What Is a Novena?

Novena is widely known in the Christian community as their means of showing their devotion and their profound belief. During novena, devotees have opportunities to make petitions, implore favors, ask for forgiveness, and send their gratitude for the blessings they’ve received. To participate in a novena is to make a solemn promise to genuinely pray with particular intentions for the nine (9) days to complete the ritual.

History of Novena

“They entered the city of Jerusalem and went up to the room where they were staying: Peter, John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Patriot, and Judas son of James. They gathered frequently to pray as a group, together with women and with Mary, the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.”
Acts 1:13-14

Novenas originated from the nine days of prayer before Pentecost. After the Ascension, the apostles and disciples, in obedience to the Lord, gathered in the upper room and devoted themselves to contrast prayer, together with Mary. According to St. James, the number nine in the Holy Bible indicates suffering and grief. There are four kinds of novenas; mourning, preparation, prayer, and indulgences, with the sole purpose of obtaining special graces.
Centuries ago, members of the royal family, popes, and cardinals request novenas on their wills. In the Middle Age, a novena is customary for deceased sovereign pontiffs and was later known to be “Pope’s Novena.” Numerous novenas come to light with the existence of more anointed saints.

The Importance of Novena

As part of the Christian faith, it is essential to offer a series of solemn prayer to obtain a special favor from the divine grace. When praying in a novena, we long for God’s presence and intervention in our lives. By offering ourselves in prayer to the Almighty Father, we and those that we pray for receive His blessing.

When we pray in a novena, we grow in the virtue of hope because we learn to wait for the Lord’s blessing in prayer. Our prayer educates us of our priorities in life and helps us understand the role and importance of God in our lives. Moreover, novenas require and teach us about commitment and perseverance in concluding the ritual despite any crisis. Public and private novenas all work with the intention of doing whatever honors and glorifies God.

Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

O Most Blessed Mother, heart of love, heart of mercy, ever listening, caring, consoling, hear our prayer. As your children, we implore your intercession with Jesus your Son. Receive with understanding and compassion the petitions we place before you today, especially…

(special intentions)

We are comforted in knowing your heart is ever open to those who ask for your prayer. We trust to your gentle care and intercession, those whom we love and who are sick or lonely or hurting. Help all of us, Holy Mother, to bear our burdens in this life until we may share eternal life and peace with God forever. Amen.

Novena to the Blessed Mother

Oh Holy Mary, my Mother, into your blessed trust and special keeping, into the heart of your tender mercy, this day and every day of my life and at the hour of my death, I commend my soul and body; to you I entrust all my hopes and consolations, all my trials and miseries, my life and the end of my life, that through your most holy intercession and your merits, all my actions may be ordered and disposed to your will and that of your divine Son.

To your unfailing maternal care, I entrust my needs:

(special intentions)

Our Father…

Hail Mary…

Glory Be…


Additional Novenas