France knows what is called the "Great Novena of the Immaculate Conception,"  which is held annually from November 30 to December 8.  It was founded in 1936, and is practiced to this day without discontinuing.  The original reason for this Novena was, according to the founders the "extreme gravity of present events," alluding to the combined threat of communism and fascism, Nazism in particular.  the Novena asked for zealous prayer in favor of the social and Christian regeneration of France and for universal peace.  This call in homage of Pope Pius XI's eightieth birthday was addressed not only to the Catholics of France.  It received a positive answer from hundreds of thousands of faithful in many countries of the world.

The participants in the "Great Novena of the Immaculate Conception" were asked to say every day at least one decade of the rosary, followed by three times the invocation: "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you."  Indulgences were granted to those who attended the Novena prayers in the/a church (three hundred days each time) and received Holy Communion on one of the days of the Novena during or the octave.  Even after sixty-six years of its existence, the basic prayer obligations remain the same, though from 1947 on, a special prayer to The Immaculate is added.  This prayer reflects the special concerns and events of the time. The Novena is publicized by way of a special holy card featuring on one side the image of Our Lady, and on the other side the guidelines on how to pray the Novena.  In particular, it lists the special prayer to the Immaculate.

Here are some of the highlights and intentions mentioned over the years:

 

 

 

1936

 

1936

1937

Jubilee year commemorating the consecration
 of France to Mary by Louis XIII. 
Prayer is requested to avert the threat of universal war

 

1937

1938

For the return of France to  God, her "primary vocation."

 

 

1938

1939

For the victory of our armed forces.

 

1939

1940

The intention mentioned states simply: 
For France.

 

1940

1941

For the salvation (understood in a comprehensive way) of France. 

A special prayer to the Immaculate Conception is added
from now on.

 

 

 

 

 

1941

1942

For the salvation of France and world peace in the face of "broken hearts, ruins, and the immense suffering of the whole universe."

The same intention characterizes 1943 and 1944.  In 1944, it is specified as :

  Sustain those who fight
  Console those who weep
Comfort those who suffer
Assist those who die
Hasten the return of prisoners
Accord victory to our armed forces
Give peace to the whole world

 

 

1942

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1943

1943

1944

 

 

1944

 

 

1945

The prayer expresses gratitude for the newly found peace, but also mentions inner peace for  conversion of France.  The years 1946 and 1947 express similar concerns.

 

1945

 

 

1946

 

 

1946

 

1948

The danger of new wars is looming but, even more prominently,  there is a need to retrieve authentic Christian faith.

 

1948

 

 

 

 

1949

Deals with the preparation of the coming Holy Year (1950).
The prayer is a consecration to Our Lady, the Immaculate Virgin.

 

 

1949

 

 

 

1950

Reflects Church persecutions and prays for
 protection against the armies of evil,
their hate of God and God-loving people.

1950

 

1951

 

1951

 

 

1952

1952
 

1953

 

1953

 

1954

1954

 

1955

 

1955

 

1956

1956

 

1957

 

1957

 

1958

 

1958
 


 

1960

 

1960

1961

 

1961

1962

 

1962
 

1963

 

1963

 

1964

 

1964

 

1965

 

1965

 

1966

 

1966

 

1967

 

1967

 

1968

 

1968

 

1969

 

1969

 

1970

 

1970

 

1971

 

1971

1972

 

1972

 

 

1973

 

1973

 

 

1974

 

1974

 

 

1975

 

1975

 

1976

 

1976

 

1977

 

1977

 

 

1978

 

1978

 

 

1979

 

1979

1980

 

1980

1981

 

1981

1982

 

1982
 

1983

 

1983
 

1984

 

1984
 

1985

 

1985
 

1986

 

1986

 

1987

 

1987

 

1988

 

1988

 

1989

 

1989

 

1990

 

1990

 

1991

 

1991

 

1992

 

1992

 

1993

 

1993

 

1994

 

1994

 

1995

 

1995

 

 

1996

 

1996

 

1997

 

1997

 

1998

 

1998

 

1999

 

1999

 

 

2000

 

2000

 

2001

 

2001
 

2002

 

2002

 

2003

 

2003

 

2004

 

2004

 

2005

 

2005

 

2006

 


 

2006

 

2007

 

2007

 

 


 

  Return to The Mary Page

Return to The Mary Page

This page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, and created by Kris Sommers , was last modified Monday, 04/14/2008 09:21:06 EDT by Victor Pennekamp . Please send any comments to jroten1@udayton.edu.