THOUGHT FOR TODAY BY
ST. ANTHONY ZACCARIA

If through perfect humility you will be able to know objec tively yourself, only then will you be.

4301 Hecktown Rd
Bethlehem, PA 18020

Novena to St. Anthony Zaccaria

 Foreword 

 

In the first half of the fifteenth century in Italy shone the luminous figure of Anthony Mary Zaccaria. This young saint, full of passion for God’s love, was a great reformer of religious customs of the clergy and the Christian people. Above all, he was the founder of the Clerics Regular of St. Paul (Barnabites), the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul, and the Laity of St. Paul.
 
Anthony Mary Zaccaria, born in Cremona, Italy in 1502, was a student and graduate in medicine from the University of Padua; a doctor of body and soul in his native city; a fervent catechist and a zealous priest in Milan and elsewhere. For a decade his apostolate was characterized by an intense devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament of the altar (he was the promoter of the Forty Hours Devotion), and by a passionate love of the cross and the crucified Christ (he instituted the ringing of bells on Friday afternoon to commemorate Christ’s death). Anthony Mary was guided by an extraordinary zeal of St. Paul, chosen by him to be his master and model on earth, and his special patron in heaven.
 
Exhausted from his pastoral work, Anthony Mary died at only 36 years old, leaving behind admirable examples of penance and of spirituality. In the novena here presented, his ascetic-mystic thought continuously emerges. This thought can be found in his six Sermons and eleven Letters, which remained as his testament and a mirror of his soul and his missionary call: in these writings resounds an unceasing appeal against vices, and toward holiness.
 
Cardinal Ratzinger wrote: “I have to say that the image of this saint is dear to me because he is one of the great figures of Catholic reform… an authentic man of God and of the Church, a man burning with zeal, a demanding forger of consciences, a true leader able to convert and lead others to good.”
 
Like all the saints, Zaccaria is a figure of permanent relevance: an encounter with him symbolizes an invitation to return to a charism of a unique vocation, a return desired by the Second Vatican Council, as an indispensable element of true renewal. The Church venerates the saints and honors their images. Celebrating their names and their memory, she proclaims Christ’s marvels in his servants and proposes to the faithful examples to imitate (Sacrosantum Concilium, 11).
 
  The saints manifest the face and the presence of God in the world. They contribute to the spiritual life of the Church on earth, and form with us one mystical body. As friends and coheirs of Christ, they intercede for us. As our brothers and benefactors, they teach us the way to reach heaven. (Lumen Gentium, 49-50)
 
Anthony Mary Zaccaria merits to be known and followed in his teachings: he counts among the category of priests, who in the course of centuries, have left a splendid example of holiness. As a spiritual master, he continues to spread and proclaim the Word of God and to teach the “sublime wisdom of Jesus Christ” (Liturgy of July 5)
 
  Bishop Andrea M. Erba, CRSP
 Bishop Emeritus of Velletri-Segni
 Rome, November 15, 2008
 Solemnity of Mother of Divine Providence 
 
 
 

NOVENA TO ST. ANTHONY MARY ZACCARIA

 by Fr. Robert B. Kosek, CRSP and Sr. Rorivic Israel, ASP.

 
  
 


Day 1  of the Novena – for FAITH 
  
“It is necessary that you always trust in God’s help and come to know by experience that you are never to be without it.”  (St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Constitutions XVII)
  
  
Opening Prayer
Gracious Father,
fount of holiness,
with hearts full of confidence
and loving obedience to your will,
we pray, together with
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria,
for the grace of a life of virtue,
in imitation of Christ, your Son.
Incline our hearts
to the promptings of the Holy Spirit,
so that He may guide us
and keep us in the path that leads to you.
And by His help may we become
genuine disciples of your
immeasurable goodness
and unfathomable love for all.
This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
 
First Reading
From the letter of St. Paul to the Romans (1:8-12)
 
I give thanks to my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is heralded throughout the world. God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in proclaiming the gospel of his Son, that I remember you constantly, always asking in my prayers that somehow by God’s will I may at last find my way clear to come to you. For I long to see you, that I may share with you some spiritual gift so that you may be strengthened, that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by one another’s faith, yours and mine.
 
