Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary
God, come to my assistanceLord, make haste to help me. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: was it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
She who once was barren gives birth today to the Forerunner of Christ, who will fulfill every prophecy. In the Jordan he placed his hand upon the One Whom the prophets foretold, and thus was shown to be the prophet, the herald, and the Forerunner of the Word of God.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy great mercy. And according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my iniquity. Wash me yet more from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my iniquity, and my sin is always before me. To thee only have I sinned, and have done evil before thee: that thou mayst be justified in thy words, and mayst overcome when thou art judged. For behold I was conceived in iniquities; and in sins did my mother conceive me. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me. Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow. To my hearing thou shalt give joy and gladness: and the bones that have been humbled shall rejoice. Turn away thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create a clean heart in me, O God: and renew a right spirit within my bowels. Cast me not away from thy face; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and strengthen me with a perfect spirit. I will teach the unjust thy ways: and the wicked shall be converted to thee. Deliver me from blood, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall extol thy justice. O Lord, thou wilt open my lips: and my mouth shall declare thy praise. For if thou hadst desired sacrifice, I would indeed have given it: with burnt offerings thou wilt not be delighted. A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit: a contrite and humbled heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Deal favourably, O Lord, in thy good will with Sion; that the walls of Jerusalem may be built up. Then shalt thou accept the sacrifice of justice, oblations and whole burnt offerings: then shall they lay calves upon thy altar.
Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal, have mercy on us. Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal, have mercy on us. Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal, have mercy on us.
Glory to Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Holy and Immortal, have mercy on us.
Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal, have mercy on us.
It is truly right to bless you, O God-bearing One, as the ever-blessed and immaculate Mother of our God. More honorable than the cherubim and by far more glorious than the seraphim; ever a virgin, you gave birth to God the Word, O true Mother of God, we magnify you.
God, be merciful to me, a sinner.
God, cleanse me of my sins and have mercy on me.
I have sinned without number, forgive me, O Lord.
Behold then the joy of the whole universe. Let the union of God and man in the Son of the Virgin Mary fill us with awe and adoration. Let us fear and worship the undivided Trinity as we sing the praise of the ever-virgin Mary, the holy temple of God, and of God himself, her Son and spotless Bridegroom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
The angel Gabriel was sent to the Virgin Mary, who was engaged to be married to Joseph.
Mercy and judgment I will sing to thee, O Lord: I will sing, and I will understand in the unspotted way, when thou shalt come to me. I walked in the innocence of my heart, in the midst of my house. I did not set before my eyes any unjust thing: I hated the workers of iniquities. The perverse heart did not cleave to me: and the malignant, that turned aside from me, I would not know. The man that in private detracted his neighbor, him did I persecute. With him that had a proud eye, and an unsatiable heart, I would not eat. My eyes were upon the faithful of the earth, to sit with me: the man that walked in the perfect way, he served me. He that worketh pride shall not dwell in the midst of my house: he that speaketh unjust things did not prosper before my eyes. In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land: that I might cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the Lord.
You are the mother of your Maker, yet you remain a virgin for ever.
Blessed art thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and thy name is worthy of praise, and glorious for ever: For thou art just in all that thou hast done to us, and all thy works are true, and thy ways right, and all thy judgments true...For we have sinned, and committed iniquity, departing from thee: and we have trespassed in all things...Deliver us not up for ever, we beseech thee, for thy name's sake, and abolish not thy covenant. And take not away thy mercy from us for the sake of Abraham thy beloved, and Isaac thy servant, and Israel thy holy one: To whom thou hast spoken, promising that thou wouldst multiply their seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is on the sea shore. For we, O Lord, are diminished more than any nation, and are brought low in all the earth this day for our sins. Neither is there at this time prince, or leader, or prophet, or holocaust, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense, or place of firstfruits before thee, That we may find thy mercy: nevertheless in a contrite heart and humble spirit let us be accepted. As in holocausts of rams, and bullocks, and as in thousands of fat lambs: so let our sacrifice be made in thy sight this day, that it may please thee: for there is no confusion to them that trust in thee. And now we follow thee with all our heart, and we fear thee, and seek thy face.
Trusting in the Lord's promise, the Virgin Mary conceived a child, and remaining a virgin, she gave birth to the Savior.
Praise ye the name of the Lord: O you his servants, praise the Lord: You that stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God. Praise ye the Lord, for the Lord is good: sing ye to his name, for it is sweet. For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself: Israel for his own possession. For I have known that the Lord is great, and our God is above all gods. Whatsoever the Lord pleased he hath done, in heaven, in earth, in the sea, and in all the deeps. He bringeth up clouds from the end of the earth: he hath made lightnings for the rain. He bringeth forth winds out of his stores: He slew the firstborn of Egypt from the man even unto beast. He set forth signs and wonders in the midst of thee, O Egypt: upon Pharao, and upon all his servants. He smote many nations, and slew mighty kings: Sehon king of the Amorrhites, and Og king of Basan, and all the kingdoms of Chanaan. And gave their land for an inheritance, for an inheritance to his people Israel.
