Saturday, January 22, 2011

Novena to St. John Bosco

When I was taking instruction to become a Catholic, I was told that a novena was a special prayer said for nine consecutive days. For a moment this conjured up an image in my head of someone kneeling in prayer for nine consecutive 24-hour periods. What is meant is a simple prayer offered once each day for nine days. The purpose of the novena is to obtain some grace from Heaven.

Why nine? There are plenty of reasons why it is a fit number. Christ gave up the ghost in prayer at the ninth hour. Mary carried Christ in her womb or nine months. After the Resurrection, the Apostles prayed for nine days; it was on the tenth day that Pentecost took place.

Today I start a new novena to St. John Bosco. On January 31st -- the sain'ts feast day -- I will celebrate the 12th anniversary of my becoming a Catholic, Deo gratias; the novena is an act of thanksgiving.

Novena to St. John Bosco
January 22nd - 30th

Father and Teacher of the Young,
In need of special help,
I appeal with confidence to you,
Saint John Bosco,
for I require not only spiritual graces,
but also temporal ones, and particularly (name the request)...

Resume with this prayer:

May you, who on earth had such great devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and to Mary Help of Christians, and who always had compassion for those who were suffering,
obtain from Jesus and His Heavenly Mother
the grace I now request, and also a sincere resignation to the Will of God.

Recite an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be.

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