The novena of August offers us the religious considerations written by Ven. Gabriel Taborin about the statue of the Immaculate Virgin, which he had erected in the enclosure of the Mother House (Circ. N.11 of 1855). On August 23, we recall the testimony written by Bro. Frédéric Bouvet about Bro. Gabriel’s devotion to the Virgin Mary. The novena will end with the prayer: “Consecration of the Brothers of the Holy Family to the Blessed Virgin” (Recueil de Prières, pag. 454-456).

August 16:

For a long time, we had nourished the desire to erect in the middle of the enclosure of our Mother House a monument as a visible mark of our tender devotion to our common Mother, the most glorious and Immaculate Virgin Mary. Doing this, we also respond to the pious wish of our Bishop, who, as he expressed it in his Decree of last December 8, would see with great satisfaction that a statue of the Blessed Virgin is erected on the most visible spot of each parish. This will perpetuate in the entire area of the Diocese of Belley the memory of December 8, 1854, the day on which the Church, to our great joy, definitively proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Our vows, dear Brothers, have finally been fulfilled; the image of the Queen of heaven and earth has been installed most solemnly, in the place we have just named. At the end of our retreat, all of us, beloved Brothers, will consecrate ourselves to the Immaculate Virgin, devoutly venerating Mary in front of the monument we have the joy and happiness to erect to her on a ground we surely obtained from her motherly protection.

Prayer: We ask you, Father, for the glorification of your servant, Venerable Brother Gabriel Taborin: grant us the grace we ask for through his intercession (name the people we are praying for). We ask you insistently in the name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen!

August 17:

            If we want to pay attention, dear Brothers, everything is symbolic. It provides us with various subjects for meditation, from which we will be able to draw beneficial fruits whenever our respectful gaze is raised to the holy image.

            The cross placed at the top is the marvelous sign of our redemption, by which Christ defeated the world. The sacred symbol puts demons on the run, reminds us of both, the price of our soul,  the love of the divine Savior, his infinite goodness which led to giving us, from the top of the cross, Mary as Mother. Salvation and life are in the cross; it is there that we will find refuge from our enemies, the sweetness of grace, the strength of the soul, the joy of the spirit, the perfection of virtues.

            Prayer: We ask you, Father, for the glorification of your servant, Venerable Brother Gabriel Taborin: grant us the grace we ask for through his intercession (name the people we are praying for). We ask you insistently in the name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen!

August 18 :

The star under the cross reminds us of the star that led the Magi to the stable in Bethlehem; it also invites us to adore God, to praise him, to bless him, and to offer our hearts to him. The star is still the sign of faith, to which God, in His grace, called us. This star also reminds us that Mary is called by the Church the Morning Star, and invites us to take this good Mother for our light during our pilgrimage on earth. The crown placed on the Blessed Virgin’s head indicates at once her quality as Queen of heaven and earth, her power and the eminent virtues that have put her in the superior rank she holds in heaven. This crown is also the sign of the king of glory that God will give us if we practice the virtues of our state.

Prayer: We ask you, Father, for the glorification of your servant, Venerable Brother Gabriel Taborin: grant us the grace we ask for through his intercession (name the people we are praying for). We ask you insistently in the name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen!

August 19 :

The humble and modest figure of the Blessed Virgin shows us the holy humility that a Christian must carefully observe. In giving us Mary as our Mother, he also gave her to us to be our model.

The lilies that we see are the symbol of Mary’s honesty and purity. This same purity should inspire the religious who have consecrated their chastity to the Lord. How much care we must take to preserve this loving virtue! How much also you must strive to make the children entrusted to you understand the beauty of this virtue, and practice it.

Prayer: We ask you, Father, for the glorification of your servant, Venerable Brother Gabriel Taborin: grant us the grace we ask for through his intercession (name the people we are praying for). We ask you insistently in the name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen!

August 2020

The hands that the blessed Virgin extends seem to invite some pious young men to leave the world, where there are so many dangers and pitfalls for virtue, and to come to take refuge in a Congregation of which she is the Mother, Queen and Protector. Don’t Mary’s powerful open arms seem to receive the poor sinner, to console the afflicted, to bless us all and to pour graces on each of us? Doesn’t she also seem to extend her hands to bless our schools and the many children who attend them, and whom you lead with such zeal?

