How to Pick A Novena to Pray

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With the countless number of novenas out there, it can be overwhelming trying to pick one to pray. To decide, consider your prayer intention, any personal devotions or patrons you already have, and the novena prayer dates coming up. 

First thing’s first: figure out your prayer intention.

Truly take some time in prayer to identify what you’d like to bring to the Lord. Your intention can be general, specific, for yourself, for your friend, for the world as a whole; the options are endless. And don’t be afraid to be bold in your petition; after all, Saint Teresa of Avila reminds us that “[y]ou pay God a compliment by asking great things of Him.” 

Once you have settled on your prayer intention, find out who the patron saint of the subject is or any saint that has a connection to it in some way. 

For example, if you’d like to pray for pregnant women to be courageous and choose life, a novena to Saint Gianna Beretta Molla would be a great choice as she is a patron saint of mothers and she herself experienced a complicated pregnancy. 

Or perhaps your intention is for a dying family member to have peace in their time left on earth; Saint Joseph is the patron saint of a happy death, so a novena to St. Joseph would fit well. 

Don’t worry if there isn’t a perfect fit for what you are praying for. Your prayers will be heard no matter what!  

Lean into the Devotions and Patrons you have.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel so to speak when choosing a novena to pray. Sometimes, it’s good to stick to what and who you know. Do you have some spiritual friends or powerhouses you go to time and time again? A confirmation saint, namesake, or a saint whom you ask for prayers from often? A saint like this makes for a great choice even if the traditional prayer dates (their feast day, for example) don’t align with when you’d like to pray since there is already a sense of closeness between you and the saint as well as a shared intimacy that comes with prayer and relationship with the Lord. It also can simplify the decision-making process if you are having a hard time choosing.

You can also let your devotions lead you. Perhaps you have a special devotion to Divine Mercy, the Sacred Heart of Jesus or the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Corpus Christi, or the Holy Trinity. Not all novenas are connected to a saint; there are plenty that come from devotions in the Church and would make for a wonderful addition to your prayer life, especially if you already have a special love for the subject matter.  

Choose Upcoming Feast Days

The traditional way novenas were prayed is by praying in the days leading up to a saint’s feast day. This is a beautiful way to engage in ancient tradition as well as praying the same prayers at the same time as Catholics all around the world. 

You can easily look up the church calendar and scan through the feast days in the near future; pick one you’d like to pray, find the novena prayers on our website, and begin 9 days before the feast. Choosing a novena based on the calendar can be a wonderful experience; you might just get to know a new saint or develop a new devotion because of it. 

You can also look through all the novenas we have and see what intentions might be a good fit for you here.

Regardless of how you pick which novena to pray, the most important thing is that you choose one! The Lord is lovingly and patiently awaiting you in prayer and you cannot go wrong in praying to Him with a receptive and loving heart.   

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