Prayers for all Occasions, Needs, and Intentions
THE LITTLE OFFICE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Join with me in a Prayer of Praise
THANKSGIVING FOR MARY'S FIAT
This beautiful devotion of thanksgiving may be said at any time for reflection and meditation on the mystery of Christ's coming for all nations.
glad, Virgin Mary, for you have deserved to bear the Christ, the creator
of heaven and earth; you have brought forth the Savior of the world.
rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul;
he has clothed me with a robe of salvation, and wrapped me in a mantle of
justice, like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem, like a bride bedecked
with her jewels.
the earth brings forth its plants, and a garden makes its growth spring
up, so will the Lord God make justice and praise spring up before all the
For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet, until her vindication shines forth like the dawn and her victory like a burning torch.
shall behold your vindication, and all kings your glory;
shall be called by a new name pronounced by the mouth of the Lord.
You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the Lord, a royal diadem held by your God.
No more shall men call you “Forsaken,” or your land “Desolate,” but you shall be called “My Delight,” and your land “Espoused.” For the Lord delights in you, and makes your land his spouse.
As a young man marries a virgin, your Builder shall marry you; and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride so shall your God rejoice in you.
your walls, 0 Jerusalem, I have stationed watchmen; Never, by day or by
night, shall they be silent.
O you who are to remind the Lord, take no rest and give no rest to him, until he reestablishes Jerusalem and makes it the pride of the earth.
Listen, my faithful children: open up your petals, like roses planted near running waters; send up the sweet odor of incense, break forth in blossoms like the lily.
up the sweet odor of your hymn of praise; bless the Lord for all he has
Proclaim the greatness of his name, loudly sing his praises, with music on the harp and all stringed instruments; sing out with joy as you proclaim: The works of God are all of them good.
Be glad, Virgin Mary, for you have deserved to bear the Christ, the creator of heaven and earth; you have brought forth the Savior of the world.
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a
town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted
Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in
her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud
voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the
fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my
Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting
reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who
believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”
The shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.
came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the
child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him
into his arms and blessed God, saying:
Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for
my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the
peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
glory for your people Israel.”
The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
While Jesus was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
joy, what happiness there is in heaven! The shoot from the root of Jesse,
sown so long ago in the time of the patriarchs, has today sprung up and
begun to grow, and will bear a Flower which is destined to heal the world,
a Flower whose scent revives the dead, whose taste heals the sick, and
whose beauty delights the angels,
a white and red Flower which
angels long to see.
Bernard says: “Rejoice, father Adam, but even more you, mother Eve,
exult, who as you were the parents of all were also the destroyers of all,
and what is worse, destroyers before you were parents. So both of you must
take comfort from your daughter, and such a daughter too. What was it,
Adam, you said? It was the woman who gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it. Now
today a woman is returned to you for a woman, a prudent woman for a
foolish one, a humble for a proud, one who is to offer you the taste of
life instead of the tree of death, and produce the sweetness of eternal
fruit instead of the bitterness of that poisonous food. A virgin to be
admired and most worthy of every honor! A woman to be uniquely revered,
wonderful above all women, the savior of her parents and giver of life to
us then throw ourselves at the feet of this holy Sibyl, and pour out our
prayers with exultant spirit and sing praises while our hearts dance with
joy: let us place ourselves under her protection, and cry aloud:
you our Advocate, Our
Lady, our delight, therefore turn
your merciful eyes toward us, and after this our exile show us Jesus, the
blessed fruit of your womb. It is him we seek, him we gasp for,
hastening toward him, desiring him with all the ardor of our hearts. It is
you, Virgin, who must direct us, you must lead us to him, lead us to where
he reigns, and show him to us, crowned with glory and honor, surrounded by
angels, seated on the highest throne at the right hand of the Father,
reigning with him, and governing the whole world together with him.
For a long time I have wondered and been at a loss to understand why the evangelists should have spoken at such length about John the Baptist and the other apostles, and yet told us so little about the Virgin Mary, who in life and distinction excels them all. Being at a loss, as I say, to understand this, all I can think is that it pleased the Holy Spirit that it should be so. It was by the providence of the Holy Spirit that the evangelists kept silent, because the glory of the Virgin, as we read in the psalms, was all within, and could more truly be thought of than described. The outline of her life: that Jesus was born of her, is enough to tell her whole story. What more do you seek for in the Virgin? It is enough for you that she is the Mother of God. What beauty, I ask you, what virtue, what perfection, what grace, what glory does not belong to the Mother of God?
