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Saturday, April 16, 2011

N is for Novenas

The Novena, a prayer repeated every day for nine days, is a rich Catholic tradition. We often pray them when we have a serious intention such as an illness in the family or community or to obtain special graces.

The first Novena was prayed by the apostles and Mary after the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven. He promised He'd send the Holy Spirit to strengthen the apostles so they could continue Jesus' mission. After the Ascension, the apostles and Mary prayed together in the upper room for nine days. After nine days the Holy Spirit descended upon them.

In addition to the Novena to the Holy Spirit, there are a great variety of Novenas now:  Novena to Christ the King, Novena to the Holy Name, Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, All Souls Novena, Novena for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and Novenas to different saints for their intercession.

Visit the EWTN website to view other Novena titles and prayers.

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