15% Off Summer Reads

Throughout July, enjoy 15% off* our recommended short reads, to help you take time out with the Lord.

Shop the Offer


Novena to the Ulma Family – Day 8

Prepare for the beatification of the Ulma family on 10th September 2023 by praying this official beatification novena, reflecting on the Ulmas' path to the glory of heaven.

Day eight: Blessed are the peacemakers
Friday, Sept. 8, 2023
22nd week in Ordinary Time
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God” (Mt 5:9).

In our novena prior to the beatification of the Ulma family, today we celebrate the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We can therefore link the seventh beatitude, dedicated to the peacemakers, with Mary, who gave birth to Jesus the Messiah, the “Prince of Peace” (Is 9:5). No wonder we call her the “Queen of Peace.” And because the fruit of Her womb was the Blessed One, she is the first to be blessed. This was first expressed by Elizabeth, who during the visitation addressed a blessing towards Mary: “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled” (Lk 1:45).

Thanks to Mary, her blessing in Jesus Christ remains open to each and every one of us. It becomes a reality when, like her, we accept the word of God in the spirit of faith and live it out, bringing true peace to people. Mary, the irreplaceable guide on the paths of salvation, helps us in this. This is also confirmed by the testimony of the life of the Ulma family. They were people of peace, which was evident in relation to their family, neighbors and friends. As the Queen of Peace, Mary was particularly close to them during the atrocities of the war. Firmly believing in her intercession, they faithfully entrusted themselves to Christ, the only provider of peace and hope for them.

Let us ask Mary to support us too in our efforts for peace. Also, since every sin brings disharmony, discord and hatred into human life, let us apologize to God for anything we may have contributed in this regard.

Prayer prompts:

– The world alone will not give people peace if they break God’s law, departing from Christ and his Gospel. As we abide in prayer before the Lord, let us enter into communion with him, that he may grant us the peace that the world cannot give (cf. Jn 14:27). Let us then express our consent to our lives, for Christ is stronger than any sin and evil we are confronted with.

– The need for peacemaking is revealed wherever people make up a community of daily life. This applies to every community, starting with one’s own family. Let us therefore turn to Christ, praying in the words of St. Francis: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.” And if, instead of bringing peace, we instill anxiety, agitation and tension, let us earnestly ask for the transformation and tranquility of our inner selves through closeness to Christ.

– In life, we are often confronted with conflicts and disagreements. When this happens, we should not hide or ignore them, but rather try to resolve them, guided by the wisdom of the Gospel. This will always require great humility and modesty, as well as a willingness to accept suffering and sacrifices. In prayer, let us revive our trust that, with God’s help, we will be able to resolve all the difficult and conflicting situations we are currently struggling with.

This novena was written for the Archdiocese of Przemysl. The English translation is courtesy of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication. Find the entire novena here

Images credit: From the archive of Mateusz Szptyma. All rights reserved.

Learn More About the Ulma Family

Józef and Wiktoria Ulma and their seven children will become the first family to be beatified at once on 10th September 2023! Their seventh child will become the first unborn child to be beatified.

Under the Nazi occupation of Poland during World War II, Jews were indiscriminately arrested, imprisoned, and killed. Christians who helped them hide or escape placed themselves in the same peril. Josef and Wiktoria Ulma, who, guided by the parable of the Good Samaritan, which was underlined in red ink in the family Bible, sheltered a Jewish family in their village of Markowa. As a result, in 1944, Josef, Wiktoria, and their seven small children – one not yet born – were murdered by the Nazis. This biography tells the story of the heroic virtue and sacrifice that lead to their beatification.

Click here to learn more about and order the book