An Autumn Rain

A Novena With the Blessed Virgin Mary

Day 5 – The Temple

Coming into God’s Presence

Before praying, we become aware of God’s presence and love for us.

We picture the cross and hear the words of the Pharisees, “Let Him come down from the cross and we would believe in Him.” Many people want Christianity without a cross, but it is the sign of His great love for us. “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend.” How much He loves us! But He also ask us to love like Him, which means to suffer like Him as well. Like St. Paul says, “share His sufferings, becoming like him in His death.” Are we willing to take up our cross? Are we willing to love with the same intensity of our Lord? To give ourselves for others?

We pause in silence to reflect on God’s plan for salvation.


+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Mary, you submitted yourself to the Jewish rites

// Teach us to love like you did

Mary, you presented Jesus in the temple

// Teach us to love like you did

Mary, you let go of your Son and gave Him to the Father

// Teach us to love like you did

Jesus, You lived perfectly the precepts of the Jewish religion

// Teach us to love like You did

Jesus, You accepted the ritual of circumcision

// Teach us to love like You did

Jesus, You were consecrated to God as a baby

// Teach us to love like You did

Optional Study: Sacrificial Love

Spiritual Lessons from the Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Click here to jump to the study

Sacred Scripture – The Presentation

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke (2:22-24; 34-35)

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,“ and to offer the sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,“ in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. […] Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.“

The Gospel of the Lord // Praise to You Lord Jesus Christ

Reading Options

Bl. Columba Marmion, Christ in His Mysteries

When Jesus is forty days old, the Blessed Virgin associates herself yet more directly and deeply with the work of our salvation by presenting Him in the Temple. She is the first to offer to the Eternal Father His Divine Son. After the oblation that Jesus, the supreme High Priest, made of Himself from the moment of His Incarnation and that He consummated on Calvary, Mary’s offering is the most perfect. It goes beyond all the sacerdotal acts of men, because Mary is the Mother of Christ, while men are but His ministers. Let us contemplate Mary in this solemn act of the Presentation of her Son in the Temple of Jerusalem.

Pope Benedict XV, Apostolic Letter, Inter Sodalicia, 22 Mar 1918

The fact that she was with Him crucified and dying, was in accord with the divine plan. For with her suffering and dying Son, Mary endured suffering and almost death. She gave up her Mother’s rights over her Son to procure the salvation of mankind, and to appease the divine justice, she, as much as she could, immolated her Son, so that one can truly affirm that together with Christ she has redeemed the human race.

Interior Dialogue: Conversation Starters

We take time for a peaceful moment to converse with God.

Lord Jesus, You showed us the essence of love through Your sacrifice to Your Father’s will. Am I willing to love, even when it hurts? Is there anything in my life that You are asking me to offer to You?

Pause for personal prayer

Lord Jesus, You have granted each one of us great gifts: spouses, parents, children, siblings, and friends. Do I realize that they are gifts and not possessions? That in order to love them I must always be willing to offer them back to the Lord?

Pause for personal prayer

Lord Jesus, do I constantly hear Your challenge to grow in love? Do I pray regularly about things that are hard? Do I willingly respond to the sacrifices that You ask me to make? Have I committed myself to gratefully support those who care for our communities?

Pause for personal prayer


Aware that genuine love requires sacrifice, we follow the Blessed Virgin Mary’s example of self giving, as we pray

// Lord, fill us with sacrificial love

For the Church, that she would be an impelling example of love to the world through generosity and perseverance. Let us pray

// Lord, fill us with sacrificial love

For the Holy Father, Bishops, and clergy, that they would imitate Mary’s dedication to God’s calling and be willing to lovingly give their lives for their flock. Let us pray

// Lord, fill us with sacrificial love

For Christian communities, that we would learn to especially support those who are willing to sacrifice themselves out of love, giving them appreciation and encouragement. Let us pray

// Lord, fill us with sacrificial love

Let us pause to ask God to show us where we can grow.

Silently add your own personal petitions.

Let us pray

// Lord, fill us with sacrificial love

A Traditional Prayer: Alma Redemptoris Mater

11th Century, Blessed Hermann of Reichenau, Germany

Together we pray

Loving mother of the Redeemer, gate of heaven, star of the sea, assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again,
To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator, yet remained a virgin after as before,
You who received Gabriel’s joyful greeting, have pity on us poor sinners.

Closing Prayer

Let us pray

Blessed Trinity, we find in You everything we should care for and we yearn to imitate You. You are love. Like Mary, we seek union with You as our road to happiness and fulfillment.

Help us to understand the importance of love, as our way of imitating you. Allow us to welcome the concrete sacrifices of life, not as unique ways to suffer, but as the expression of our love.

We ask this through Christ, our Lord. // Amen

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Pray with Us

This novena is an attempt to summarize what the Church teaches about Mary’s role in our lives and what she means for the Church. It is an opportunity to enter into the real, concrete moments of her life, to experience the depth of her sorrow, sacrifice, and love, and to learn from her how to follow Jesus.

Click below if you want to learn more about the different elements of the Novena, or sign up now!

Free Email Version

Sign up today to recieve a daily reminder email to pray this novena over the next nine days.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Optional Study

Theme – Sacrificial Love

Truly embracing the challenges of life requires sacrifice. It’s not enough to just accept that suffering exists. We embrace it out of love, and that may mean giving up our plans or desires as we offer ourselves to God. Mary shows us what that means. Participating in God’s plan meant that “a sword would pierce her heart.” She doesn’t hide or run from it. It isn’t taken on in an attempt to be impressive or show how strong she is and how much she can bear. Instead, she sacrifices because she loves. Christians are not called to lazily resign ourselves to sacrifice and suffering, but rather, like Mary, we are called to embrace it as true sacrificial love.

Doctrine – Co-Redemptrix

At the Temple, Mary is invited to participate in Jesus’ sacrificial offering. Like Abraham being asked to offer Isaac, she is asked to offer the most important thing in her life, her Son. She is given Jesus and asked to offer Him back to the Lord. This ultimately means Jesus’ death on the cross, but even here in the Presentation we can see something of this sacrificial love. She could have turned and ran, tried to hide Jesus away and keep Him all to herself as if He were her possession. But, like Abraham, she chooses to give her Son because she knows that’s what love demands. In being a part of God’s plan, the sword that pierces her heart is a participation in the redemption of the world. That’s what it means that she is the Co-Redemptrix. Through our own faithfulness and sacrificial love, we are also able to be a part of God’s plan for the redemption of the world.

Personal Takeaway

True sacrificial love says “no” to one thing only in order to say “yes” to something greater. The Lord asks every one of us to make sacrifices (big and small) for love. He wants us to stop simply enduring hard things and to start seeing them as invitations to grow closer to Him. Every day we can hand over our desires for the greater demand of love. We don’t have to find creative ways to suffer. Instead, we only have to be faithful to the demands of our vocation in life. We can serve our spouse or children instead of being lazy. We can hold our tongue instead of gossip. These small sacrifices shouldn’t be seen as chores or a punishment, but moments for grace. Each chance for sacrifice is sent to us as a drop of autumn rain. They are invitations to be like Mary, share in Jesus’ redemptive suffering, and experience the refreshing love of God. When we unite our small acts of love with His supreme act of love on the cross, our little sacrifice is transformed into something greater.