Holy Spirit has not described her in words, but has left her to you to
picture in your own mind, so that you may understand that there was
nothing she lacked of grace, perfection, or glory which could be imagined
in the mind of a chaste human being, or rather that in fact she surpassed
all understanding. So when she was wholly perfect, it would not have been
right to describe her in part, for fear that you might think she could
have lacked what had not been described. To say of the Virgin Mary only
that she is the Mother of God surpasses all that can be said under God.
What a marvelous woman, to be the mother of her own Creator! What an amazing distinction for a woman, to have a Son in common with God. The Father loves his Son; the Mother rejoices in her Son. The Father tells his Son: From the womb, before the morning star, I begot you; the Mother says to her same Son: From the womb, I, a virgin, brought you into the world. She is amazed at her own glory, nor can she herself understand her elevation, for by the very fact of being made mother of the Creator she became with the best right mistress and queen of all creation. Truly, Mary, he who is powerful did great things for you; truly because he made you his own mother, all the generations of the ages will call you blessed.
how reverently the angel stood before this glorious village girl, knowing
that she was to be the mother of the Son of God! See and contemplate how
humbly and modestly she listened and gave answer to the angel who had come
as ambassador and was awaiting her reply.
would you have done if you had been at the door of this room or cell and
had heard this holy, pleasing dialogue between this blessed girl and the
angel? Would not your heart have been sweetly riven by great joy and
boundless consolation? Harder than stone and steel is the heart that is
not riven as it reads or hears or thinks about the words the virgin spoke
to the angel and the angel to the virgin. Would you not have cried aloud,
humbly but very fervently and from a full heart:
Madonna, kindest of women, I beg you, agree quickly to what the angel
says, so that your Son may deliver us from the damnation in which our
first mother has put us!”
What would you have said and done, Christian soul, when you heard the Virgin Mary say to the angel: “I am the servant and handmaiden of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word?” At that moment, the power of the Holy Spirit immediately formed and generated the body of Christ from the pure blood of the Virgin, infused the newly created soul into that body, and united the divinity inseparably with that soul and body. We must therefore firmly believe that Christ is true God and true man, the Son of Mary who was a virgin before, during, and after his birth. Those who do not this will be damned, unless they are converted to the true faith.
of the Virgin Mother of God, the Creator and Lord of all shared our human
nature, for he had a real body and soul even though he had no part in our
misdeeds. He committed no sin, says Scripture, and no falsehood ever came from his mouth. O
holy womb in which God was received, in which the record of our sins was
effaced, in which God became man while remaining God! He was carried in
the womb, condescending to be born in the same way as we are. Yet when he
was received into the arms of his mother he did not leave the bosom of his
Father. God is not divided as he carries out his will, but saves the world
without suffering any division in himself. When Gabriel came into the
presence of the Virgin Mother of God he left heaven behind, but when the
Word of God who fills all creation took flesh within her, he was not
separated from the adoring hosts of heaven.
there any need to enumerate all the prophecies foretelling Christ’s
birth of the Mother of God? What tongue could worthily hymn her through
whom we have received such magnificent blessings? With what flowers of
praise could we weave a fitting crown for her from whom sprang the flower
of Jesse, who has crowned our race with glory and honor. What gifts could
we bring that would be worthy of her of whom the whole world is unworthy?
If Paul could say of the other saints that the world was not worthy of
them, what can we say of the Mother of God, who outshines all the martyrs
even as the sun outshines the stars?
O Virgin, well may the angels rejoice in you! Because of you they who long ages ago had banished our race are now sent to our service, and to his joy Gabriel is entrusted with the news of a divine child’s conception. Rejoice, most favored one, let your face glow with gladness. You are to give birth to the joy of all the world, who will put an end to the age-old curse, destroying the power of death and giving to all the hope of resurrection.
are God: we praise you;
are the Lord: we acclaim you;
are the eternal Father:
creation worships you.
you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might,
and earth are full of your glory.
glorious company of apostles praise you.
noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
the world the holy Church acclaims you:
of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and
the Holy Spirit, advocate
Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father.
When you became man to set us free you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.
You overcame the sting of death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.
Come, then, Lord, and help your people,
with the price of your own blood,
bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Save your people, Lord, and
bless your inheritance.
Govern and uphold them now and
V. Day by day we bless you.
praise your name forever.
Keep us today, Lord, from all
R. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
show us your love and mercy;
R. For we put our trust in you.
you, Lord, is our hope:
R. And we shall never hope in vain.
and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, look upon the Virgin Mary, whose
earthly existence was governed by a spirit of gracious acceptance. Grant
to us also
gifts of constant prayer and of silence, that our daily lives may be
transfigured by the presence of your Spirit.
ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
Let us praise the Lord, and give him thanks. Amen.