Our Lady of Lourdes, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
Dear Friends of St. Jude,
“What saddens you?” This question was asked of Our Lady by St. Bernadette at the sixth apparition. At the Grotto of Massabielle, the Virgin showed herself eighteen times to Bernadette Soubirous. Under the title “the Immaculate Conception,” she called for penance and prayer for the conversion of sinners. St. Bernadette observed and made note of her preoccupation. When we approach the Lord or His Saints, perhaps we never think of them as sorrowful. Indeed, we are the ones who come before them on bended knees burdened by grief or worry. The past year has been marked by distress and frustrations, but we do not weep alone. Our Lady weeps with us.
Our Lady responded to the inquiry of St. Bernadette by simply requesting prayers for sinners. The words exchanged at Lourdes are very few, but they all speak of a mother’s love for her lost and injured children. She requested a Shrine be built as a lasting testimony of her maternal care. Since its building, millions have visited the Shrine seeking her powerful intercession. To visit Lourdes as a pilgrim is a powerful and unique experience, but her maternity is not limited to one place.
Throughout history she has been the pilgrim seeking those who cannot make pilgrimage. She prays for the lost and intercedes for all who call upon her name. As such, each February she makes a special visit to the Shrine of St. Jude in San Francisco, where a nine-day novena of prayer and preaching is offered in her honor. As she sought her lost Son on the streets of Jerusalem, so she seeks us wherever we may be. Knowing of our prayers and misfortunes, she brings with her the healing grace of her Son. For us, it is a time of grace and healing in Christ her Son by our Lady’s powerful meditation on our behalf.
Please join the Dominican Friars in offering this novena for your needs, our families, and the whole world as we seek the healing power of Christ through the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Jude, and St. Bernadette. As devotees of St. Jude we well know how the prayers of the saints not only provide answers to our needs, but they bring us ever closer to the true source of peace in Christ our Lord. Above all, what saddens our Lady is when we are not happy. She desires that we know the happiness of union with her Son in this life and the next. Together, may we reach out to her as our mother to guide us in knowing the joy that comes through healing the grace of God.
This year’s Lourdes Novena preacher is Fr. Isaiah Mary Molano, O.P. Fr. Isaiah serves as the Superior of St. Dominic Priory in San Francisco, CA, associate pastor at St. Dominic Parish, and as the spiritual director and board member of the St. Francis Xavier Lay Missionary Society. A native of California, Fr. Isaiah has served everywhere from Anchorage, AK and Tempe, AZ to Guatemala and El Salvador since entering the Dominican Order in 2002. Fr. Isaiah was ordained into the priesthood on June 25, 2010 at St. Dominic’s Church in San Francisco, CA. He was active in university campus ministry for several years most prominently as the associate pastor for the Catholic Community at Stanford University. His interests include the theology of vocation, the spirituality of friendship, young adult literature, and the writings of C.S. Lewis.
The Dominican Friars of St. Dominic’s Church, home of the Shrine, continue to offer prayers for your intentions. Though still partially closed because of the pandemic, the Shrine is very much open, spiritually – for your prayer intercessions, votive candle requests, and Mass intentions. Please mail in your Novena intention slips and visit our St. Jude website to submit prayers there.
Currently all Mass intentions are celebrated at the daily morning Mass, which is live-streamed on the St. Jude YouTube or the St. Dominic Church YouTube channels at 8:00 a.m. Mon-Fri, 9:00 a.m. Sat, and 9:30 a.m. Sun. Due to the Coronavirus restrictions, a limited number of free tickets are available. See the St. Dominic Church website for more detail.
In Mary the Mother of God,
Very Rev. Vincent M. Kelber, O.P., Director