Second Reading
From the sixth letter of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria to the Reverend Father Bartolomeo Ferrari 
 
Dearly beloved in Christ, why do you entertain any doubts? Haven’t you experienced in this undertaking that you never lacked the necessary means to help those in need? Nothing is more certain and reliable than experience. Those who love you do not possess the wealth either of a Paul or of a Magdalene; they do, however, trust in the One who enriched them both. Thus as a result of both your faith and theirs God will provide for any person under your care. You can be sure that, before you speak and in the very moment of speaking, Jesus Crucified will anticipate and accompany, not only every word of yours, but your every holy intention.Don’t you see that He Himself has opened the doors for you with His own hands? Who, then, will hinder you from entering the hearts of people and from changing them so completely as to renew them and beautify them with holy virtues? Nobody, of course − neither the devil nor any other creature.
  
 Invocations
  • St. Anthony, precursor of Catholic reform…Pray for us.
  • St. Anthony, faithful administrator of the divine mysteries…Pray for us.
  • St. Anthony, priest solicitous in making gain in others…Pray for us.
  
Prayer
Christ, our Savior, you endowed St. Anthony Mary with the light and flame of a solid faith.Increase our faith, so that we may learn to love the living true God. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be… 
 
Closing Prayer
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria,
continue your work as doctor and priest
by obtaining from God healing
from my physical and moral sickness,
so that free from all evil and sin,
I may love the Lord with joy,
fulfill with fidelity my duties,
work generously for the good of my brothers and sisters,
and for my sanctification.
I also beg of you to secure for me
the special favor I seek in this novena…
(State your intention here.)
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

   Day 2 of the Novena – For STEADFAST PRAYER

 "You will never make any progress if you do not arrive at taking the utmost delight in prayer."  (St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Constitutions 12)

 

Opening Prayer

Gracious Father,
fount of holiness,
with hearts full of confidence
and loving obedience to your will,
we pray, together with
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria,
for the grace of a life of virtue,
in imitation of Christ, your Son.
Incline our hearts
to the promptings of the Holy Spirit,
so that He may guide us
and keep us in the path that leads to you.
And by His help may we become
genuine disciples of your
immeasurable goodness
and unfathomable love for all.
This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

First Reading

From the letter of St. Paul to the Collossians (4:2, 5-6)

  Persevere in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving; Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you know how you should respond to each one.

Second  Reading

From the third letter of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria to Carlo Magni

Enter into conversation with Jesus Crucified as familiarly as you would with me and discuss with Him all or just a few of your problems, according to the time at your disposal. Chat with Him and ask His advice on all your affairs, whatever they may be, whether spiritual or temporal, whether for yourself or for other people. If you practice this way of prayer, I can assure you that little by little you will derive from it both great spiritual profit and an ever-greater love relationship with Christ. I am not going to add anything else, for I want experience to speak for itself.

Invocations

Saint Anthony, Man ever absorbed in prayer…Pray for us
Saint Anthony, Imitator and Missionary of the Crucified Christ … Pray for us.
Saint Anthony, Ardent adorer and promoter of the Eucharist …Pray for us.

Prayer 

Christ Redeemer, you found Saint Anthony Mary in steadfast, compassionate and loving conversation with you, the suffering One, grant us to make progress on the way of the Cross toward the glory of the resurrection. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory be to the Father …

 
Closing Prayer
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria,
continue your work as doctor and priest
by obtaining from God healing
from my physical and moral sickness,
so that free from all evil and sin,
I may love the Lord with joy,
fulfill with fidelity my duties,
work generously for the good of my brothers and sisters,
and for my sanctification.
I also beg of you to secure for me
the special favor I seek in this novena…
(State your intention here.)
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

RETURN TO TOP

 

 

Day 3 of the Novena – For PIETY 

 “Do not be afraid faint-hearted because of want  of exterior compunction and devotion —as they call it— for God is with you more truly and more lovingly than with those who enjoy consolations of the heart.”  (St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Constitutions 12) 

 

