NOVENA FOR GRACE
by Padre Antonio Artola
Convent of the Conception: Agreda, 1996
Translated into English by Marilyn H. Fedewa (c) 2002

Daily Opening Prayer

Oh Immaculate Virgin, sanctuary of the divine Trinity! You are the queen and mother of all the saints. You set an example without equal, for the work of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. All the saints lovingly contemplate you in the most interior depth of divine existence. Your Immaculate Conception�throughout the centuries only partially revealed to the Church�has finally manifested in all splendor, through a daughter especially called to this mission. Mother Immaculate, you are�together with Jesus�all the reason for the existence of the extraordinary holiness and sublime mission of the Venerable Sor Maria de Jesus de Agreda. I place myself in your presence, too, Sor Maria, throughout the days of this novena, to intercede on your behalf, and to fill myself with that which infuses your soul, to follow you�although from afar�and to walk in your astonishing footsteps. Why, I have asked, have you put me in contact with your life? To what end have you stirred up in my interior this inexplicable fondness for your person, your work, your mission? Although I understand little of what happens in my life with relation to you, today I put myself in the presence of your plans by initiating this novena. I do not know for certain what I request, nor what I say, nor what I expect this novena to obtain from you. Only am I impelled to begin these nine days of intimacy with you in the Trinity, through you, Madre Sor Maria, and my Immaculate Mother, the Virgin Mary. In that you have germinated in my soul the desire to begin this novena, help me to be constant to the end, and grant me the grace to overcome my ignorance, in your honor and in honor of the Immaculate Virgin and all the Trinity.


Daily Closing Prayer

Oh Holy Trinity, would that you have been satisfied in me, to grant this consideration, on behalf of one of the greatest models of grace and goodness, your faithful servant the Venerable Sor Maria! I give copious thanks to you for the gifts with which you have distinguished her life, and the wonders you have manifested in her saintliness even beyond her death. I ask you to benefit me with the same predilection as the admirable virgin of Agreda. Grant me also the grace to attain the level of holiness that you have ordained for me, and grant that my sins and continuos transgressions not impede the realization of your marvelous designs for my life. Pardon all the sins I have committed in my life, and grant through this novena the grace to help me to achieve eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.


Day 1: The Mystery of the Father

Heavenly Father! Forever eternal, and one with your Son the Word who is equal to you in essence and attributes, you have chosen Sor Maria de Agreda for the most faithful imitation of the example of the Virgin Mary. You have called her to be a great apostle and learned doctor of the Immaculate One. With great faithfulness she has invested the entirety of her saintly life in accomplishing her difficult mission. To you I render most sincere thanks for the marvels you carried out in the admirable life of this humble daughter. Deign now to reward these services performed in your name. Concede to me the grace of a holy life, and grant to her the glorification on earth that her saintly life deserves.

(Three Glorias to the Trinity, and Seven Hail Mary�s to the Virgin).


Day 2: The Eternal Son of God

Oh Word of God, you are the perfect example of what the Father also ordained for the glory of his daughter, the dearly beloved Sor Maria de Jesus. You have caused a desire in her�a great writer�to record the mysteries of your life and the life of the Blessed Mother. For the realization of this mission, you fitted her with the excellent graces and spiritual privileges. All her life was a continual exercise of the perfect virtue. For the merit of her life, I ask you for myself and for all faithful Christians, the grace to know perfectly the mystery of your life as contained in the Holy Gospels, and to put into practice her admirable teachings. Pardon me for any neglect I might have had for the wondrous doctrine of your Gospel. Give me grace for a perfect interior conversion, and grant to your favorite servant the �glory of the altars�. Amen.

(Three Glorias to the Trinity, and Seven Hail Mary�s to the Virgin).


Day 3: The Holy Spirit

Holy and Divine Spirit! To you I pray in gratitude, for your marvelous gifts and for your holy fruits as bestowed upon your generous servant, Sor Maria de Jesus. You accomplished in her the wondrous plans of the Father and the Word. You filled her life with extraordinary holiness and perfect virtues. I give thanks to you for the wonder of holiness that formed in your noble servant. For sanctifying in her this efficacious power, I give you most copious thanks; I glorify you and I bless you in the unity of the spirit with the Father and the Son. For these great mysteries I ask you, for myself and for all men, for a perfect and holy life, and for the glorification here on earth of your servant Sor Maria de Jesus.

(Three Glorias to the Trinity, and Seven Hail Mary�s to the Virgin).


Day 4: The Immaculate Virgin

Most Holy Virgin, Immaculate Mother of God! You are she who called the Venerable Sor Maria de Jesus to the Order of your Conception. You trained her to live the life of a nun, marvelously revealing to her mother Catalina to build the convent within her paternal home. Since very young she was transported upon a path of perfect recognition of the abstraction of all of creation, in a most elevated mystical life and likeness of heaven on earth. You elected her to reveal to the world your hidden life, to write of your singular existence, and to extend to all the world the knowledge and veneration of the great privilege of the Immaculate Mother. How can I not give thanks for such perfect execution of your plan by your faithful daughter! For her perfect work that you fulfilled in her earthly existence, I ask you�for me and for all the Church�for a great love of the mystery of your Immaculate Conception. I ask you as well, on behalf of your admirable disciple, for the favor of a speedy glorification in the presence of the faithful of your holy Church, and for recognition of her perfection.