Wisdom shall praise her own self, and shall be honored in God, and shall glory in the midst of her people, And shall open her mouth in the churches of the most High, and shall glorify herself in the sight of his power, And in the midst of her own people she shall be exalted, and shall be admired in the holy assembly. And in the multitude of the elect she shall have praise, and among the blessed she shall be blessed, saying: I came out of the mouth of the most High, the firstborn before all creatures: I made that in the heavens there should rise light that never faileth, and as a cloud I covered all the earth: I dwelt in the highest places, and my throne is in a pillar of cloud. I alone have compassed the circuit of heaven, and have penetrated into the bottom of the deep, and have walked in the waves of the sea, And have stood in all the earth: and in every people, And in every nation I have had the chief rule: And by my power I have trodden under my feet the hearts of all the high and low: and in all these I sought rest, and I shall abide in the inheritance of the Lord. Then the creator of all things commanded, and said to me: and he that made me, rested in my tabernacle, And he said to me: Let thy dwelling be in Jacob, and thy inheritance in Israel, and take root in my elect. From the beginning, and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be, and in the holy dwelling place I have ministered before him. And so was I established in Sion, and in the holy city likewise I rested, and my power was in Jerusalem. And I took root in an honourable people, and in the portion of my God his inheritance, and my abode is in the full assembly of saints.
A royal virgin of the house of David is chosen. She is to bear a holy child, one who is both God and man. She is to conceive him in her soul before she conceives him in her body. In the face of so unheard of an event she is to know no fear through ignorance of the divine plan; the angel tells her what is to be accomplished in her by the Holy Spirit. She believes that there will be no loss of virginity, she who is soon to be the mother of God.
Why should she lose heart at this new form of conceiving when she has been promised that it will be effected through the power of the Most High? She believes, and her faith is confirmed by the witness of a previous wonder: against all expectation Elizabeth is made fruitful. God has enabled a barren woman to be with child; he must be believed when he makes the same promise to a virgin.
After the birth of your son, you remained a virginMother of God, intercede for us; you remained a virgin. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. After the birth of your son, you remained a virgin.
In his great love for us, God sent his Son in the likeness of our sinful nature.
Bless the Lord, all ye His Angels: you that are mighty in strength, and execute His word, hearkening to the voice of His orders. Bless the Lord, O my soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; because he hath visited and wrought the redemption of his people: And hath raised up an horn of salvation to us, in the house of David his servant: As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, who are from the beginning: Salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us: To perform mercy to our fathers, and to remember his holy testament, The oath, which he swore to Abraham our father, that he would grant to us, That being delivered from the hand of our enemies, we may serve him without fear, In holiness and justice before him, all our days. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways: To give knowledge of salvation to his people, unto the remission of their sins: Through the bowels of the mercy of our God, in which the Orient from on high hath visited us: To enlighten them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death: to direct our feet into the way of peace.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
God our Father, your Word became man and was born of the Virgin Mary. May we become more like Jesus Christ, whom we acknowledge as our redeemer, God and man. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
May the lord bless us, protect us from evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
God, come to my assistanceLord, make haste to help me. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
O Lord, Thy goodness follows me all the days of my life. The Lord is my Shepherd, and I shall not lack anything. He gives me a resting-place where there is pasture.
The angel of the Lord brought God's message to Mary. And she conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Upon the rivers of Babylon, there we sat and wept: when we remembered Sion: On the willows in the midst thereof we hung up our instruments. For there they that led us into captivity required of us the words of songs. And they that carried us away, said: Sing ye to us a hymn of the songs of Sion. How shall we sing the song of the Lord in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgotten. Let my tongue cleave to my jaws, if I do not remember thee: If I make not Jerusalem the beginning of my joy. Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom, in the day of Jerusalem: Who say: Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof. O daughter of Babylon, miserable: blessed shall he be who shall repay thee thy payment which thou hast paid us. Blessed be he that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock.
Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. Behold you shall conceive and bear a son, and he will be called the Son of the Most High.
I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart: for thou hast heard the words of my mouth. I will sing praise to thee in the sight of the angels: I will worship towards thy holy temple, and I will give glory to thy name. For thy mercy, and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy holy name above all. In what day soever I shall call upon thee, hear me: thou shalt multiply strength in my soul. May all the kings of the earth give glory to thee: for they have heard all the words of thy mouth. And let them sing in the ways of the Lord: for great is the glory of the Lord. For the Lord is high, and looketh on the low: and the high he knoweth afar off. If I shall walk in the midst of tribulation, thou wilt quicken me: and thou hast stretched forth thy hand against the wrath of my enemies: and thy right hand hath saved me. The Lord will repay for me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: O despise not the works of thy hands.
