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The Patron Saint of the Impossible

Our next novena is to a saint who does the impossible.  

That’s seriously what he’s known for — answering impossible prayers!

He’s the patron of hopeless, lost and impossible causes… 

It’s St. Jude :)

We will start praying the St. Jude Novena on Wednesday, October 19th. We’re looking forward to seeking St. Jude’s intercession with you.

If your family or friends could use his intercession, you can invite them to pray with us or you can forward them this e-mail and let them know you’re praying for them. 

We’re praying for you.

Saint Jude was one of Jesus’ twelve original apostles. He is also known by the name Thaddeus, which means sweetness and gentleness of character.

Saint Jude followed Jesus faithfully until His crucifixion, and then later worked on evangelization.

Very little is known about his life, but we do know that he died as a martyr — some say around 65AD, giving his life to Jesus Christ.

He is now one of the most invoked saints for intercession in desperate situations because his New Testament letter stressed the importance of a faithful person persevering in the environment of harsh circumstances.

You can sign up to pray with us here:

You are already signed up to receive the novena :) 

We’re looking forward to praying with you and for you! 

God bless you!

John-Paul & Annie –

The History of the Sacred Heart & Immaculate Heart Devotions

The Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary are beautiful devotions in the Catholic Church deeply rooted in Scripture and tradition.

The hearts of both Jesus and Mary are referenced in the Bible. Luke wrote that Mary pondered many things “in her heart” (Luke 2:19). It was also prophesied in Luke 2:34-35 that “a sword will pierce [Mary’s] soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” Jesus refers to Himself as “gentle and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29). At Christ’s passion, “one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear” (John 19:34).

The liturgical feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is celebrated on the Friday following the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, and the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is celebrated the Saturday after that. You can pray either novena leading up to the liturgical celebrations; however, you can also pray the novenas at any time!

The Sacred Heart

The Sacred Heart of Jesus has been revealed to many saints before being made widespread by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. 

St. Gertrude the Great experienced many mystical encounters with the Sacred Heart of Jesus as well and wrote this prayer to the Sacred Heart:

“I salute thee, O Sacred Heart of Jesus, living and vivifying source of eternal life, infinite treasure of the Divinity, ardent furnace of Divine love; Thou art the place of my repose and my refuge. Enkindle in my heart the fire of that ardent love with which Thine own is all inflamed; pour into my heart the great graces of which Thine is the source, and grant that my heart may be so closely united to Thine, that Thy will may be mine, and that my will may be eternally conformed to Thine, since I desire that henceforth Thy holy will may be the rule of all my desires and all my actions. Amen.”

In 1673, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque received a vision and revelations from Jesus including the image of Jesus’s Sacred Heart as well as the 12 Promises to those who honor His Sacred Heart.

1.       I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.

2.      I will establish peace in their families.

3.      I will bless every house in which the picture of My heart shall be exposed and honored.

4.      I will console them in all their difficulties.

5.      I will be their refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.

6.      I will shed abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.

7.       Sinners shall find in My heart a fountain and boundless ocean of mercy.

8.      Tepid souls shall become fervent.

9.      Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.

10.   I will give to priests the power of touching the hardest hearts.

11.     Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My heart never to be blotted out.

12.   I promise thee, in the excessive mercy of My heart, that My all powerful love will grant to all who communicate on the first Friday of the month for nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My displeasure nor without the sacraments: My divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.

In 1899, Pope Leo XIII consecrated all mankind to Jesus’s Sacred Heart, and since God is outside of time, that means you’ve been solemnly consecrated to His Sacred Heart too!

You can pray the Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to unite and conform your heart to Christ’s and devote yourself to Him. Devotion to Jesus’s Sacred Heart is something you can continue to cultivate long after you’ve completed this novena; simply by reading the 12 promises, we can see how much Jesus wants us to rest in Him and His Sacred Heart. There are prayers, litanies, and consecrations to the Sacred Heart you can pray as well.

Immaculate heart

The devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as we know it today began with the Marian apparition in Fatima in 1917. The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three children Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta and told them: “[Jesus] wants to establish in the world the devotion of my Immaculate Heart.” The children recounted that they saw Mary dressed in white and holding a heart in her hand surrounded by thorns.

Seven years later in 1925 when Lucia was a postulant in the convent, Mary revealed to her the first five Saturday devotion which would serve as a way to make reparation for blasphemies and sin against the Heart of Mary. Mary said “I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall:

(1)    Confess,

(2)   Receive Holy Communion,

(3)   Recite five decades of the Rosary,

(4)   And keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”

When Lucia asked the Lord in prayer why the devotion required five Saturdays, He responded that “there are five types of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” These are: (1) blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception; (2) blasphemies against her virginity; (3) blasphemies against her Divine maternity; (4) blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children indifference, scorn, or hatred of the Immaculate Heart; and (5) blasphemies of those who outrage her directly in her holy images.

The devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary does not begin and end with the First Saturdays devotion, even though it is a practice worth completing (after all, Our Lady explicitly asked us to)! There are various prayers you can pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, including of course, the Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Our prayers and efforts might seem small to us, but God magnifies them and they become powerful! Cultivating a devotion to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart can merit graces and mercies for sinners while also consoling the heart of Mary.  

Saints to Know & Novenas to Pray for Miscarriage and Infant Loss

Life is fragile; many of us experience that reality through miscarriage or infant loss. Losing a little one is an extremely heavy cross to carry, but you do not have to carry it alone. Jesus is the ultimate comforter, and He invites you to rest in Him! We can also turn to the saints and ask them to pray for us during such a devastating time, especially if prayer is difficult.

Thankfully, the Church is not lacking saints to pray through who are patrons of pregnancy, miscarriage, or child loss. Here are a few saints to consider adding to your go-to list, praying their novenas, or simply making friends with. Remember, the saints are sinners who made it where we want to be! Their prayers are powerful for us. You can also pray with any saint that you have a connection with, related to miscarriage/infant loss or not.

Many observe October as a month to acknowledge miscarriage and infant loss as well as to spread awareness. Perhaps you haven’t personally experienced the loss of a child, but the odds are good that you know someone who has, even if they haven’t publicized it. Consider praying one of these novenas for yourself, your sister or friend who just lost a pregnancy, or the couple a few pews ahead of you suffering their loss in silence. After all, we Christians are meant to “[c]arry each other’s burdens” (Gal. 6:2).

You can also pray any of these novenas if you are pregnant, and ask for protection from loss.

The Infant of Prague Novena

The Infant of Prague devotion began when a statue of the child Jesus was brought to Prague in the early 17th century; miracles associated with the statue have occurred and the statue is venerated in the streets of Prague every year.

How often do we think of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, as an infant? Not very often for me at least! However, we know that God is all powerful and could have come to Earth in any way, yet He chose to come as a tiny, delicate newborn. He did not do this by accident!

The Infant of Prague is patron of children; the Infant Jesus Novena is traditionally prayed during Christmastide; however, you can pray it anytime.

The St. Brigid of Kildare Novena

Saint Brigid was an Irish nun who lived in the 400s-500s. She was an abbess and established many monasteries. She is the patron saint of babies. Pray the Novena to St. Brigid and she will pray with you!

The St. Zelie Martin Novena

Saint Zelie Martin (St. Therese of Lisieux’s mother) suffered many losses. Four of her and Louis Martin’s nine children died very young. She wrote about her losses and expressed no regret in having her children, even though she suffered much sorrow. She wrote: “we shall find our little ones again up above.” St. Therese attributed many graces to her sibling’s prayers in heaven. You can pray the Novena to St. Zelie Martin here.

The St. Colette Novena

Saint Colete is the patron saint of expectant mothers and of stillbirth. She was a French abbess who lived in the 1300s-1400s. Her parents prayed for a child for a long while before having her. Pray this Novena to Saint Colette and ask her to pray for you.

The St. Gianna Beretta Molla Novena

Saint Gianna is a modern day saint who suffered two miscarriages and died shortly after giving birth to her last child. She is the patron saint of motherhood and serves as an incredible witness to life. Pray the Novena to St. Gianna here

The St. Catherine of Siena Novena

Saint Catherine is a doctor of the Church. She was devoted to the sick and to those suffering, including women who had suffered the agony of miscarriage. She is a patron of protection from miscarriage; you can pray the novena you St. Catherine of Siena here

The St. Margaret of Antioch Novena

Saint Margaret was an early Christian martyr. A concert to the faith, she was tortured and killed for refusing to deny Christ. She is patron of pregnant women and you can pray this novena to her here. 

The St. Raymond Nonnatus Novena

Saint Raymond was born via caesarean when his mother passed away during childbirth. He joined the Mercedarian order and spent his life evangelizing and saving slaves. He is the patron saint of pregnant women. You can pray this novena for St. Raymond here. 

The St. Gerard Majella Novena

St. Gerard was born in 1726 to a large family in Italy. He joined religious life in his early 20s and was devoted to the poor. Throughout his life, many miracles were attributed to him. Before his death, a young girl found his handkerchief and he told her to keep it. Years later after he had died, the girl now married and pregnant, was at risk of losing her child. She placed Majella’s handkerchief on her stomach, and her pain was gone; she birthed a healthy child. You can pray this novena to St. Gerard as he is a patron of pregnant women.  

The St. Bernard of Clairveuax Novena

St. Bernard wrote to a couple that had a miscarriage in response to their question, “What is going to happen to my child? The child didn’t get baptized.” St. Bernard said, “Your faith spoke for this child. Baptism for this child was only delayed by time. Your faith suffices. The waters of your womb — were they not the waters of life for this child? Look at your tears. Are they not like the waters of baptism? Do not fear this. God’s ability to love is greater than our fears. Surrender everything to God.” Pray this novena to St. Bernard and rest in his encouraging words.

All you holy men and women, pray for us!

We’re praying for you and all of your intentions, especially those you only speak in the silence of your heart. 

The History of Feast Days in the Catholic Church

Feast Days play an important role in the life of the Church. But where did they come from? And why are they necessary? 

History of the the Liturgical Calendar

Like many traditions of the early Church, as many early Christians were converts from Judaism, the concept of a Liturgical calendar has Jewish roots.

Similar to the Jewish Calendar, the Christian calendar consists of weeks made up of seven days—six for work and the seventh for rest and worship. The early Church however developed their calendar around the Resurrection so the Lord’s Day was changed from Saturday to Sunday to honor this central tenet of our faith. 

The Christian Calendar is also made up of seasons that begins with the Incarnation in the season of Advent and ends with the Feast of Christ the King, tracing Salvation History from start to finish each year.

Over the centuries, the Church has added feast days and holy days to this sacred calendar. Pope Pius V first set the official feast days celebrated by the Church by promulgating the universal calendar in 1568. The General Roman Calendar was later revised by Pope Pius XII and again by Pope St. John XXIII. 

These days celebrate important events in the life of Christ and the holy men and women who have gone before us. 

Feast days often corresponded to the date of a saint’s death, or their birth into eternal life–a practice that probably formed thanks to the early Christians who celebrated the anniversary of a martyr’s death with a liturgical celebration at the burial site. 

Three Types of Festivals

While special Christian festivals are often grouped together under the title of “feast day,” the Church actually distinguishes three types of holy days: Solemnity, Feast, and Memorial.


A solemnity holds the highest rank among the holy days. The Church observes 24 solemnities, each one calling us to reflect on the most significant mysteries of our faith. 

Solemnities in the Church include the most important days in the life of Jesus and His Church such as Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. Solemnities also include days that commemorate the principal titles of Our Lord such as Christ the King and the Sacred Heart, and of the Blessed Mother, specifically Mother of God and the Immaculate Conception

The Church remembers several saints like St. Joseph, St. John the Baptist, and Sts. Peter and Paul, for their important roles in salvation history by setting aside a solemnity in their honor. 


Feast Days are the next highest rank of holy days. A feast honors saints and other events in the life of Christ. 

Notable feast days include the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Presentation and the Ascension.  The Apostles, the Evangelists, St. Mary Magdalene, and the Archangels also have their own feasts. 


The third category of celebrations is most likely what comes to mind when Catholics talk about “feast days.” Memorials honor the virtuous life of a saint and are either considered obligatory or optional. 

This distinction really only applies to the priest and whether or not they get to choose to celebrate the memorial liturgically with special Mass parts. Obligatory memorials focus on saints of “universal significance” in the Church like St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Anthony, and St. Francis Xavier

Optional memorials also often identify a saint with a special significance to a certain place or religious order. For example, priests in the United States have the option to celebrate the feasts of saints like Katherine Drexel and St. Junipero Serra

Bringing us into the Story

The Liturgical Calendar isn’t simply a cute but a necessary part of our Catholic tradition; rather, it is a deeply significant aspect that draws us deeper into the beauty of our faith. 

The Liturgical Calendar of the Catholic Church shapes our human experience of time in a way that intertwines the Sacred. It creates a rhythm for our lives with God at its heart and gives meaning to our earthly experience. 

It gives us days of fasting and feasting, days to mourn and days to celebrate in order that we might encounter the Paschal Mystery, not as observers, but as active participants. 

Solemnities, Feasts, and Memorials help us focus our gaze on our eternal destination and recognize our own role in the history of Salvation.

Celebrating feast days and living in accord with the liturgical year helps us see the saints as still active members of the Body of Christ; brothers and sisters who can pray for us and serve as examples of virtue and love, that we might follow in their footsteps.  

Novenas to Pray in October

In October, we celebrate the feast of some of the greatest saints in the Church. These holy men and women not only offer profound examples of heroic virtue, but also desire to aid those of us still on earth in our own journey towards holiness. 

Sign up for one or more of these novenas and have the daily prayers sent straight to your inbox.

Our Lady of the Rosary

The Church celebrates the Most Holy Rosary during the month of October. While the novena to Our Lady of the Rosary needs to begin on September 28 to finish on her feast day, you can pray this novena any time during this month. 

Saint Teresa of Avila

St. Teresa of Avila was a Carmelite nun who is known for her mystical experiences in prayer. Her writings, especially The Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle helped shape the Church’s understanding of contemplation. She was named the first woman Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI.

Begin the novena to this holy woman on October 7.

Saint Gerard

St. Gerard, an Italian lay Redemptorist, became known as “The Mothers’ Saint” after his prayers miraculously saved the lives of a mother and child dying in childbirth. Today, the Church regards him as a patron saint of mothers, expectant mothers, and those wanting to become mothers. 

Begin the St. Gerard Novena on October 8 to finish on his feast day. 

Saint Luke

St. Luke the Evangelist wrote one of the Gospels as well as the Acts of the Apostles. Not much is known about Luke’s life but he is traditionally believed that he was a Gentile doctor, who eventually became a disciple of Paul. 

He is the patron saint of doctors, surgeons, and artists. The Novena to St. Luke begins October 10th. 

Pope Saint John Paul II

Pope Saint John Paul II is one of the most beloved popes in history. He is remembered for his profound impact both on the Church and on the world. He promulgated the Catechism of the Catholic Church, reformed the Eastern and Western Codes of Canon Law, and wrote extensively on important matters of the faith. He is also often recognized for his role in the downfall of communism. 

He is also remembered for his recognition of the dignity of every human person, and serves as an example for us today on how to love. 

Start the novena to this holy pontiff on October 14th or celebrate his feast by praying one of John Paul II’s favorite novena prayers. 

All Saints Day

The Church celebrates the Solemnity of All Saints Day on November 1st. This feast acknowledges all of the holy men and women–both known and unknown to us–who have gone before us to their final reward. 

The saints, also known as the Church Triumphant, want to pray for and help the Church on earth, those of us still striving to live a virtuous life. Invoke the powerful intercession of all of our heavenly brothers and sisters with this novena beginning on October 24th. 

All Souls Day

After celebrating the Church Triumphant, we celebrate the Church Penitent or Church Suffering on November 2nd. On this feast, we remember the holy souls in Purgatory waiting to enter the fullness of heaven. 

The souls in Purgatory rely on our prayers to more quickly complete their purgation; it is traditionally believed that while they cannot pray for themselves, the holy souls can pray for those of us still on earth. Pray for these souls and ask them to pray for you with this novena beginning on October 25. 

Saint Martin de Porres

St. Martin de Porres was a Peruvian Lay Dominican known for his great love of the poor and marginalized. He established an orphanage and children’s hospital, and generously shared the priory’s donations with those in need. 