Prayer: We ask you, Father, for the glorification of your servant, Venerable Brother Gabriel Taborin: grant us the grace we ask for through his intercession (name the people we are praying for). We ask you insistently in the name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen!

August 21 :

Doesn’t the Blessed Virgin, stretching out her arms, still seem to show us the young trees that surround the monument we are happy to have erected to her, and tell us all: You are trees planted and cultivated with care by the hand of God in a house of blessing? Grow, then, and bear good fruit by your words, by your actions, by your examples, and by the Christian teaching, you will give to the young people. However, do not forget, Brothers, that the tree is known by its fruit, and that a bad tree will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

Placed in front of our house, of which she is the mighty Guardian, doesn’t the Blessed Virgin seem telling passers-by: Respect this place; it is the house of God! There young novices who will become pious guides of youth are formed. 0 you who love trouble, vanity and sluggishness, the world and its pleasures, do not enter this haven of peace; you who do not have upright and pure intentions, do not come here.

Prayer: We ask you, Father, for the glorification of your servant, Venerable Brother Gabriel Taborin: grant us the grace we ask for through his intercession (name the people we are praying for). We ask you insistently in the name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen!

August 22 :

Turning towards the capital of France, the Immaculate Virgin Mary seems, as always, to be her Special defender, and invites us to pray for her prosperity and the preservation of our eminent reigning Leader. Saddened by the persecutions inflicted on the Church in certain countries, the good Virgin urges us to ask for its ending, by frequent and fervent prayers, which she will deign to present to Him who sustains empires and by whom kings reign.

 The monument we have just spoken of, dear Brothers, and the simple and straightforward explanations that we shared mystically, are meant to increase our love, gratitude and devotion. Mary is the creature who was never invoked in vain and we should often address to her, especially when passing in front of her image, the following prayer: O Mary, conceived without sin, and refuge of sinners, pray for us who have recourse to you.

Prayer: We ask you, Father, for the glorification of your servant, Venerable Brother Gabriel Taborin: grant us the grace we ask for through his intercession (name the people we are praying for). We ask you insistently in the name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen!

August 23 :

Here is Bro. Frederic’s testimony on the devotion to Mary of Venerable Bro Gabriel Taborin:

“And Mary, how he loved her! As early as 1855, shortly after Pius IX had declared her Immaculate, he erected a statue in the middle of our enclosure and made a point of going to Marseilles in 1864 to attend the coronation of Our Lady of the Guard. It was always with joy that he celebrated the month of May and that he raised a throne to Mary! With what enthusiasm he sang hymns in her honor, but let us hasten to say that he liked the hymns where everyone sang with one voice”.

Prayer: We ask you, Father, for the glorification of your servant, Venerable Brother Gabriel Taborin: grant us the grace we ask for through his intercession (name the people we are praying for). We ask you insistently in the name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen!

August 24:

              Consecration of the Brothers of the Holy Family to the Blessed Virgin” (Collection of Prayers, Pag. 454-456)

Allow us, O Holy Virgin, to proclaim you again as our Mother and our patroness. We want to give you our whole being and, after God, love you, above all things. Blessed is he who consecrates his love to you. Therefore, we dedicate ourselves to your service and promise you an inviolable fidelity. We’d rather die a thousand times than betray our oath. O Mary, take possession of our whole being and command over it as sovereign; banish from our bodies and souls all that displeases you; sanctify our hearts, straighten their disorderly inclinations and purify our intentions. Yes, from now on, we want to follow your inspirations, live under your maternal gaze and act only to please you. Your desires will be our desires; your joys will be our joys, your sorrows, our sorrows, for you are our Mother, and we want to be your worthy children. We ask you for much more than what we give you; but, Holy Virgin, are you not infinitely rich and powerful? Besides, is not the place of a Brother of the Holy Family at your feet in heaven as it is on earth? Or where should your children be, if not close to their Mother? Thus, you will protect us during this life; you will assist us at the hour of death; you will gather our souls at their last breath. Amen!

Prayer: We ask you, Father, for the glorification of your servant, Venerable Brother Gabriel Taborin: grant us the grace we ask for through his intercession (name the people we are praying for). We ask you insistently in the name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen!