A Novena...what is it?

I have received "novenas" from several friends who don't seem to understand the meaning of the word. While what they sent me is lovely and appreciated, this is what a novena really is.

Wikipedia tells us:

A novena is a devotion consisting of prayer said (most typically) on nine successive days, asking to obtain special graces. These may consist of small prayer books, recitation of the Rosary, or small prayers through the day. There are four recognized categories of Novenae, those of mourning, preparation, prayer, and those which are indulgenced, however, a given novena can belong to more than one of these categories.

The practice of saying novenas is derived from Scripture. After Jesus' Ascension into heaven, he told his disciples to pray together in the upper room and devote themselves to constant prayer (Acts 1:14). The Apostles, Blessed Virgin Mary, and other followers of Jesus prayed together for nine consecutive days, concluding in the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.

Though the novena is primarily a devotion used by members of the Catholic Church, it has spread to the Orthodox, Anglican, and even some Lutheran churches.

Here is an example:


Annie said…
This is spot on, Sue. Thanks for sharing. St. Joseph happens to be my personal Patron Saint - not by name, by any means, but my choice. As a protector, he's the BEST.
Susan said…
I knew it was something originating from the Roman Catholic church but beyond that had never looked into it further.
Felisol said…
Dear Sioux Sue,
Thank you for stopping by.
It's been a long time since we spoke.

Interesting thing novena.
Might be just the ting now before Pentecost.

As I am not a Catholic, I don't have a Patron Saint, BUT I have Peter, the guardian of the Pearly Gate.

He's mine. I'm always so safe and comfortable by the thought of meeting with St. Peter up there makes me less scared. He know what it's like to be cowardish, faltering, yet saved by grace.
I think we'll continue to get on fine.

But from to night and eight more nights; novena it is.
From Felisol
Jim said…
Hi Sue, thank you for whetting my curiosity appetite a little.
Reading on down (don't trust entirely Wikipedia, it is open to changing) a possibly more popular 'novena' is nine months to commemorate the nine months of pregnancy my Mary, the mother of Jesus.
There is also a two and seven day (and the nine day) novena for various occasions. The original Hebrew nation had no novena, it has sprung up in the A.D. era.

Thanks for the button offer, I suppose you don't have to mail one as I surely can hustle one up from some of the older folk who 'save' buttons around here. Thanks again.

Hope you are doing okay, I'm not making many rounds since we got back from Europe. Just have an awful lot of things yet to get done.
judie said…
Thanks for the explanation Sioux. I didn't know this. xoxo

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