Practice: to Perform Novenas in Honour of the Nine Choirs of Angels.

Practice: to Perform Novenas in Honour of the Nine Choirs of Angels.

PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.

My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

Practice: to Perform Novenas in Honour of the Nine Choirs of Angels.

. . . It is, then, a praiseworthy practice to perform novenas, and especially in honour of the nine choirs of angels, to which we have peculiar motives to excite us. I can bear witness to the extraordinary graces which have been the fruit of this devotion. I have seen marvellous things take place while the holy angels were being honoured by this exercise, and the power of the devils ruined in matters of serious importance; and it is a most efficacious means for obtaining the assistance of Heaven in public calamities and private necessities.

We have already spoken at some length of the assistance which the holy angels render us in all our needs, whether bodily or spiritual, and we shall again recur to the subject in the course of this treatise. We have observed that, among these celestial bands, the Archangels and the Principalities ought to be particularly invoked for the welfare of kingdoms and provinces, and for those who rule them; and so, again, that the angels who have the more immediate care of the visible heavens, the elements, and seasons, ought to be invoked in time of war, pestilence, famine, and other public afflictions; the Powers, against sorcerers, magicians, and their spells; against the devils, their rage, and their malice; the Virtues, for obtaining of an All-Merciful God extraordinary aid in our necessities, since it is these blessed spirits whom God often employs to work His wonders and miracles, according to the testimony of St. Gregory, as we have already noticed. We refer the reader to what we have said concerning the nine choirs of angels in the first three chapters of this second treatise; and he can read on the vigil of each day of the novena. so much as regards the choir which he intends to honor on the morrow.

We will here furnish some directions in a few words. Let the first day of the novena be devoted to honouring the angels of the lowest choir; we may ask of them faith, which is the beginning and the foundation of the spiritual life. On the second day we may venerate the Archangels, and ask of them zeal in the cause of Him whom faith makes known to us, begging that the same knowledge which comes of faith may be imparted to all unbelievers and heretics. On the third day the Principalities; praying for the preservation and augmentation of faith in Catholic countries; and, as faith ought to be accompanied with a good life, we will offer our prayers for the extirpation of sin and for the reformation of the inner man. On the fourth day we may honour the Powers; invoking their aid against the might of those devils who war against us in the ways of faith, and counteract our designs of Christian mortification. On the fifth day, the Virtues; imploring their help to surmount the difficulties which the flesh and the world oppose to us in the paths of the spiritual life, and to obtain a holy generosity in the exercise of the Christian virtues. The sixth day may be given to the Dominations, in order that we may know the requirements of God, what He asks of us, and that His Divine will may be manifested to us. The seventh day to the Thrones, that they may obtain for us a perfect subjection and an entire abandonment to the will of God, wherein consists that peace which passes all imagination. The eighth day may be devoted to the Cherubim, for the establishment of the light of Jesus Christ in us, and a renunciation of all the maxims of the world opposed to it. The ninth day to the Seraphim, for the reign and triumph of pure love in our hearts.

The same devotion may be practised in time of public calamities, which come upon us and continue to afflict us because we fail to look sufficiently to their cause. We attribute them to this person and to that, while we ought to accuse ourselves and our own sins. God strikes us only that we may look to Him, whereas we keep our eyes always fixed on creatures. We ask for His peace, and we are ever fighting against Him; our lives remain unchanged and our sins increase. Oh, how needful to us is the succour of the holy angels! and how good it is to perform novenas in their honour, beseeching them to appease the just anger of God, and to labour for the destruction of sin, His cruel enemy, and for the ruin of all the plots of the powers of hell!

This devotion of novenas is also very profitable to us as a preparation for the due celebration of the feasts of our Lord and of His blessed Mother; conversing each day with the angels of the choir we mean to honour, expressing to them our desire to love our gracious Master and our loving Mistress; entreating them to supply our lack of love, and to thank Them, praise Them, and bless Them for us, and to obtain for us a solid devotion to Them, which may ever increase more and more.

Now, in order to perform these novenas well, every one can follow the attraction of grace and the advice of some good servant of God. However, to facilitate the practice, we will suggest that those who are able can have nine Masses celebrated in honour of the nine choirs of angels, burn nine candles, give nine alms; at least they can hear nine Masses with that intention, perform nine acts of mortification, whether exterior or interior, make nine genuflexions every day, recite the Angelical Salutation nine times, if they have not sufficient leisure to say nine Paters, a pious exercise, which, it may be remarked, was revealed by Heaven to St. Mecthilde; they can visit nine times some chapel or altar dedicated to God in honour of the holy angels, or the altar where the Blessed Sacrament reposes, and where the princes of God’s court attend upon Him. Besides this, they can communicate according to the advice of their director; place themselves on their knees three times a day, in the morning, about noon, and in the evening, prostrating themselves before the angels of the choir which they mean to honour particularly that day; and during the course of the day they may address to them many ejaculatory prayers, and endeavour to converse for some space of time with these spirits of love. If several persons should unite together, they would draw down more abundant benedictions: in this case each can choose a day to visit some church, or some poor persons, and, if possible, to fast, so that a perpetual fast may be maintained during the whole of the novena.

PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.

My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.

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October Devotion: The Holy Angels and the Holy Rosary.

Virtues to practice: Confidence.


Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

Most glorious prince of the heavenly hosts, Archangel St. Michael, defend us in the battle and in the tremendous struggle we carry on against the Principalities and Powers, against the rulers of the world of darkness and all evil spirits. Come to the help of man, whom God created immortal, fashioned to His own image and likeness, and rescued at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. With the great army of the holy angels fight to-day the battle of the Lord as thou didst of old fight against Lucifer, the leader of the proud, and his apostate angels, who were powerless against thee, and they had no longer a place in heaven; and that monster, the old serpent who is called the devil and Satan, that seduces the whole world, was cast into hell with his angels. But now that first enemy and homicide has regained his insolent boldness. Taking on the appearance of an angel of light, he has invaded the earth, and, with his whole train of evil spirits, he is prowling about among men, striving to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to capture, to destroy, to drag to eternal perdition the souls destined to the crown of eternal glory. That malignant dragon is pouring abroad, like a foul stream, into the souls of men of ruined intellect and corrupt heart the poison of his wickedness, the spirit of lying, of impiety and blasphemy, the pestilent breath of impurity and of all vice and iniquity. Most cunning enemies have filled with bitterness and drenched with gall the Church, the Spouse of the Lamb without spot, and have lifted impious hands against all that is most sacred in it. Even in the holy place where the See of Blessed Peter and the chair of truth was set up to enlighten the world, they have raised the abominable throne of their impiety with the iniquitous hope that the Shepherd may be stricken and the flock scattered abroad. Arise, then, unconquerable Prince, defend the people of God against the assaults of the reprobate spirits, and give them the victory. Holy Church reveres thee as its guardian and patron; it glories in thee as its defender against the malignant powers of hell; to thee God has committed the souls that are to be conveyed to the seats of the Blessed in eternal happiness. Pray, then, to the God of peace, that He may put Satan under our feet, so completely vanquished that he may no longer be able to hold men in bondage and work harm to the Church. Offer up our prayers before the Most High, so that the mercies of the Lord may prevent us, and lay hold of the dragon, the old serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and hurl him bound in chains into the abyss where he may no longer seduce the souls of men. Amen.

V. Behold the Cross of the Lord, fly ye hostile ranks.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has conquered.
V. May Thy mercies, O Lord, be fulfilled in us.
R. As we have hoped in Thee.
V. Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Let us pray.

O God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy name and humbly beseech Thy clemency, that, through the intercession of the ever immaculate Virgin and our Mother Mary, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst vouchsafe to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits that are prowling about the world to the great peril of the human race and the loss of souls. Amen.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., Motu Proprio, September 25, 1888, granted to the faithful who recite the above prayer
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

ANTIPHON.

Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in praelio,
ut non pereamus
in tremendo judicio.

Holy Archangel Michael,
defend us in battle,
that we may not perish
in the tremendous judgment.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, August 19, 1893, granted to the faithful who recite the above antiphon
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

GABRIEL, THE ARCHANGEL.
NOVENA IN HONOR OF S. GABRIEL THE ARCHANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 26, 1876, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of S. Gabriel the archangel, with any formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority,
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day;
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, during the novena, if, truly penitent, having confessed and communicated, they pray for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

RAPHAEL, THE ARCHANGEL.
NOVENA IN HONOR OF S. RAPHAEL, THE ARCHANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 28, 1876, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of S. Raphael the archangel, with any formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority,
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day;
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, during the novena, if, truly penitent, having confessed and communicated, they pray for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

PRAYER TO S. RAPHAEL, ARCHANGEL.

Glorious Archangel, S. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, illustrious by thy gifts of wisdom and grace, guide of travellers by land and sea, consoler of the unfortunate and refuge of sinners, I entreat thee to help me in all my needs and in all the trials of this life, as thou didst once assist the young Tobias in his journeying. And since thou art the “physician of God,” I humbly pray thee to heal my soul of its many infirmities and my body of the ills that afflict it, if this favor is for my greater good. I ask, especially, for angelic purity, that I may be made fit to be the living temple of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 21, 1890, granted to the faithful who shall recite the above prayer
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

THE ANGEL GUARDIAN.
PRAYER
.

Angele Dei,
qui custos es mei,
me tibi commissum pietate superna
illumina, custodi,
rege, et guberna.Amen.

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom His love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard,
To rule and guide.
Amen.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VI., by a brief, Oct. 2, 1795, granted to all the faithful, every time that, with at least contrite heart and devotion, they shall say this prayer:
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS.
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, on the feast of the holy guardian angels (Oct. 2), to those who shall have said this prayer, morning and evening, throughout the year, provided that, on the day of the feast, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall visit a church or public oratory, and pray for the Sovereign Pontiff.
The same Sovereign Pontiff, by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 11, 1796, granted:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, at the hour of death, to all those who, during life, shall have frequently said this prayer, provided they shall have the proper dispositions.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, May 15, 1821, not only confirmed the above mentioned indulgences, but, moreover, granted:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, once a month, to all the faithful who shall have said it every day for a month, as above directed, on any day, when, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall visit a church, and pray devoutly for the intention of his Holiness.

NOVENA IN HONOR OF THE GUARDIAN ANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript dated at Gaeta, Jan. 5, 1849, and by another of the S. Congr. of Bishops and Regulars, Jan. 28, 1850, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of the Guardian Angel, published by the Rev. Joseph M. Falcone, of the Congregation of the Missions:
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, either during the novena or upon one of the eight days immediately following, if, truly penitent, they confess and communicate, and say some prayers for the holy Church and for the Sovereign Pontiff.
By a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 26, 1876, the same Sovereign Pontiff deigned to approve that these indulgences may be gained by those who make the novena to the Guardian Angel with any other formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority.

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