NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
On a hillside, just outside what is now Mexico City, in the year 1531 the Virgin Mary appeared before an Indian farmer named Juan Diego, and asked him to see that a church be built there in her honor. When Juan Diego approached his Bishop with Our Lady’s request he was not believed and was driven out. The Virgin appeared to him again and directed him to a barren, stony place where she said he would find roses growing. He wrapped the roses in his cloak and brought them to the Bishop. When he unwrapped the roses, he discovered the image of the Virgin imprinted on the cloak. This time he was believed and a Basilica was built on the original spot.
The cloak, unfaded by time and authenticated by art experts as not being any work they can explain, is exhibited on the main altar of the new Basilica of Our of Gudalupe – the shrine that commemorates the miracle.
The following Novena was composed by the late HELEN BEHRENS. She was an American who, until her death, spent many years operating an English Information Center, near the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. She was tireless in her efforts to promote devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, particularly as “ Queen and Mother of America.”
This Novena in English received the imprimatur of the proper Church authorities in Mexico City in 1956; and later the imprimatur of Archbishop Edwin V. Byrne ( now deceased ) of Santa Fe, New Mexico. We have found the Novena to be most effective, particularly in bringing about a solution to difficult and seemingly impossible problems. We recommend that you say it often, for Our Lady of Guadalupe truly does listen to the prayers of those who call upon her intercession.
The words of our Lady of Guadalupe spoken to the Indian Juan
Diego on the hill of Tepeyac, December 9, 1531:
“My dear son, whom I love tenderly; know that I am the
Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God; the Giver and maintainer of life; the
Creator of all things; Lord of Heaven and Earth, who is in all places. I wish a
temple to be erected here, where I can manifest the compassion I have for the
natives and for ALL who solicit my help.”
These your words my heavenly Mother, fill my heart with love and gratitude, with renewed faith and hope, because they were directed to me also. Therefore, I turn to you, confident of obtaining through your intercession, the graces which will enable me to live in accordance with the teaching of your Divine Son, Jesus, whom I desire to love with all my heart. You shared in all that my Savior suffered for me, therefore, I also belong to you, and you are my loving Mother.
Do not abandon me in this vale of tears; take pity, I beg you, on my poverty and necessities; have compassion on my anxieties and cares; assist and comfort me in all my infirmities and miseries.
(After the prayer for each day, say four Hail Mary’s, commemorating
the four apparitions to Juan Diego; and the Memorare to Our Lady of Guadalupe,
which is printed later in this leaflet.)
The Merciful words spoken on the fourth and last visit to Juan Diego:
“ Do not let anything afflict you, and do not be afraid of
any illness or accident or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not
under my shadow and protection? Do you need anything else?”
These words were also directed to me and they fill my heart with gladness and hope. Turn then, most gracious Mother, your eyes of mercy towards me. Perfect me in your love, making it possible for me to put all my troubles and worries at your feet, knowing that you will remember that you are my Mother; that I am under your shadow and protection; and that you will obtain for me the consolation of which I am so much in need.
( Four Hail Mary’s.….Memorare)
When you visited Juan Diego’s dying uncle Juan Bernardino,
curing him and telling him your name, “Immaculate Virgin Mary who crushed the serpent.” You filled the Indians’ hearts with joy. It told them that they no
longer needed to make human sacrifices to their pagan gods.
Hail Holy Queen, merciful Mother, Hail! Our life, our sweetness, our hope!
Permit me to join in the songs of praise that, to this day, this whole nation sends up to your throne; many coming long distances to offer you gifts and prayers.
Pray for us Holy Mother of God, exterminate the SERPENT OF
EVIL from our lives, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ,
your Divine Son.
(Four Hail Mary’s…..Memorare)
When the Indians saw the admirable image representing you,
which you left on Juan Diego’s tilma, they recognized it to be a
picture-writing, containing a celestial message which was directed to them. Your
regal figure in the form of a human being. Taught them that your dwelling place
at one time must have been on earth. The rays of the sun, the clouds which
surround your body, the stars on your garment, the crescent under your feet,
the Angel who transports you through space, all denote that your present abode
is in Heaven, and called their attention to the immortality of the human soul.
O Holy Mary, as your image on the garment of Juan Diego
taught the Indians, so let it teach me never to forget the immortality of my
soul, that Heaven is my goal and my inheritance. Amid the temptations and
miseries of this life, let me think always of this home of peace, of glory and
(four Hail Mary’s.….Memorare)
For centuries, the natives of Mexico had worshipped the sun,
sacrificing countless human beings in its honor. But when they beheld your
beautiful Image blotting it out, so that only its rays are visible, they
understood the lesson that it was intended to convey.
After the Indians had heard your message, and read what your
Image contains, they abandoned their false gods and embraced the loving
doctrine of your Divine Son. Never have they ceased to give thanks for the
great mercy that the Almighty God showered upon them, when He sent you to be their
Queen, their Mother, and their teacher.
