NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP

Leader: Let us kneel as we gather together to honor our Mother and our Perpetual Help. We recall how she helped others. Her whole life was a lesson in love.

All: Mother of Perpetual Help today we face so many difficulties. Your picture tells us so much about you. It reminds us to reach out and help those in need. Help us understand that our lives belong to others as much as they belong to us. Mary, model of Christian love, we know we cannot heal every ill or solve every problem, but with God's grace, we intend to do what we can. May we be true witnesses to the world that love for one another really matters. May our daily actions proclaim how fully our lives are modeled after yours, Mother of Perpetual Help.

Leader: Mary, you were a woman of steadfast faith. Your faith in Jesus never waivered. Model of all believers, pray to the Holy Spirit for us. Help us not only to accept all your Son teaches us, but to put that teaching into practice.

All: Mother of Perpetual Help as a child, Jesus ran to you for comfort and reassurance. You did not see him as only a frail child. Moved by the Holy Spirit, you accepted Jesus as the Son of the Most High, the long-awaited Messiah. Following your example of faith, help us recognize Jesus in those we meet, especially the poor and the lonely, the sick and the elderly. Keep us always mindful, dear Mother, that whatever we do to the least of our brothers and sisters, we do to your loving Son. May his words live in our hearts and influence our lives and the lives of those we meet.

Leader: Let us pray to be open to God's Word.

All: Mary, woman of faith, you pondered and treasured the meaning of God's words and actions in your life. You generously responded to his Word in faith. As we listen to God's Word, help us be attentive to his message. May the Holy Spirit enlighten our understanding and give us the courage to put these words into practice.

Leader: Let us stand as we present our petitions: Grant wisdom and guidance to our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, our Bishop James, our priests, and all the leaders of our nation, state, and community.

All: May your mother intercede for us, Lord.

Leader: Grant peace and unity throughout the world, especially in our homes and families.

All: May your mother intercede for us, Lord.

Leader: Grant that young people respond generously to the call of the Holy Spirit in deepening their faith and choosing their vocation in life.

All: May your mother intercede for us, Lord.

Leader: Grant us continued health of mind and body, and help the sick, especially . . . to regain their health according to your Holy will.

All: May your mother intercede for us, Lord.

Leader: Grant eternal rest to all our deceased, especially . . . and to the souls of all the faithful departed.

All: May your mother intercede for us, Lord.

Leader: Let us pause now to silently present our own personal petitions to Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

Leader: Let us kneel as we continue our prayers:

All: Mary, humble handmaid of the Lord, we need your example today to discover God's will in our lives. You always gave God the first place in your life. Just as you pondered his Word in your heart, help eachof us to seek his plan in all that we do. Give us the conviction that nothing is more important than doing the will of our heavenly Father. May we spend each moment in loving and pleasing him. Help us follow your example in proclaiming, I am the servant of the Lord, I will what God wills, when he wills it, as he wills it, because he wills it.

Leader: Mother of Perpetual Help, your picture reminds us that we are to carry our cross as Jesus did. With courage, he endured injustice, abandonment and betrayal, pain and suffering, even a criminal's death.

All: Mary, we turn to you as our model in suffering and courage. You shared in your Son's suffering and death. Now you share in his Resurrection. We, too, share in the cross of Christ, and someday, like you, we will share fully in his Resurrection. Help us be patient in our suffering, and to trust in the loving care of our Father in heaven. May those suffering sickness in mind or body experience your Son's healing power. Help us follow his example, and throughhim, with him, and in him, commend ourselves to the care of our heavenly Father.

Leader: Let us ask Mary to watch over all families.

All: Mother of Perpetual Help, bless our families with your tender, motherly love. May the sacrament of Marriage bring husbands and wives ever closer together that they may always be faithful, and love each other as Christ loves us. Help all mothers and fathers love and cherish the children God has entrusted to them. May they always be models of a truly Christian life. Help all children, that they may love and respect their parents. Inspire all people to value Christian marriage and family life. Give us a sense of responsibility that we may do our part in making our homes havens of love and peace. Mary, our model, help every family grow daily in genuine love for God and neighbor so that justice and peace may flourish everywhere in the human family.

(The following Act of Consecration is to be said the first week of the month. Otherwise, skip the next two paragraphs.)

Leader: Let us renew our Act of Consecration.

All: United with the members of the Confraternity of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, here and throughout the world, we consecrate ourselveds to your service. We promise to renew this dedication once a month and frequently to receive the sacraments. We beg you to obtain for us the grace to imitate your great servant, Saint Alphonsus, in his love for you and your Son.

Leader: From the first moment of her existence, the Holy Spirit filled Mary with his love. By his power, she became the Virgin-Mother of God. Through the same Holy Spirit, she became the perfect wife, the perfect mother. Let us imitate her generosity, her openness to the Holy Spirit, and say,

All: Come, Holy Spirit. Fill our hearts with with your joy and your peace, with your power and your love, with your constant Presence within us.

Leader: Receive the Holy Spirit. May he be with you to strengthen you, above you to protect you, before you to lead you, behind you to encourage you, within you to possess you totally. Through the prayers of our holy patron, Saint Alphonsus, throughthe intercession of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, through the merits of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the altar, may the blessing of almighty God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, descend upon you and remain forever.

All: Amen.