OUR LADY OF EXPECTATION
“As for Mary, she treasured all these things
and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)
Heavenly Mother, dwelling on the blood-drenched Mount of St. Thomas! Mother expecting; and Mother bearing Christ in your holy womb! Shower thy blessings on us who venerate thee. Protect us from the treacherous Satan. Shelter us in the tabernacle of thy womb.
O Holy womb that bore our Lord Jesus Christ! Mold us as expected by your beloved Son. Let our families inculcate good virtues. Let thy peace fill our families. Let faithfulness be strengthened among couples. Let the voice of vocation be heard and answered. Let wisdom, understanding and knowledge be implanted in our children.
Bless us with employment and industrial development. Bless us with good rain, agricultural growth and decent shelter. Bless us with the gift of Children. Bless pregnant mothers with safe delivery. Bless our journeys with safety and bless us with a burden-less life.
Bless all those who have lost their spouse. Bless the orphans and the destitute, physically challenged and the socially afflicted; the poor and helpless.
Let the priests and the religious lead a holy life. Let there be peace in the world. Let love for mankind, solidarity among religions and justice be established. Make us depend on Jesus Christ in our day to day life as you expect and may we say ‘Yes’ to God’s Holy Will. Lord! Like the holy seeping blood which gushed out from the cross carved by St. Thomas, Bless and make this Holy Mount the Faith Home of the World. Amen.
*This feast, which in recent times has been kept not only throughout the whole of Spain, but also in many other parts of the Catholic world, owes its origin to the bishops of the 10th Council of Toledo, in 656. These prelates thought that there was an incongruity in the ancient practice of celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation on the 25th of March, inasmuch as this joyful solemnity frequently occurs at the time when the Church is intent upon the Passion of Our Lord, so that it is sometimes obliged to be transferred into Easter time, with which it is out of harmony for another reason. They therefore decreed that, henceforth, in the Church of Spain there should be kept, eight days before Christmas, a solemn Feast with an octave, in honor of the Annunciation, and as a preparation for the great solemnity of Our Lord's Nativity. In the course of time, however, the Church of Spain saw the necessity of returning to the practice of the Church of Rome and of the whole world, which solemnize the 25th of March as the day of Our Lady's Annunciation and the Incarnation of the Son of God. But such had been, for ages, the devotion of the people for the Feast of the 18th of December, that it was considered requisite to maintain some vestige of it. They discontinued, therefore, to celebrate the Annunciation on this day; but the faithful were requested to consider, with devotion, what must have been the sentiments of the Holy Mother of God during the days immediately preceding Her giving Him birth. A new Feast was instituted, under the name of "the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin's Delivery."
This Feast, which sometimes goes under the name of Our Lady of O, or the Feast of O, on account of the great antiphons which are sung during these days, and, in a special manner, of that which begins O Virgo virginum (which is still used in the Vespers of the Expectation.