Some people find the act and manner of praying a Novena very superstitious. Some see it as a pagan practice and something not Catholic at all. Could this be true? Let’s discuss it!
What is a Novena?
A novena is a series of prayers and contemplation that lasts for nine days, typically used to request special favors or petitions from God. Oftentimes the nine days of praying lead up to a feast day.
What is the Origin of Novenas?
The origin of the term “novena” can be traced back to the Latin word “novem,” which means nine. The history of novenas dates back to the time of the Apostles, where Jesus instructed them to pray together after His ascension into heaven. During this period, the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary gathered in an upper room and prayed continuously for nine days, leading up to the event of Pentecost. This was when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles as “tongues of fire.” The practice of praying for nine consecutive days is the foundation of the novenas we observe today, as it emulates the Apostles’ nine-day prayer in anticipation of the Holy Spirit’s arrival.
Are Novenas Effective? Why are My Prayers Unanswered?
A novena is a real form of prayer, and prayer is not something that you should do only because you heard it’s effective to grant someone’s wishes. Prayer is a way to communicate and create a relationship with God. Prayers can really be both answered or unanswered. Novenas have definitely answered the prayer intentions of people worldwide, and some have also been unanswered.
If you are going through prayers that have all been unanswered, we’re sorry to hear that. God is surely listening to your intentions, and He for sure has plans for you.
Are Novenas Superstitious?
No, Novenas are not superstitious. A novena is a legitimate and respectable way of showing devotion and faith for Catholics. It is a way of communicating our petitions, gratitude, and praise to God, demonstrating our trust in His love for us.
However, there are some behaviors of people towards the novena that can make it seem like it’s superstitious. For instance, when someone claims and propagates that reciting a prayer to a specific saint for nine consecutive days will 100% guarantee their wishes and desires. This behavior of thinking that through the novena we can control our future by relying solely on these “guaranteed” prayers without considering God’s role in the outcome makes it seem superstitious.
How to Pray a Novena?
Praying a novena is actually pretty easy and very straightforward. The first thing you need to do is to pinpoint your intention. You can do this by asking your self “What am I praying for?”. You can list down your intentions if that helps.
The next thing is to choose your novena. There are some novenas known for specific intentions and associated with certain patron saints. For example, your intention is to pray for someone who is sick with Cancer. The novena that you can pray is the St. Peregrine Novena because he is the patron saint for people who have deadly illnesses such as Cancer.
Lastly, commit and devote to nine days of prayer. Make sure you devote nine days to finish the novena. If you are not able to do so because something came up and stuff, don’t feel bad! Just continue where you left off or catch up!
Where to Get Novenas
There are a lot of places where you can get Novenas, but if you want something that will surely help you finish your novena, we highly suggest PrayMoreNovenas! It’s a website that offers to send you your novena of choice daily, through email for free! It’s something we have used over the years and has been very helpful for a lot of people around the world.
If you don’t have access to an email, you can check your local parish and ask them about the novenas they have and ask for a copy.