Novenas have been a popular devotion among Catholics for centuries. They are a powerful way to pray in your daily life – most of the prayers take just a few minutes a day.
Though many novenas include a recommended start date, you can choose to pray a novena whenever you would like or need.
Here are a few instances you might think to pray a novena:
- In preparation for a sacrament, holiday, or special occasion
You can pray a Novena of Preparation in the nine days leading up to a major feast day, a holiday, an anniversary, or the reception of a sacrament like First Communion. These types of novenas can help you prepare–both mentally and spiritually–to more fully receive God’s grace on these joyful days.
- For a loved one
Prayer is the best gift you can give your family, friends, and loved ones. You can offer a novena for a particular relationship in your life, for a loved one’s specific intention, or for someone you know who has passed. You could also include a novena in your gift of a spiritual bouquet.
- For a specific intention
When you find yourself facing challenging circumstances, a difficult situation, or a specific need, you can take it to the Lord by praying a novena. There are novenas for almost any intention you might have, like when you need clarity for a situation or when you are preparing to take exams.
Over time, the Church has come to entrust certain petitions to particular saints like couples facing fertility issues, people suffering with illness, or those dealing with financial hardship, and you can ask for a saint’s intercessory prayer through a novena.
- As an act of devotion to a title of Jesus, Mary, or a specific saint
You can also pray a novena when you want to honor Jesus or Mary, or to show devotion to one of the saints. In this case, the novena is most often said in the nine days leading up to the saints’ feast day, but it doesn’t have to be – you can pray one at anytime.
- As a sign of Thanksgiving
Turning to God with our petitions is often much easier than turning to Him in thanksgiving. However, in the Gospel of Luke Jesus praised the one leper who returned to give thanks after he was healed. You can offer any novena as an act of thanksgiving but you can also offer this Novena of Gratitude.
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