O Holy Mary, through the mystery of the Incarnation of your
beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, wherein our salvation was begun, obtain for
us light to understand the greatness of the benefit He bestowed upon us in
becoming our Brother, and in giving you, His own venerated Mother, to be our
(Four Hail Mary’s..…. Memorare)
The fires that burned on the altars of the false gods were
extinguished forever, after the Indians had contemplated your Image, and saw
you clothed with the sky covered with stars. This showed them that the stars
had been created by the Indivisible God to serve humankind and, therefore,
could not be gods to whom adoration and sacrifice were due.
Most Holy Mary, who through your Image, stamped by God on
the Indian’s garment, hast brought millions of pagans into the light of the
true Faith, I beg you to obtain for me the grace of understanding the message
it contains. Shed upon me the light of your countenance, direct and sanctify
all my undertakings.
(Four Hail Mary’s….Memorare)
The emblem of our redemption, stamped upon the golden brooch
fastened to your garment, served to tell the Indians that the religion of their
conqueror’s was the one they were to embrace. The cross on the banner of Hernan
Cortez and on the brooch was the same. When they saw it upon your Image , they flocked around the Spanish missionaries eager to know its meaning. They were told about the Savior, who came from Heaven to redeem the human race, through His death on the cross; and that you are the Virgin Mother of the Divine
Victim, associated with Him in the mystery of our redemption. Happy the nation
to whom you revealed yourself and God.
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, my Queen and Mother, more than
four hundred and fifty years have passed since you spoke to Juan Diego, and so
far, only a few of your children in other lands have become aware of the
purpose of your Image on the altar of your shrine. Inspire us, then, to see in
this miraculous picture, the instrument for the conversion of ALL to the
Catholic Apostolic Faith, you who are the adorable Queen and Mother of all the
Apostles, and of all Missionaries.
(Four Hail Mary’s….Memorare)
After Juan Diego had cut the flowers that had bloomed suddenly on the barren hill of Tepeyac, he brought them to you at the foot of the mount, where you were waiting. With your own hands you arranged them in his tilma, tying it around his neck, telling him to take them to Bishop Zumarraga, and that this sign would induce him to start building your temple. The last words which he heard from your adorable lips were: “You are my ambassador worthy of confidence; go in peace.”
The sacred picture, on the coarse cloth of the tilma, could
not have been painted by human hands. It convinced the Bishop, as it ought to
convince every person who looks at it, that Juan Diego’s message was truly
Humbly I beg you, my Queen and Mother: Let me be your
ambassador like Juan Diego, to give the doctrine contained in your Image to all
my friends; to convince them also, whether they be believers or unbelievers.
(Four Hail Mary’s….Memorare)
O Holy Virgin, enthroned on the spot which you yourself
chose, in the very heart of an idolatrous nation, you marvelously accomplished
its conversion. After seeing your Image on the tilma of their countryman, Juan
Diego, the Indians stripped their temples of all idols and built beautiful
churches on whose towers gleaming crosses shone in the sun. The huge drum.
Which innumerable times had announced human sacrifice in honor of their gods,
was heard no more.
As Juan Diego spent the remaining seventeen years of his
life in giving your spoken message to the Indians, so permit me my loving
Mother, to help in making known your celestial message among my countrymen.
Animate and bless all who join in the Apostleship and Novena, in order to
propagate the Catholic religion among their friends, having as their banner
your admirable Image on Juan Diego’s tilma, together with the cross, the emblem
of our redemption.
I beg your special aid in procuring the conversion of (mention name)
(Four Hail Mary’s…Memorare)
MEMORARE TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
Remember, O most gracious Virgin of Guadalupe, that in your
heavenly apparitions on the mount of Tepeyac, you promised to show your
compassion and pity towards all who, loving and trusting you, seek your help
and call upon you in their necessities and afflictions. You promised to hear our
supplications, to dry our tears, and to give us consolation and relief. Never
has it been known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help,
or sought your intercession, either for the common welfare, or in personal
anxieties, was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, we run to you, O Mary, ever-Virgin
Mother of the True God! Though grieving under the weight of our sins, we come
to prostrate ourselves before your presence. We fully trust that, standing
beneath your shadow and protection, nothing will trouble or afflict us, nor do
we need to fear illness, or misfortune or any other sorrow.
You wanted to remain with us through your admirable Image, you who are our Mother, our health and our life. Placing ourselves beneath your maternal gaze, and having recourse to you in all our necessities, we need do nothing more.
O Holy Mother of God, despise not our petitions, but in
your mercy hear and answer us.
This Novena is taken from a leaflet published by the Marian
fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. and printed by the Marian
Press, Stockbridge, MA 01261, USA.