The motivation for the Novena of this month is centred on the last days of Venerable Brother Gabriel’s life and on the novenas and prayers the Brothers promoted to ask for the Founder’s healing. The texts are taken from Brother Amadeo’s letter to the Brothers, on November 19th, 1864, and from Brother Athanasius’ several letters. In them, he expresses what was done in Ars.
Day 16: Dear Brothers, your departure from the Mother House after the retreat was very sad this year. Deprived of the joy of receiving the blessing and the paternal advice of our worthy Superior General, whom illness kept in bed, you left with painful forebodings. I have already had an occasion to inform all of you more or less, asking for the help of your prayers for our Dear Superior. I come today to fulfil the painful duty of announcing you that his condition has worsened considerably over the past few days. (Brother Amadeo’s letter to the Brothers).
Prayer for each day
God our Father, who raised Venerable Brother Gabriel Taborin
in the Church to promote Christian Education, Catechesis and liturgical Animation,
Grant us that sharing his charism, we may know how to fulfil
our mission today for the good of the family and society with the strength of your Spirit.
And, if this is your will, grant that he be included in the number of saints,
granting us through his intercession the grace we need…
(mention the names of the persons for whom you wish to pray)
We ask this with insistence through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen
Day 17: Let us turn with new ardour to the God of goodness, and beseech Him to preserve for us this good Father, whose life is so precious to us. Invite the priests of the Parish where you live to unite their prayers to ours. Let us involve our patron saints, Jesus, Mary and Joseph in our cause. Redouble your prayers at the shrine of Our Lady of Victories, at the tomb of Saint Martin, and at that of the Curé of Ars, all of you, Dear Brothers, who spend your days in these places where so many miracles of healing take place. (Brother Amadeo’s letter to the Brothers).
Day 18: Here, at the Mother House, together with many priests and religious communities, we are making a novena to the Holy Curé of Ars to obtain this much desired healing. Some of you have been invited to begin it with us; those of you who have not been notified in time will also wish to begin it on receipt of this letter. The novena consists in praying a dozen of the Rosary every day; this holy priest was so dear to our Father Superior and to our Congregation! We hope that he will take an interest on our behalf before God, and that we will have the happiness of seeing our good Father’s health recovered. (Brother Amadeo’s letter to the Brothers).
Day 19: We still have the help of prayer; let us then, take hold of this plank of salvation and do violence to Heaven. For this intention, we make the novena to the Holy Curé of Ars; yesterday, Father Toccanier celebrated the Eucharist for our Reverend Father, and we received Holy Communion. (Brother Athanasius’letter, November 22nd, 1864).
Day 20: The other missionaries of Ars will also everyone celebrate a Eucharist for their intentions; our dear patient has already been recommended to the parish prayers. I had also asked the Trappist Fathers of Plantay to join their prayers to ours. Father Toccanier, who visited them last Sunday, reminded them of that. (Brother Athanasius’ letter, November 22nd, 1864).
Day 21: I have also written to Father Gourmand, our former chaplain, to ask him for the help of his prayers and Holy Sacrifices. May God still preserve our good Father, and we will give Him eternal thanksgiving! If, however, it is in His designs to give him the reward of his merits, we will adore His divine will. (Brother Athanasius’ letter, November 22nd, 1864).
Day 22: I would have liked to receive our good Father’s last blessing, for myself, for my Brothers, for my students and for the establishment, but I can see that it is impossible; I resign myself. If, however, our Reverend Father is able to do so, tell him to direct his thoughts towards his children of Ars, and bless them. I will be very grateful to him (Brother Athanasius’ letter, November 25th, 1864).
Day 23: Let us try to the end all the means that the good God puts within our reach to obtain the preservation of the one who is so dear to us. You must have a dozen of the Holy Curé’s shirts in the Novitiate. Why, if you have not thought of it, don’t you take one to our dear patient? (Brother Athanasius’ letter, November 25th, 1865).
Day 24: You gave Father Toccanier, Mr. Desgarets and Father Monnin great joy by sending them our Reverend Father’s biography; they told me about it at various times. Father Toccanier read the spiritual testament in the church, during a solemn service that the Parish celebrated for the eternal rest of our Reverend Father’s soul. The reading of it made a deep impression on those present. (Brother Athanasius’ letter, December 24th, 1864).