This is the official endorsement of “Novena for Our Nation” by His Eminence, Cardinal Raymond Burke:
“There is no doubt that our beloved nation is in one of the worst crises which it has ever experienced, a profound moral crisis which generates division on all levels and results in an ever-greater more pervasive violence and killing. For Roman Catholics, who have always been known for their faith-filled patriotism, the first response to this crisis is fervent prayer and, in particular, prayer through the intercession of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Mary Immaculate who is also the patroness of our nation.
One of the most powerful prayers which is ours in the Church is, in fact, the Holy Rosary. I think, for instance, of the Battle of Lepanto and the victory which was won on October 7, 1571, over the Saracens who were bent on conquering Christian Europe. Let us now turn to the powerful prayer of the Holy Rosary, asking Mary Immaculate to intercede with Our Lord to bring healing to our nation and to inspire in her citizens the holiness of life which alone can transform our nation.
I wholeheartedly endorse the Novena for Our Nation (Starting August 15) and the Rosary Rally on October 7th next, the 445th anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto. I urge as many as are able to participate in these great spiritual works for the sake of our entire nation. In a special way, as the spiritual advisor to the Holy League, I urge all members of the Holy League to give strong leadership in this great campaign of prayer for our nation.”
On August 15th, Catholic people of faith in our country will embrace a mission of what I consider self-survival, praying a 54 day Novena for our Nation. ( www.novenaforournation.com). The Novena starts on the great feast day of the Assumption of Our Blessed Virgin Mother Mary and ends on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, October 7th, a date which memorializes the Battle of Lepanto, the great sea victory of European Christians over the Muslim invaders of Europe in 1571. This well-known victory was spurred on by the believers of Christian Europe praying the Rosary, at the behest of Pope Pius V, invoking the intercession of the Blessed Mother to protect Christendom.
The battle of Lepanto and Our Lady of the Rosary is just one chapter of volumes that has been written about the Blessed Mother and her intervention in salvation history since her Assumption into heaven. I also have a reflection about Our Blessed Mother, her role in salvation history, and the conversion of souls.
I mention often in my preaching about how I feel that Our Lord’s Mother was the inspiration of His great teaching, the Sermon on the Mount. I am especially struck by Jesus’ words. “They will persecute you, insult you, and speak falsely about you because of me, rejoice and be glad, your reward will be great in heaven. For they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way.” Matthew 5:10-12
I can picture Jesus saying these words to His Mother in private even before His public sermon, warning her of the great sorrows that she would endure not only on earth through His crucifixion, but also after His Ascension into heaven. Mary’s reward in heaven is greatest among all creatures for her love and obedience was unsurpassed; her 7 Sorrows well documented.
Mary has also been the greatest prophet of the Church since Pentecost yet no one has been denigrated more or slighted in the Christian and secular world than Mary has been in the last centuries. (Enumeration of this is a topic for another day.) Suffice it to say though that an undeniable case can be made that more souls have come into the Catholic Church or returned to the faith because of Mary than any other vessel or means of conversion. Mary always points us to her Son in a clear and determined fashion. Many examples of this can be given for Mary has appeared many, many times in the last 2000 years throughout the world.
For the purposes of this reflection, I would like to concentrate on just one great example, maybe the greatest example, which predated Lepanto by almost 40 years. On December 12th, 1531, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St Juan Diego at Tepecac. The story of the miracle of the tilma is well known and the conversions brought about by the miracle well documented.
I feel it is important to focus on the context of this great miracle by our modern day prophet, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our reflection begins at the beginning of salvation history found Revelation Chapter 12. For me, there can be no denying while reading this chapter of Revelation, two simple, but important facts. 1. “The woman clothed with the sun with the moon under her feet with a crown of 12 stars” is Our Lady of Guadalupe with child. 2. This was the beginning of salvation history, the origin of the battle between good and evil that remains till this day. “Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child. . . . She gave birth to a Son destined to rule the world with an iron rod. . . . Then war broke out in heaven.”
Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared a mere 14 years after Martin Luther ignited the Protestant Revolt (Reformation) in Europe. According to various sources, during the decades immediately after the Reformation, between 5 million and 10 million Catholics were lost to various sects of Protestantism. What has always struck me about the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe was twofold. 1. The conversion of the pagan culture in central America including the end of child sacrifice. 2. The replenishment of Catholicism with up to 10 million converts in central America in the decades after the miracle.