Opening Prayer

Gracious Father,
fount of holiness,
with hearts full of confidence
and loving obedience to your will,
we pray, together with
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria,
for the grace of a life of virtue,
in imitation of Christ, your Son.
Incline our hearts
to the promptings of the Holy Spirit,
so that He may guide us
and keep us in the path that leads to you.
And by His help may we become
genuine disciples of your
immeasurable goodness
and unfathomable love for all.
This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

First Reading 

From the first letter of St. Paul to Timothy  (4:4-10)

Everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, provided it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer. If you put these instructions before the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound teaching that you have followed. Have nothing to do with profane myths and old wives’ tales. Train yourself in godliness, for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

Second Reading

From the twelve chapter of the Constitutions of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

God very often takes away exterior fervor and devotion for various reasons, namely: that man may understand that this is not within his own power, but God's gift, and thus he may humble himself more and more; that man may learn how to progress interiorly by himself, and to find out and painfully see that it is his own fault if he loses fervor and devotion.

Hence, realize that, if someone loses fervor for being deprived of exterior fervor, you cannot conclude that he never had true fervor, but simply he is spiritually inconstant.

And so be assured that if you apply yourselves to true devotion (which is readiness for service, in obedience to God's will) instead of seeking sensible sweetness, you will become once and for all so fervent as to be unable to limit yourselves in the things that are pleasing to God.

Invocations

Saint Anthony Mary, Man divine and holy … pray for us
Saint Anthony Mary, Man resolute in acting… pray for us
Saint Anthony Mary,  Man relentless against lukewarmness… pray for us

 

 Prayer

Christ Priest, you granted Saint Anthony Mary an angelic piety for the Eucharist and made him its ardent adorer and untiring apostle, grant that I too, pure of heart, could taste the ineffable gift of God. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be ....

 

Closing Prayer

St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria,
continue your work as doctor and priest
by obtaining from God healing
from my physical and moral sickness,
so that free from all evil and sin,
I may love the Lord with joy,
fulfill with fidelity my duties,
work generously for the good of my brothers and sisters,
and for my sanctification.
I also beg of you to secure for me
the special favor I seek in this novena…
(State your intention here.)
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


 

Day 4 of the Novena – For DIVINE KNOWLEDGE

 Man first leaves aside the exterior world and enters his own interior world, and only then from there he ascends to the knowledge of God.  (St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Sermon 2).

 

Opening Prayer

Gracious Father,
fount of holiness,
with hearts full of confidence
and loving obedience to your will,
we pray, together with
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria,
for the grace of a life of virtue,
in imitation of Christ, your Son.
Incline our hearts
to the promptings of the Holy Spirit,
so that He may guide us
and keep us in the path that leads to you.
And by His help may we become
genuine disciples of your
immeasurable goodness
and unfathomable love for all.
This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

First Reading

From the letter of St. Paul to Ephesians  (1:15-19)

I, hearing of your faith in the Lord Jesus and of your love for all the holy ones, do not cease giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. May the eyes of (your) hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe.

 Second Reading

From the forth Sermon of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

If eloquence does not seem to you to be a great quality, knowledge certainly is such an excellent thing that everybody wishes to have it. You have been taught by Adam how great is its value when, for the pleasure of becoming like God in the knowledge of good and evil, he disobeyed the commandment of the Lord God. But no matter how excellent a quality knowledge is, it, too, is of very small advantage.           

I am not telling you of this regarding only the knowledge of worldly things, but even more regarding the knowledge of God's secrets, like having the prophetic gift, and knowledge of supernatural things by the prophetic light, as proven by that most evil prophet, Balaam, by his own ruin (Num 31:8). And with far greater reason I affirm the uselessness of the knowledge of things that God alone knows, and we too come to know by faith ? even that faith which empowers man to work miracles.

Invocations

Saint Anthony, Prudent in discernment …Pray for us.
Saint Anthony, Adorned with all virtues … Pray for us.
Saint Anthony Mary, pride of great teachers …Pray for us.

  

Prayer

Christ Teacher, you enriched with divine knowledge St. Anthony Mary, to make him father and guide of souls toward perfection, teach me how to announce “the spiritual liveliness and the alive spirit everywhere.” Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be... 

