Our Father Founder, the Venerable Brother Gabriel Taborin, had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  In this novena, we are going to pray for and with our Father Founder, the Queen of Heaven, so that she may open the doors of grace for us. Each day we will present a short paragraph from the Positio that shows how much he loved the Virgin Mary.

16 October, 2020. It seems superfluous to say that the Servant of God’s tender and filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin began in his mother’s lap. The name of Mary was highly revered in the Taborin family, as evidenced by the fact that the first names of most members of this family were reminiscent of the Mother of Jesus. This devotion was often expressed at Belleydoux: in the children’s games of the young Gabriel, in the daily recitation of the Rosary and the Office of the Blessed Virgin, in the singing of litanies and hymns, in the construction of small altars in the fields and in the woods. Then came the inscription in the Confraternities of Our Lady Help of Christians and of the Holy Rosary, which naturally included commitments and prayers, to which Gabriel was always faithful.

Prayer that is said every day: The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of all graces. You know how much our Venerable Brother Gabriel loved you. He felt full of joy every time he spoke to you. Do not look, Mother of God, at our little faith and our weakness.  With and through our Father Founder we pray you, intercede for us before your Son Jesus. He will not deny you anything. We ask You, Father, for the glorification of Your Servant, Venerable Brother Gabriel Taborin, granting us through his intercession the grace we ask for. (we may mention the persons’ names for whom we wish to pray). We ask this with insistence in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. AMEN.

17 October, 2020. During his stay at Châtillon-de-Michaille, he had decided to say a prayer in honour of the Blessed Virgin, which he prayed every day, and “which he did not believe he had missed a single day” – he confessed the year of his death. This is clear a proof of a very concrete and continuous devotion.

Prayer that is said every day.

18 October, 2020. Writing the biography of a deceased Brother, he takes the opportunity to invite him to make a novena and to make a vow that “we will all place ourselves at the feet of Mary on the day of the Purification”; when a novice comes to confide in her that he intends to leave the Institute, what does he do? “An interior voice urged me to pray – he later acknowledged – I got up in the middle of the night to address a fervent prayer to the good Virgin Mary. My prayer was heard”. In fact, this Novice did not leave; he became Brother Jacinto, who died in the Institute on February 28th, 1863.

Prayer that is said every day.

19 October, 2020. The zeal and enthusiasm that the Servant of God put into the organisation of a great feast in 1855 for the inauguration of the beautiful statue of the Immaculate Virgin on the occasion of the proclamation of the dogma is an eloquent testimony to his tender devotion to the Mother of Heaven. Speaking of this devotion, Brother Frederick cannot help but exclaim: “And Mary, how I loved her! And he added that he always saw the month of May arrive with joy and that he raised a throne to Mary: “With what spirit he made his songs and hymns vibrate”.

Prayer that is said every day.

20 October, 2020. He was so full of love for Mary that he sometimes exaggerated, even in his expressions, as with the expression “divine Mary” that once appeared in his prayers. He never omitted to sing the litanies on Saturdays, even when he was out of the Community: “Once I found myself,” wrote Brother Ignatius, “singing them with him (quietly, of course) in a public car, full of people, at night (as I could not do otherwise).

Prayer that is said every day.

 21 October, 2020. His books of piety for the use of young people and families, such as The Way of Sanctification, The Treasure of the Christian Schools, The Pilgrim Leader’s Angel of Ars, The Handbook of the Confraternities of Saint Anne, all contain hymns and prayers to the Blessed Virgin. He became an apostle of this devotion first among his compatriots, then among his pupils and their families, and finally among the Brothers. It is not known how many of Our Lady’s sampas and rosaries he distributed during his life, and how many invitations he received in his letters and orally to have recourse to the Blessed Virgin! Even his circulars often bore the date of a feast of the Blessed Virgin.

Prayer that is said every day.

22 October, 2020. As soon as he saw a shrine dedicated to Mary, he was attracted by it: thus, in 1827, he had directed his steps towards the shrine of Fourvière in Lyon; he would often have the opportunity to visit this venerated shrine during his trips to Lyon. From Champdor, he went on a pilgrimage to Mazières, near Hauteville, with the children of the First Communion; on his journey to Rome, he went up to Notre-Dame de la Garde in Marseilles and went there expressly in 1864 for the coronation of the statue of Our Lady. On his journeys to Turin, Rome and Paris, he directed his steps towards the churches dedicated to Mary.

Prayer that is said every day.

 23 October, 2020. It was certainly a great joy for the Servant of God on that Saturday, September 22nd, 1855, when – “At the end of our retreat,” he wrote – “we shall all, dearly beloved, consecrate ourselves to the Immaculate Virgin, prostrate ourselves at the foot of the monument which we have had the joy and happiness to erect for her, and on a piece of land that we surely owe her motherly protection.

Prayer that is said every day.

 24 October, 2020. On Monday November 21st, 1864, the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin, he renewed his consecration to Mary and received the Holy Communion for the last time. Three months earlier, he could rightly write in his Spiritual Testament that he wished for eternal happiness, adding: “I also expect it from the protection of the Blessed Virgin, in which I have always had great confidence and special devotion. I beg her to help me when death closes my eyes”.

Prayer that is said every day.