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Answered Prayers from the Holy Spirit Novena, 2024

Thank you for joining us in praying the Holy Spirit Novena for Pentecost!

If you’ve had any of your prayers answered throughout this novena, you can share those with us all below.

We’re praying for you!

The Holy Spirit Novena for Pentecost, 2024

The next novena we’re praying is the original novena! It’s the Holy Spirit Novena for Pentecost!

Novenas are an ancient tradition that goes back to the days of the Apostles.

Jesus told His disciples to pray together after His ascension into heaven, so they went to an upper room along with the Blessed Mother (Acts 1:14) and joined constantly in prayer for nine days.

These nine days of constant prayer by the Apostles at the direction of Jesus led up to Pentecost. This is when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples as “tongues of fire” (Acts 2:1-4). This pattern of 9 days of prayer, leading up to a feast day or final day, is the basis of the novenas we pray today!

Thus, the novena is an imitation of the Lord’s command to the Apostles when they prayed for 9 days in anticipation of the coming of the Holy Spirit.

And that’s why we pray all of our novenas for nine days, followed by one final prayer on the 10th day (which is usually the feast day).

You can sign up to join us in prayer here.

And you can share your prayer intentions with us all below. We’re praying for you!

Answered Prayers from the Mary, Undoer of Knots Novena, 2024

Thank you for joining us in praying the Mary, Undoer of Knots Novena!

If you’ve had any of your prayers answered throughout this novena, you can share those with us all below.

We’re continuing to pray for you!

Novenas to Pray in May

Happy May! This month, the Church celebrates the Blessed Mother as well as many other holy men and women. 

Delve deeper into friendship with these great saints and ask for their intercession in your life with these novenas. 

Novena to Mary

The Church considers May the Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Praying a novena is a beautiful way to honor the Mother of God and invite her special intercession in your life. 

You can find a list of Novenas to Mary here and choose one or more to pray during this month. You may consider starting a novena on May 23 to end on the Marian Feast of the Visitation. 

Blessed Imelda Novena

Blessed Imelda Lambertini is one of the youngest canonized saints having died at just 11 years old. After her deep longing for union with Jesus in the Eucharist was granted her by receiving Communion for the first time, Blessed Imelda died of joy. 

You can begin the Blessed Imelda Novena on May 5 if you wish to finish by her feast day on May 13th

Blessed Imelda is also the patron saint of First Communicants and with so many young people receiving their First Communion this spring, this novena would make an excellent gift to a friend or family member preparing for this special gift. 

Novena to Our Lady of Fatima

Also celebrated on May 13th is the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. 

In 1917, Our Lady appeared seven times to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. She told the children to pray the Rosary everyday for peace in the world and later entrusted them with three secret prophecies that have since been revealed. 

The sun danced in the sky in the sight of thousands of witnesses as a sign of the legitimacy of her appearance. 

You can begin this novena on May 5th to end on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima which the Church celebrates on the day she first appeared.

St. Rita Novena

Although she desired to become a nun, St. Rita married a cruel and violent man with whom she had two sons. Saint Rita is considered the patron saint of difficult marriages and of impossible causes.

After the deaths of her husband and sons, Rita joined the Augustians and lived the last 40 years of her life in prayer. She also received a partial stigmata uniting her to Christ in a powerful way.

The Novena to St. Rita begins May 14th.

Ascension Novena

Forty Days after Easter, Jesus ascended into Heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. Before He leaves, however, He gives His followers the commandment to share the Gospel with the whole world, and promises to always be with us. 

The start date of this novena changes slightly each year depending on the Church’s celebration of Easter but it is often celebrated in May. 

St. Philip Neri Novena

St. Philip Neri was a 16th Century Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Oratory. He exemplified humility and often displayed his sense of humor, proving that joy and fun can (and do) exist in piety and faith.

The St. Philip Neri Novena begins May 18th.

St. Justin Martyr Novena

St. Justin Martyr was a 2nd Century Philosopher who, after his conversion, wrote many seminal works on apologetics in the Early Church. Unfortunately, many of these works have been lost to history. 

He became a martyr during the Christian persecution under Marcus Aurelius, along with six companions. 

You can ask for St. Justin’s intercession with this novena which begins on May 24.

St. Charles Lwanga and Companions Novena

St. Charles Lwanga and Companions became martyrs for the faith in the mid-1800s. Charles served King Mwanga of what is today Uganda; he also helped teach other members of the court the Christian faith. 

When the King–a violent and harsh ruler–learned of this, he demanded that the Christians renounce their faith. Charles and the others refused and were condemned. They faced torture and death with courage and joy. 

We remember these 24 martyrs with this novena beginning on May 26. 

St. Boniface Novena

8th Century Monk and Priest St. Boniface felt the call to become a missionary and traveled from England to Germany to preach the Gospel. He became a leader in the German Church, established many churches and monasteries, and eventually became a martyr.

You can pray a novena to the “Apostle of Germany” beginning on May 28. 

St. Norbert Novena 

After living a worldly lifestyle during his youth, St. Norbert had a conversion of heart and chose a life of prayer and penance. He traveled through Europe preaching, began a religious order and eventually served as Bishop of Germany.

The St. Norbert Novena begins May 29th. 

If you plan to pray any of these novenas this month, make sure you sign up to get the daily prayers delivered right to your inbox!

The Next Novena to Mary, Undoer of Knots (2024)

We hope that each novena we pray together is one more prayer that will bring you closer to Jesus and His comforting love. This next novena should do just that :)

The next novena is The Novena to Mary, Undoer of Knots!

Whenever we grow closer to Jesus’ mother, our mother, we grow closer to Jesus — because Mary always brings us to Jesus. 

We will start praying on Saturday, April 27th. You can share your prayer intentions with us all below. We’re praying for you!

Answered Prayers from the Divine Mercy Novena, 2024

If you had any prayers answered throughout the Divine Mercy Novena, you can share those with us all below.

We’re praying for you!

Happy Easter!

We hope you’re having a beautiful Easter Season!

One thing we love about Easter is that we celebrate it for so long… Lent lasts for 40 days, but the Easter season is 50 days long!

While we continue to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and to thank Him for the hope and mercy He offers us, Annie and I wanted to send you our Easter card here.

It is an honor and a joy to pray with you. Thank you so much for praying with us and for those in our community here.

Just scroll down to see our card :)  

We’re praying for you every day!

God bless you!

John-Paul & Annie –

We hope to reach more and more people through this prayer service. If these novena emails have been a blessing to you please consider making a small donation to keep this prayer service running here:

Saints Who Experienced Spiritual Desolation

As much as our hearts desire a relationship with God built through prayer, it isn’t always easy. Many people experience seasons of dryness in prayer that can feel difficult to overcome.

Even the saints weren’t immune to these feelings, with many of them having experienced prolonged seasons of dryness and spiritual desolation in their lifetime.

Look to these saints for prayers and help in persevering in prayer during these times.

St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Mother Teresa of Calcutta, known for her profound charity for the poor and the sick, experienced desolation in prayer for 50 years. She wrote:

“Lord, my God, who am I that you should forsake me?  The child of your love — and now become as the most hated one. The one — you have thrown away as unwanted — unloved. I call, I cling, I want, and there is no one to answer . . . Where I try to raise my thoughts to heaven, there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives and hurt my very soul.  Love — the word — it brings nothing.  I am told God lives in me — and yet the reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul.”

However, despite that, she radiated peace and joy to others because she never ceased choosing love and faith even when she didn’t feel like it. 

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi was an Italian Carmelite and Mystic. Immediately after professing her vows, she experienced deep consolation during Holy Communion for 40 days, but then she suffered for the next five years with spiritual desolation, violent temptations, and physical suffering. 

Mary Magdalene de Pazzi came to understand that the distance she felt from God wasn’t truly a lack of closeness with him; it was just a feeling. The Lord blessed her with many amazing spiritual gifts and through her prayer and her sufferings, a deep union with Him.

Take these words of St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi during times of difficulty and dryness: “Trials are nothing else but the forge that purifies the soul.”

St. Joseph of Cupertino 

St. Joseph of Cupertino was a Franiscan priest who suffered much in his life, particularly struggling in his studies to become a priest. He was also a mystic who loved God so much that he often levitated during prayer and Mass. 

But even St. Joseph experienced periods of intense desolation and feeling forsaken by God. These periods helped him maintain a spirit of humility in light of his many spiritual gifts. 

St. John of the Cross

Spanish Carmelite priest, St. John of the Cross is perhaps most known for his spiritual writings particularly The Dark Night of the Soul. “The Dark Night of the Soul refers to the period of desolation a soul goes through on its journey to union with God.

It is believed that John wrote this poem along with several other classic works of writing while isolated and imprisoned. Even during the most difficult times of his life,  John saw the ways God was drawing him closer.

He said: “Desolation is a file, and the endurance of darkness is preparation for great light.”

St Faustina

Before she received visions of Jesus, St. Faustina struggled in prayer for two and a half years. 

She later wrote: “A darkness began to invade my soul, growing thicker and thicker. My spirit became dark, the truths of the faith seemed absurd to me. When someone spoke to me of God, my heart was like a stone, incapable of the slightest act of love! I found no consolation in prayer … Often during the entire Mass, I did nothing but struggle with blasphemies that rushed to my lips.”

However, through her perseverance even when it seemed impossible, St. Faustina changed the world through receiving and sharing the message of Divine Mercy.

St. Theresé of Lisieux

St. Theresé has been called the “greatest saint of modern times” by Pope Pius X yet even the Little Flower experienced feelings of desolation. 

While dying from tuberculosis, she wrote that Jesus: “allowed pitch black darkness to sweep over my soul … I suffered it for months and am still waiting for it to end.” Yet she continued to choose faith, hope, and love over darkness and despair. 

These saints are proof that persevering through seasons of dry prayer and desolation will help you grow greatly in holiness.

The History of the Divine Mercy Novena

The Divine Mercy Novena begins on Good Friday and ends the Sunday after Easter now known as Divine Mercy Sunday. 

The prayers that make up this novena have a unique history and contain an important message for the world today.

The devotion to Divine Mercy began with St. Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun in the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. Jesus appeared to St. Faustina for the first time on February 22, 1931, presenting Himself to her as “King of Divine Mercy.”

She wrote in her diary:

“In the evening, when I was in my cell, I became aware of the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand was raised in blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From the opening of the garment at the breast there came forth two large rays, one red and the other pale. In silence I gazed intently at the Lord; my soul was overwhelmed with fear, but also with great joy. After a while Jesus said to me, ‘paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the inscription: Jesus, I trust in You.'”

Jesus appeared to St. Faustina several more times in the years that followed; his words to her were recorded in a Diary kept at the request of her spiritual director. Jesus told Faustina that He wanted her to spread His message of Mercy to all people.

Years after the initial visit, on September 13, 1935 Faustina received a troubling vision of an angel–“the executor of divine wrath” –about to strike the world; nothing would stop him until Faustina heard and prayed these words: 

Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ for our sins and those of the whole world; for the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us.

The next morning, on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Faustina heard Jesus’ voice giving her the formula for praying the Divine Mercy Novena.

The Divine Mercy Chaplet extends the offering of the Eucharist, as we once again offer the Son to the Father in atonement for our sins. 

You may pray it at any time, but our Lord specifically told St. Faustina to recite it during the nine days before the Feast of Mercy (the first Sunday after Easter). He then added: “By this Novena, I will grant every possible grace to souls.” (796)

Christ made several others promises to St. Faustina for those who pray this devotion, which were recorded in St. Faustina’s diary:

  • Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death (687). 
  • When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the Merciful Savior (1541). 
  • Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this Chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy (687). 
  • I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy (687). 
  • Through the Chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will. (1731)

Prayed on ordinary rosary beads, The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy is an intercessory prayer that invokes the mercy of God on our sins and on the world. It invites us to offer our anxieties and shortcomings to Christ, and to trust more fully in His unfathomable mercy. 

Find the prayers for the Divine Mercy Chaplet here.

The Divine Mercy Novena, 2024

The next novena we will pray together is the Divine Mercy Novena!

God’s Mercy is central to our lives and we must continually depend on it and ask for it daily.

We will start praying on Good Friday, March 29th.

You can share your prayer intentions with us all below. We’re praying for you!