NOVENA IN HONOR OF THE
By St. Maximilian Kolbe
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St. Maximilian Kolbe
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Opening prayer to the Immaculata
V. How fair you are, 0 Mary!
R. How fair you are, 0 Mary!
V. The original stain is not in you.
R. The original stain is not in you.
V. You are the boast of Jerusalem,
R. You are the joy of Israel.
V. You are the pride of our people.
R. You are the advocate of sinners.
V. 0 Mary!
R. 0 Mary!
V. You are the wisest of virgins.
R. You are the kindest of mothers.
V. Pray for us.
R. Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.
V. Holy Virgin, you were spotless from the very
moment of your conception.
R. Because you bore his Son, pray to the Father for us.
Through the spotless conception of the Virgin, 0 God, you made ready a
dwelling place worthy of your Son. In anticipation of your Son's death
you preserved her from every stain. Please purify us by her
intercession, so that we might find our way to you. We ask this through
Christ our lord.
Daily Readings and Meditations for each day of the
Novena are given here, followed by two closing Novena Prayers for each
Day 1: The Immaculata's Relationship to the Trinity
Reading: From all eternity the Father begets the Son, and the
Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and Son. This life of the most Holy
Trinity is re-echoed in numberless and various ways by the creatures
that issue from God's hands. . . . Every act of love in God comes forth
from the Father through the Son and the Holy Spirit. God creates,
maintains in existence, gives life and growth in the natural as well as
in the supernatural order. In his love God supports in existence all his
innumerable limited created resemblances; and the love-reaction that is
provoked in the creature can return to the Father only through the Holy
Spirit and the Son.. . Among creatures, the summit of this love that
goes back to God is the Immaculata, the one being totally with-out any
stain of sin, all beautiful, all divine. At no time did her will ever
deviate from God's will. With all its strength, her will was always at
one with his. In her there came about the marvelous union of God with
creation (Kolbe's "Sketches for a Book," 1940).
Meditation: Cultivating a personal
relationship with each member of the Holy Trinity is an obligation for
every individual. May the Immaculata's love-response to each of the
Three Divine Persons serve as a model and stimulus for each of us.
Day 2: The Immaculata as Spouse of the Holy Spirit
Reading: United to the Holy Spirit as his Spouse, the
Immaculata is one with God in an incomparably more perfect way than can
be predicated of any other creature. What sort of union is this? It is
above all an interior union, a union of her essence with the "essence"
of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells in her, lives in her. This
was true from the first instant of her existence. It was always true; it
will always be true. In what does this life of the Spirit in Mary
consist? He himself is uncreated Love in her; the Love of the Father and
of the Son, the Love by which God loves himself, the very love of the
most Holy Trinity. He is a fruitful love, a "Conception." Among
creatures made in God's image the union brought about by married love is
the most intimate of all (cf. Mt 19:6). In a much more precise, more
interior, more essential manner, the Holy Spirit lives in the soul of
the Immaculata, in the depths of her very being. He makes her fruitful,
from the very first instant of her existence, all during her life, and
for all eternity ("Sketches for a book," 17 February 1941.
Meditation: To grow in daily awareness
of the Holy Spirit's presence within us is a constant challenge that God
gives to each and all of us. May the Immaculata's perfect life in the
Holy Spirit cause a sharpening of our own attentiveness to his presence
at the core of our inner selves.
Day 3: The Immaculata's Place in God's Plan of Creation and Salvation
Reading: The Immaculata appears in this world, without the
least stain of sin, the masterpiece of God's hands, full of grace. God,
the most Holy Trinity, beholds the lowliness (i.e., the humility, the
root of all her other virtues) of his handmaid, and "does great things"
for her (cf. Lk 1:49). God the Father gives her his own Son to be her
Son; God the Son descends into her womb; and God the Holy Spirit forms
the body of Christ in the womb of this most pure virgin. "And the Word
was made flesh" (Jn 1:14). The Immaculata becomes the Mother of God. The
fruit of the love of God in his Trinitarian life and of Mary the
Immaculata, is Christ, the God-man. Hence forth all the other sons of
God must be modeled after this first Son of God, the God-man, the
infinite One. They must reproduce his traits; by imitating Christ souls
reach sanctity. . . . This is the union brought about by the spousal
love of the soul for Christ, through its re-semblance to him, and by
God's action. But if anyone does not wish to have Mary Immaculate for
his Mother, he will not have Christ for his Brother. . . . Since the
firstborn Son, the God-man was conceived only with the specific consent
of the most Blessed Virgin, the same must hold true for all men, who
must be conformed to their first model in all things ("Sketches for a
Meditation: From all eternity, God has designed a unique
plan for each one of us, no two being identical. His ultimate aim is
that we all be fully united to the Lord. May the Immaculata, from her
unique position in God's plan, foster our growing conformity to Christ.