To this day, Our Lady of Guadalupe remains the patroness of the Americas, her manifestation as the Immaculate Conception being the patroness of our country. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of the unborn and, of course, along with Jesus and St Joseph, Mary makes up the Holy Family with Mary and Joseph bonded in the perfect marriage of fidelity and chastity.
Today in our country, life at all stages especially in the womb, marriage, and family are all under attack. Religion freedom is under siege! In light of the lessons manifest in the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe, her conversion of a pagan culture and the end of their child sacrifice, as well as the restoration of health of the Catholic faith, it seems not only prudent, but a cooperation of the grace of Jesus proclaimed at the Sermon on the Mount for us to pray the Rosary and invoke the intercession of the greatest prophet in the history of our Church, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Let us invoke Our Mother for the conversion of our country and for the end of all attacks against the sanctity of life, marriage, and family as well as for the protection of our religious freedom. Join us from August 15th till October 7th for the 54 day Novena for our Nation. May Jesus be merciful to us and bring about the desired conversion of souls through the intercession of His Mother and ours.
Fr Stephen Imbarrato
Priests for Life
Whoever desires to obtain favors from Me should make three novenas of the prayers of the Rosary, and three novenas in thanksgiving. – Promise of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary
On March 3, 1884 (in the same year Pope Leo XIII wrote the prayer to St. Michael, and exactly 33 years before the Fatima apparitions), a young girl named Fortuna Agrelli was graced with an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary and given this special devotion, which she passed onto others.
At the time, young Fortuna was ill with 3 separate incurable diseases and her doctors had given up on her case saying it was hopeless. In desperation, the young girl and her family began a novena of Rosaries.
Our Lady appeared to the girl, sitting upon a high throne, surrounded by luminous figures, holding the Divine Child on Her lap, and in Her hand a Rosary.
The sick girl greeted the Blessed Virgin with the following words: “Queen of the Holy Rosary, be gracious to me, restore me to health! I have already prayed to Thee in a novena, O Mary, but have not yet experienced Thy aid. I am so anxious to be cured!”
“Child,” responded the Blessed Virgin, “you have invoked Me by various titles and have always obtained favors from Me. Now, since you have called Me by that title so pleasing to Me, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, I can no longer refuse the favor you petition; for this name is most precious and dear to Me. Make three novenas, and you shall obtain all.”
Once more, the Queen of the Holy Rosary appeared to the young girl and said, “Whoever desires to obtain favors from Me should make three novenas of the prayers of the Rosary, and three novenas in thanksgiving.”
Obeying Our Lady’s instructions, the young girl was healed and restored to perfect health.
54-DAY ROSARY NOVENA
Traditionally a novena is nine days. Thus, Our Lady’s words to young Fortuna, “make three novenas of the prayers of the Rosary in petition, and three novenas in thanksgiving.”
The novena consists of five decades of the Rosary (one set of mysteries) each day for twenty-seven days in petition; then immediately five decades each day for an additional twenty-seven days in thanksgiving, regardless of whether or not the request has been granted yet.
So began six novenas of Rosaries, which became known as the 54-day Rosary Novena.
To do the novena properly one must pray the Rosary for 54 consecutive days, without missing a day, and must pray the particular Mystery indicated for that day following the correct sequence.
That is, the first day of the novena always begins with the Joyful Mysteries (regardless of what day of the week the novena is started); the second day, the Sorrowful Mysteries are prayed; and the third day of the novena, the Glorious Mysteries are prayed.
The fourth day of the novena begins again with the Joyful Mysteries and continues on in that sequence throughout the 54 days of the novena.
People have asked over time about the Luminous Mysteries — this novena was given by Our Lady as noted above in 1884 and only allows for the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries.
THE MIRACULOUS ROSARY NOVENA
It has been reported that the miracle of young Fortuna’s cure upon praying the 54-day Rosary Novena, made a deep impression on Pope Leo XIII. He wrote 17 encyclicals on the Rosary and urged all Christians to love the Rosary and pray it fervently.
