Prayer & Faith Resources
Wait for the Promise of the Father
A novena is a popular and traditional method of Catholic prayer. It is taken from the Latin word "novem” which means “nine.” A novena is a series of prayers for a special intention usually said for nine days.
This length of prayer reflects the account of the Apostles and the Virgin Mary remaining in prayer in the upper room for nine days following the ascension of Jesus, at his request:
While meeting with them, he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father. Acts 1:4 All these (apostles) devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. Acts1:13-14
Nine day vigils were noted in Church history from the third century onward. During these nine days, we remain in prayer, persevering in trust of God’s providence. It is just one of many personal prayer forms - some people feel called to pray using novenas, others do not. A novena is not magic – God hears our heart’s intentions and will answer according to His will.
Every novena is a different in the intention, formation of prayers and practice.
188 Catholic Novenas