Before Jesus ascended into heaven He directed His disciples to remain in Jerusalem
and "wait for the promise of the Father" (Acts1:4). His disciples, along with Mary, His Mother, waited in the upper
room and here they "devoted themselves to prayer" (Acts 1:14). Nine days later they realized that "promise of the Father"
as the Holy Spirit came upon them, empowering them to proclaim the Good News.
This is the model for the many novenas that have developed over the ages.
Novena means "nine days." Novenas are private, personal devotions rather than "official" liturgical devotions.
They date back to Roman times. The first novenas were nine days of Masses and prayers for the soul of the deceased.
The novena was prayed in particular at the death of a pope or cardinal. This type of novena may have arisen because
Scripture says that Jesus died at the "nineth hour."
Most novenas consist of a novena prayer that is repeated daily. Additionally,
on each of the nine days there are specific prayers and reflections for the particular day. Reception of the sacraments
of confession and Communion often are incorporated in the nine-day devotion.
In addition, to praying for the souls of the departed and for preparation of
anticipation feasts such as Advent or Lent, many novenas have been developed as an offering to a specific saint for particular
needs. Rather than a novena of preparation, these were novenas of prayers for particular needs and could occur at anytime
during the year. Many who suffered from illness or had specific needs would pray for nine consecutive days and ask the
intercession of a saint for healing or assistance.
Taken from The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions written by Mike Aquilina and Regis J.
Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes,
the Immaculate Conception
Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe
Novena of St. Rita of Cascia
Saint of the Impossible
Novena of St. Gerard Majella
Patron saint of those praying for motherhood,
of expectant mothers, and women in childbirth
Novena of St. Catherine of Siena
Patroness against miscarriages
Novena of St. Anne
Patroness of Mothers and Grandmothers
Novena of the Holy Family
As a result of feeling the call to fully honor our Blessed Mother, on December
13, 2003, I began a new discussion board. This board is for every devoted Catholic woman. She may be married or
single; she may already have a family or just starting one; she may be trying to conceive or using natural family planning
to avoid for now; she may be pregnant or facing the cross of infertility. We may look very different, or we may
look oddly familiar. However, no matter what our lives look like, the one thread that binds us together is our
devotion to the Roman Catholic Church...it's faith and doctrines. Please stop by. We would love for you to
be a part of our family at "Handmaidens of the Lord". You may access our home by clicking the following blinkie...