Do you feel stagnant in your prayer life? Are you looking for a real prayer challenge? Do you have an “impossible” intention that requires some “big guns” to be pulled out! Why not try the nine month novena!
None of my research has come up with the origin of this novena though some Catholic websites claim it is one of the original novenas. Though its creation remains a mystery, the nine month novena is considered a very powerful one for impossible cases.
So why is this novena nine months long instead of nine days? Because that’s the time Jesus spent in his Blessed Mother’s womb. That’s the whole point of this novena—meditating on this blessed event. On special feast days, such as the feast of the visitation, you will be able to reflect on the day and event more profoundly.
How to pray it
This novena begins on the feast of the Annunciation (March 25th) and ends on Christmas Day. A few people prefer to start it on the traditional feast day of St. Gabriel the Archangel (March 24) to end on Christmas Eve but it’s traditionally begun on March 25th. The start date is up to you. Once you’ve chosen the date, you can start planning on how to do it — with friends or alone, during a specific time of day or whenever the mood strikes, etc.
Unlike almost all other novenas, this one has one unofficial rule: you can only ask for three intentions. If you do it with a group of friends, you can pray for your own intentions or assign one of the intentions for your own and choose two as collective group intentions.
The novena prayers
The following are the novena prayers to be said daily for the next 9 months:
“Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.
To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us,
And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
O Virgin of the Incarnation, a thousand times we praise thee, a thousand times we greet thee, for the joy thou didst know when the Son of God took flesh in thy womb.
Because thou art powerful, O Virgin Mother of God, grant what we beseech thee, for the love of God.
(State your first intention. Repeat the previous prayers before stating your second and third intentions.)
Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary,
That never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection,
Implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions,
But in thy mercy, hear and answer me.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
May the heart of Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, be praised, adored and loved with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world and in the hearts of all men, even until the end of time. Amen.”
As with any big novena or task, you can recruit one or more of your friends to help keep you accountable. Trust me, as someone who does the 54-day Rosary novena every year, it helps to have that support system to help you stay on track. Whether you choose to do it alone or with a group of friends, it’s also a good idea to keep track of the days. You can do this by physically marking the days you pray on a calendar or planner or use an app that helps remind you to pray it. Are you up for the challenge? Let us know!
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