Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

January 8, 2010

Nine Times out of...Nine

I think my favorite type of prayer is the novena. I remember my grandmother speaking about them when I was a child, swearing by their power. As Italians and Italian-Americans can often blend Catholic traditions and superstitious practices, I never really knew to which camp the novena belonged until I grew older. The practice of praying novenas and the faith that they inspire are gifts that has been given to me by my mother. There were rarely months where she wasn't praying to one saint or another for a special favor for one of us or someone she loved. This book was always by her beside, and when I went off to college, she gave me her copy, which I still treasure today. I highly recommend getting a copy, as it provides a summary of each saint's life, their feast day, their particular novena, and an absolutely beautiful illustration or print of an icon of each figure.

I find that some novenas I have prayed so often, like the one to the Archangel Raphael, that I have memorized them and can use the picture to aid in my prayer and meditation. (As a sidenote, it is Raphael that I credit with saving my father which he was on vacation and experienced temporary paralysis after a swimming accident in the ocean. I had been praying to the patron of travelers for my parents' protection on their trip, and boy did he pull through. I guess I can forgive him for being slow on the husband front!) I find the repetition really peaceful and the particular words given to me as truly inspired by the Holy Spirit. Right now, I am undertaking a novena to St. Maria Goretti, my Confirmation saint, for a deeper understanding of purity before marriage and to make this a fruitful time of preparation.

I hope you, too, find a "full-proof" novena for your life!


Gardenia said...

oh I have to chime in. I'm a lurker, otherwise. and love your blog. I've got that Novena book. it is beautiful and sits on my nightstand. i love picking it up, time after time and paging through it. But the real reason why I post: "hasn't helped me on the husband front." Since you do like praying novenas, pray the novena to Saint Anne which begins, Glorious St. Anne, filled with compassion for those who invoke thee ... . Two girlfriends of mine gave me that novena on the back of the St. Anne holy card, and said, "haven't you ever heard, "St. Ann St. Ann, find me a man."?" well I hadn't heard. but I prayed that novena and 21 days later, I met my future husband. I had never been married and was 43. blessings.

Julian said...

Thanks for reading our blog, Gardenia! And thank you for sharing your story with me. I browse your blog, too, and I think your family is absolutely beautiful. I hope that St. Anne continues to bless you abundantly :)

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