 

Closing Prayer 

St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria,
continue your work as doctor and priest
by obtaining from God healing
from my physical and moral sickness,
so that free from all evil and sin,
I may love the Lord with joy,
fulfill with fidelity my duties,
work generously for the good of my brothers and sisters,
and for my sanctification.
I also beg of you to secure for me
the special favor I seek in this novena…
(State your intention here.)
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Day 5 – For Wisdom

“O Wisdom above all wisdom! O inaccessible Light! You turn the learned into ignorant, and those who see into blind; and, on the contrary, you turn the ignorant into learned.” (St Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Sermon I)

  

Opening Prayer

Gracious Father,
fount of holiness,
with hearts full of confidence
and loving obedience to your will,
we pray, together with
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria,
for the grace of a life of virtue,
in imitation of Christ, your Son.
Incline our hearts
to the promptings of the Holy Spirit,
so that He may guide us
and keep us in the path that leads to you.
And by His help may we become
genuine disciples of your
immeasurable goodness
and unfathomable love for all.
This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

First Reading

From the second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (2 Cor 2:6-16)

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived  what God has prepared for those who love him” but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.

 

Second Reading

From the fist Sermon of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

God knew how to arrange creatures in that admirable order that you see. Notice that, in his Providence, God leads man, created free, in such a way as to force and compel him to enter that order; yet without forcing or compelling him to do so.

     O Wisdom above all wisdom! O inaccessible Light! You turn the learned into ignorant, and those who see into blind; and, on the contrary, you turn the ignorant into learned, and the peasants and the fishermen into scholars and teachers.
     Therefore, my friends, how can you believe that God, the very apex of wisdom, may have been wanting in resourcefulness and unable to accomplish His work? Don't believe that.

 

Invocations

Saint Anthony, enlightened by the sublime science of Jesus Christ …Pray for us
Saint Anthony, Man inspired by the sublime wisdom of Jesus Christ… Pray for us
Saint Anthony, wise educator of the people of God … Pray for us

 

Prayer

All powerful Father, you sent your Son so that through Him we might call ourselves and truly be your children, grant unto me the gift of wisdom to know the mystery of your will. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be...

 

Closing Prayer

St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria,
continue your work as doctor and priest
by obtaining from God healing
from my physical and moral sickness,
so that free from all evil and sin,
I may love the Lord with joy,
fulfill with fidelity my duties,
work generously for the good of my brothers and sisters,
and for my sanctification.
I also beg of you to secure for me
the special favor I seek in this novena…
(State your intention here.)
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

  

Day 6 – For Perfection

“For God, who is Eternity itself, Light, Incorruptibility, and the very Apex of all perfection, willed to come to live in time and to descend in darkness and corruption and, as it were, in the very sink of vice.”  (St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Sermon6)

  

Opening Prayer

         Gracious Father,
fount of holiness,
with hearts full of confidence
and loving obedience to your will,
we pray, together with
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria,
for the grace of a life of virtue,
in imitation of Christ, your Son.
Incline our hearts
to the promptings of the Holy Spirit,
so that He may guide us
and keep us in the path that leads to you.
And by His help may we become
genuine disciples of your
immeasurable goodness
and unfathomable love for all.
This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

First Reading

From the second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (2 Cor 10-13) 

I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority—the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

Second Reading

A reading from the six Sermon of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

Choose, then, what is good and leave out what is bad. But which is the good side of created things? It is their perfection, while their imperfection is the bad side. Therefore, draw near to their perfection and withdraw from their imperfection. Look, my friends: if you wish to know God, there is a way, "the way of separation" as spiritual writers call it. It consists in taking into consideration all created things with their perfections and in distinguishing God from them and all their imperfections, so as to say: "God is neither this nor that, but something far more excellent. God is not prudent; He is Prudence itself. God is not a particular and limited good; He is the Good, universal and infinite. God is not just one perfection, He is perfection itself without any imperfection. He is the all good, the all wise, the all powerful, the all perfect, etc."

