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Novenas...Nine days of prayer
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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. Flaherty.

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'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...