|Statue above the East transept altar of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires in its eponymous Basilica.
By KJK – Own work (Original text: self-made), Public Domain
Day Nine: The Virgin Mary
“Behold, your mother!” John 19:27
“I would like to say, humbly, to those who suffer and to those who struggle and are tempted to turn their backs on life: turn towards Mary! Within the smile of the Virgin lies mysteriously hidden the strength to fight against sickness and for life. With her, equally, is found the grace to accept without fear or bitterness to leave this world at the hour chosen by God.
“To seek this smile, is first of all to have grasped the gratuitousness of love; it is also to be able to elicit this smile through our efforts to live according to the word of her Beloved Son, just as a child seeks to elicit its mother’s smile by doing what pleases her. And we know what pleases Mary, thanks to the words she spoke to the servants at Cana: ‘Do whatever he tells you.’”
Benedict XVI, Homily at Lourdes, 15 September 2008
“My dear brother, if you would agree to this one request I’m asking of you, I’d be happier than if you sent me all of Paris. Here it is: you live very close to Notre-Dame des Victoires. Well! Go there just once a day and say a Hail Mary to the Blessed Mother. You’ll see that she’ll protect you in a very special way.”
Letter of Zélie to her brother Isidore, CF 1
“I have nothing new to tell you. I expect my father will tell you all that he knows. Remind him to light a candle for himself and for me in Notre-Dame des Victoires. He promised me he would.”
Letter of Zélie to her brother Isidore, CF 9
“I had the happiness of receiving communion at Notre-Dame des Victoires, which is like a little heaven on earth. I also lit a candle for the intention of our entire family.”
Letter of Louis to Zélie, CF 2-a
At the end of this novena, let us place all our intentions in the heart of the Virgin Mary. Louis and Zélie Martin drew strength and hope from Notre-Dame des Victoires; she will obtain for us too the grace and peace of God our Father.
Magnificat (Luke 1:46–56)
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory to the Father…
O God, in Louis and Zélie Martin you have given us an example of holiness lived in marriage.
Look kindly upon the families of our time, and strengthen them with your love;
Let young people find in them the support they need to hear your voice and respond to your call.
Support the sick and the elderly with your power.
Louis and Zélie loved to pray to Notre-Dame des Victoires; through her intercession, we present to you our intention for this novena…
(period of silence, or state the intention)
Watch over us, and lead us at last into your kingdom of love.
Notre-Dame des Victoires, pray for us.
Holy Family of Nazareth, pray for us.
Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, pray for us.
Novena translated by Elizabeth and Turner Nevitt from: Neuvaine par l’intercession des bienheureux Louis and Zélie Martin. Basilique Notre-Dame des Victoires (Paris). Éditions Salvator: Paris, 2010. Used with permission of Hervé Soubias, rector of the Basilica of Notre-Dame des Victoires, Paris.
Louis and Zélie Martin. A Call to a Deeper Love: The Family Correspondence of the Parents of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, 1863–1885. Ed. Frances Renda. Trans. Ann Conors Hess. New York: St Paul, 2010. Translation of Correspondance familiale (1863–1885), Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 2009.
“Benedict XVI.” https://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en.html
The Psalms: The Grail Translation. 1963.
The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition. 1966.