O Lord Jesus Christ, Who hast willed that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, sinless from the first moment of Her Conception, should be glorified by countless miracles, grant that we, who never cease imploring her patronage, may obtain eternal happiness; Who livest and reignest forever, unto ages of ages. Amen.
Immaculate Virgin! Mary, conceived without sin! Remember, thou wert miraculously preserved from even the shadow of sin, because thou wert destined to become not only the Mother of God, but also the mother, the refuge, and the advocate of man; penetrated, therefore, with the most lively confidence in thy never-failing intercession, we most humbly implore thee to look with favor upon the intentions of this novena, and to obtain for us the graces and the favors we request. (Name your request) Thou knowest, O Mary, how often our hearts are the sanctuaries of God, Who abhors iniquity. Obtain for us, then, that angelic purity which was thy favorite virtue, that purity of heart which will attach us to God alone, and that purity of intention which will consecrate every thought, word, and action to His greater glory. Obtain also for us a constant spirit of prayer and self-denial, that we may recover by penance that innocence which we have lost by sin, and at length attain safely to that blessed abode of the saints, where nothing denied can enter. Amen
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
Thou art all fair, O Mary and the original stain is not in thee.
Thou art the glory of Jerusalem. Thou art the joy of Israel.
Thou art the honor of our people. Thou art the advocate of sinners.
O Mary, O Mary. Virgin, most prudent. Mother, most tender.
Pray for us. Intercede for us with Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen
“Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a festival day in honor of the blessed Martyr, Josaphat: at whose martyrdom the angels rejoice, and give praise to the Son of God. “ ( Introit for the Feast)
FROM THE ENCHIRIDION OF INDULGENCES:
“A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who on the feast of any Saint recite in his honor the oration of the Missal or any other approved by legitimate Authority.”
READINGS ON THE LIFE OF ST. JOSAPHAT
Josaphat Kuncewitz was born of noble Catholic parents at Vladimir in Volhynia. Once as a child, as he listed to his mother tell the story of the Passion, a dart came forth from the side of Christ on the crucifix and wounded the boy in the heart. Set on fire with love of God, he devoted himself to prayer and works of charity with such zeal that he became the admiration and the model for youths far older than he. When Josaphat was twenty years old he was professed among the cloistered followers of the monastic rule of Saint Basil. Almost at once he made remarkable progress in evangelical perfection. He went barefoot, even in the severe winters of that country. He never ate meat, and drank wine only when obliged to do so under obedience. He disciplined his body by wearing rough hair-shirts until the day of his death. He kept unspotted the flower of chastity which in his youth he had dedicated to the Virgin Mother of God. He became so celebrated for virtue and learning that despite his youth he was made superior of the monastery at Byten, and the Archimandrite of Vilnius. Finally much against his will, but to the very great joy of the Catholic people, he was made Archbishop of Polotsk.
In the years following the promotion to this dignity, Josaphat did not relax in any way his austere mode of living. Nothing was so close to his heart as service to God and the salvation of the flock entrusted to his care. He was a vigorous champion of Catholic unity and truth. He laboured to the utmost of his ability to win back schismatics and heretics to unity with the See of blessed Peter. Both by preaching and writing he defended the Supreme Pontiff and the doctrine of the Pope’s plenitude of power. He directed these works, full of piety and learning against most shameful calumnies and the errors of wicked men. Josaphat vindicated episcopal rights and restored ecclesiastical propterty seized by laymen. He won back an incredible number of heretics to the bosom of holy Mother Church. How successfully he laboured to re-establish communion between the Greek and Latin Churches is told in Papal commendations. He gladly spent the revenues set aside for his maintenance to rebuild God’s house, to erect convents for consecrated virgins, and to carry on other charitable works. So generous was Josaphat towards the poor that in one instance when he did not have money enough to supply the needs of a certain widow, he pawned his omophorion, that is, his episcopal pallium.
The great progress made by the Catholic faith so stirred up the anger of certain of its wicked enemies that they conspired to murder this athlete of Christ. In a sermon he foretold to his people what was about to happen. As he was setting out for Vitebsk on a pastoral visit, these enemies broke into the episcopal palace, attacking and wounding every one they found. Undaunted, this most kindly man hurried out to the assassins of his own free will and addressed them mildly. My little children, he said, why do ye strike my servants? If ye have any complaint against me, I am here. Thereupon they rushed at him, overwhelmed him with blows and pierced him through with spears. Finally they slew him a stroke of a great axe and threw his body into the river. This happened on November 12th, 1632, when he was forty-three years old. Later his body, surrounded by a marvellous light, was raised from the deepest part of the river. The blood of this Martyr benefited first of all those murderers of their spiritual father. Sentenced to die for their crime, almost all abjured their schism and repented of their crime. Because this wonderful high priest became famous after his death for many miracles, the Supreme Pontiff, Urban VIII, honoured him with the title Blessed. On the 29th of June, 1867, during the solemn observance of the centenaries of the Princes of the Apostles, in the presence of the college of cardinals, of about five hundred others, patriarchs, metropolitans, and bishops of every rite from all parts of the world, assembled in the Vatican basilica, with all solemn ceremonies, Pius IX canonized the first eastern Christian to uphold the unity of the Church. The Supreme Pontiff, Leo XIII, extended his Mass and Office to the universal Church. (Taken from: http://www.breviary.net)
Prayer: Stir up within Thy Church, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the Spirit with which blessed Josaphat, Thy Martyr and Bishop, was filled, when he laid down his life for his sheep: so that, through his intercession, we too may be moved and strengthened by the same Spirit, and may not shrink from giving our lives for our brethren.