Day 4: The Immaculata's Self-Understanding
Reading: When our Blessed Mother was asked by Bernadette to
tell her name, she answered, "I am the Immaculate Conception"; this is
the Immaculata's definition of herself (Conference, 26 July 1931). By
these luminous words (at Lourdes) she tells us not only that she was
immaculate in her conception, but beyond this that she is the Immaculate
Conception as such. Some-thing white is one thing; the whiteness of a
thing is some-thing else. Something perfect is one thing; the perfection
of a thing is something else. When God said to Moses, "I am the one who
is," God was telling him: "What is proper to my essence is that I should
always be, by my very nature, of myself, with no other principle of
being." The Immaculate Virgin, of course, was created by God; she is a
creature; she is a conception; still, she is the Immaculate Conception!
What depths of mystery lie hidden in those words! (Miles Immaculatae, I,
1938, p. 294).
Meditation: In our contemporary world,
great emphasis is placed on the importance of getting to "know
one-self." May the Immaculata's example of authentic self-understanding
lead each of us to find our own true meaning as participants in the very
being of God.
Day 5: The Immaculata's Dignity as a Human Person
Reading: The Mother of God is a creature. It follows that all
she is, she has from God. But she is God's most perfect creature. For
this reason, the homage paid to her is, by the very nature of the case,
paid to God him-self. If we admire a statue, we honor the artist who
created this masterpiece. If we honor Mary most holy we honor God. The
more we pay homage to the divine perfections found in Mary, the more
perfect is our homage to God; this is perfectly in order, since God
created her in the highest state of perfection (Conference, 9 April
The greatness of every work of art
is directly proportionate to the mastery of the artist who forms it.
Accordingly, the dignity of every human person derives from God who has
created each of us in his image. May the Immaculata teach us always to
mirror, as she did, the dignity and perfection of our God.
Day 6: The Immaculata's Sinlessness
Who then are you, 0 Immaculate Conception? Not God, of
course, because he has no beginning. Not an angel, created directly out
of nothing. Not Adam, formed out of the dust of the earth (Gn 2:7). Not
Eve, molded from Adam's rib (Gn 2:21). Not the Incarnate Word, who
exists before all ages, and of whom we should use the word "conceived"
rather than "conception." Humans do not exist before their conception,
so we might call them created "conceptions." But you, 0 Mary, are
different from all other children of Eve. They are conceptions stained
by original sin; whereas you are the unique, Immaculate Conception
("Sketches for a book," 17 February 1941).
Meditation: Confronting the reality of sin is one of the
fundamental struggles that we face in daily life. May the Immaculata,
the sinless New Eve, confirm our hope in the victorious liberation from
sin which Christ, the New Adam, won for each of us.
