What is a Novena?

A Novena is a nine-day period of prayer to ask God for special graces, offer petitions or pray for a specific intention. The word itself comes from the Latin word novem, meaning nine.

Novenas are traditionally based on the nine days of prayer that Jesus asked his Apostles to do leading up to Pentecost, preparing them for the arrival of the Holy Spirit. Novenas today imitate this when prayed leading up to a big event in one’s life or an important feast day in the Church.

Many of the more popular Novenas either begin or end on a special holy day or feast day within the Catholic faith. For a particular saint’s feast day, the prayers would focus on asking for that particular saint’s intercession.

Where can I find a Novena?

A plethora of Novenas with Various saints or Holy Days can be found on (There is even a Novena for a St. Polycarp! Say what?!)

You can also do some research. Start with an intention in mind. Find the patron saint of that cause or devotion. It certainly helps to learn more about the saint. What about their experience or life story elected them to be the Patron for that cause? Their story may help guide you to a decision or feel comforted.

From there, it is easy to find a Novena with that saint or Holy Day. Just search “St. ____ Novena.” There may be some Novenas that last over the typical nine days. My personal favorite is the 54 Day Rosary Novena. To learn more about this prayer, visit

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