PRAYER BEFORE THE HOLY CRIB, WHICH IS VENERATED IN THE LIBERIAN BASILICA (ST. MARY MAJOR).
I adore Thee, O Word Incarnate, true Son of God from all eternity, and true Son of Mary ever Virgin in the fullness of time. Whilst, then, I adore Thy Divine Person, and the Humanity which is thereunto united, I cannot but venerate the poor manger which welcomed Thee when an Infant, and which was truly the throne of Thy love. Let me prostrate myself before it, with the simplicity of the shepherds, with the faith of Joseph, with the love of Mary! Let me incline myself in lowly veneration of this precious memorial of our salvation with the same spirit of mortification, poverty, and humility with which Thou, though the Lord of heaven and of earth, didst choose for Thyself a manger as a receptacle of Thy poor infant limbs. And Thou, O Lord, who in Thine Infancy didst deign to lay Thyself in this manger, vouchsafe at the same time to pour into my heart one drop of that joy which both the sight of Thy lovely Infancy, and the miracles which accompanied Thy Birth, must needs have caused. In virtue of that holy Birth, here I now implore Thee to grant to all the world peace and good-will; and I desire, in the name of the whole human race, to render all thanks and all honour to the Father, and to the Holy Spirit, who with Thee liveth and reigneth one God world without end. Amen.