He offered all of his daily work to God and experienced God’s favor in return. Martin was known to have levitated, bi-located, and worked miracles during his life. The Church considers him the patron of people who are mixed race, race relations, as well as hair stylists, innkeepers, public education, and public health. 

Pray the novena to St. Martin de Porres beginning on October 26. 

Saint Charles Borromeo 

Saint Charles Borromeo, an Italian cardinal and archbishop, played a major role in the reform that took place in the Catholic Church after the Protestant Reformation. He rewrote the catechism, updated the process for preparing seminarians, ended the selling of indulgences, among other necessary updates made by the Council of Trent. 

Saint Charles Borromeo is the patron saint of bishops, cardinals, and spiritual leaders, as well as seminarians and catechists. St. Charles’ St. Charles’ novena begins October 27th. 

Do you plan to pray any of these novenas this month? Leave a comment and let us know. And as always, please feel free to leave your prayer intentions with us below.

Answered Prayers from the St. Therese Novena, 2022

Thank you so much for joining us in praying the St. Therese Novena!

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

Please don’t give up if your prayers have been seemingly unanswered. God hears you, He is with you, and you are not forgotten. We’re praying for you.

A Novena to St. Therese of Lisieux

The next novena we’re going to pray as a community is one of our favorites, it’s the St. Therese of Lisieux Novena! You can share your prayer intentions with us all below in the comments.

Pope Pius X called St. Therese “the greatest saint of modern times.” She’s well known for her “little way” spirituality of doing small, ordinary things with extraordinary love. She wrote in her autobiography, “What matters in life is not great deeds, but great love.”

We will start praying this novena on Thursday, September 22nd.

St. Therese suffered a great deal in her life. She lost her mom when she was a young girl. One of her older sisters became like a second mother to her, and St. Therese missed her when her sister entered a convent. St. Therese also suffered from chronic illness and depression. Through it all, she continued to look towards Jesus.

She’s a great example for all of us — a reminder to cling to Jesus through whatever each of us may be going through right now. Let’s look to Jesus!

You can sign up to pray with us here:

We’re looking forward to praying with you and for you! 

God bless you!

John-Paul & Annie –

Novenas You Can Pray in September

The Church celebrates the feast days of many holy men and women in September and early October. Join us in honoring these saints by praying one or more of these novenas this month. 

Follow along with the prayers on our website or sign up to have the daily prayers sent straight to your inbox. 

Novena of the Holy Cross

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14. This feast commemorates St. Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine, uncovering the true Cross of Christ and the dedication of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher built over the site where it was found. 

After it was uncovered, the Cross quickly became an object of veneration, as it symbolizes the love of God the Father and our salvation. Reflect on this great gift and bring your special intention to the Cross with this novena beginning September 5. 

Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows

Christian art often depicts Mary’s heart pierced by seven swords, representing the sorrows she faced alongside her Son. The Church dedicates the entire month of September to remembering these Seven Sorrows of Our Lady. 

Take comfort in knowing that whatever difficulty, sorrow, or grief you face, the Blessed Mother knows your pain and will bring you closer to her Son through it. Begin this novena on September 6 to finish in time for the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows on September 15. 

Novena to Saint Joseph of Cupertino

St. Joseph of Cupertino joined the Conventual Franciscans and despite extreme difficulties in his studies, he was ordained a priest for the order. He is often called “the Flying Friar” because he levitated when deep in prayer. 

For these reasons, the Church considers St. Joseph of Cupertino as a patron saint for test takers, students, mental handicaps, air travelers, astronauts, and pilots. If you are heading back to school or traveling this month, or if you simply have an intention you’d like prayers for, pray this novena to St. Joseph of Cupertino beginning on September 9. 

Novena to Saint Matthew
After hearing Jesus’ call and leaving his life as a tax collector, St. Matthew became one of the twelve apostles and later wrote one of the Gospels. 

Because of his occupation, he is considered the patron saint of bankers and accountants, and is also a good saint to turn to when facing financial difficulties. 

The novena to St. Matthew begins September 12 and ends on his feast day September 21.

Novena to Saint Padre Pio

Padre Pio is one of the most recognizable saints of the 20th Century. During his life as a humble Capuchin priest, God gifted Padre Pio with some of the most incredible gifts including bilocation and the stigmata. 