Day 7: The Immaculata's Discipleship
Reading: The Immaculata is God's instrument. With full
consciousness and total willingness she allows God to govern her; she
consents to his will, desires only what he desires, and acts according
to his will in the most perfect manner, without failing, without ever
turning aside from his will. She makes perfect use of the powers and
privileges God has given her, so as to fulfill al-ways and in everything
whatever God wants of her, purely for love of God, One and Three. This
love of God reaches such a peak that it bears the divine fruits proper
to God's own love. Her love for God brings her to such a level of union
with him that she becomes the Mother of God. The Father confides to her
his Son; the Son descends into her womb; and the Holy Spirit fashions
out of her perfectly pure body the very body of Jesus ("Sketches for a
Meditation: The only way to guarantee that we are on the
"right track" in our everyday activities is to listen to God's Word and
live it out. That's discipleship! May the Immaculata's discipleship of
total conformity to God's Word inspire us to be similar instruments of
Day 8: The Immaculata's Fruitfulness
Reading: God sends to us the one who personifies his love:
Mary, the spouse of the Spirit—a spirit of maternal love—immaculate, all
beautiful, spotless, even though she is our sister, a true daughter of
the human race. God confides to her the communication of his mercy to
souls. He makes of her the Mediatrix of the graces merited for us by her
divine Son, for she is full of grace, the mother of all souls born of
grace, reborn, and always being reborn, becoming ever more godlike
(Commentary on MI "Act of Consecration," 1940).
Meditation: Productivity is one of the
chief "virtues" upheld by modern society as a measure of worldly
success. May the Immaculata give witness to each of us that her (and
our) ongoing spiritual fruitfulness in bearing Christ to others is a far
greater achievement than material productivity.
Day 9: The Immaculata's Fullness of Love
Reading: The Immaculata never knew the slightest stain; in other
words, her love was always full, without flaw. She loved God with all
her being, and from the first instant of her existence her love united
her with God so perfectly that on the day of the Annunciation the angel
could say to her, "Full of grace! the Lord is with you!" (cf. Lk 1:28).
She is, then, God's creature, God's image, God's child, and in all these
respects she is all this in the most perfect manner possible among the
ranks of mere creatures ("Sketches for a book," 1940). Intelligent
creatures love God in a conscious manner; through this love they unite
themselves more and more closely with him, and so find their way back to
him. The creature most completely filled with this love, filled with God
himself, was the Immaculata. . . . In the Holy Spirit's union with Mary
we observe more than the love of two beings; in one there is all the
love of the Blessed Trinity; in the other, all of creation's love. So it
is that in this union heaven and earth are joined; all of heaven with
all the earth, the totality of eternal love with the totality of created
love. It is truly the summit of love ("Sketches for a book," 17 February
Meditation: To channel all our spiritual, physical, and
psychological energies into their fullest human expression means simply
to love God as totally as possible. May the Immaculata's flawless love
of God prod each of us to channel our love in that same ultimate
Novena Prayer to the Immaculata
I greet you, ever-blessed Virgin, Mother of God throne of grace,
miracle of almighty power! I greet you, sanctuary of the most Holy
Trinity and Queen of the universe, Mother of mercy and refuge of
sinners! Most loving Mother, attracted by your beauty and sweetness and
by your tender compassion, I confidently turn to you, and beg of you to
obtain for me of your dear Son the favor I request in this novena (here
mention you request).
Obtain for me also, Queen of Heaven, the most lively
contrition for my many sins and the grace to imitate closely those
virtues which you practiced so faithfully especially humility, purity,
and obedience. Above all I beg you to be my mother and protectress, to
receive me into the number of your devoted children, and to guide me
from your high throne of glory. Do not reject my petitions, Mother of
mercy! Have pity on me, and do no abandon me during life or at the
moment of my death.
Daughter of the Eternal Father, Mother of the Eternal
Son, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, temple of the adorable Trinity, pray for
me. Immaculate and tender Heart of Mary, refuge of the needy and hope of
sinners, filled with the most lively respect, love, and gratitude, I
devote myself forever to your service, and I offer you my heart with all
that I am and all that belongs to me. Accept this offering, sweet Queen
of Heaven and earth, and obtain for me of your dear Son, Jesus Christ,
the favors I ask through your intercession in this novena. Obtain for me
also a tender, generous, constant love of God, perfect submission to his
adorable will, the true spirit of a Christian, and the grace of final
Closing Prayer of Identification with the
O Immaculate Conception, Mary, my Mother, live in me, act in me,
speak in and through me. Think your thoughts in my mind, love through my
heart. Give me your own dispositions and feelings. Teach, lead and guide
me to Jesus. Correct, enlighten and expand my entire personality and
life. Replace me with yourself. Incline me to constant adoration and
thanksgiving; pray in and through me. Let me live in you and keep me in
this union always.