Invocations

Anthony Mary, magnanimous hero, you have fought without pay the good fight … pray for us
Anthony Mary, exultant champion, you have quickly finished the race… pray for us
Anthony Mary, blessed servant, you have remained faithful unto death… pray for us

 

Prayer

Christ, Head of the Church, you called St. Anthony Mary to fight the lukewarmness, "this pestiferous and great enemy" of you Crucified, grant to the Church not "small saints" but big ones, to reach the fullness of perfection. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be...

 

Closing Prayer 

St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria,
continue your work as doctor and priest
by obtaining from God healing
from my physical and moral sickness,
so that free from all evil and sin,
I may love the Lord with joy,
fulfill with fidelity my duties,
work generously for the good of my brothers and sisters,
and for my sanctification.
I also beg of you to secure for me
the special favor I seek in this novena…
(State your intention here.)
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

  

Day 7 – For Love of God

“What is necessary, yes, I emphasize, necessary, is to have love ?the love of God, the love that makes you pleasing to Him” (St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Sermon 4)

 

Opening Prayer

Gracious Father,
fount of holiness,
with hearts full of confidence
and loving obedience to your will,
we pray, together with
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria,
for the grace of a life of virtue,
in imitation of Christ, your Son.
Incline our hearts
to the promptings of the Holy Spirit,
so that He may guide us
and keep us in the path that leads to you.
And by His help may we become
genuine disciples of your
immeasurable goodness
and unfathomable love for all.
This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

First Reading

From the letter of St. Paul to the Romans (Rom 8:28, 35-38)

We know that all things work for the good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.   What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? As it is written: For your sake we are being slain all the day; we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.

  No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Second Reading

From the forth Sermon of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

 Consider what a great love is demanded of us: a love that can be none other but the love of God

If eloquence does not profit, if knowledge is of no benefit, if prophecy is of little worth, if working miracles does not make anyone pleasing to God, and if even almsgiving and martyrdom are of no avail without love; if it has been necessary, or most convenient, for the Son of God to come down on earth to show the way of charity and the love of God; if it is necessary for anyone who wants to live in union with Christ to suffer tribulations and adversities according to what Christ, the only teacher, has taught by words and actions; and if no one can go through these difficulties, carrying this load without love, for love alone lightens the load, then the love of God is necessary. Yes, without God's love nothing can be accomplished, whereas everything depends on this love.

Invocations 

Saint Anthony, True friend of God…Pray for us
Saint Anthony, True lover of Christ…Pray for us
  Saint Anthony, Friend and herald of the Holy Spirit…Pray for us

 

Prayer

All merciful Father, you so loved the world that you gave your only begotten Son for the forgiveness of sin, through His Holy Blood sanctify me in love. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be...

  

Closing Prayer

St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria,
continue your work as doctor and priest
by obtaining from God healing
from my physical and moral sickness,
so that free from all evil and sin,
I may love the Lord with joy,
fulfill with fidelity my duties,
work generously for the good of my brothers and sisters,
and for my sanctification.
I also beg of you to secure for me
the special favor I seek in this novena…
(State your intention here.)
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

 

Day 8- For Brotherly Love

Let us run like madmen not only toward God but also toward our neighbors, who alone can be the recipients of what we cannot give to God, since He has no need of our goods. (St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria , Letter 2).

 

Opening Prayer

Gracious Father,
fount of holiness,
with hearts full of confidence
and loving obedience to your will,
we pray, together with
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria,
for the grace of a life of virtue,
in imitation of Christ, your Son.
Incline our hearts
to the promptings of the Holy Spirit,
so that He may guide us
and keep us in the path that leads to you.
And by His help may we become
genuine disciples of your
immeasurable goodness
and unfathomable love for all.
This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

First Reading

From the forth Sermon of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria 

You wish to know how to acquire the love of God as well as to find out whether it is in you? One and the same thing helps you acquire, expand, and increase it more and more, and reveals it as well when it is present. Can you guess what it is? It is love ?the love of your neighbor.