He also became known for working miracles both during his life on earth and after his death. If you need a miracle in your life, ask for Padre Pio’s intercession with this novena beginning September 14.

Novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots

The devotion to Our Lady Undoer of Knots began with a reflection from St. Ireneaus. He said: “The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by the obedience of Mary; what the virgin Eve bound by her unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosened by her faith.”

Just as Mary’s “yes” untied the knot caused by sin, she can guide us to greater faith and help alleviate the difficulties we face in this life. When you have “knots” that seem too difficult to untangle, bring them to the Blessed Mother with this powerful novena that begins September 19.

Novena to Saint Michael

On September 29, the Church celebrates Michaelmas or the Feast of the Archangels–St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael. 

Although not by name, St. Michael does appear in Sacred Scripture, and is described as the “Great Prince and defender of [God’s] people,” so the Church calls upon him for protection from evil and for healing. He guards the faithful on earth and is considered the patron of soldiers, police officers, and doctors.

Pray to the “Prince of the Angels” with the Saint Michael Novena beginning on September 20. 

Novena to Saint Therese of Lisieux

Even though she lived much of her short life as a cloistered Carmelite, St. Therese of Lisieux (also known as “The Little Flower”)  is one of the most beloved saints in Church history. Pope Pius X even called her the “greatest saint of modern times.”  

St. Therese’s writings offered the simple but profound spiritual truth of doing small things with great love, a message that still resonates with the faithful today. For this reason, John Paul II declared her a Doctor of the Church, making her the youngest saint to receive the honor. 

Begin the novena to this powerful saint on September 22 to end on her feast day. 

Novena to the Guardian Angels

Many Catholics don’t often think about their Guardian Angels, let alone pray to them. But these heavenly friends of ours are a gift from God and want to be a part of our lives. 

They offer us guidance and protection as we go about our lives and desire to lead us safely to heaven. Recognize their presence in your life, and ask for their prayers and help with this novena by praying this novena on September 23-October 2. 

Novena to Saint Francis of Assisi

Francis of Assisi is arguably the most well-known and influential Catholic saint both in religious and secular circles. 

Founder of the Franciscan Order, St. Francis lived a life marked by prayer, humility, and a love of poverty. He recognized his total dependence on the grace of God, allowing him to fully love all those he encountered. 

Learn from the example of St. Francis and celebrate his feast day on October 4 by praying this novena beginning September 25. 

Novena to Our Lady of the Rosary

This title of the Blessed Mother goes back to the 1500s. Pope Saint Pius V established this feast to thank God for the victory of the Christians in the battle of Lepanto–a victory attributed to the intercession of Our Lady through the rosary. 

Many great saints have spoken about the power of praying the Rosary, through which we grow closer to the Blessed Mother who in turn leads us closer to her Son. Mary is the most powerful intercessor we have. Bring your intentions to Our Lady of the Rosary with this novena beginning on September 28. 

Novena to Our Lady of Good Remedy

The title of Our Lady of Good Remedy was given to Mary in the 1100s by St. John of Matha to honor her and offer her thanks. 

St. John began the Brothers of the Most Holy Trinity, or the the Trinitarians, who devoted themselves to freeing Christians who had been kidnapped and sold into slavery. The Trinitarians had a deep devotion to Our Lady–daughter of the Father, Mother of the Son, and Spouse of the Holy Spirit. They invoked her intercession in their work and for all of their needs.

You can also approach Our Lady with your intentions, trusting her to be the “remedy” for all your needs with this novena. While it can be prayed at any time, you begin this novena to Our Lady of Good Remedy on September 29 if you want to end on her feast. 

Do you plan to pray any of these novenas this month? Leave a comment and let us know. And as always, please feel free to leave your prayer intentions with us below. 

Married Saints, Their Stories, and Novenas to Them

Not all saints wore a collar or a habit; many holy men and women grew in sanctity through their vocation to marriage and family life. 

Whether you’re preparing for marriage, newlywed life, or celebrating your golden anniversary, these married saints will serve as examples of holiness and intercessors for you and your spouse. 

