As March begins, let us call to mind the special intentions we hold in our hearts and offer it to God with one of the novenas that begin this month.
Saint Frances of Rome was an Italian wife, mother, and mystic. She suffered from such intense social anxiety that she often remained bedridden.
Frances miraculously recovered after a vision of St. Alexis telling her that God would heal her and that her life would glorify God. She went on to become the founder of the Oblates of Mary, a lay Benedictine order for women who dedicated themselves to serving God and serving the poor.
As Jesuit priest Fr. Marcello Mastrilli lay on his deathbed after an accident, he had a vision of St. Francis Xavier.St. Francis Xavier spoke to him saying:
“All those who implore my help daily for nine consecutive days, from the fourth to the twelfth of March inclusive and worthily receive the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion on one of the nine days will experience my protection and may hope with entire assurance to obtain from God any Grace they ask that is for the good of their souls and the glory of God.”
Fr. Mastrilli then experienced a miraculous healing and went on to become a martyr for the faith.
St. Matilda, a holy and pious wife, mother, and Queen.
Matilda married Henry, the Duke of Saxony. The couple had five children. Her son Otto went on to restore the Holy Roman Empire.
As Queen, she established many convents in the Kingdom of the East Franks and used her wealth to perform many charitable works.
The Church considers her the patron saint of large families and also a powerful intercessor for our government leaders. The St. Matilda Novena begins March 5th.
St. Patrick first arrived in Ireland as a slave, captured from his home by pirates. During his time in the pagan country, his own Christian faith deepened.
Patrick’s faith grew so much that even after his miraculous escape, he eventually went back to Ireland willingly–this time as a missionary and Bishop. He built many churches throughout the country and converted thousands of people.
St. Alexander, or Alexander of Jerusalem, became the first bishop of Cappadocia.
Alexander faced two persecutions during his time as Bishop–first under the Emperor Severus and again during the reign of Emperor Decius–but he never gave up his faith. Instead of renouncing his belief, Alexander proclaimed it more publicly, choosing torture and death rather than denying God.
Despite many attempts to take his life, Alexander died in prison still holding fast to the faith.
As the head of the Holy Family, Saint Joseph plays an important role in Salvation History. He took care of Christ and the Blessed Mother and serves as a powerful example of virtue and holiness.
Not only does the Church celebrate a Solemnity in his honor, but she also sets aside an entire month to show him special reverence and devotion.
You can pray the St. Joseph Novena anytime during the Month of St. Joseph, but especially beginning March 10th to end on his feast day.
On March 25th, nine months before Christmas, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation. On this very special feast we remember the angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary and Mary’s yes to become the Mother of God.
On this feast we honor the great gift of the Incarnation, of God becoming man to bring about our salvation.
If you plan to pray any of these novenas, make sure you sign up to get the daily prayers delivered right to your inbox.