Day 1- Theme: Mary, Woman of Faith

I.                   Opening song: SOS # 358 VV 1 & 6

II.                 Word from Mother Foundress:

       I am glad that you are preparing yourselves very well for the celebration of the Feast of our dear Mother, Mary Immaculate. Pray for me and for the Congregation because this is the first Novena to the Immaculate Conception to be held after the Pontifical approval of the Congregation. Let us thank God for the approval of the Congregation in Rome, which is really a miracle. We can clearly see the hand of God in the way it all happened and I appreciated how much He loves us. This obliges us to thank Him more than ever. And the best way to show our gratitude is to be very faithful in the observance of the Holy Rules. (Letter 225 ).

        I want you to celebrate the Feast with real solemnity and honor our Patroness, the ever- Pure Virgin Mary with great fervor and devotion. It is a very memorable event for all of us Hijas de Jesus ( Letter 30 ).

III.              Word of God: Luke 1: 26 – 38

     IV.     Mary’s Expression of Faith:  

        We have just heard from the account of the Annunciation how the mission of being the Mother of the Savior was conveyed by the Angel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin. She was deeply troubled about what she had heard because what was asked of her, humanly speaking, was beyond her comprehension. That’s why she told the messenger: “ How can this be because I am a virgin.” From her statement we can perceive clearly that she was honest and sincere in presenting her concrete situation. But the Angel told her : “ The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” Upon hearing the assurance of the Angel, in the obscurity of faith, she wholeheartedly accepted what was proposed to her. Her unwavering faith in God impelled her to accept the tremendous mission entrusted to her. With her “Fiat” she conceived the promised Redeemer which was the fulfillment of God’s divine plan for the salvation of humanity.

              The El Rosarillo experience of Juana Josefa was the perfect echo of the Annunciation event. She received the Inspiration to found the Congregation on April 2, 1869 at the Rosarillo Church in Valladolid. This date has an enormous significance for us Hijas de Jesus because it was her “Yes” to what God asked of her that the conception of the Congregation took place. Like the Blessed Mother, when she received the Inspiration she was also troubled because the mission entrusted to her was beyond her capacity. She was deeply aware of her personal poverty. But when she knew that it was the will of God she did not hesitate to accept   it. It was her unflinching faith and trust in God that gave her the courage to give her full consent.

             What are the elements that made the Inspiration so significant? The mission of the Congregation was clearly defined, that is, the Christian education of children and youth. The name Hijas de Jesus was definitely indicated. Hence, the F.I. affixed after our name has a sublime significance for us. It reminds us of the sacredness of the name we bear. The intervention of the Blessed Virgin was without doubt. Therefore, we acknowledge the primordial role of the Blessed Virgin not only in the Inspiration but throughout the existence of the Congregation. Her presence in the evolution of the Congregation was strongly and tangibly felt.

            The Annunciation and Inspiration are two incidents that brilliantly mirror to us the power of faith. The acceptance of the Blessed Virgin and Mother Foundress of the enormous mission entrusted to them was impelled by their unfaltering faith in God, a faith that brought to reality the wonderful dream of God.      

V. Guide for Personal Reflection:

1. Who was the instrument in the conception of my personal vocation? What particular event induced me to confirm it?

2. What prompted me to realize my vocation in the Congregation of the Hijas de Jesus? What particular circumstance led me to where I am now?

3. As I recall reflectively the evolution of my vocation, what resemblance did I discover in my call with that of the Blessed Virgin and Mother Foundress? What elements were clearly defined in my being an Hija de Jesus?

VI. Closing Prayer:

            Most gracious Virgin Mother, thank you for teaching us the art of keenly perceiving God’s divine plan for us. Your firm faith was so admirable that gave you courage to accept the mission entrusted to you. Your exceptional capacity to listen to the message of the Angel, enabled you to perceive the will of God.   Impart to us your discerning stance so that in our daily experiences we will be able to know the will of God and undauntedly put it into action. Obtain for us from Jesus your Son, the grace to keep our faith unflinching in moments of trials, difficulties and challenges. May this divine gift be a perfect element in nourishing our vocation to make it more dynamic and fruitful. Mary Immaculate, Queen of the Hijas de Jesus. Pray for us.

VII. Closing song: SOS # 77