Saints Joachim and Anne

While not much is known about Sts. Joachim and Anne one can assume their virtue from having immaculately conceived and raised the woman who would become the Mother of God.  

Tradition holds that they suffered from infertility for many years before giving birth to the Blessed Mother. It is also believed that they consecrated their daughter to God at a young age since Mary remained a virgin all her life.

Although we lack primary sources to tell us about their lives, Joachim and Anne can serve as role models for all parents; we should seek to emulate their love of Our Lady and their devotion to God. 

Bring your intentions to the grandparents of our Lord with this novena prayer. 

Saints Louis and Zelie Martin 

Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin made Church history by becoming the first married couple canonized together. 

Before they met, both Louis Martin and Zelie Guerin wanted to enter religious life; however, God soon made it clear that He had different plans for them. 

Louis and Zelie lived the first year of their marriage as celibates, and later changed their minds at the advice of the spiritual director. The couple went on to have nine children, four of whom sadly died immaturely. After Zelie’s death, the remaining five daughters all went on to become Carmelite nuns. 

This couple and their example of holiness not only influenced the lives of their children, but also the Church up until today, as their youngest daughter St. Therese of Lisieux went on to become one of the most-well known and beloved saints.

Invoke the intercession of this saintly couple for your marriage and your children.

Saint Monica

St. Monica’s parents arranged for her to marry a pagan Patricius who was infamous for his temper and promiscuousness. She suffered for many years in their marriage due to his infidelity and her argumentative mother-in-law.

Patricius often criticized Monica for her piety; however, her example and fervent prayers eventually softened the hearts of both Patricius and his mother, and they were both later baptized. Her perseverance also changed the heart of her wayward son Augustine who went on to become one of the greatest saints and philosophers within the Church. For this reason, she is considered the patron saint of wives and mothers, as well as difficult relationships.

St. Monica is clearly a powerful intercessor and you can ask for her prayers for any intention, but especially for your spouse and family with this novena. 

Saint Gianna

St. Gianna, a pediatric physician and an avid skier/mountain climber, married Pietro Molla in 1955. As illustrated through their letters, they were a godly couple who encouraged one another in holiness. Together they had four children. 

During her pregnancy with their fourth child, doctors discovered a tumor in Gianna’s uterus. She allowed for the doctors to remove the tumor, but declined the recommended hysterectomy that would have taken the life of her unborn daughter. Shortly after the birth, Gianna died of an infection caused by postoperative complications.

Gianna is known for her heroic “yes” to life and is considered a patroness of mothers and unborn children. Invite her to pray for your intentions with her novena.

Saint Thomas More

St. Thomas More was an English lawyer and statesman, as well as a philosopher, author, and scholar. He was also a devoted husband and father to his four children. 

King Henry VIII trusted Thomas More with many responsibilities and eventually appointed him as Lord Chancellor. However, when Henry wanted to divorce Catherine of Aragon in order to marry Anne Boleyn, More would not support him. And when Henry began the Church of England, breaking ties with Rome, he stood strong in his faith. 

For his conviction to the truth, Thomas More was martyred. As you live your married life in an age where Truth is often challenged, saints like Thomas More can help you remain rooted in God. 

Saint Margaret of Scotland

St. Margaret of Scotland was the daughter of Princess Agatha of Hungary and the Anglo-Saxon Prince Edward Atheling, as well as the great niece of St. Edward the Confessor. Although not originally from Scotland, she and her family arrived after fleeing from William the Conqueror. 

She captivated King Malcolm with her beauty and good graces and they were later married. She helped her husband become a virtuous ruler and he even consulted her affairs of the state. She worked for educational and religious reform within Scotland, performed many works of mercy among the poor, and lived a prayerful life as a wife, mother, and queen. 

Find the novena to St. Margaret of Scotland here.

Saint Rita

Despite her desire to become a religious sister, the parents of St. Rita of Cascia had already arranged for her to marry a cruel and violent man. When he was murdered 18 years later, she prayed her two sons who wanted to avenge their father would instead forgive his killer. Her prayer was answered and her sons, who died young, remained free from this mortal sin. 

After the death of her husband and sons, St. Rita joined the Augustinians in Cascia where she lived the last forty years of her life in prayer. It was during this time that St. Rita received a partial stigmata–a wound on her head–that allowed her to more fully enter into the Passion of the Lord. 

