Today, on the feast of St. Andrew, the Great Novena to the Immaculate Conception begins, for it is nine days until December 8th, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. The following details this novena, and explains its history:
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 was added. This prayer reflects the special concerns and events of the time.
Source: University of DaytonNovena Prayer to the Immaculate Conception
O Most Holy Virgin who wast pleasing to God and didst become His Mother.
Immaculate in thy body, in thy soul, in thy faith and in thy love,
we beseech thee to look graciously upon the wretched who implore thy powerful protection.
The wicked serpent, against whom the primal curse was hurled,
continues nonetheless to wage war and to lay snares for the unhappy children of Eve.
Ah, do thou, our blessed Mother, our Queen and Advocate,
who from the first instant of thy conception didst crush the head of our enemy,
receive the prayers that we unite single-heartedly to thine and conjure thee to offer at the throne of God,
that we may never fall into the snares that are laid for us,
in such wise that we may all come to the haven of salvation;
and in the midst of so many dangers may holy Church
and the fellowship of Christians everywhere sing once more the hymn of
Deliverance, Victory and Peace.