Our Lord says in the Gospel, “Ask and it will be given to you. . . .for everyone who asks, receives” (Mt 7:7-8). St. Paul also exhorts us, “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:6-7).
Encouraged by these exhortations and standing at the threshold of the beginning of the VII General Chapter of the IVE and of the IV General Chapter of the SSVM, I write to request again that you lift up your prayers and make penance for the fruits of these Chapters. Moreover, I wish to tell you of some prayer initiatives that we have organized and fomented, so that you all might know about them and participate in them in the way and measure that you are able. It would also be very good if you could invite our family members, friends, and members of the Third Order to be involved in these prayer initiatives.
1. For everyone who wants to commit their prayers for the fruits of the Chapters, especially for friends, family members, and members of the Third Order, we have created a website, similar to the “40 Hours of Prayer” that the mothers of our religious organize monthly to pray for vocations. The idea is to pray continuously by turn during 96 hours (four days) on two different occasions. The first occasion is from the 27th to the 30th of June, which coincides with the first four days (properly speaking) of the Chapter of the sisters and the four days that immediately precede the Chapter of the IVE. The second occasion is from the 11th to the 14th of July, which coincides with the first week (properly speaking) of the Chapter of the IVE and with the last week of the Chapter of the SSVM. Everyone who wishes to cover one hour can sign up for a turn on the website http://oracion.verboencarnado.net/. As indicated on the site, during these hours we commit ourselves to pray for the Institutes and for the fruits of the Chapters, which can very well be done from one’s own house.
2. During the two weeks in which the Chapter proper of the IVE will last, namely the 9th to the 23rd of July—since during the first week we will be doing the Spiritual Exercises—we will have the Blessed Sacrament exposed during the whole day in our Seminary in Montefiascone, site of the Chapter. Our seminarians will take turns of adoration from the end of the Holy Mass in the morning to the beginning of the community hour of adoration after dinner. In this way, when there are no work sessions the Chapter Fathers who wish may also visit and adore the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the chapel.
3. In our major Seminaries in Argentina, Italy, United States, Brazil, and the Philippines, there will also be adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every day for the duration of the Chapter (1st to the 23rd of July), from the end of Mass in the morning until the community adoration in the evening. In some of these seminaries, the novices of the Institute will join in the initiative. In the Seminary of the United States, they have decided also to do nocturnal adoration during Thursday nights of these three weeks, and to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. In the Seminary of the Philippines, where they have already been doing nocturnal adoration every Thursday night for vocations, they have now added the intention of the Chapter; for this intention also they are praying the devotion for the Month of the Sacred Heart.
4. In the Monasteries of the Institute there are various initiatives. The monks in Los Coronoles (Argentina) have decided to add one more day of fasting and one more day of community penance weekly. They will also adore the Blessed Sacrament by turns every Friday, in addition to the three continuous days of adoration they have according to the calendar of the Province of Argentina. They are praying the devotion of the Month of the Sacred Heart asking for the fruits of the two General Chapters. In the Monastery of Sepphoris (Israel), where there are currently only two priests, they have increased the time of eucharistic adoration on Thursdays the last ten months, praying for the Chapter, an increase in vocations, and for the priests of the IVE. They also decided to add a community penance, and daily they pray a prayer to St. John Paul II for the Chapter. The monks in El Pueyo (Spain) recite the rosary and pray the devotion of the Month of St. Joseph for the fruits of the Chapter; they also added weekly one day of nocturnal adoration and one more day of community penance. The monks in Tenerife (Spain) for several months have been praying daily an hour of nocturnal adoration at midnight; they also recite their community rosary and prayer for the fruits of the Chapter for this intention. The monks of Tunisia have added prayers and community penances, and they will offer a novena of Masses for the Chapter.
5. In other houses of the Institute, various members are especially praying and making penance for the fruits of the General Chapters. In the Procura, for example, in these recent days we have been taking turns of adoration from noon until dinnertime, and we have had three days of community penance.
6. We encourage everyone in our houses to pray a novena in honor of our patrons, the Virgin of Luján and St. John Paul II. This novena could be prayed from the 22nd to the 30th of June, namely, the nine days that precede the beginning of the Chapter of the IVE, while the Chapter of the SSVM is underway. The text of the novena is attached.
7. In the houses of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará, the sisters are also praying fervently for both General Chapters. Out of the many initiatives, the most remarkable is that the eleven contemplative monasteries will do eucharistic adoration by turns from the beginning of the Chapter of the SSVM (today, June 18) until the end of the Chapter of the IVE (July 24). Thus there will always be sisters praying before the Blessed Sacrament, day and night, for the work of the Chapter Fathers and Chapter Mothers.
I hope that this news is useful to you, and serves to encourage you to intensify your prayers for our dear Religious Family, especially during the two General Chapters, since “prayer is the omnipotence of God in our hands” (Tertullian).
A cordial greeting to all, in Christ and Mary,
Rev. Fr. Gonzalo Ruiz Freites, IVE
President of the Pre-Capitular Commission
Novena to St. John Paul II and to the Virgin of Luján to pray for the fruits of the General Chapters of the IVE and SSVM
St. John Paul II, you who are the spiritual father of our religious family, obtain for us the grace that we ask of you in this novena.
We ask you to keep us always faithful to God, fulfilling in every moment His Holy Will, in order to sanctify ourselves and be able to incarnate the Word in every culture, in every man, and in every manifestation of man. Protect all our consecrated members, and obtain for them the grace to persevere unto death in this religious family.
Trusting in your intercession, we ask you now especially for the fruits of the General Chapters of both Institutes.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom you so loved and whose slaves of love we profess to be, protect us from above against all danger, temptation, and attack of the devil, so that we may one day all together reach Heaven. Amen.
St. John Paul II, pray for us.
O Virgin of Luján, our mother, patroness of our Religious Family of the Incarnate Word! Prostrate at your feet we humbly thank you for the graces and favors you have dispensed to us in every moment, both those you gave us because we asked and those you gave us moved only by your infinite maternal love. In recognition of such solicitude we offer you all that we are and all that we have. We beg you never to abandon us, and to continue blessing us with your protection and caring for our spiritual and material needs.
In a particular way we ask you for the fruits of the General Chapters of our Institutes.
We also beg you, o most exalted Lady of Luján, a special blessing upon our family and friends, upon those who are sick in soul or body, and upon all the poor sinners. May we all together finally be able to rejoice in your incomparable presence, in the eternal glory of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Our Lady of Luján, pray for us.
Our Father; Hail Mary; Glory Be.