23rd September – 1st October: Novena to St Therese 

Novena to St Therese: “You know well enough that our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions,  nor even at their difficulty, but at the love at which we do them.” St Theresé of Lisieux

This year’s Novena will take place in St Mary’s Cathedral at our morning mass (10.30am) and evening mass (6.15pm). The Novena prayer will also be prayed at the 9.30am mass in Church of the Resurrection. We will erect our sacred space to St Therese and special Novena candles will be available… KillarneyParish_Novena36858

Why honour St Therese? Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (January 2, 1873 – September 30, 1897), was a French Carmelite nun known simply as, The Little Flower. Thérèse is well known throughout the world, with the Basilica of Lisieux being the second largest place of pilgrimage in France after Lourdes. Together with St. Francis of Assisi she is one of the most popular saints in the history of the church, mainly because of the simplicity and practicality of her approach to the spiritual life. Therese died at the young age of 24. She lived a hidden life and wanted to be unknown, yet became popular after her death through her spiritual autobiography The Story of a Soul. She also left letters, poems, prayers, and her last conversations were recorded by her sisters. The depth of her spirituality, of which she said, “my way is all confidence and love,” has inspired many. Catholics have long been attracted to St. Therese, mainly because of her ‘little way’ that puts holiness of life within the reach of ordinary people.

St Therese and her teachings on love: St. Therese discovered early on that love gave people a reason for living and a sense of hope. As a child she says that she was surrounded by love and she also had a loving nature. Yet the experience of love began to unravel when she lost her own mother at age four and a half and then again when her sister Pauline, her second mother, went off to the convent of Lisieux. Is there a permanent love? What does love mean when there is suffering? Where does fulfilment exist? Everyone asks questions about love. What is love really, how am I to understand its ways? She found that love could only be captivating when a person trusts completely in a loving God. That trust has to be stated every day in the way we pray and live out the responsibilities and demands of our lives. She found the power of love in her relationship to Jesus Christ.

St Therese believed that we should live out our days with confidence in God’s love for us. We should recognize that each day is a gift in which our life can make a difference by the way we choose to live it. St. Therese knew the difference love makes – she allowed love to be the statement she made each day of her life.

St Therese and “the little way”: St. Therese translated “the little way” in terms of a commitment to the tasks and to the people we meet in our everyday lives. She took her assignments in the convent of Lisieux as ways of manifesting her love for God and for others. She worked as a sacristan by taking care of the altar and the chapel; she served in the refectory and in the laundry room; she wrote plays for the entertainment of the community. She always gave fully of herself and tried to show love for all the nuns in the community. Her life sounds so routine and ordinary, but it was steeped in a loving commitment. It is called a ‘little way’ precisely by being simple, direct, yet calling for amazing courage and commitment. In living out her life of faith she sensed that everything that she was able to accomplish came from a generous love of God in her life. She was convinced that at the end of her life she would go to God with empty hands. Why? Because all was accomplished in union with God.

NOVENA PRAYER (to be prayed each day 23rd September – 1st October)

Dearest Saint Therese of Lisieux, you said  you would spend your heaven doing good upon the earth.

Your trust in God was complete. Listen to my prayer; bring before God my special intention… (silent prayer)

Pray for me, that I may have your confidence in the loving promises of our God.

Pray that I may live my life in union with God’s plan for me, and one day see the face of God who you so loved so deeply.

Saint Therese, you were faithful until the moment of your death.

Pray for us that we may be faithful to our loving God.

May our lives, like yours, be able to touch the world and bring it to peace. Amen.

 

(Below) Day one of our Novena was led by Holy Cross Mercy choir and celebrated by Bishop Ray Browne. 

st therese holy cross mercy

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Novena to our Lady of Perpetual Succour takes place each Monday evening after our 6.15pm Mass in St Mary’s Cathedral

Novena to our Lady of Lourdes: Our Lady of Lourdes Mother of Mercy, health of the sick, refuge of sinners, comforter of the afflicted, You know our wants, troubles and sufferings; Cast on us, and on all our sick sisters and brothers, a look of healing and blessing: By appearing in the grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, a special place of peace and healing. So many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal by approaching You in faith. We come with the most unbounded confidence to ask your maternal intercession in this Novena. Obtain O loving Mother, the granting of our prayers (here mention your request). We will endeavour to imitate your virtues. That we may one day share your glories. O Mary conceived without sin Pray for us who have recourse to thee.. Our Lady of Lourdes pray for us

This Novena takes place each year, leading to the Feast of our Lady of Lourdes on February 11th. During our Lady of Lourdes feast day (also the World day of the sick),  the parish holds a special mass with anointing for all of our parishioners who are sick or in need of Our Lady’s healing.

Novena to the Sacred Heart: Lord Jesus, the needs of your people open your heart in love to each of us. You care for us when we are lost, sympathise with us in loneliness and comfort us in mourning; you are closest to us when we are weakest. You love us most when we love ourselves least; you forgive us most when we forgive ourselves least; you call us to spread your love in whatever way we can. Lord Jesus, your heart is moved with compassion when we are suffering, when we need your help and when we pray for each other.

This novena is for the nine days leading to the Feast of the Sacred Heart, which is celebrated 19 days after Easter Sunday. Novena to the Sacred Heart (The Messenger)