children spiritually by their words, actions and prayers. Thus, God called His people to honor them by humbly receiving their spiritual help. In this sense, through their holiness of life as spiritual mothers, they could act as maternal mediators or intercessors for their spiritual good. This is especially true of you, Blessed Mary, as the Most Holy Mother of God. You are the greatest maternal intercessor for human beings before God. As such, your maternal mediation is far greater than any other spiritual mother. In God’s Providence, you became the most perfect model of spiritual and natural motherhood. In you, the spiritual fully perfects the natural through the singular grace of holiness you received in your Immaculate Conception. For God created you “full of grace” as His Immaculate Daughter to prepare you to say yes to the greatest blessing you would receive in your life, “the blessed fruit of your womb,” the uncreated person of God the Son as man, in your Divine Maternity. Blessed Mary, as I preach, pray and contemplate God’s Word in your life through the Sacred Mysteries of your Holy Rosary, may I honor you as the Most Perfect Mother, the all-holy Virgin Mother of God, throughout my life.
O Blessed Mother of God, Lady of the Holy Rosary, God created you in His divine image as a rational, free person, full of grace. For He desired you to respond rationally and freely to His Word in “the fullness of time” by believing and loving Him perfectly as only you could as the Immaculate Conception. As a result, after the angel Gabriel announced to you God’s plan for you to become the Mother of His Son, you humbly opened your heart to His Word in faithful and loving obedience to Him, as the Second Eve. For this reason, “Blessed are you, Mary, who believed and obeyed God’s message.” In doing so, you proclaimed your great fiat, your great yes, to God. “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” In this great fiat to God, you became His Mother by choice. You said yes to your singular vocation in God’s plan of salvation. As such, you are honored as the first and greatest disciple of your Son, the first member of His Body, the Church. For you responded faithfully and lovingly to your call to become His Mother. Accordingly, Blessed Mary, as Mother of God the Redeemer, you desire only to lead others to salvation in Him. In this sense, in offering yourself fully to your Son as His Mother through your great yes, you teach all peoples to say yes to Him. You teach them to do as He says. You did this during the marriage feast of Cana by instructing the people, “Do whatever He tells you.” Blessed Mary, as I preach, pray and contemplate God’s Word in your life through the Sacred Mysteries of your Holy Rosary, may I also humbly say yes to Him throughout my life as a faithful and loving disciple, as you did.
O Blessed Mother of the Church, Lady of the Holy Rosary, in calling you to be the Mother of His Son, God also called you to be the Mother of His disciples. You would fulfill this Maternal vocation on their behalf throughout your life, first interiorly in your heart and later publically. This Maternity would become more and more public during your lifetime, especially after the death of your Son, Jesus Christ. For this reason, from the cross before He died, He publically proclaimed you to be the Mother of His disciple, St. John. For He said to John, “Behold, your Mother,” Mary. In doing so, He also told you, “Woman, behold, your son.” Henceforth, John publically honored you as his Mother by welcoming you into his home as a faithful and loving son. In a sense, he represents all your Son’s disciples in this Gospel story. As such, he receives you as his Mother on their behalf. For God providentially predestined you to “full or perfect Motherhood” of BOTH the “Head” and the “Body” of Christ. The Head represents your Son, Jesus Christ, and the Body signifies His Church. They form a spiritual communion in grace through the Holy Spirit. Hence, the Holy Spirit unites the Head and the Body to one another supernaturally as a single subject. For this reason, they belong to one another spiritually in the Holy Spirit. Consequently, Blessed Mary, people who claim that your Motherhood does not include the Body, but only the Head, have an imperfect or incomplete understanding of the nature of your Maternity. For through the Holy Spirit, you became the Mother of the Head in the order of nature and the Mother of the Body in the order of grace. Accordingly, your perfect or full Maternity includes being both natural Mother to the Head and spiritual Mother to the Body. For through your yes, God created your Maternity first by conceiving His Son as man and later His disciples as Church by the Holy Spirit. In this sense, He called you not merely to be the Mother of the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ, but also to be the Mother of the members of the Church, the disciples. Hence, God fulfilled your first or natural Maternity by conceiving His Son in you as man through the Holy Spirit. For this reason, you are the Mother of God the Son by nature, for He received His body from yours and His soul from God in His conception, as all human beings do. On the other hand, God fulfilled your second Maternity, your spiritual Maternity, in you by recreating the disciples in the image of your Son as adopted sons and daughters of the Father by the grace of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. In doing so, He made them your spiritual children; and spiritual siblings to Christ, their Lord and Redeemer. Accordingly, Blessed Mary, in the Church you are a spiritual Mother to all the disciples of Christ in the order of grace. Thus, the basis for your spiritual Maternity is your natural Maternity of God the Son. For you first received your spiritual Maternity interiorly by becoming the natural Mother of God. In His preaching ministry, your Son briefly mentions this spiritual Motherhood, at least implicitly. He says that the woman who “does the will of God” is His “mother.” But no woman has ever fulfilled God’s will more perfectly in life than you have, Blessed Mary. You are the most perfect model of spiritual motherhood for all women in the Church because you fulfilled God’s will perfectly. In you, they can all learn to be true spiritual mothers through their faithful and loving obedience to God’s will. As I preach, pray and contemplate God’s Word in your life through the Sacred Mysteries of your Holy Rosary, may I become more and more a faithful and loving son of yours throughout my life. I welcome you into my heart to be “my Mother” for all eternity, as St. John did.
O Blessed Mother of God and Mother of His People, Lady of the Holy Rosary, as I preach, pray and contemplate your faithful and loving response to God’s call in the Sacred Mysteries, I am inspired to offer myself completely to Christ through you. You are the greatest Mother and Disciple of your Son. You only desire for all people to be fully perfected in Him spiritually. This is the goal of your discipleship vocation as Mother of God and Mother of His Church. Dear Mother, intercede to your Son for me this day through your prayers. May I find blessing in Him through your maternal intercession. For as His Mother, you have received the singular vocation of mothering all peoples to salvation in Him. Hence, all generations have called you “blessed” because in your blessedness as God’s Mother, they have all received blessing. They have become beneficiaries of God the Son through your Motherhood. Therefore, Blessed Mother, I call upon you as your son to help form and guide me as a faithful and loving disciple of Christ. As children are naturally subject to their mother in life, I freely and fully subject myself to you as my Mother, including my intellect and will, all the senses of my body, my heart, my soul and all my passions. Mother me, Blessed Mary. Teach and guide me to love your Son and all people faithfully all the days of my life. May this Rosary Novena help me become increasingly perfected in your Son through your faithful and loving maternal intercession. Amen.
In Christ with Blessed Mary, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary,
Friar Mariano D. Veliz, O.P.