N is for Novena

N is for Novena #atozchallenge @fillpraycloset on TwitterWhat the Novena? That’s what we’re going to discuss today. I will also share some of my favorites ones to pray (that should give you a hint).

Yesterday, I shared a typical day in the life of a new Catholic in only a way I can. In a word? FEET! Head over for a laugh and a toe’s worth of Maundy Thursday. We’ll just pray while we wait for you to catch up.

What is it?

The word novena (nōˈvēnə) is derived from the number nine. A novena is a set of prayers prayed over nine days. Novena’s have also been used as a term for prayers that last longer than nine days – such as the 54 day novena (I’ve prayed it!). Novena’s are usually prayers of petition (or making requests) but sometimes, they are of thanksgiving. That 54 day novena is one of them that includes both. Some novenas can be prayed with the intercession of a particular saint’s feast day. For example, I began praying the St. Francis de Sales Novena on January 15th, to end on January 23rd as his feast day (or day he died) is on January 24th.

Why did I choose to share this particular “N” with you?

I pray novenas. I have prayed novenas for the conversion of my husband, admittedly. I’ve prayed a novena to become a published writer, for someone’s healing from cancer and to undo the knots in my life. The list goes on and on. These novena’s are usually the same every night, however it causes one to focus, or derive meaning from different words depending on the events of your day. One word can speak different meanings to you on different days and that’s what I appreciate and love about novena’s the most. Sometimes, you don’t know what to pray. You don’t have the words, it’s hard to just sit and be still, enter the novena – it’s all written out for you. All you need to do is focus on your intentions and the people you are praying for.

@fillpraycloset #atozchallenge #novena #catholic

On to my favorites:

Our Lady Undoer of Knots (Pope Francis’ favorite and her image is right there on the left, it’s my ultimate favorite too!)
Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (a trusting let it all go kind of novena)
The Miraculous 54 day Rosary Novena (exactly, miraculous indeed)
Novena to St. Francis de Sales (Patron Saint of Writers and Journalists)

If you would rather go the reminder of what to pray and when to pray it, or don’t know which novena to pick, Pray More Novena’s will take care of all of that for ya. Join the Next Novena to Divine Mercy (remember that?!)

What would you pray for? If you share them, I would be honored, no thrilled, to pray for you. I’ll even start a novena for all of the intentions mentioned in the comments below. TONIGHT!

N is for Novena #atozchallenge
A group of pious women gathered for a novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, most likely a mourning event. circa 1940.

Come back tomorrow to read all about my Catholic take on the letter O. I am blogging my way through the alphabet with others who are doing the same. 

Please support the bloggers of the #AtoZchallenge by visiting, sharing or commenting. We have all worked long and hard to prepare these posts, some prepping for a couple of months, as we posted our regular schedule, took care of our children, went to work, had the flu…well, you get the idea.

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32 thoughts on “N is for Novena

  1. This reminds me of my great grandma, she used to make me kneel infront of the altar to pray novenas every single day with her! I used to grumble each time! When I got married, I turned to novena when I get too destraught with life. It makes it easier for me to transition to personal prayers, for some reasons.

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    1. For me, it’s an easy transition too. I sort of “let go” of my internal to-do list after a while and just focus on the words which then give way to reflective, meaningful and intentional prayer.

      Gotta love Grandma’s!

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    1. Remembering your blessings and being thankful can often be overlooked when praying – especially with all of our busyness. We just want to pray and ask and ask and ask! This is why I love the 54 Day Rosary Novena that includes praying the rosary (that I have to do every day and 27 days each of prayer intentions and thanksgiving!

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  2. The Novena of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is very popular in India, Cristina. In fact, there’s a Church here in Mumbai where on Wednesdays thousands of people (Catholic, Hindus and Muslims and other faiths) flock to. Personally, I’m not too much of a rote prayer person.

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    1. I need to get to Mumbai where the inter-faith party happens. I like to use rote prayer as a gateway (for lack of a better term) to personal prayer. I pray the Our Father for example as a way to focus my intentions on the prayer to come – from my heart ❤

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  3. Love it! I will be praying the Divine Mercy novena as well. I’m going to check out the Our Lady, Undoer of Knots novena! I have several knots that need untangled. I would really appreciate you praying for one of my children who is just going through a rough time right now. Thank you. 🙂

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    1. DONE! Thank you SO much for leaving an intention, Jaime. I love those and used to post every week asking for them. I need to get back to that and this reminded me. That Undoer of Knots is a good one. If you do pray it, let me know what you think. And I will see you for the Divine Mercy Novena!

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  4. So many unfamiliar terms!

    Prayer does help keep me mentally and emotionally stable. I didn’t know there were terms for certain types though.

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  5. I have never heard about the ‘Our Lady Undoer of Knots’ Novena. The one to the Sacred Heart has been quite a popular one in the parish where I was raised. (Sacred Heart Church). I’m not really a Novena person as I get too distracted by repetitive prayers but I can see how they help if you are able to keep your focus. My guess for tomorrow, if I am allowed to say it – the Our Father? Don’t tell – I’ll see it in a few hours. 🙂

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  6. Our family is big on the Saint Theresa Novena.
    I haven’t said one for awhile? What a great day to start.
    I will add you and your writing to my prayers.

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    1. Oh yes! St. Therese of Lisieux is my confirmation saint! Never to late or early to pray a novena! Thank you for adding me to your prayers. That means a lot.
      +++

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  7. Great explanation! Since you asked for intentions…if you could keep my husband and I in your prayers as we have been waiting and praying to be blessed with a baby and it just has not been God’s perfect timing yet. And I will keep you in my prayers as well. God Bless!

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    1. I certainly do not want to intrude on Cristina’s blog but wanted to respond to your comment here because I feel your pain. We waited 14 years for our baby and it was quite the remarkable miracle. It is a huge part of my memoir I released last year. I don’t want to be rude on this post by asking you to connect with me but I know the pain you are going through and would love to connect with you on my blog. I hope Cristina will forgive me this one time :)??

      Carol @ Battered Hope

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  8. The Bible tells us to make our petitions known with thanksgiving. That is praying the answer and not the problem. If God has promised it in his Word, we already have the answer, we need to learn to be patient and trust that He will do what He said He would do — that is why we can pray with thanksgiving in our hearts

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