Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 19: Mary Hidden in Advent-Tobias and St. Raphael

Raphael Healing Tobias, Domenico, The Hermitage Museum

Day 17:  Tobias and St. Raphael

     Read the story from the Bible (see below) or a Bible story book.  Hang ornament (fish).
     This story recounts the journey of Tobias and the angel Raphael (in disguise) which results in the marriage of Tobias to Sarah and the healing of his father Tobit's eyesight.  The miraculous events that occur in this tale are shown to be God's answers to the  desperate prayers of Sarah and Tobit.

     Scripture references:  Tobit 3; 4:1-10,19-21; 5:1-6; 6:1-17; 7:7-13; 8:1-3; 11:1-15
I listed all of these verses because they can be read together to recount a very abbreviated version of the story.

     Comments:  During the time of the Babylonian Captivity, the righteous man Tobit remains faithful to God.  But times are so hard that Tobit prays that God will let him die.  At the same time, a young widow named Sarah is being persecuted by an evil demon.  This demon has killed all of the seven different husbands she has married, one after another.  Sarah, too, longs for death.  God answers both their prayers by sending his angel Raphael to guide Tobit's son Tobias to Sarah and to instruct  both on how to defeat the demon and how to heal his father's eyesight.  Our Lady, too, comes to those who in their deepest griefs, illnesses, and depressions turn to God.  By her prayers, she who is the Queen of the Angels obtains the help of the holy angels and the grace and mercy of God to bring healing to those who suffer emotional and physical pain.  We see this ministry of Our Lady especially in her appearances to St. Bernadette in Lourdes, France.  Here a multitude of pilgrims have been healed in both mind and body over the years.

Related Titles:  Mary, Health of the Sick; Our Lady of Lourdes

Salus Infirmorum, Jan Dismas Zelenka

When shall it be that we shall taste the sweetness of the Divine Will in all that happens to us, considering in everything only His good pleasure, by whom it is certain that adversity is sent with as much love as prosperity, and as much for our good? When shall we cast ourselves undeservedly into the arms of our most loving Father in Heaven, leaving to Him the care of ourselves and of our affairs, and reserving only the desire of pleasing Him, and of serving Him well in all that we can? -- St. Jane Frances de Chantal

Prayer to Our Lady, Health of the Sick
Our Lady, Health of the Sick,
I look to you for the comfort of a mother's love,
I pray to you on behalf of those who are suffering
and for my own healing needs.
Our Lady, Health of the Sick,
embrace all who are emotionally and physically ill
that they may return to good health
under your tender care.
And please intercede for my very special needs
(mention your needs here).
your love strengthens me
and brings me peace.

And an extra prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes:

Novena Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes

Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings deign to cast upon us a look of mercy. 

By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request.
  (state your request)
 Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that we may one day share your glory.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your divine son while upon earth. You have the same influence now in Heaven. Pray for us; obtain for us from your Divine Son our special requests if it be the Divine Will. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

For the complete novena prayer, go to EWTN. 
To learn more about Our Lady of Lourdes, visit Women for Faith and Family.

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