November marks the last few weeks of the liturgical year and ushers the Church into the Advent season. As you enter into this time, consider asking these holy men and women to accompany you on your spiritual journey.
All Souls Day Novena
The Church dedicates the month of November to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, so although the official start date for the All Souls Day Novena is in October, you can pray this novena any time during this month to remember your deceased friends and family members.
Saint Cecilia is among the most famous Roman martyrs, and her name is included in the Eucharistic prayer among the most highly venerated Virgin Martyrs.
Despite her vow of virginity, Cecilia’s parents forced her to marry Valerian, a pagan. Because of God’s grace and through a vision of an angel protecting Cecilia, Valerian not only respected her vow, but later converted to Christianity and joined Cecilia as a martyr.
Christ the King
The Church celebrates the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, more commonly known as the Feast of Christ the King, on the final Sunday of the Liturgical year.
The feast not only reminds us of the power and dominion that Jesus has, but also reminds us, as we close out the year, of His heavenly glory in which we hope to one day share.
Blessed Miguel Pro
Blessed Miguel Pro became a martyr during the Catholic persecution in Mexico. He was a Jesuit priest who faithfully served his flock until he died by firing squad shouting: “¡Viva Cristo Rey!”
The courage and love of God demonstrated by Miguel Pro sustained the faith of many Mexicans during this time and serves as a profound example for us even today.
Saint Catherine Laboure
In the 1800s, the Blessed Mother appeared to Saint Catherine Laboure, a French Nun in the Daughters of Charity. The Blessed Mother gave St. Catherine the design for the Miraculous Medal, which has become one of the most beloved devotions in the Church and through which many miracles have been worked.
Saint Andrew was the older brother of Saint Peter and an apostle of Christ. After Jesus’ death, Andrew went on to spread the Good News near the Black Sea in what is now Turkey and Greece. He died a martyr on an X-shaped cross. His great love for God and his evangelization efforts serve as a powerful example to the Church today.
Saint Nicholas was a 4th century Bishop and defender of the faith. He became known for his generosity and charity to those in need, and the legends around Saint Nicholas’ charity inspired the beloved tradition of Santa Claus that we know today.
Saint Ambrose went from an unbaptized layman to Bishop of Milan in just over a week. He was a great theologian who used his gifts to defend the faith against the Arian heresy. He also played a pivotal role in the conversion of Saint Augustine.
Immaculate Conception Novena
The feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrated December 8th remembers God’s preservation of the Blessed Mother from Original Sin at the moment of her conception. This grace was necessary for Mary to give her free and total yes and become the Mother of God. Through her, God took on flesh for the salvation of our sins.
As we prepare to celebrate the Incarnation on Christmas, we first remember and rejoice in the Immaculate Conception of Mary. The Immaculate Conception Novena begins November 30.
The Christmas Novena
The Saint Andrew’s Christmas novena begins on November 30th and is traditionally recited 15 times a day until Christmas; so this novena is unique in that it lasts for 25 days instead of the usual nine.
This novena calls to mind the birth of Christ, helping us to prepare to welcome the Christ Child into our hearts on Christmas Day. This powerful prayer will make an excellent addition to your Advent journey.