The time is now to call upon God, through the powerful intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary, to heal our country and return it to holiness.
This is a nationwide prayer campaign called the “Novena for Our Nation.” Everyone from around the nation is encouraged to join ranks as, united, we pray the very powerful 54 Day Rosary Novena from the Feast of the Assumption on August 15 to the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7.
We are living in extraordinary times. Presidential executive actions, US congressional and state legislation as well as court rulings at all levels up to the Supreme Court are in conflict with God’s laws; especially the disregard for the rights of the unborn, elderly and weak in our society and the attacks on marriage and family values. At the same time society and government are becoming more intolerant towards biblically based religious belief and practice. In conflict with First Amendment constitutional rights, persecution of traditional religious expression has reached unprecedented levels. We are in a Spiritual Battle.
Extraordinary times call for extraordinary action. In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, and as we enter the centennial year of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, we are called upon to help turn our country back towards God. We will accomplish that through prayer; prayer that can change hearts, change families, change our communities and change our country. There is no stronger weapon in this Spiritual Battle than the Rosary.
THE HOLY LEAGUE RISES AGAIN!
St. Pius V formed the original Holy League in response to the dire situation in which Christian Europe found itself in 1571. Small bands of Catholic men and remnant armies from various nations came together under the spiritual leadership of the saintly pontiff and the military leadership of Don John of Austria.
By prayer and fasting, they implored the help of God’s grace, through the intercession of the Mother of God, and, by the grace of Almighty God, on October 7, 1571, at the Battle of Lepanto; the Christian fleet won a crushing victory over the Ottoman Turks, saving Christendom and western civilization.
The new Holy League, under the spiritual guidance of Cardinal Raymond Burke is, .essentially, calling men to combat the forces of evil in today’s society. The Holy League strives to call men back to the state of grace and to transforming the culture through prayer (primarily Adoration and Confession) and training in holiness. You can read about this Catholic men’s movement HERE.
The new Holy League is sponsoring this very necessary campaign because, at this particular moment in time, the Church finds itself in a similar situation to that of the Church in the late Sixteenth Century. However, instead of a physical enemy on the horizon, the Church and the family (the domestic Church) are threatened daily by relativism, secularism, impurity, and confusion regarding Church teaching.
The battle today “is not against human forces but against the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world of darkness, the evil spirits in the heavens” (Ephesians 6: 10-12).
PRAYER AND TRAINING!
This prayer campaign is also a Basic Training in Holiness. Each day, along with praying your rosary, holiness trainees will be provided with a 1-2 minute reflection on the qualities of excellence. The first 27 days, trainees will read from passages in scripture, quotes from saints and the catechism on one of the following: Theological Virtues, Cardinal Virtues, Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. The second 27 days will be excerpts from the book entitled, Church Militant Field Manual: Special Forces Training for the Life in Christ.
The daily reflections for this prayer and training campaign can be found in multiple places.
1) If you would like a hard copy to carry with you, it is available in book form that is entitled, 54 Day Basic Training in Holiness. The 54 Day Rosary Novena prayers are included in this book. Order your book HERE. The books are also offered in bulk, at a reduced rate: HERE.
2) You can sign up to receive the daily reflection in your email. Sign up on the main page of novenaforournation.com
3) You can join the Novena for Our Nation Facebook group HERE, to receive the reflections each day.
NATIONAL ROSARY RALLY IN WASHINGTON DC
We are asking everyone to join us in Union Square in front of U.S. Capitol for a very special Rosary Rally on October 7. As the Year of Mercy recedes, and the Presidential election only days away, we want to call out to God in a very special way at the conclusion of our 54 Day Rosary Novena.
If you can join us, please do. If you cannot, please consider planning your own Rosary Rally in your area. Some suggestions for locations might a government facility or Planned Parenthood or your parish church or wherever you think would be best.
SPREAD THE WORD!
Finally, please do everything you can to get the word out about this very important and necessary prayer campaign for our nation, that begins on August 15, 2016!
May God, through the powerful intercession of the Blessed Mother, truly pour out His grace upon the United State of America!!
http://www.54daynovena.com/Fifty%20Four%20Day%20Novena.pdf (printable version)