Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Novena to St. Joseph

Begins March 10.
Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.
Pater, Ave, Gloria


  1. Terry, I don't understand how novenas like this work. Is it just as simple as praying this prayer and the Our Father / Hail Mary / Glory Be for nine days? Or is this followed by the Rosary or something?

  2. St Joseph is a special buddy of glad he is there to lend me a hand when I need it and keep my brain cells straight..


  3. Mercury - I actually had an entire post written but lost it as I attempted to post it - so I figured St. Joseph didn't want me to say anything. Since you ask:

    Novenas are 9 days of prayer before a liturgical feast or in preparation for a saint's feast day, or just a time set aside to pray for a particular need. The only real liturgical novena I know of is the mother of all novenas, the retreat kept from the Ascension to Pentecost. It is the original novena.

    So - a novena can be as simple as using the votive prayer from the Mass of the feast day, recited devoutly for the nine days before, adding a specific intention or request for one self or another, or one may be a more elaborate assemblage of prayers addressed to the saint - St. Joseph has many such prayers including a litany. You are free to add a rosary or attend Mass every day in anticipation/preparation - whatever, it's up to you.

    Some churches have public novenas, so one can perform the work that way. Other people join time spent in meditation on the saint's life and virtues to their vocal prayers. Other's make a special offering in honor of the saint, or perform some work such as fasting the day before the feast.

    The novena is a time of prayerful preparation to honor the saint - which in turn glorifies God. It is a time of more focused prayer asking the saint for favors, etc., or simply honoring him and thanking him for his patronage.

    If a person is late beginning a novena, no problem - just begin it joining your prayers to those who began on time - like the parable of the laborers in the field, the late-comers recieve grace just as the early comers.

    I hope that helps. Keeping things simple and uncomplicated is always good for the average person, and not budening oneself with multiple novenas helps one maintain a certain liberty of spirit. Novenas are not magical incantations.


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