Let’s be real: prayer can be hard. Some days we are not feeling motivated, and others we do not know what to say or how to pray, and still there are times of feeling like no one is listening.
It’s easy to get discouraged in our prayer. But the good news is we have a solution. Novenas! Novenas are days of special prayers for a certain intention or request and there are all kinds of novenas! Novenas for certain intentions or prayer requests, novenas just to pray, novenas to saints, novenas that start and end on certain dates. You want one, the Catholic tradition has one. Here are nine novenas you could introduce into your prayer life.
This novena starts on Good Friday and ends on Divine Mercy Sunday (the Sunday after Easter). Each day of the novena you pray for a different group of people and each day’s prayers conclude with the Divine Mercy Chaplet. St. Faustina wrote in her diary of this novena that Jesus told her, “On each day of the novena you will bring to My heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy. On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls.”
This one is pretty easy as it’s just one prayer prayed every day for nine days. Written by St. Gertrude the Great, this prayer is beautiful as it helps us call to mind those who have gone before us, God’s mercy and love, and our own death.
Starting on September 7 and ending on September 15, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, this novena bids us to Mary, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. The intentions of each day of the novena are for pregnant women, mothers, fathers, children, and families, that we might embrace the cross and be filled with life and hope.
Abandon yourself to the love of Jesus Christ and the fire of his Sacred Heart. Trust in him above and before all else, and he will lead you rightly. Trust that he will take care of your every need and listen with love and compassion as you bring your needs before him.
Has life gotten really tangled or complicated or you’re up against a situation that you see no way out of? Mary, Undoer of Knots is by your side. Each day of this novena is a pleading prayer for her to untangle the knots in our lives so that we can find peace, joy, and love. It starts on August 6 and ends on August 15, the feast of Mary, Undoer of Knots. But it can be prayed any time you need help.
Starting on November 30, nine days before Christmas, this novena prayer is prayed 15 times each day leading up to Christmas. It’s a short prayer so it’s not as daunting as it sounds! But it’s a beautiful way to wrap up Advent and help us more fully prepare ourselves for the birth of Christ.
As St. Joseph took care of the child Jesus, he also takes care of us. This is a great novena for when we need a father-figure and for the everyday things that tend to bog us down.
St. Jude is the patron saint of impossible situations, which you may feel like is you every day of your life (not speaking from my personal experience or anything). St. Jude is a great person to ask his intercession for when things are tough or desperate or just plain overwhelming.
This is quite possibly the mother of all other novenas, which is fitting since it is a novena to our Mother! For this novena, pray five decades of the Rosary each day for fifty four days, the first twenty seven days asking her for your petition and then the second twenty seven days in thanksgiving whether or not your petition has been granted yet.
Yes, I know I said that novenas are nine days but as this is the macdaddy of all novenas it’s actually six nine-day periods one right after the other. There have been lots of prayers miraculously answered through this novena! It is a huge undertaking but go big or go home! And you can never go wrong with sincerely putting all your effort, time, and trust in the Lord through Our Lady.
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