November and the Augustinian Septinarium

The Augustinians have a tradition of praying Seven Days for the Deceased.  The tradition comes from St. Nicholas of Tolentino, who was visited by Souls in Purgatory.  They asked him to remember them when he Presided at Mass.  The following is a form of the prayer to be said on Seven Consecutive Days. A tradition developed, or a devotion, to pray for the deceased particularly between November 6 and 13 (two Augustinian Feasts). One model devotion includes readings from Augustine, in addition to the following prayer.

O Lord, God of holiness and light,
you do not allow any shadow of darkness
or evil in your sight
and so in your mercy you grant to those
who have left this world burdened with sin
a time of purification,
applying to them the spiritual treasures of your  Holy Church.
Hear my prayer
and through the merits of Christ,
the Blessed Virgin, the Saints,
and all your faithful people
bring to an end this time of waiting
for our beloved dead, especially for N.
Since in your providence
you have chosen your faithful servant
Saint Nicholas of Tolentine
as a special intercessor
on behalf of the departed,
hear also his fervent prayer for the dead
whom I recommend to you
through his intercession.
Saint Nicholas,
you were so attentive to the pleas
of many needy souls
and through your prayer and penance
you hastened their enjoyment
of the vision of God.
Look with compassion on our beloved dead,
and obtain for them by your prayers
the full forgiveness of their sins
so that they may experience
the happiness and peace of the Father’s presence.

I post this, on a Dark November Evening.  As it is cold outside, we recall death.  

Death provokes prayer.

This is a prayer for other people, obviously.  Yet, in recalling our own mortality… we are moved to gratitude for the moment; we are moved to integrity, since we wish not to die with regret;  we are moved to charity, since we want more to let people we know we care about them; the list goes on.

November is a good month for prayer, when things are dark and quiet.  We can reflect on our failures in the year, and vow to improve, with God’s assistance.  We can also reflect on our little victories, and that too can move us to greater gratitude for God’s love, as well as for a greater effort to keep giving God the glory.

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