Novena Before the Memorial of Blessed Klara Szczesna (February 7)
Begins January 29
NOVENA FOR THE GRACE OF CANONIZATION OF BLESSED KLARA SZCZĘSNA Novena Begins January 29th
Klara Szczęsna was born on July 18, 1863 in Cieszki in the Diocese of Płock. In 1885, she entered the Congregation of the Servants of Jesus. In 1894 she became co-foundress and first superior general of the Congregation of the Servants of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, founded by St. Joseph Sebastian Pelczar. She was strong in faith, sensitive to the voice of God and ever ready to receive His will, and solicitous and open to the needs of the most needy, particularly girls and the sick. She fostered a deep prayer life, especially honoring the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. She was for all an example of a life of humble love of God and service to neighbor. She died in Krakow on February 7, 1916.
The texts of the reflections were taken from memories of Mother Klara Szczęsna, particularly those of Mother Ingacja Weiss, who for sixteen years witnessed the daily life of Blessed Klara, who was first Sacred Heart Sister, Superior and co-Foundress of our religious family.
1ST DAY --THE LOVE OF GOD ABOVE ALL Mother Klara had within herself something of God, and she was dedicated to God without any reserve. Each meeting with her encouraged others to the zealous service of God. She desired by her entire life to fulfill the will of God most perfectly; thus she became the cornerstone of our religious family. Mother also loved the Church - as she would say, ‘What an undeserved happiness for us that we were born into the Catholic faith.’ She never forgot to pray for missionaries and all their intentions, and she encouraged the Sisters to make this prayer. A Moment of Reflection Heart of Jesus, worthy of all praise, your Servant Klara Szczęsna loved you with all her heart and by her entire life showed us that you alone, the one God, are worthy of all praise and glory. We humbly ask you to grant us the grace that following in the steps of Mother Klara, we would love you above all and thereby obtain the grace of her canonization. Who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen. Blessed Klara, Pray for us.
2ND DAY--A DEEP, CHILDLIKE FAITH AND A LIVELY HOPE We have to admire in Mother Klara that strong attitude on which she based her entire interior life, namely, the deep, childlike faith which she brought from her family home as well as her lively hope shown in serenity and in surrendering to God's will in all the circumstances of life, and her trustful commitment to God's providence. Mother Klara was always calm, self-controlled, patient, and willingly received the crosses and sufferings that were not lacking in her life. It took great virtue for her to respond like this each day. A Moment of Reflection Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received, your Servant, Klara Szczęsna, with childlike faith and lively hope, drew from your treasury of graces, and carried to a thirsting world your love, goodness and mercy. We humbly ask you, Lord Jesus, that after the example of our Mother, and walking in the path of lively faith and hope, we may deserve your grace and rejoice in her canonization. You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen. Blessed Klara, Pray for us.
3RD DAY--LOVE AND DEVOTION TO THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS "All for the Heart of Jesus" - this was more than a motto, but a program of life for Mother Klara. For such a life, dedicated without reserve to the Heart of God through religious vows, Mother trained the new Sisters and, what is most important, showed by her holy life, full of dedication each day, how the life of the Sacred Heart Sister should be. She would say: "The motto of our Congregation and the emblem of the Heart of God embroidered on our habit signify that with each moment we must give glory to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, obedient even to his slightest inspiration, and offering to this Heart all our love." Acting in such a way by our good example, word and prayer, devotion to the Heart of God would be well-known and flourishing. A Moment of Reflection Heart of Jesus, burning furnace of charity, your Servant, Klara Szczęsna, took as her program of life the motto "All for the Heart of Jesus" and imbued in the hearts of her spiritual daughters the love and unreserved offering to you that this motto implies. Grant, we beg you, O Lord, that your meek and humble Heart would so beat within us and that the ardent flames of your love would so consume us that we, living according to the example of our Mother Klara, would win from you the grace of her canonization. You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen. Blessed Klara, Pray for us.
4TH DAY--LOVE AND DEVOTION FOR THE MOST BLESSED VIRGIN MARY Mother Klara was characterized by a child-like love and ardent devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. She spoke of the Mother of God with filial affection and always took part in devotions in her honor. Moreover, she desired that the Mother of God would accompany the Sisters in their daily prayers, works and sufferings, and would form the Sisters' hearts according to the pattern of the Heart of her Son. Mother Klara desired that devotion to the Mother of God would flourish not only in our Congregation but throughout the entire world. The especially-beloved saint of our Mother Klara was St. Joseph, who never disappointed our Mother’s hopes or those of the Sisters, and who was always a caring Guardian to them. The feasts of the holy patrons of our Congregation, preceded by a novena, were particularly observed. During recreation Mother Klara gladly spoke about our holy patrons, and advised the Sisters to learn about their lives. A Moment of Reflection Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mother, your Servant, Klara Szczęsna, loved your Mother Mary with a childlike heart and in her found her unceasing joy and hope. We beg you, O Lord, that we also may ardently love and honor her who is the best Mother, and through her intercession and that of the holy patrons our Congregation, we may receive the grace of the canonization of our Mother Klara. You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen. Blessed Klara, Pray for us.
