Novena: December 9-17; Feast: December 18
This feast was celebrated from the earliest centuries of the Church in Spain, ever since St. Alfonsus, Archbishop of Toledo, during the midnight Matins of this Feast (which was also celebrated in honor of the Annunciation) was favored with an apparition of our Heavenly Mother, who clothed him with a precious chasuble brought by the Angels. This is the origin of the ancient celebration of the Incarnation in the Gothic Kingdoms of Spain. As that feast is now observed on March 25, this festival gives expression to the Blessed Virgin Mary’s ardent longing for the sacred moment of the Birth of her Divine Child. She eagerly awaited Him Whom her soul loved, the most beautiful of the sons of men, the Redeemer of mankind, the only-begotten Son of God. The best preparation that we can make for Christmas is to unite our sentiments with those of our heavenly Mother. Meditation.
“Drop down dew from above, ye heavens, and let the clouds rain the Just One! Let the earth be opened and bud forth a Savior!” (Isa. 45:8)
“O Lord, how wonderful Thou art everywhere in the world! Thou hast made for Thyself a worthy dwelling-place in the Virgin Mary!”
Glory be to the Father…
“Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and His Name shall be called Emmanuel.” (Isa. 7:14)
“Do not be afraid, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a Son; and thou shalt call His name Jesus. (Luke 1:30) Hail Mary…
“The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; and therefore the Holy One to be born shall be called the Son of God. But Mary said: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:35) Hail Mary…
O holy and Immaculate Virgin, how shall I praise thee as I ought? Thou hast borne in thy womb Him Whom Heaven could not contain. Blessed and worthy of veneration art thou, O Virgin Mary, who didst become the Mother of the Savior while remaining a Virgin. Hail Mary…
“I sleep and my heart watches… I to my Beloved, and my Beloved to me, Who feeds among the lilies.” (Cant. 6:2)
Let us Pray:
Grant, we pray Thee, Almighty God, that we who are weighed down by the old yoke of sin, may be freed by the new Birth of Thine only-begotten Son for which we long, Who livest and reignest forever, unto ages of ages. Amen.
HYMN: Alma Redemptoris Mater
Mother of Christ, hear thou thy people’s cry,
Star of the deep and portal of the sky.
Mother of Him Who thee from nothing made,
Sinking, we strive, and call to thee for aid.
Oh, by that joy which Gabriel brought to thee,
Thou Virgin, first and last, let us thy mercy see.
Let us Pray:
O God, Who didst will that Thy Word should take flesh in the womb of the Blessed Mary at the message of an angel, grant to us, Thy humble servants, that we who truly believe Her to be the Mother of God may be helped by Her intercession with Thee. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.