L’Innocence, by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1893
Prayer to Mary, Mother of Divine Love
by Pope Pius XII
To you, O Mary,
are known all the needs of your people
and of the whole Church.
Mother of Truth and Seat of Wisdom,
dissipate the clouds of error which darken our minds.
Amend the straying’s of our hearts
and inspire in us love for truth
and the desire to do good.
Obtain for all people a holy fear of God
so that society may know happiness.
Give us lively faith that we may trust
in those things which are imperishable.
Give us that love which is sealed forever in God.
Obtain for families fidelity, harmony, and peace.
Stir up and confirm in the hearts
of those who govern nations
a clear notion of their responsibility,
and of their duty to foster religion,
morality, and the common good.
And just as your mercy is showered upon souls, O Mary,
may it likewise flow over all those ills
which afflict this people,
and indeed the whole Christian family.
Have pity on the poor, on captives,
on all who bear persecution
for the sake of justice,
or are stricken by misfortune.
Hail, O Mary,
Mother of those who wander here below;
you are our life,
and our hope.
O Mother of Divine Love,
send down your motherly blessing
on all who pray to you;
send it abundantly and consolingly.
Child Jesus, by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 1675-1682
Prayer to the Holy Family
O most loving Jesus,
who by Thy sublime and beautiful virtues of humility,
obedience, poverty, modesty, charity, patience and gentleness,
and by the example of Thy domestic life,
didst bless with peace and happiness
the family Thou didst choose on earth,
in Thy clemency look down upon this household,
humbly prostrate before Thee and imploring Thy mercy.
Remember that this family belongs to Thee;
for to Thee we have in a special way
dedicated and devoted ourselves.
Look upon us in Thy loving kindness;
preserve us from danger;
give us help in time of need,
and grant us the grace to persevere
to the end in the imitation of Thy Holy Family;
that having revered Thee
and loved Thee faithfully on earth,
we may bless and praise Thee eternally in heaven.
O Mary, most sweet Mother,
to thy intercession we have recourse,
knowing that thy Divine Son will hear thy prayers.
And do thou, O glorious Patriarch, St. Joseph,
assist us by thy powerful mediation,
and offer, by the hands of Mary,
our prayers to Jesus.
The Massacre of the Innocents at Bethlehem, by Pál Szinyei Merse, 1866
Prayer in Sorrow
God of all consolation,
in your unending love and mercy for us,
you turn the darkness of death
into the dawn of new life.
Show compassion to your people in sorrow.
Be our refuge and our strength to lift us
from the darkness of this grief
to peace and joy in your presence.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.