Today is the Feast day of the Annunciation which celebrates when the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary in Nazareth and announced that she would conceive and bear a son Jesus. Mary replied “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word”. On this day we remember this moment when the Word was made Flesh.
There’s a special novena that begins today and is a little different than most. Instead of praying once a day for nine days, this one is prayed once a month (on the 25th) from March through December.
It’s unusual because three separate intentions can be included, most novenas are for one intention. It can be prayed for anything you like but it’s especially recommended for praying for the protection of the unborn, for complicated pregnancies or asking for help conceiving since it celebrates and honors the pregnancy of the Blessed Virgin and the unborn child Jesus.
If you’re interested, I’ve prepared a free printable chart that includes all the prayers and instructions needed. You’ll notice there are three blank spots to write your intentions (so you don’t forget each month what you’re asking for) and at the bottom of the page I’ve setup 10 check boxes for each month that you can mark off once you’ve completed the prayers for that particular period. I find these features especially helpful because believe me, at some point you’re going to wonder “Did I do this in June” or “what are the three intentions I’m praying for again”.
On the chart I’ve included an image of the statue of Mary that is found outside the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, Israel. Look closely at the hands and you’ll notice that some of the fingers are quite black, this is from all the devotion and love pilgrims have poured onto this statue whenever they have touched it (wearing off the surface a bit over time). I thought it would be nice to include on the chart to have a visual when praying (and imagine yourself standing before the statue and holding one of our dear blessed Mother’s hands).
Here is the free download, it’s in pdf format: Prayer Chart. You have my permission to distribute this online or print off a bunch of copies to hand out, I only ask that you give it away for free and you don’t change the document or copyright info in any way.
It gets a little tricky when praying this only once a month, you will want to setup a reminder system so you don’t forget the novena on the 25th. Some suggestions: setup a reminder on your smartphone; write it down in your planner; setup an email reminder with a free email reminder service (just do a search online, there isn’t one tried & true that I can recommend but there are plenty out there). I will do my best to tweet reminders every 25th from my twitter account found at @Patronessa1 if you’d like to follow me there.
May God bless you and your intentions!