5TH DAY--LOVE OF NEIGHBOR Mother Klara's love for the Sisters was inexhaustible. Her motherly goodness inspired trust, for her face radiated goodness and a firmness full of sweetness. She was just, energetic, and demanding but also understanding. In her posture, she was always gentle, servant-like, and caring. Mother Klara was also very solicitous, noticing every need of the Sisters. She liked to do small favors for them. From our Lord Jesus Christ she learned love for service towards people and taught this way to the Sisters. She desired that all the Sisters would be faithful, humble, and self-sacrificing Servants of the Sacred Heart; that they would be holy. Mother's care towards the servants, sick, and poor drew them to her, and she was very helpful to them. In them, she saw the Lord Jesus, and she exhorted the Sisters to treat all whom they served in like manner. A Moment of Reflection Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, from this Divine Spring your Servant, Klara Szczęsna, drew strength and an example of motherly goodness and love toward the Sisters and neighbors whom she served. Lord Jesus, receive her love and offering and grant us the grace to follow after the virtues of our Mother; bestow upon her the honor of the canonized and manifest that her sacrificial life was pleasing to you. You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen. Blessed Klara, Pray for us.
6TH DAY--SPIRIT OF PRAYER AND RECOLLECTION The Sisters observed that Mather Klara was always recollected and united with God. Her demeanor during adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament was particularly noticeable--she was wholly immersed in God. In Mother Klara’s life, her devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus was identified with the devotion to the Most Holy Sacrament. For her, the Heart of Jesus was identified with the Eucharistic Heart, to whom she dedicated many hours, always in humble posture. Adoration was the delight of her life.She adored the Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament in a profound recollection.After receiving Holy Communion, she was so deeply immersed in God that it seemed in that moment that her whole surroundings did not exist for her. The subject of expiation to the Heart of God for sin was one very dear to Mother Klara. She often reminded the Sisters about the penitential practices required of them on the First Fridays of the month, and despite her weak health she herself undertook to perform them. Mother Klara loved silence as well and very strictly observed the times and places of silence, since silence is the requirement and climate in which the spirit of prayer flourishes. She sternly admonished and gave penances for transgressions against silence. A Moment of Reflection Heart of Jesus, of whose goodness we have all received, from your fullness your Servant, Klara Szczęsna drew the spirit of prayer and recollection. She became for us a model and an example of union with you in prayer, especially during the time of adoration of your Eucharistic Heart. Grant us, Lord Jesus, the grace of canonization for our Mother Klara that we, drawn by her example, would discover the richness of silence and, by experiencing the sweetness of your presence, together encourage ourselves to practice prayer faithfully. You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen. Blessed Klara, Pray for us.
7TH DAY--HUMILITY AND POVERTY Mother Klara would not only recommend a certain virtue to others, but above all she herself practiced it, and by her own example encouraged the Sisters to nurture it. She taught that the virtue of humility is the foundation of perfection. Humility was observable in the life of Mother Klara, in such a way that it was very much visible in her words and in her whole behavior toward the Sisters and others. She very much warned that Sisters be exercised in this virtue, that they would guard against ambitious thoughts, desire for empty praise, egoistic self- trust, singularity, and domination over others. Mother Klara freely forgave hurts and acted as though she had never received them. Mother especially loved and practiced religious poverty. She watched that Franciscan poverty would be faithfully kept in clothing, and in the furnishings of our religious houses. She was laborious and conscientious. She was careful and recommended carefulness with the things given us for our use. For transgressions against poverty, she admonished and imposed penance. A Moment of Reflection Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues, your Servant Klara Szczęsna, desiring to imitate your Most Sacred Heart, loved and practiced the virtues dear to you, especially humility and poverty, so necessary to the Servants of your Heart. We ask you, Lord, for the grace of canonization for your humble Servant, Mother Klara. Direct our thoughts, words and works that by your grace our hearts would become like to your Divine Heart. You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen. Blessed Klara, Pray for us.
