Pray the Most Beloved Marian Novenas

with this free eBook, Marian Novenas

This eBook features several of the most beloved novenas to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Each one of these prayers reminds us of her love for her spiritual children.

As you say these prayers, remember that she is truly a mother to all Christians, a mother who wants us to be happy, and a mother who wants us to spend eternity in Heaven.

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What did the Archangel Gabriel say to Mary at the Annunciation?

The Gospel of St. Luke 1:26-38 describes the conversation between St. Gabriel and the Blessed Mother.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.

He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;
and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever;
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

And Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no husband?” And the angel said to her,

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;
therefore the child to be born will be called holy,
the Son of God.

And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her

“[H]aving lifted up one woman by preserving her from sin, and then having her freely ratify that gift at the Annunciation, God gave hope to our disturbed, neurotic, gauche, and weak humanity.” - Venerable Fulton Sheen

How old was Mary at the Annunciation?

We are unsure of her exact age, but we believe that she was a young teenager.

Who told Mary she would have a baby?

The archangel Gabriel is the one who gave Mary the message.

What were the five things that the archangel told Mary about her Son?

Luke 1:32-33:

He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;

The Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,

He will reign over the house of Jacob forever;

His kingdom there will be no end.

“The Virgin did not merely pronounce her fiat; in every moment she fulfilled that firm and irrevocable decision. So should we.” - Saint Josemaria Escriva

What happened at the Annunciation of Mary?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraphs 484-486) teaches,

The Annunciation to Mary inaugurates "the fullness of time,” the time of the fulfillment of God's promises and preparations. Mary was invited to conceive him in whom the "whole fullness of deity" would dwell "bodily.” The divine response to her question, "How can this be, since I know not man?", was given by the power of the Spirit: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you."

The mission of the Holy Spirit is always conjoined and ordered to that of the Son. The Holy Spirit, "the Lord, the giver of Life," is sent to sanctify the womb of the Virgin Mary and divinely fecundate it, causing her to conceive the eternal Son of the Father in a humanity drawn from her own.

The Father's only Son, conceived as man in the womb of the Virgin Mary, is "Christ," that is to say, anointed by the Holy Spirit, from the beginning of his human existence, though the manifestation of this fact takes place only progressively: to the shepherds, to the magi, to John the Baptist, to the disciples. Thus the whole life of Jesus Christ will make manifest "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power."

How many children did Mary have after Jesus?

Mary had no other children, and she remained a virgin for her whole life. Thus, in 649 the Lateran Council unhesitatingly declared the dogma of Mary’s perpetual virginity. Until the Reformation no orthodox Christian writer maintained that Mary had children of her own other than the Lord.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraphs 499-501) explains,

The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary's real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ's birth “did not diminish his mother's virginal integrity but sanctified it.” And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the “Ever-virgin.”

Against this doctrine the objection is sometimes raised that the Bible mentions brothers and sisters of Jesus. The Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary. In fact James and Joseph, "brothers of Jesus," are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls “the other Mary.” They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression.

Jesus is Mary's only son, but her spiritual motherhood extends to all men whom indeed he came to save: "The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the first-born among many brethren, that is, the faithful in whose generation and formation she co-operates with a mother's love."

“How often in these situations must Mary have returned inwardly to the hour when God’s angel had spoken to her, pondering afresh the greeting: ‘Rejoice, full of grace!’ and the consoling words: ‘Do not be afraid!’ The angel departs; her mission remains, and with it matures her inner closeness to God, a closeness that in her heart she is able to see and touch.” – Pope Benedict XVI

What does the word “fiat” mean in the Bible?

The word “fiat” is Latin, and it means “let it be done.” Mary’s fiat was when she said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).

What does Mary's fiat mean?

Pope St. John Paul II said,

Mary's words at the Annunciation "I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word" (Lk 1:38), indicate an attitude characteristic of Jewish piety. At the beginning of the Old Covenant, Moses, in response to the Lord's call, proclaims himself his servant (cf. Ex 4:10; 14:31).

With the coming of the New Covenant, Mary also responds to God with an act of free submission and conscious abandonment to his will, showing her complete availability to be the "handmaid of the Lord."

Mary, "full of grace," by proclaiming herself "handmaid of the Lord" intends to commit herself to fulfil personally and in a perfect manner the service God expects of all his people.

