OUR LADY OF THE CINCTURE (OUR LADY OF CONSOLATION)

Feast of Our Lady of Consolation - September 4 (Augustinian Order)
The devotion to to Our Lady of Consolation /Cincture happened when St. Monica in a vision received a black leather belt from the Blessed Virgin, who assured the holy widow that she would take under her special protection all those who wore it in her honor. In return, Monica gave it to her son, Augustine who later changed his ways and eventually became one of the saints in the Roman Catholic Church.
There were two separate confraternities founded in the 15th century, the Confraternity of Our Lady of Consolation and the Confraternity of the Cincture of St. Augustine which later united into one by the power of the papal bull and formed an archconfraternity which has affiliations all over the world.
In March, 1575, it was ordained that all confraternities of the black leathern belt should be aggregated to the archconfraternity at Bologna, Italy. Manila became the seat of this devotion in Asia. The devotion later spread to the provinces. Many chapters were formed in order to share its privileges and indulgences. The confraternity gives spiritual monetary assistance to people especially the poor who wishes to pursue a religious vocations. The asylum of Our Lady of Consolation was built to aid the victims of the cholera outbreak of 1882. It was situated at the site where Don Bosco University in Mandaluyong now lies. The confraternity was consecrated at the San Agustin Church where its members are obliged to wear a correa.

Chaplet of St. Monica for Despondent Mothers
Composed by M. Kadala and R. Eicher
This chaplet comprises a medal and 32 beads --- one for each year St. Monica wept and prayed for the conversion and salvation of her son, Augustine. There are two beads on the pendant, and six groups of five beads (one large and four small).
Begin on the medal with the prayer of St. Monica:
"O holy Monica, by your burning tears and unceasing prayers, you did save your son from eternal damnation. Obtain for us the grace ever to comprehend what is most conducive to the salvation of our children, so that we may effectively restrain them from the way of sin and lead them by that of virtue and piety to heaven!"

On the first pendant bead, pray Our Father
On the second pendant bead, pray Come, Holy Spirit, 
Come, Holy Spirit, and fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your Divine Love. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created, and You shall renew the face of the earth. Oh God, Who by the light of the Holy Spirit instructed the hearts of the faithful, Grant, that by the same Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation. We ask this through Christ Our Lord.

On the loop:
For each group of five, on the large bead, pray one of the petitions below, followed by Hail Mary on each of the four small beads:

1) I join my tears to yours --- against the spirit of Despair, toward the spirit of Hope --- Saint Monica, pray for me (us) in the Holy Name of Jesus!
4 Hail Marys...

2) I join my tears to yours --- against the spirit of Anger, toward the spirit of Love --- Saint Monica, pray for me in the Holy Name of Jesus!
4 Hail Marys...

3) I join my tears to yours --- against the spirit of Blame, toward the spirit of Forgiveness --- Saint Monica, pray for me in the Holy Name of Jesus!
4 Hail Marys...

4) I join my tears to yours --- against the spirit of Suspicion, toward the spirit of Trust --- Saint Monica pray for me in the Holy Name of Jesus!
4 Hail Marys...

5) I join my tears to yours --- against the spirit of Doubt, toward the spirit of Faith --- Saint Monica, pray for me in the Holy Name of Jesus!
4 Hail Marys...

6) I join my tears to yours --- against the spirit of Fear, toward the spirit of Peace --- Saint Monica, pray for me in the Holy Name of Jesus!
4 Hail Marys...

Returning to pendant, on the first bead pray:
"Saint Monica, Exemplary mother of the great Augustine, you perserveringly pursued your wayward son not with wild threats but with prayerful cries to heaven. Intercede for all mothers in our day so that they may learn to draw their children to God. Teach them how to remain close to their children, even the prodigal sons and daughters who have sadly gone astray."

On the next pendant bead, pray:
"O great Saint Augustine, take our children under your protection! To our efforts in their behalf, join your intercession for them with God. Exert all your influence and, with the compassion of your loving heart, intercede with the Most Holy Trinity for them. Permit not that our children, sanctified in the waters of baptism, should through mortal sin be banished from the presence of God and suffer eternal punishment."

On the medal:
"Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Eternal Father, have mercy on us and on our children! Lord, graciously hear us! Amen."

Novena Chaplet to St. Monica
~ from the Triduum prayers of the Sodality of St. Monica

Introductory Prayer

On the medal pray:
Eternal and merciful Father, I give You thanks for the gift of Your Divine Son Who suffered, died and rose for all mankind. I thank You also for my Catholic Faith and ask Your help that I may grow in fidelity by prayer, by works of charity and penance, by reflection on Your Word, and by regular participation in the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist.

