Novena for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Nov. 29th-Dec.7th)
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – December 8th
Day 2 – November 30 – Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle
O Virgin Immaculate, Mother of God and my Mother, from thy sublime height turn upon me thine eyes of pity. Filled with confidence in thy goodness and knowing full well thy power, I beseech thee to extend to me thine assistance in the journey of life, which is so full of dangers for my soul. And in order that I may never be the slave of the devil through sin, but may ever live with my heart humble and pure, I entrust myself wholly to thee. I consecrate my heart to thee for ever, my only desire being to love thy Divine Son Jesus. Mary, none of thy devout servants has ever perished; may I too be saved. Amen.
O Mary, thou didst enter the world without stain; do thou obtain for me from God, that I may leave it without sin. Ave Maria…
O Lord, we humbly beseech thy Majesty, that even as Thou didst give thy blessed Apostle Andrew to thy Church to be a teacher and a ruler on earth, so, now that he is with thee, he may continually make intercession for us. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
“A woman came to a house of our little Congregation in this kingdom to let one of the Fathers know that her husband had not been to confession for many years, and the poor creature could no longer tell by what means to bring him to his duty; for if she named confession to him, he beat her. The Father told her to give him a picture of Mary Immaculate. In the evening the woman once more begged her husband to go to confession; but he as usual turned a deaf ear to her entreaties. She gave him the picture. Behold! he had scarcely received it, when he said, "Well, when will you take me to confession, for I am willing to go?" The wife, on seeing this instantaneous change, began to weep for joy. In the morning he really came to our church, and when the Father asked him how long it was since he had been to confession, he answered, "Twenty-eight years." The Father again asked him what had induced him to come that morning. "Father," he said, "I was obstinate; but last night my wife gave me a picture of our Blessed Lady, and in the same moment I felt my heart changed, so much so, that during the whole night every moment seemed a thousand years, so great was my desire to go to confession." He then confessed his sins with great contrition, changed his life, and continued for a long time to go frequently to confession to the same Father.
“In another place, in the diocese of Salerno, in which we were giving a mission, there was a man who bore a great hatred to another who had offended him. One of our Fathers spoke to him that he might be reconciled; but he answered: "Father, did you ever see me at the sermon? No, and for this very reason, I do not go. I know that I am damned; but nothing else will satisfy me, I must have revenge." The Father did all that he could to convert him; but seeing that he lost his time, he said, "Here, take this picture of our Blessed Lady." The man at first replied, "But what is the use of this picture?" But no sooner had he taken it, than, as if he had never refused to be reconciled, he said to the missionary, "Father, is anything else required besides reconciliation?—I am willing." The following morning was fixed for it. When, however, the time came, he had again changed, and would do nothing. The Father offered him another picture, but he refused it; but at length, with great reluctance, took it, when, behold! he scarcely had possession of it than he immediately said. Now let us be quick; where is Mastrodati?" and he was instantly reconciled with him, and then went to confession.”
-Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, The Glories of Mary, Discourse for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Example