(Three Glorias to the Trinity, and Seven Hail Mary�s to the Virgin).


Day 5: Saint Joseph

Glorious Patriarch Saint Joseph! You are admirable in the life of Sor Maria de Jesus, lifting her to the knowledge of hidden mysteries in the person of your spouse Mary and your Son Jesus. You accompanied her through the difficult ways of holiness so that she would not deviate, after which she has walked the ways of the most elevated interior life without stumbling, and in perfect obedience to her spiritual directors. She wrote of you such marvelous pages in her great Mystical City of God. I am not able to thank you enough for the singular providence with which you always uplifted her on the road of holy life. For this I ask you for myself and for all the Church, the gift of a perfect assimilation of the divine mysteries of the life of Jesus and Mary; the grace of a holy death, the gift of prayer and of interior perfection. For your docile servant I ask you the �glory of the altars�, and your help in overriding any difficulties that oppose her glorification.

(Three Glorias to the Trinity, and Seven Hail Mary�s to the Virgin).


Day 6: Saint Michael the Archangel


Holy and glorious Archangel, prince of the celestial army! Great was the love and veneration accorded you throughout the entirety of the life of the Venerable Sor Maria de Jesus. You revealed to her the mysteries of the invisible world. You protected her against innumerable obstacles that threatened her extraordinary life. I am indebted to you for seeing in this extraordinary mother, in her fragile femininity, the signs of a superior character, a superior understanding of the normal human condition, and a familiarity with the invisible world that made her one of the greatest spiritual beings in history. I give thanks to you with all my heart for the singular care with which you watched over her. This gives me great confidence in asking that you grant to me and to all men a great devotion to the Immaculate Virgin and the angels that serve her. Concede, also, to your admirable prodigy the glory of her exaltation in the eyes of men and in the bosom of God�s Church.
(Three Glorias to the Trinity, and Seven Hail Mary�s to the Virgin).


Day 7: The Holy Angels

The Venerable Sor Maria de Jesus wrote of your admirable and abundant knowledge of divine matters, and the secrets you disclosed to her concerning the life of Jesus and Mary. You always protected her, in the course of her humble life on earth, even as she related how you protected Jesus and Mary. You are present in all the pages of her work, from the preordination of Mary through the day of her final glorification and Ascension into heaven. Unlike most spiritual authors, she emphasized the importance of your presence in the life of Jesus and Mary. You rewarded her faithfulness with a singular life more angelic than human. With all humility to you, I render proper thanks for your part in the life of the Venerable, and I also ask your intercession, for myself and for all souls, for a great knowledge and familiarity of matters of the invisible world. In recognition of your effective and eternal service, I ask your help for Sor Maria, in surmounting the obstacles that oppose her glorification on earth and in the bosom of the Church.

(Three Glorias to the Trinity, and Seven Hail Mary�s to the Virgin).


Day 8: The Saints

Wondrous, in the manner of the angels, is the life of Sor Maria de Jesus. It always brings to mind the day of her birth, which coincided with the festival in honor of the great St. Francis de Paula [of Calabria]. To St. Francis of Assisi she also always paid tribute, venerating and imitating him. They protected her, inspired her, comforted her in her difficulties, and comprised the habitual companionship of her most celestial existence on earth. To all saints I direct this memory, and I am most thankful for the benefits and supernatural graces that you have procured with your superior activity on behalf of Sor Maria de Jesus. I also ask you, for myself and for all mortals who live in a state of grace, for a life similar to yours and that of your prodigy Sor Maria de Jesus. For her, I ask you all to unite in intercession before the throne of the Trinity, to speed the day of her triumph in the presence of the Church, elevating her to the �glory of the altars�.

(Three Glorias to the Trinity, and Seven Hail Mary�s to the Virgin).


Day 9: Saint Beatrice de Silva

Great saint, founder of the admirable Order of the Immaculate Conception of Mary! You are always the beloved mother who has guided and directed the life of your privileged daughter. To your order the Immaculate Mother entrusted her treasure of holiness, Sor Maria de Jesus. You have been for her a loving mother and a mighty protector. From you she learned the singular devotion for the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God. You inspired her and aided her in her difficult burden as abbess, which she carried out in such exemplary fashion in the convent in Agreda. She credits you in great part with the realization of the Immaculate Virgin�s glorious designs for the work of your order. You are the founder, and she the doctor in knowledge and veneration, of the mystery of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. All are indebted to you for blessing the marvelous work carried out in the life of your favorite daughter. Thank you, mother and founder of the conceptionist order. Permit me also to beseech you with humility and confidence with these petitions. Grant me, and all of God�s holy Church, a spirit firm in faith, hope and charity; a grand love for the Trinity, the Virgin, the Church, the Pope and all the sacraments and ceremonies that comprise the Church. Give to all the faithful a powerful impulse for holiness, and put forcefully into action through the divine Trinity, a speedy glorification of your daughter, for your glory and the glory of your esteemed conceptionist family.

(Three Glorias to the Trinity, and Seven Hail Mary�s to the Virgin).


Translation (c) by Marilyn H. Fedewa