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Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Much of the population of the world suffers from dire poverty. For many, the mother of Jesus is a source of comfort and hope.

Marian beauty, this most tender side of Christianity, often accompanies the passage from unbelief, or from other religions, to faith in Christ.

Mary’s presence encourages the defense of the poorest. Particularly for Vincentians, Marian devotion stimulates the zeal to serve the poor.

From Mary, Comforter of the Afflicted and dispenser of heavenly treasures, we seek peace in our troubles, light in our doubts, defense in our dangers, help in our needs.

In addition to the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8 marks:

  • the formal establishment of the First Confraternity of Charity in 1617;
  • one of the four major feasts chosen by the Society of St. Vincent De Paul in 1834 (Blessed Frederic Ozanam had a great devotion to Mary and declared Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception the patroness of Society), and
  • the day on which many groups of the Sisters of Charity Federation renew their vows

Prayers

Prayer to the Immaculate Virgin
Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Healer of the Sick, Comforter of the Afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings. Look upon me with mercy.

The Magnificat (Canticle of Mary)


My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my savior;
for he has looked upon His servant in her lowliness; all ages to come shall call me blessed.
God who is mighty has done great things for me, holy is His name;
His mercy is from age to age on those who fear Him.
He has shown might with His arm; He has confused the proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has deposed the mighty from their thrones and raised the lowly to high places.
The hungry He has given every good thing, while the rich He has sent empty away.
He has upheld Israel his servant, ever mindful of His mercy;
Even as He promised our fathers, promised Abraham and His descendants forever. Amen.

Prayer to Our Lady in Time of Trouble
Holy Virgin Mary, you are reigning in glory, with Jesus, your Son. 

Remember us in our sadness.
Look kindly on all who are suffering 
or fighting against any difficulty. 

Have pity on those who are separated from someone they love.

Have pity on the loneliness of our hearts.

Have pity on the weakness of our faith and love. 

Have pity on those who are weeping, on those who are praying, on those who are fearful.

Holy Mother, please obtain for all of us hope and peace with justice. 
Amen.

Our Lady, Help of Christians


Most Holy and Immaculate Virgin, Help of Christians, we place ourselves under your 
motherly protection.
Throughout the Church’s history you have helped Christians in 
times of trial, temptation and danger.
Time and time again, you have proven to be the 
Refuge of Sinners, the Hope of the Hopeless, the Consoler of the Afflicted, and the 
Comforter of the Dying. We promise to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ, your Son, 
to proclaim His Good News of God’s love for all people, and to work for peace and
justice in our world.
With faith in your intercession, we pray for the Church, for our 
family and friends, for the poor and abandoned, and all the dying.
Grant, O Mary, 
Help of Christians, the graces in which we stand in need. (Mention your intentions) 

May we serve Jesus with fidelity and love until death.
Help us and our loved ones to 
attain the boundless joy of being forever with our Father in heaven. 
Amen.

Litany to Mary, Queen of the Family


There are so many families in desperate need. They require your protection. They need your guidance.


Mary, Queen of Families, we implore you! 



There are so many families who have become lax in their faith and even entangled in error. They need your clarity and security. They need your courage and strong faith.


Mary, Queen of Families, we implore you! 



There are so many families who lack spiritual and material possessions. They need your help. They need your intercession.


Mary, Queen of Families, we implore you! 



There are so many families who have become too weak to resist temptations. They need your strength. They need your purity.


Mary, Queen of Families, we implore you!



There are so many families who experience difficulties in educating their children. They need your motherly love. They need your educative hand.


Mary, Queen of Families, we implore you! 



There are so many families torn apart through a loss of true love. They need your goodness. They need your loving understanding. 


Mary, Queen of Families, we implore you!

Church Teaching on Mary as Mediatrix of All Graces

…the most glorious Virgin, for whom “He who is mighty has done great things,” was resplendent with such an abundance of heavenly gifts, with such a fullness of grace and with such innocence, that she is an unspeakable miracle of God– indeed, the crown of all miracles and truly the Mother of God; that she approaches as near to God himself as is possible for a created being; and that she is above all men and angels in glory.- Ineffabilis Deus; Apostolic Constitution of Pope Pius IX solemnly defining the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December 1854.

Mary … has such influence with her divine Son, that whatever graces He confers on humans, does so always with her as minister and decision-maker [administra et arbitra]. – Benedict XV, Encyclical, Fausto appetente die, June 29, 1921, AAS 13, 1921, 334.

… in suffering with Him as He died on the cross, she cooperated in the work of the Savior, in an altogether singular way, by obedience, faith, hope, and burning love, to restore supernatural life to souls […] after being assumed into heaven, she has not put aside this saving function, but by her manifold intercession, she continues to win the gifts of eternal salvation for us. By her motherly love, she takes care of the brothers of her Son who are still in pilgrimage and in dangers and difficulties, until they be led through to the happy fatherland. Vatican II, Lumen Gentium #61-62.

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