Novena in Honor of the Infant Jesus

(Beginning December 16)
from the 1910 Raccolta.

[At any time of the year, with any form of prayer approved by competent ecclesiastical authority.
i. 300 Days each day.
ii. Plenary, on Christmas Day, or during the Novena or Octave. I, II, IV.
(See Instructions, p. 1.)]
—Pius VII, Mem., August 12, 1815; Pius VIII, July 9, 1830.

First Day

December 16
OPastor autem qui regnaverunt Israel: Qui deducis velus ovem Joseph, ad nos dirigendum, et consolationem.

O Shepherd that rulest Israel: Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep, come to guide and comfort us.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, "The Mysteries of the Faith"

O great Son of God! Thou has become man in order to make Thyself loved by men; but where is the love that men bear to Thee? Thou hast given Thy blood and Thy life to save our souls; and why are we so ungrateful that, instead of loving Thee, we despise with such ingratitude? Alas! I myself, Lord, have been one of those who more than others have thus ill-treated Thee. But Thy Passion is my hope. Oh, for the sake of that love that induced Thee to assume human flesh, and to die for me upon the cross, forgive me all the offenses I have committed against Thee. I love Thee, O Incarnate Word; I love Thee, O my God; I love Thee, O Infinite Goodness; and I repent of all the injuries I have done Thee. Would that I could die of sorrow for Thee! O my Jesus! grant me the gift of Thy love; let me not live any longer ungrateful for the affliction Thou hast borne me. I am determined to love Thee always. Give me holy perseverence. O Mary, Mother of God, and my Mother, obtain for me from thy Son the grace to love him always even unto death. Amen.

Then follows the Pater, the Ave, the Gloria, and the Concluding Prayer.

Second Day

December 17
OSapientia, quæ ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiæ.

O Wisdom, Which camest out of the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: come and teach us the way of prudence.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, "The Mysteries of the Faith"

O dearest Infant! tell me what Thou camest on earth to do? Tell me whom Thou art seeking? Ah, I understand Thee now; Thou art come in order to die for me, to deliver me from hell. Thou art come to seek me, a lost sheep, in order that I may no more fly from Thee, but love Thee. Ah, my Jesus, my treasure, my life, my love, my all; if I do not love Thee, whom then shall I love? Where can I find a father, a friend, a spouse more amiable than Thou, and who has loved me more than Thou hast done? I am sorry to have been so many years in the world, and yet not to have loved Thee; yea, rather to have offended and despised Thee. Forgive me, O my beloved Redeemer; for I repent of having treated Thee thus; I am sorry for it with all my heart. Pardon me, and give me Thy grace, that I may never again separate myself from Thee, and that I may love Thee constantly during the years that remain to me in this life. My love, I give myself entirely to Thee; accept me, and do not reject me, though I deserve it. O Mary, thou art my advocate; thou dost obtain by thy prayers whatever thou wilt from thy Son; beg of him to forgive me, and to give me holy perseverance unto death. Amen.

Then follows the Pater, the Ave, the Gloria, and the Concluding Prayer.

Third Day

December 18
OAdonai, et Dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammæ rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.

O Adonai, and Leader of the house of Israel, Who didst appear to Moses in the flame of the burning bush, and didst give unto him the law on Sinai: come and with an outstretched arm redeem us.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, "The Mysteries of the Faith"

O my sweet Infant! how is it possible that, knowing how much Thou hast suffered for me, I can have been so ungrateful to Thee, and offended Thee so often? But these tears which Thou sheddest, this poverty which Thou hast chosen for the love of me, make me hope for the pardon of all the offenses that I have committed against Thee. I repent, my Jesus, of having so often turned my back upon Thee; and I love Thee above all things, “my God and my All.” [“Deus meus, et omnia.”] My God, from this day forth Thou shalt be my only treasure and my only good. I will say to Thee, with St. Ignatius of Loyola, “Give me Thy love, give me Thy grace, and I am sufficiently rich.” I wish for, I desire nothing else. Thou alone art sufficient for me, my Jesus, my life, my love. Amen.