I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me as you have said.
Thou art worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory, and honour, and power: because thou hast created all things; and for thy will they were, and have been created...Thou art worthy, O Lord, to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; because thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God, in thy blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, And hast made us to our God a kingdom and priests, and we shall reign on the earth...The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power, and divinity, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and benediction.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life: For the life was manifested; and we have seen and do bear witness, and declare unto you the life eternal, which was with the Father, and hath appeared to us.
Stretching out his hand over his disciples, the Lord Christ declared: HERE ARE MY MOTHER AND MY BROTHERS, ANYONE WHO DOES THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHO SENT ME IS MY BROTHER AND MY SISTER AND MY MOTHER. I would urge you to ponder these words. Did the Virgin Mary, who believed by faith and conceived by faith, who was the chosen one from whom our Saviour was born among men, who was created by Christ before Christ was created in her--did she not do the will of the Father?
Indeed the blessed Mary certainly did the Father's will, and so it was for her a greater thing to have been Christ's disciple than to have been his mother, and she was more blessed in her discipleship than in her motherhood. Hers was the happiness of first bearing in her womb him whom she would obey as her master.
The Lord has chosen her, his loved one from the beginningHe has taken her to live with himhis loved one from the beginning. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. The Lord has chosen her, his loved one from the beginning.
The angel Gabriel said to Mary in greeting: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women.
O Mary, how shall I die? Even now, that I think of my sins, and of that decisive moment on which my salvation or eternal damnation depends, of that moment in which I must expire and be judged, I tremble and am confounded. O my most sweet Mother, my hopes are in the blood of Jesus Christ and in thy intercession. O comfortress of the afflicted, do not, then, abandon me, cease not to console me in that moment of so great affliction. If I am now so tormented by remorse for sins committed, the uncertainty of pardon, the danger of relapse, and the rigor of divine justice, what will become of me then? Unless thou helpest me, I shall be lost. Ah, my Lady, before death obtain me great sorrow for my sins, thorough amendment, and fidelity to God during the remainder of my life. And when my last moment arrives, O Mary, my hope, help me in the great distress in which I shall then be; encourage me, that I may not despair at the sight of my sins, which the devil will place before me. Obtain that I may then invoke thee more frequently; so that I may expire with thy most sweet name and that of thy beloved Son on my lips. Nay more, my Lady, but forgive my boldness, before I expire do thou come thyself and comfort me with thy presence. Thou has granted this favor to so many of thy devout servants, I also desire and hope it. I am a sinner, it is true; I do not deserve so great a favor; but I am thy servant, I love thee and have full confidence in thee. O Mary, I shall expect thee; do not disappoint me of this consolation. At least, if I am not worthy of so great a favor, do thou help me from heaven, that I may leave this life loving God and thee, to love thee eternally in Paradise.
My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name. And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him. He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy: As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
Most loving Jesus, permit me to express my heartfelt gratitude to you for your kindness in giving me to your holy Mother through the devotion of holy bondage, and so making her my advocate to plead with your Majesty on my behalf, and make up for all that I lack through my inadequacy.
Alas, O Lord, I am so wretched that without my dear Mother I would certainly be lost. Yes, I always need Mary when I am approaching you. I need her to calm your just indignation at the many offenses I have committed every day. I need her to save me from the just sentence of eternal punishment I have deservedly incurred. I need her to turn to you, speak to you, pray to you, approach you and please you. I need her to help me save my soul and the souls of others. In a word, I need her so that I may always do your holy will and seek your greater glory in everything I do.
Would that I could publish throughout the whole world the mercy which you have shown me! Would that the whole world could know that without Mary I would now be doomed! If only I could offer adequate thanks for such a great benefit as Mary! She is within me. What a precious possession and what a consolation for me. Should I not in return be all hers? If I were not, how ungrateful would I be. My dear Saviour, send me death rather than I should be guilty of such a lapse, for I would rather die than not belong to Mary.
Like St. John the Evangelist at the foot of the Cross, I have taken her times without number as my total good and as often have I given myself to her. But if I have not done so as perfectly as you, dear Jesus, would wish, I now do so according to your desire. If you still see in my soul or body anything that does not belong to this noble Queen, please pluck it out and cast it far from me, because anything of mine which does not belong to Mary is unworthy of you.
Holy Spirit, grant me all these graces. Implant in my soul the tree of true life, which is Mary. Foster it and cultivate it to that it grows and blossoms and brings forth the fruit of life in abundance. Holy Spirit, give me a great love and longing for Mary, your exalted spouse. Give me a great trust in her maternal heart and a continuous access to her compassion, so that with her you may truly form Jesus, great and powerful, in me until I attain the fullness of his perfect age.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.