God is a long way from our direct experience; God is spirit (John 4:24); God works in an invisible fashion. Thus, His spiritual activity cannot be seen except with the eyes of the mind and of the spirit, which in most people are blind, and in all are wavering and no longer accustomed to seeing. But man is approachable, man is body; and when we do something to him, the deed is seen. Now, since He has no need of our things, whereas man does, God has set man as a testing ground for us. In fact, if you have a friend very dear to you, you will also hold dear those things he loves and cherishes. Therefore, since God holds man in great esteem, as He has shown, you would show meanness and indeed little love for God, if you did not think very highly of what He bought at a great price.

 

Second Reading

From the second Letter of St. Paul to the Romans (Rom 13:8-11) 

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

 

Invocations

Saint Anthony, man gentle and humane …Pray for us
Saint Anthony, Man burning with charity…Pray for us
Saint Anthony, Man ruthless against vices…Pray for us

 

Prayer

Eternal Father, you love everyone and want everyone to be saved, grant that we do find you and love you in our brothers and sisters so that they too, through me, may find you. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be...

 

Closing Prayer

St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria,
continue your work as doctor and priest
by obtaining from God healing
from my physical and moral sickness,
so that free from all evil and sin,
I may love the Lord with joy,
fulfill with fidelity my duties,
work generously for the good of my brothers and sisters,
and for my sanctification.
I also beg of you to secure for me
the special favor I seek in this novena…
(State your intention here.)
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

 

 

Day 9- For Holiness

You have decided to give yourselves to Christ and I desire that you do not fall victims to lukewarmness, but rather that you grow more and more fervent. (St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria. (Letter to Mr. Bernardo Omodei and Madonna Laura)

 

Opening Prayer

Gracious Father,
fount of holiness,
with hearts full of confidence
and loving obedience to your will,
we pray, together with
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria,
for the grace of a life of virtue,
in imitation of Christ, your Son.
Incline our hearts
to the promptings of the Holy Spirit,
so that He may guide us
and keep us in the path that leads to you.
And by His help may we become
genuine disciples of your
immeasurable goodness
and unfathomable love for all.
This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

First Reading

From the second Letter of St. Paul to the Romans (Rom 12:1-2)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

Second Reading

From the eleventh letter of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria to the Bernardo Omodei and Madonna Laura Rossi

Anyone willing to become a spiritual person begins a series of surgical operations in his soul. One day he removes this, another day he removes that, and relentlessly proceeds until he lays aside his old self. Let me explain. First of all, he eliminates offensive words, then useless ones, and finally speaks of nothing else but of edifying things. He eradicates angry words and gestures and finally adopts meek and humble manners. He shuns honors and, when they are given to him, not only is he not interiorly pleased, but he also welcomes insults and humiliations, and even rejoices in them. He not only knows how to abstain from the marital act, but, aiming at increasing in himself the beauty and merits of chastity, he also renounces anything smacking of sensuality. He is not content to spend one or two hours in prayer but loves to raise his mind to Christ frequently. (…)

What I do say is: I would like you to be intent on doing more every day and on eliminating every day even licit sensual inclinations. All this is, indeed, for the sake of willing to grow in perfection, of diminishing imperfections, and of avoiding the danger of falling prey to lukewarmness.

Do not think that my love for you or the good qualities you are endowed with, may have me desire that you be just little saints. No, I greatly desire that you become great saints, since you are well equipped to reach this goal, if you will it. All that is required is that you really mean to develop and give back to Jesus Crucified, in a more refined form, the good qualities and graces He has given you.

Invocations

Saint Anthony, angel in flesh and bones … Pray for us.
Saint Anthony, youth grown as a lily …  Pray for us.
  Saint Anthony, rich man stripped of everything … Pray for us.

 

Prayer

Holy Father, you predestined us to be holy and without blame in your presence, enlighten our hearts so that we may know the hope of  my vocation. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be...

 

Closing Prayer 

St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria,
continue your work as doctor and priest
by obtaining from God healing
from my physical and moral sickness,
so that free from all evil and sin,
I may love the Lord with joy,
fulfill with fidelity my duties,
work generously for the good of my brothers and sisters,
and for my sanctification.
I also beg of you to secure for me
the special favor I seek in this novena…
(State your intention here.)
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
 

 

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