No Novena

Some pals on social media are making the Miraculous Medal Novena. To my shame, this is day 3 and I have not started it….but here it is anyway. It reminds me of two things – one, a visit to the Rue de Bac when I was far too young to really appreciate it and two, a hymn we used to sing lustily as small schoolchildren Before They Took the Nuns Away. We had nice nuns, seriously…

Immaculate Mary Our Hearts are on fire

That title so wondrous Fills all our desire


Ave, ave, ave, Maria! Ave, ave, Maria!


We pray for God’s glory May His kingdom come

We pray for His Vicar Our Father and Rome

Ave, ave, ave, Maria! Ave, ave, Maria!

We Pray for our Mother, The church upon earth

And bless sweetest Lady, The land of our birth 

Ave, ave, ave, Maria! Ave, ave, Maria!


Here ’tis on youtube.

No doubt this was followed by a round of Faith of Our Fathers and God Bless Our Pope. Picture if you will a group of slightly rapscallion but obedient kids from many corners of the world, singing out: a-VAY, a-VAY, A-VAY MA-rI-AHHH and so on….. The French nun and her ruler (yes, she existed) were probably involved in that.

Some have said that the demise of sacramentals, robust hymns, penny catechisms, pilgrimages, veneration, ad orientem Mass, rosaries, novenas and so forth was A Good Thing, such as is found in 1066 And All That.  Others would disagree. Ben Trovato on his Countercultural Father blog posts some invaluable and fascinating notes written by his late father about the ‘transition’ period following Vatican II.  The posts here, here, here and here are well worth reading.

What do I know? As we grew older and changes moved apace, it was undoubtedly a little naughty and exciting to have a Rock Mass and for that to be not only permitted but welcomed. It was exciting to have new nuns with short habits and then none at all, to have breaky-bread Mass-type events in a circle and to call the trendy young plain-clothes priest by his first name. Oh, and the Speaking In Tongues.  It was excellent to see altar-girls and it was remarkable and daring to consider the Big Three: abortion, women priests and gayness, married or not, especially as Catholics were fair game for teenage jokes at a time when social mores were changing rapidly. We all played folk guitar, went barefoot for a summer and were going to change the world.

What do I know? The trendy priest got married. No surprise there – and good luck to him. My friend who spoke in tongues entered a Protestant cult, then left, then married and had a family. The family member whose Living in Sin was a great scandal then got married a few more times and is now alone. I had a fight to insist on a Catholic burial for the latest family member to be taken from us. The most radical friend is seen around sometimes, still in the SWP.  All of them are good people.  I just don’t think that we have an awful lot left other than ‘niceness’. And some of us aren’t that nice. *points at self*.

I tend to think we need the help and intercession of our mother Mary.

Inmaculate Conception - Alonzo Cano

Alonzo Cano – The Immaculate Conception

This entry was posted in Art, Hymns, Miracles, Music, Prayer, Shrines and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to No Novena

  1. Wow, I really like your insights on that one. It should be read by more people. God bless you!


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