8TH DAY -- FAITHFULNESS IN KEEPING THE VOWS AND THE RULE Mother Klara was happy in her vocation and grateful to God for this undeserved grace. She had a very great ideal for the religious life. She often spoke, "O how happy we are that the Heart of God called us for his exclusive service. The Servant of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is, above all, the Bride of Christ. Before the Lord, hidden in the Most Holy Eucharist, we must very much humble ourselves, give thanks and beg for perseverance." By her example of complete sacrificial love, Mother Klara showed the Sisters how the Sacred Heart Sister should be each day. She cared very much for the keeping of the rule. She observed it in everything. She taught the Sisters the spirit of obedience and faithfulness in small things. "As I observed Mother Klara closely throughout those fourteen years," recalls one of the Sisters, "it seemed to me that she personified all the Christian virtues. Such a spirit of Christ radiated through her whole person." A Moment of Reflection Heart of Jesus, source of light and holiness, your Servant, Klara Szczęsna, is remembered as "a living rule of the Sacred Heart Sisters' way," the way which you in your goodness have shown to your faithful servant, our Father, St. Joseph Sebastian, and which the first Sacred Heart Sister, Mother Klara, undertook with her whole heart. Teach us, O Lord, a courageous and joyful faithfulness, so that we would always do what you desire for us and what is pleasing to you. Please join your Servant, Mother Klara, to the company of the saints. You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen. Blessed Klara, Pray for us.
9TH DAY--THROUGH THE CROSS TO GLORY The life of Mother Klara was marked by suffering, spiritual as well as physical. Nevertheless, she never lost heart, nor did she complain, since in each situation of her life, she entrusted herself with confidence to the Divine Providence and in all things desired to fulfill the will of the best Father in heaven. "Every day she gave me such good example by her behavior. Frequently, I pray to God through her intercession, and I trust that this intercession is effective," recalls one of the Sisters. Mother Klara was very patient in prolonged illness. She asked little. She was peaceful and composed. She prayed much, spoke little, and thanked others for everything. She joined her sufferings with the sufferings of her Spouse. In the adversities of her life, which were many, nothing weakened her childlike trust in God and in her heavenly patrons. A Moment of Reflection Heart of Jesus, obedient unto death, your Servant, Klara Szczęsna, obediently, courageously and joyfully, received each cross you sent her and became for us an example of trustful surrender to your will and the ideal of heroic patience. Humbly we beg you, O Lord, to reward her sacrificial life with the glory of the Saints, and would strengthen us along the path of the Sacred Heart Sisters, on which we desire to journey to the end unto our glory. You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen. Blessed Klara, Pray for us.
For your personal devotion: Litany in Honor of Blessed Mother Klara Szczęsna
Lord, have mercy on us Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us, Christ hear us, Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, most perfect Servant of the Lord, Pray for us.
Holy Father Joseph Sebastian, Pray for us.
Blessed Mother Klara, Pray for us.
Humble servant of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Apostle of the Divine Heart doing all for Its glory, Zealous and persevering in adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, United with God in prayer and daily life, Sensitive to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, Full of trust in Divine Providence, Beloved daughter of Mary Immaculate, Zealous devotee of Saint Joseph, Faithful daughter of the Church, Zealous in work for the glory of God and the salvation of people, Co-foundress and Mother of the Sacred Heart Sisters religious family, Faithful to the grace of vocation, Permeated with the spirit of expiation, Totally dedicated to your Divine Spouse, Living faithfully the Franciscan spirit of poverty, Captivated by religious obedience, Example of Franciscan humility and simplicity, Solicitous for the sisters entrusted to your care, Guardian of sisterly unity, Prudent spiritual guide, Living rule of the Sacred Heart Sisters’ way of life Ardent in receiving the cross and suffering, Sensitive to the poverty and moral destitution of girls, Dedicated to the service of the sick and the poor, Belonging to the Lord in life and in death, Our intercessor before the Divine Heart,
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
L. Pray for us, Blessed Mother Klara. A. That after your example we may be zealous apostles of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
L: Let us pray. Almighty God, source of life and holiness, thanks to your grace, Blessed Klara Szczęsna, with absolute trust, consecrated her life for the glory of the Most Sacred Heart of your Son, and by her sacrificial service to the most needy, gave us an example of faithful love and humility. With confidence, we ask that through her intercession we may give witness to your eternal love before the world. Who live and reign for ever and ever. A. Amen.
Imprimatur: Metropolitan Curia of Krakow Krakow, June 7, 2015, No. 2050/2015 + Damian Muskus, Vicar General, Rev. Krzystof Tekiel, Notary of the Curia
NOVENA TO OBTAIN GRACES THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF BLESSED KLARA SZCZESNA Almighty God, source of life and holiness, I thank you for the graces bestowed on Blessed Klara Szczesna, who trusted you completely and dedicated her life for the glory of the Most Sacred Heart of your Son. In Christ, hidden in the Most Blessed Sacrament, she found the strength and light to discern the intentions of His Heart and to be of sacrificial service to her neighbor, giving an example of faithful love and humility. Teach me to imitate her in her love for the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and her zeal for spreading the Kingdom of His love, and through her intercession, hear my prayer, and grant me the grace of (…) which I ask of You, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Blessed Klara Szczesna, pray for us.
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