Aviva Directory » Faith & Spirituality » Prayer » Christian Prayer » Catholic Prayer » Novena

A Novena is a prayer or a set of prayers that are recited for nine consecutive days, hours, weeks, or even months.

Although Novenas are prayed by Lutherans, Anglicans, and Eastern Orthodox Christians, they are most often prayed by members of the Roman Catholic Church, and the practice is most often associated with Catholicism.

Catholic engage in Novenas for specific intentions or graces, often seeking the intercession of particular saints.

Expressed in Luke 18:1, Jesus Christ encourages Christians to pray persistently without becoming weary, and Novenas exemplify this persistence in prayer.

The Novenas of Mourning are believed to have been the earliest type of Novenas. They originated from the early Christian practice of offering nine days of Masses for the departed. For example, when Pope John Paul II died in 2005, the Church witnessed such a Novena. On the other hand, Preparation Novenas are joyful and anticipatory. They lead up to major feasts, such as the Christmas Novena, or to celebrate the founders of religious orders. Novenas of Petition developed among the laity and were initially petitions for good health. Over time, they expanded to include requests for other needs, an example being the Novena of Saint Hubert, which seeks protection against madness caused by a dog bite. Novenas for Indulgences overlap with other types of Novenas. The Church grants partial and plenary indulgences for more than thirty Novenas, including the recent Divine Merce Novena.

Practices and customs for Novenas include praying with intention. Catholics choose a specific intention or grace for their Novena, such as healing, guidance, or something else. Consistency is also important, as the faithful recite the designated prayers for nine consecutive days. Some Novenas lead up to feast days dedicated to particular saints or events.

Novenas often ask for the intercession of a saint. For example, a Novena to Saint Anthony might seek help finding a lost item.

Novenas express faith, persistence, and trust in God's response to our prayers. Whether seeking healing, guidance, or blessings, Catholics turn to Novenas as a powerful spiritual practice.

Online resources pertaining to Catholic Novenas are appropriate topics for this portion of our web guide.



Recommended Resources

Search for Novena on Google or Bing