Why is Mary's yes to God so important to us?

Through Mary’s fiat, her “yes” to God, she made the Divine Plan of salvation effective in history. As Eve disobeyed and set humanity on a path of sin, Mary was perfectly obedient and set us on the path of grace. As Eve was the “Mother of All the Living” (Gen. 3:20), Mary is the Mother of All those Living “in Christ.” We owe her a debt of justice, and a filial obligation of love.

How did Mary respond to God's request?

Mary responded with the most perfect faith and obedience.

How does Mary serve as the new Eve in our salvation story?

St. Irenaeus taught,

Just as the former—that is, Eve—was seduced by the words of an angel so that she turned away from God by disobeying his word, so the latter—Mary— received the good news from an angel's announcement in such a way as to give birth to God by obeying his word; and as the former was seduced so that she disobeyed God, the latter let herself be convinced to obey God, and so the Virgin Mary became the advocate of the virgin Eve. And as the human race was subjected to death by a virgin, it was liberated by a Virgin; a virgin's disobedience was thus counterbalanced by a Virgin's obedience….

Videos on the Annunciation

How did Mary exemplify faith in God?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraph 494) tells us,

At the announcement that she would give birth to "the Son of the Most High" without knowing man, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary responded with the obedience of faith, certain that "with God nothing will be impossible": "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word." Thus, giving her consent to God's word, Mary becomes the mother of Jesus. Espousing the divine will for salvation wholeheartedly, without a single sin to restrain her, she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work of her Son; she did so in order to serve the mystery of redemption with him and dependent on him, by God's grace:
As St. Irenaeus says, "Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race." Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert…: "The knot of Eve's disobedience was untied by Mary's obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith." Comparing her with Eve, they call Mary "the Mother of the living" and frequently claim: "Death through Eve, life through Mary."

How did the Virgin Mary pray?

The Virgin Mary prayed with great faith and trust in the Lord. In Sacred Scripture, we see glimpses of the Blessed Mother’s deep interior life.

For example, when she visits St. Elizabeth, we see this beautiful prayer (Luke 1:46-55):

My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm,
he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
he has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.

What is the role of Mary in our life?

First, Mary is truly our mother. In Revelation 12:17, we see that the offspring of Mary are “those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus.” Thus, as Christians, we become the sons and daughters of Mary.

Second, Mary is our perfect example of following Jesus in everything we do. For example, at the Wedding Feast at Cana, she said to the servants, “Do whatever [Jesus] tells you.” This was the running theme throughout Mary’s life: continually pointing to her Son.

Also, Mary shows us how to truly obey God. At the Annunciation, Mary was a young teenager, a virgin. Instead of saying “no” to the Lord because of the enormity of the request, she put total trust in the Lord. In our daily lives, we should follow her example as we trust God in all large and small issues.

“[A]t the Annunciation Mary entrusted herself to God completely, with the ‘full submission of intellect and will,’ manifesting ‘the obedience of faith’ to him who spoke to her through his messenger. She responded, therefore, with all her human and feminine ‘I,’ and this response of faith included both perfect cooperation with ‘the grace of God that precedes and assists’ and perfect openness to the action of the Holy Spirit, who ‘constantly brings faith to completion by his gifts.’” - Saint John Paul II

What are the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary?

  • The Annunciation
  • The Visitation
  • The Nativity of the Lord
  • The Presentation at the Temple
  • The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

For the Mysteries of the Rosary, go to the following links:

How do you pray the Rosary?

  1. Make the Sign of the Cross and say “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
  2. Say the Creed.
  3. Say one Our Father, three Hail Marys, and one Glory Be.
  4. Announce the first Mystery. If possible, make a short meditation on the subject of the mystery. Then pray an Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and the Glory Be. While it is not a formal part of the Rosary, it has become usual to pray the “Fátima Prayer” taught by Our Lady to the children of Fátima in 1917 (see below).
  5. This pattern is then repeated on the decades for each of the subsequent mysteries of the Rosary.
  6. After you have completed all the decades, it is usual to say the Hail, Holy Queen, and other prayers according to custom, though these are not formally part of the Rosary, nor obligatory.
  7. Make the Sign of the Cross and say, “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

Fátima Prayer: "O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy."