Prayer campaigns being promoted in the Archdiocese of Denver are described below.
Novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots
Sept. 28-Oct. 6
Archbishop Samuel Aquila encourages prayer warriors to join him in a nine-day devotion with the intention of “undoing the knot of abortion” in Colorado and the United States. The novena begins on the feast of Our Lady Undoer of Knots and continues through the vigil of the feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. Seminarians of St. John Vianney Theological Seminary wrote daily meditations to orient the joint prayer.
The devotion originated in Germany, inspired by story of a married man, Wolfgang Langenmantel, who sought counsel from Jesuit Father Jakob Rem to save his marriage. On Sept. 28, 1615, he brought the couple’s wedding ribbon—symbolizing the unbreakable bond of marriage—to the appointment. The priest raised it before an image of Our Lady of the Snows while symbolically untying knots. As he smoothed the ribbon, it became white as snow, which was taken as confirmation that their prayers had been heard, and indeed, the marriage was saved. In 1700, the couple’s grandson commissioned a painting commemorating the event. It hangs in the Church of St. Peter am Perlach in Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany and is venerated as Mary Untier of Knots.
Father Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, discovered the devotion while studying in Germany, and brought it back to his native Argentina, where it remains popular, as well as throughout South America.
To pray the novena: Begin by reading a short reflection written by a seminarian. Make the sign of the cross and say the Prayer to Our Lady Undoer of Knots written by Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio/Pope Francis. Pray an act of contrition, followed by the first three decades of the rosary. Read and reflect on the meditation of the day, then say the last two decades of the rosary. Finish with the closing Prayer to Our Lady the Undoer of Knots.
The reflections, prayers and daily meditations are available online here.
40 Days for Life
Sept. 24-Nov. 2
Forty Days for Life is a campaign of prayer and fasting, constant vigil, and community outreach to end abortion. The most visible components of the campaign are peaceful prayer vigils held outside abortion clinics, generally from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Individuals and groups are asked to commit to particular days to ensure continuous prayer. The initiative began in Bryan-College Station, Texas, in 2004. Since then, an estimated 625,000 individuals have participated in 539 cities: sparing 8,973 lives from abortion and contributing to the shut-down of 57 abortion facilities. Masses will be held across the street from Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains at 7155 E. 38th Ave. in Denver at 1 p.m. Sept. 24, 11:30 a.m. Sept. 29; 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m. and noon (Latin Mass) Oct. 4. Archbishop Aquila will pray the rosary there at 11 a.m. Oct. 1. For more information, visit www.40daysforlife.com/Denver, call 720-981-1675 or email 40Days@CCDenver.org.
Our Lady of Czestochowa icon
Sept. 27-Oct. 5
A replica of the famous icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, also known as the Black Madonna, will travel through Colorado as part of a worldwide pilgrimage organized by Human Life International. Through the tour HLI hopes “the number of people who discover and defend the dignity of the human being from conception to natural death will continuously increase.” Miracles and healings have been credited as a result of praying with the icon, including outside abortion clinics. The icon will visit eight parishes as well as Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. For more information, visit www.hli.org/oceantoocean, www.DenverCatholicRegister.org or see the related story here.
International Week of Prayer and Fasting
Sept. 20-Sept. 28
The International Prayer and Fasting Coalition urges people of all faiths to a worldwide week (nine days) of prayer and fasting for peace, with the specific intention of stopping the brutality of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). During the campaign, already in progress, citizens are urged to participate as individuals, families and parishes by attending daily Masses, holy hours, going to confession, fasting and praying prayers such as the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. For more information visit iwopf.org.