St Francis Q&A

Friday, June 12, 2009

Special graces and favors

Eucharistic Adoration, tonight, 7-8 pm, SAA Church. Please join us!!

Anon posted the following: “I have a question that will probably sound stupid to many- but what is the purpose of novena? How is it different to any other form of prayer?”

This is a good definition from “A novena is a nine-day period of private or public prayer to obtain special graces, to implore special favors, or to make special petitions. (Novena is derived from the Latin "novem", meaning nine.) As the definition suggests, the novena has always had more of a sense of urgency and neediness.” Ewtn also provides examples of novenas on its site; please click on today’s title to view the site.

After Adoration tonight, I will celebrate Mass in the home of the family of a parishioner who died last Thursday. The family has been praying a novena since then and asked for a Mass as a great way to finish the novena. I don’t know what kind of novena they have been praying and if they have been doing it individually each day or together, but what a beautiful offering for the repose of the soul of their loved one.

The parish offers at least a few novenas during the year. We pray the Miraculous Medal Novena on Mondays after the 8:30 am Mass. From Good Friday to Divine Mercy Sunday we have offered the Divine Mercy Novena. On this site, we prayed a novena for the election last year; you can go to October ‘08 and November ’08 in the “Archives” section to see it. I have known of many people praying novenas before and after major events in their lives or in the lives of family or friends (weddings, ordinations, job interviews, funerals, etc.). Something special often happens when specific intentions are presented in specific ways to the Kingdom of God over a period of time. As the definition indicated, this is usually in the form of special graces.

For example, someone might pray a novena to St Joseph for the sale of their home; he is the patron saint of home life (and home selling). The below example of a novena to St Joseph includes naming the petition which can be anything, of course. But, it’s most efficacious to take specific intentions to those who have abundant graces in those areas. St Joseph is also the patron saint of a happy death. The coolest example I’ve heard of with this was Fr. Bill Finch: he died after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday at the statue of St Joseph. It seems that Fr. Finch had a devotion to St Joseph and that his devotion was rewarded with a happy death. Powerful intercessor, that St Joe!

St. Joseph Novena

Feast of St. Joseph

Novena Dates March 10-18, Feast Day March 19
O good father Joseph! I beg you, by all your sufferings, sorrows and joys, to obtain for me what I ask.

(Here name your petition).

Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers, everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Be near to me in my last moments, that I may eternally sing the praises of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Amen.

(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be)


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