1 Thessalonians 4:13–17
Concerning those who have died
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. For this, we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
From the Apostolic Process of Toulouse
From the Reminiscences of Mother Germaine
We ought to pray for the dying
During the Apostolic Process in Toulouse Sister Agnes shared that one day Saint Elizabeth said to her prioress, “When the end comes, you won’t be there to hold my hand.”
“Our Blessed Lady will be there,” said Mother Germaine, “and it is she who will stretch out her hand to you.”
“Yes, that it is true,” Elizabeth replied. “Janua Caeli [Mary, Gate of Heaven] will surely let little Laudem Gloriae pass.”
What a solemn hour I have reached! There is something awe-inspiring about the world beyond. It seemed as though I had lived there a long time yet, notwithstanding, it is the unknown… Oh, how we ought to pray for the dying! I would gladly spend my eternity beside them, to help them, for there is something frightening about death!… As for me, although detached from everything, I seem to feel something indefinable: something of the justice and the holiness of God. I am conscious that death is a punishment, and I feel so little, so wanting in merits! How the dying need to be encouraged!…
“O, Love! Love!” she cried out, after one of her bad attacks. “Thou knowest if I love Thee; if I long to see Thee; Thou knowest also how I am suffering. Nevertheless, thirty, forty years, if Thou willest! I am ready. Spend all my substance for Thy glory. May it distill, drop by drop, for Thy Church!”
O Saint Elizabeth!
In your great love of God,
You were always so close
to your friends’ needs.
Now, in Heaven,
Face to face with the Lord,
Do intervene near Him
for the needs we recommend to you.
(Make your request)
Teach us how to abide,
in Love and Faith,
with the Holy Trinity
in the utmost of our hearts.
Teach us how to radiate God’s Love
amongst men, in our everyday life
just as you did yourself,
so that we may be a praise of God’s glory.
(pray slowly, “be aware that you are with Him”)
(three times, in praise of the indwelling Trinity)
de Meester, C 2017, Rien moins que Dieu: sainte Elisabeth de la Trinité, Presses de la Renaissance, Paris.
All scripture references in this novena are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America as accessed from the Bible Gateway website.
Don’t become discouraged and give up prayer, says St. John of the Cross. We offer varying novenas to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, as well as novenas to St. Joseph, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, and St. Edith Stein.Let us unite in prayer