As you continue to prepare your heart for the coming of the Christ Child on Christmas, ask for the intercession of these holy men and women with one or more of these December novenas.
Immaculate Conception Novena
As we prepare for the birth of Christ, the Church invites us to meditate on Christ’s saving work by pondering the mystery of Mary’s Immaculate Conception throughout the month of December.
So while the Immaculate Conception Novena begins in November to end on the December 8th feast day, you can pray this Immaculate Conception novena any time during this month dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.
Saint Juan Diego Novena
On December 9, 1591, the Blessed Mother appeared to Juan Diego and asked him to build a chapel in her honor. Our Lady arranged roses in Juan Diego’s tilma and sent him to the Bishop to prove the legitimacy of the request. When Juan Diego opened his cloak, the roses fell out and an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was left behind.
The tilma with the miraculous image is on display in Mexico City and has brought about the conversion of many hearts.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Novena
Just a few days after the feast of Saint Juan Diego, the Church celebrates Our Lady of Guadalupe. During her visit, she spoke these comforting words to Juan Diego (and to us):
“Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?”
This Marian apparition reminds of the motherly love and tender care she has for each one of us. She is considered the patron of the Americas, as well as the unborn.
Saint Lucy Novena
Each December 13th, the feast of Saint Lucy is celebrated around the world with special devotion and traditions. At each mass, the Church calls on her intercession during the Eucharistic prayers.
This early Christian Virgin and Martyr suffered violence and a brutal death after refusing to break her vow of virginity. Traditionally it is believed that her eyes were gouged out during her torture and were miraculously restored after her death.
Saint John of the Cross Novena
Saint John of the Cross, Carmelite mystic and Doctor of the Church, played an important role in Spain’s Counter-Reformation. He founded several monasteries in Spain and wrote extensively on suffering and the soul’s journey to God.
His writings, particularly his most famous work The Dark Night of the Soul, are still considered to be a poetic and spiritual masterpiece.
Saint Stephen Novena
In the Acts of the Apostles, the Apostles, needing help to serve the poor, ordained seven righteous men to the deaconate among them Saint Stephen. As a man of great faith and filled with the Holy Spirit, Stephen worked many miracles and won debates against those who opposed him.
He went on to become the first Christian martyr, begging God to receive his spirit as his enemies stoned him to death. Invoke the intercession of this courageous saint with this novena, beginning December 18th.
Holy Family Novena
The Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Family on the First Sunday after Christmas.
God chose to be made man through a human family, giving each Christian family an model of how to put Christ at the center of our own homes and families. We look to the example of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph and see the self-sacrificial love that we should pursue.
Ask the holiest of families, the Holy Family, to intercede for your family, that through their help, you may follow in their footsteps.
Holy Innocents Novena
Just a few days after Christmas on December 28, we remember the lives lost in Herod’s crusade to kill the Christ Child.
After hearing about the birth of the newborn “King of the Jews,” Herod, fearing the loss of his power, ordered his soldiers to kill every male child under the age of two in Bethlehem and the surrounding areas.
These young children were truly the first martyrs, as they were killed in place of Jesus. Pray to these young saints, especially for babies and the prolife movement with the Holy Innocents Novena starting December 16th.
Mary, Mother of God Novena
On the first day of the new year, we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God which remembers both the circumcision of Christ and one of the four Marian dogmas.
The title “Theotokos” or “God-bearer” went uncontested for several centuries in the early church; the Council at Ephesus proclaimed this title as dogma in response to the Nestorian Heresy. This title of Our Lady plays an integral part in christological dogma as it affirms Jesus’ dual nature as both God and man.
Bring your petitions to the Mother of God and the Mother of the Church through this novena. Begin Christmas Eve to finish on this important feast.
Saint Basil the Great Novena
Many refer to Saint Basil the Great as the “Father of Eastern Monasticism” since he founded one of the first monasteries in Asia Minor. The influence of Basil, a Theologian and Bishop, spread far and wide, even inspiring Saint Benedict’s monastic rule.
He helped to combat the Arian heresy running rampant during his time and contributed to the doctrine on the trinity. His contributions to the Church has led him to be named a
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Novena
Not only did Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton faithfully live her vocation as a wife and a mother, but she also established the first Catholic school in America.
After the death of her husband, she founded the first women’s religious order in the United States–the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s–which started Catholic schools and orphanages.
Seton became the first canonized United States citizen and is considered the patroness of widows, orphans, and Catholic schools. The novena to the holy woman begins on December 27th.