Today, I’m humbled and honored to be hosting day 5 of the novena to Our Lady of Charity, leading up to her feast day on September 8.

(If you want to start with Day 1, go Maria Johnson’s blog and then tour around to all the following prayers.

Join us as we pray the Our Lady of Charity novena

My first exposure to Our Lady of Charity was when I was a mom of young children, writing a weekly column on different titles of Mary for a popular Catholic website. She was a Mary with a tender nickname – Cachita – and she seemed to reach out to me from there. It wasn’t the first time a title of Mary struck me, and her story stayed with me.

Enter Our Lady of Charity: How a Cuban Devotion to Mary Helped Me Grow in Faith and Love, by Maria Johnson, a deeper dive not only into the story of Cachita, but also into how a relationship with Mary grows and develops over time. “Our Lady of Charity emerged from the depths of her children’s need,” Johnson writes, and she weaves her story as a Cuban American in seamlessly.

Though it’s not a long book – barely over 100 pages – it’s packed with wisdom. Johnson writes in a way similar to the farmer planting seeds: She presents an idea, pats it lovingly into the soil of your mind, and encourages you to pray for it to grow. (And grow it does, if you’re anything like me!) This book won’t just inspire a devotion to a title of Mary, but will also give you the impetus to embrace her Son more deeply.

Here’s today’s prayer:

O Mary, you are blessed among women, the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel. Through a woman, Eve, tears were shed for the whole world, but through you redemption came to us. That is why you will always be blessed. Help us attain a living and vibrant faith.

O beloved Virgin Mary, my Mother, I consecrate myself to you today: my eyes, my ears, my tongue, my heart, in other words, my whole being. I am yours, Oh Mother of Mercy, guard me and defend me as your son/daughter. Amen.

Ask for your petition here

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.