Saint Rita is considered the patron saint of difficult marriages and of impossible causes.

Saint Louis IX

Saint Louis IX reigned as the King of France in the 1200s. As monarch, he was known for his fairness and for his devotion to the Catholic faith. He had a very happy and holy marriage with his wife Margaret and together they had 11 children.

Louis led the Seventh Crusade in which he was captured by the Mohammedans but was released when a truce was declared. Years later he and three of his sons fought in the Eighth Crusade. He became the first (and only) French king canonized a saint. 

The Blessed Mother and St. Joseph

Of course, no list of married saints would be complete without the mention of the holiest couple–Mary and St. Joseph. 

Despite their personal perfection, they faced many difficulties during their marriage–an unexpected pregnancy, fleeing their homeland to protect their child, and the promise of immense sorrow for both Mary and their son. 

Through every joy and challenge, Mary and Joseph relied totally on God’s grace and trusted their lives fully to the service of the Lord. Because of their “yes” –both as individuals and as a couple–Jesus could fulfill His salvific mission. 

Ask the Holy Family to help you follow their example and give your life and marriage to God. 

The History of Novenas

The word “novena” comes from the Latin word novem which means “nine” as they involve nine days of prayer for a specific petition or grace.

Novenas have long been a part of the Church’s spiritually treasury–both in public prayer and private devotion. But where did this practice originate? 

A Scriptural Blueprint

We actually hear about the first “novena” in Sacred Scripture in Acts of the Apostles. 

After the Ascension, Christ’s apostles alongside the Blessed Mother gathered together in the Upper Room and devoted themselves to constant prayer:

When they entered the city they went to the upper room where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 

All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers (Acts 1:13-14).

Nine days later, the Holy Spirit descended upon them at Pentecost, pouring out grace and spiritual gifts. 

These nine days became a model of prayer for many Christians, and have been used to develop several devotions that involve nine days or nine months of prayer for a specific intention. 

Putting it into Practice

The practice of nine days of prayer for a specific purpose may have developed more widely in the Church by “baptizing” a similar ancient Roman practice. 

The Romans would often celebrate nine days of prayer to avert a predicted tragedy, offer thanksgiving, or to mourn someone’s death. Similarly, the early Christians did have a custom of offering nine days of masses and prayers for a newly departed soul.  

In addition to the novena of mourning, different types of novenas began to emerge over time. 

Novenas of Preparation began in the Middle Ages, particularly in Spain, with the faithful praying an anticipatory novena leading up to Christmas. At this same time, Novenas of Petition rose in popularity in France and Belgium with prayers to particular saints to recover health. 

During this period, some members of the Church hierarchy expressed concern with Novenas of Petition, as they feared the faithful might use this form of prayer superstitiously. 

However, during the papacy of Pope Pius IX the Church officially recommended a large number of novenas, like the Novena to the Holy Trinity and the Immaculate Conception Novena by granting indulgences to those who prayed them. Having novenas recognized and approved by the Church paved the way for more widespread use of this devotion among the faithful. 

As more novenas were written, novenas shifted from a primarily public devotion to a more private one, as people began calling on saints that held some personal significance to them. 

Rooted in Our Creed

The belief in an eternal life and in the Communion of Saints have shaped the Catholic understanding of the intercession of saints since the days of the early Church. In fact, many Church Fathers and Doctors of the Church have spoken of its importance from as early as the 3rd Century.  

In 1545, the Council of Trent explicitly defined the Church’s teaching on saintly intercession: 

“…the saints who reign together with Christ offer up their own prayers to God for men. It is good and useful suppliantly to invoke them, and to have recourse to their prayers, aid, and help for obtaining benefits from God, through His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, Who alone is our Redeemer and Savior.”

Praying a novena allows a Catholic to pray alongside the Blessed Mother and the saints for a particular request. And because these saintly brothers and sisters stand before God  in a very real and intimate way, their prayers for those on earth are particularly efficacious. 

Novenas are rooted in the example of the early Christians and beliefs fundamental to our faith, and remain a meaningful tool to deepen the spiritual life of the faithful today. 

You can search through our novenas and find one that fits for your personal intentions here.