Then follows the Pater, the Ave, the Gloria, and the Concluding Prayer.

Fourth Day

December 19
ORadix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem Gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.

O Root of Jesse, Which standest for an ensign of the people, before Whom kings shall keep silence, Whom the Gentiles shall beseech: come and deliver us, and tarry not.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, "The Mysteries of the Faith"

O my sweet Savior! Thou hast embraced so much contempt for the love of me, and I have not been able to bear a word of insult without thinking immediately of revenging myself of it, —I who so often have deserved to be trodden underfoot by the devils in hell! I am ashamed of appearing before Thee, a proud sinner that I am. O Lord! do not drive me from Thy presence, as I deserve. Thou hast said that Thou couldst not despise a heart that repents and humbles itself: I repent of all the offenses I have committed against Thee. Forgive me, my Jesus; for I will not offend Thee any more. Thou hast suffered so many injuries for my sake, I will for Thy sake bear with all the injuries that may be offered me. I love Thee, my Jesus, despised for my sake; I love Thee, my Good, above every other good. Give me Thy help, that I may always love Thee, and suffer every insult for the love of Thee. O Mary! recommend me to thy Son; pray to Jesus for me. Amen.

Then follows the Pater, the Ave, the Gloria, and the Concluding Prayer.

Fifth Day

December 20
OClavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel; qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit: veni, et educ victum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

O Key of David, and Scepter of the house of Israel, that openest and no man shutteth, and shuttest and no man openeth: come and bring the prisoner forth from the prison-house, and him that sitteth in darkess and in the shadow of death.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, "The Mysteries of the Faith"

O my sweet Love, have I then by my sins kept Thee in a state of affliction all Thy life long? Oh, tell me, then, what I can do, in order that Thou mayest forgive me; for I will leave nothing undone. I repent, O sovereign Good, of all the offenses I have committed against Thee; I repent, and love Thee more than myself. I feel a great desire to love Thee; it is Thou that givest me this desire; give me, therefore, strength to love Thee ardently. It is only just that I, who have offended Thee so much, should also love Thee much. Oh, remind me constantly of the love Thou hast borne me, in order that my soul may always burn with the love of Thee; that it may think of Thee alone, desire Thee alone, and strive to please Thee alone. O God of love, I, who once was the slave of hell, now give myself entirely to Thee. Accept me in Thy mercy, and bind me with Thy love, my Jesus, from this day forth. I will love Thee in life; and in loving Thee I will die. O Mary, my Mother and my hope, help me to love thy dear Jesus and mine; this favor alone I desire and hope from thee. Amen.

Then follows the Pater, the Ave, the Gloria, and the Concluding Prayer.

Sixth Day

December 21
OOriens, splendor lucis æternæ, et sol justitiæ: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

O Day-spring, Brithness of light eternal, and Sun of Justice, come and enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, "The Mysteries of the Faith"

O my dear Redeemer, where should I be now, if Thou hadst not borne with me with so much patience, but hadst condemned me to death whilst I was yet in sin? Since, then, Thou hast hitherto waited for me, my Jesus, forgive me speedily, before death surprises me whilst I am guilty of so many offenses against Thee. I repent, O sovereign Good, of having thus despised Thee; I should like to die of sorrow for my sins. Thou canst not forsake a soul that seeks Thee; if I have hitherto neglected Thee, I will henceforth seek Thee and love Thee. Yes, O my God! I love Thee above all things; I love Thee more than myself. Help me, Lord, to love Thee always during the remainder of my life; I ask nothing more; I ask this, and I hope it of Thee. Mary, my hope, do thou pray for me; if thou prayest for me, I am sure of grace. Amen.

Then follows the Pater, the Ave, the Gloria, and the Concluding Prayer.

Seventh Day

December 22
ORex Gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.

