Novena in Verse to the Virgin of Guadalupe
Novena de nuestra madre, y señora la santísima virgen María de Guadalupe, por los títulos de la Salve. Puebla: en la Oficina de los Heredores da la viuda de Miguel Ortega, 1774.
The novena is a type of Christian prayer book developed for especially urgent heavenly petitions. Immensely popular among Catholics in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Mexico, the novena (from the Latin “novem,” meaning nine) contains a selection of brief vernacular prayers to be read over a nine-day period in the hope of obtaining special graces, favors, aid, or guidance. These inexpensive booklets often were illustrated with a devotional image depicting the addressee of the prayers.
This novena to the Virgin of Guadalupe, the only recorded copy, is composed in verse with each page of text presented within a double-rule border. The anonymous author, identified as a Dominican priest from the Colegio de San Luis de Los Ángeles, explains that he chose to present the text in poetic form as it provided an easy method for both learning the novena and praising the Virgin Mary.
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