You gave Saint Monica a spirit of selfless love manifested in her constant prayer for the conversion of her son Augustine. Inspired by boundless confidence in Your power to move hearts, and by the success of her prayer. I ask the grace to imitate her constancy in my prayer for [name(s)] who no longer share(s) in the intimate life of Your Catholic family. Grant through my prayer and witness that (he/she/they) may be open to the promptings of Your Holy Spirit, and return to loving union with Your Church. Grant also that my prayer be ever hopeful and that I may never judge another, for You alone can read hearts. I ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayer for Faith
On the first triplet, pray:
O glorious St. Monica, transfixed with sorrow when you saw your beloved child Augustine living in the dark and gloomy abyss of error and vice, and straying far from the right path which leads to true felicity in the possession of God and his holy grace, hear our prayer, O afflicted mother. 
By that cruel sorrow which, with so much patience, you bore; and by those earnest sighs and bitter tears with which you appealed to God to change the heart of your prodigal son; by your wondrous confidence in God, which was never shaken, O grant to us, your children, that we may, like you, place all our trust in God, and in our trials and troubles be ever resigned to his holy will; while we ask you, 
O glorious mother St. Monica, to supply for us our special needs, we here earnestly ask you to pray for the erring children of Jesus, so many Augustines, straying from God and hurrying to ruin. Let that earnest prayer of yours go forth once more for us and for sinners, that we may live in the light of divine grace, and be united again thereafter to bless the bounty of a loving God for eternity. Amen.

Followed by:
Our Father . . . Hail Mary . . . Glory Be . . .Saint Monica, pray for us.

Prayer for Hope
On the second triplet, pray:
O glorious mother, St. Monica, who, despite the many means you employed to accomplish the conversion of your son Augustine seemed fruitless, though for a long time God himself appeared deaf to your earnest prayer and unmoved by your ever-flowing tears, did never lose confidence in obtaining the long-sought grace for Augustine. 
You did lovingly and tenderly admonish your erring son; you did watch over him ever with all a mother's love, and fearless of danger and heedless of fatigue, follow him from place to place in his weary and wayward wanderings; in a word, all that a mother's tender love could suggest, all that a mother's anxious solicitude could inspire, all that a wondrous prudence and true wisdom could dictate, you, O great St. Monica, cheerfully did to effect the return to God of your firstborn and darling child. 
By all these generous efforts, so happily crowned in the end, hear, O mother, the petitions we make to you. Pray for us, too, and pray especially for those who are unmindful of and ungrateful to God. To you, O dearest mother, we are especially dedicated; look upon us, then, as your children, and win for us the grace we need. Regard mercifully the most destitute amongst us, that sin being diminished, the number of the faithful may increase, and greater glory may be given to Him who is the best of friends, the truest of benefactors, our first beginning and last end, the source of all our hope, our Savior, our God. Amen

Followed by:
Our Father . . . Hail Mary . . . Glory Be . . . Saint Monica, pray for us.

Prayer for Charity
On the third triplet, pray:
O glorious mother St. Monica, who can conceive the consolation that abounded in your heart, so long the home of brooding sorrow, when you saw your child Augustine rising in the light of grace and giving himself generously to God; when you folded your converted son in your arms, and tears of very joy streamed forth to tell the glowing jubilee of your heart. 
Oh, how in that moment God in his mercy recompensed your years of sorrow and anxiety, your long and weary days of racking suspense. It was impossible that a child of tears like yours should perish; and when your son Augustine heart the call of God, he obeyed it, and his life and his deeds flung a luster all their own on you, St. Monica. 
O fortunate mother, twice mother of your child, deign to listen to our prayers and present our petitions to God; look lovingly, and with all a mother's interest on us assembled here, under your protection, to honor you. We love you; let us become, as St. Augustine of old, the objects of your maternal love. Pray that we, too, like St. Augustine, may have strength to cling to God, and triumph over sin and temptation. By your prayers break the fetters of sin that hold in cruel bondage the souls of your sinful children in this world. 
O mother, pray that the miracle of grace in the heart of Augustine may again and again be repeated in these days of universal sin, and that the erring children of Jesus may be let back to the fold; that, united here on earth, we may securely go through the dangers of life and be united with you, our mother, in heaven for ever. Amen

Followed by:
Our Father. . . Hail Mary . . . Glory Be . . . Saint Monica, pray for us.

Concluding Prayers
On the crucifix pray:
O God, look graciously down upon your children who sigh in this valley of tears. Hopefully we pray for our daily bread, for the forgiveness of our sins, for the never-failing help of your grace, and for the faithful fulfillment of your promises: to find life everlasting and a happy abode with you in heaven, through the merits of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer.

May God, through the merits and intercession of Saint Monica, increase our faith, strengthen our hope, and enkindle the fire of charity in our hearts.
Amen
PHOTO: Madonna della Consolazione, Perugino c.1497
Frescoes at Dauis Church depicting the Virgin Mary removing the cincture and presenting it to St. Augustine and St. Monica
Our Lady of the Cincture. Mother of Consolation painting at Nagasaki's Augustinian church named in her honour.
OUR LADY OF THE CINCTURE (OUR LADY OF CONSOLATION) OUR LADY OF THE CINCTURE (OUR LADY OF CONSOLATION) Reviewed by Francisco Nascimento on 11:10 Rating: 5

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