O King of the Gentiles and the desire thereof, Thou cornerstone that makest both one, come and deliver mankind, whom Thou didst form out of clay.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, "The Mysteries of the Faith"

Ah, dearest Infant, Thou dost weep; and well mayest Thou weep, in seeing Thyself so persecuted by those men whom Thou hast so much loved. Alas, my God, I also have persecuted Thee by my sins; but now I love Thee more than myself; and there is no sorrow that afflicts me more than the remembrance that I have despised Thee, my sovereign Good. Oh, forgive me, my Jesus, and permit me to carry Thee with me in my heart in all the journey of life that I have yet to make, and then to enter together with Thee into eternity. I have so often driven Thee from my soul by offending Thee; but now I love Thee above everything, and I repent above every other evil of having offended Thee. My beloved Lord, I will never leave Thee more; but do Thou give me strength to resist temptations; permit me not to separate myself any more from Thee; let me rather die than ever again lose Thy favor. O Mary, my hope, make me always live and die in the love of God. Amen.

Then follows the Pater, the Ave, the Gloria, and the Concluding Prayer.

Eighth Day

December 23
OEmmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio Gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos, Domine, Deus noster.

O Emmanuel, our King and law-giver, the desire of the nations and the Savior thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, "The Mysteries of the Faith"

OJesus, my Savior! When I consider how, for love of me, Thou didst spend thirty years of Thy life hidden and unknown in a poor workshop, how can I desire the pleasures and honors and riches of the world? Gladly do I renounce all these things, since I wish to be Thy companion on this earth, poor as Thou wast, mortified and humble as Thou wast, so that I may hope to be able one day to enjoy Thy companionship in heaven. What are all the treasures and kingdoms of this world? Thou, O Jesus, art my only treasure, my only Good! I keenly regret the many times in the past when I spurned Thy friendship in order to satisfy my foolish whims. I am sorry for them with all my heart. For the future I would rather lose my life a thousand times than lose Thy grace by sin. I wish never to offend Thee again, but always to love Thee. Help me to remain faithful to Thee until death. Amen.

Then follows the Pater, the Ave, the Gloria, and the Concluding Prayer.

Ninth Day

December 24
OQui sedet super cherubim, tu, Deus exercituum, veni, ostende faciem tuam, et salvi crimus.

O Thou that sitteth upon the cherubim, God of hosts, come, show Thy face, and we shall be saved.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, "The Mysteries of the Faith"

O my adorable Infant! I should not have the boldness to prostrate myself at Thy feet, if I did not know that Thou Thyself invitest me to approach Thee. I am he who by my sins have caused Thee to shed so many tears in the stable of Bethlehem. But since Thou camest upon earth to forgive repentant sinners, forgive me also; for I repent with all my heart of having despised Thee, my Savior, my God, who art so good, and has loved me so much. Thou dost dispense great graces to so many souls during this sacred night; do Thou, therefore, console my soul also. The grace I desire is the grace to love Thee from this day forth with my whole heart. Oh, inflame me wholly with Thy holy love! I love Thee, my God, become a child for me. Oh, permit me not ever to cease from loving Thee. O Mary, my Mother, thou canst do all things by thy prayers; I ask Thee only this, to pray to Jesus for me. Amen.

Then follows the Pater, the Ave, the Gloria, and the Concluding Prayer.

Concluding Prayer

From the 1957 Raccolta.

(An indulgence of 7 years once on any day.
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions at the close of the novena
(S. C. Ind., Sept. 23, 1846; S. P. Ap., Oct. 14, 1934.))

℣. The Word was made flesh;
℟. And dwelt amongst us.

Let us pray.

O God, Whose only-begotten Son
hath appeared in the substance of our flesh;
grant, we beseech Thee,
that through Him,
whom we acknowledge to have been outwardly like unto us,
we may deserve to be renewed in our inward selves.
Who liveth and reigneth with Thee for ever and ever. Amen.