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For the town in Singapore, see Novena, Singapore.
For the open-source computer, see Novena (computing platform).
A group of pious women gathered for a novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, most likely a mourning event. circa 1940.

A novena (from Latin: Novem, meaning Nine) is an institutional act of religious pious devotion in the Roman Catholic Church, often consisting of private or public prayers repeated for nine successive days in belief of obtaining special intercessory graces.[1]

The prayers are often derived from devotional prayer books, or consist of the recitation of the rosary (a "rosary novena"), or of short prayers through the day. Novena prayers are customarily printed in small booklets, and the novena is often dedicated to a specific angel, saint, a specific Marian title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or it invokes one of the personages of the Holy Trinity.

Within the Roman Catholic discipline, novena prayers for public use must have an Imprimatur, Nihil Obstat, and Imprimi potest. These ecclesiastical sanctions are usually granted by a bishop or any ranking prelate for publication and approval.


The practice of saying novenas is not explicitly derived from Holy Scripture, but was rather influenced by an early Greek and Roman custom performed by families consisting of nine days of mourning after the death of a loved one, followed by a feast.[2]

The practice was later adopted by new converts to the Roman Catholic faith who associated the event of the Twelve Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Upper Room as they prayed for nine days until the Holy Spirit descended on the Feast of the Pentecost. In the New Testament, this biblical event is often quoted from Acts of the Apostles, 1:12 – 2:5.

There are four recognized categories of novenas which belong to more than one of these categories:[2]

  • Mourning, or in anticipation of a Burial
  • In anticipation for a Church Feast or ending in Vespers (often requires Church attendance)
  • Individual or Group Petition (Expiatory)
  • Indulgence for the remission of Sins (often requires Sacrament of Confession or Church attendance)

By standard liturgical norms, novenas are performed in church, at home, or anywhere where solemn prayers are appropriate, though some indulgenced novenas require church attendance. Sometimes, a special candle or incense is lit at the beginning of the novena which burns during the nine days of prayer.

The first chapter of the General Principles of Sacrosanctum Concilium, #13 is often cited as a guideline regarding the implementations of public novenas.[3][4]

Other Christian use[edit]

Novena prayers are also practiced by some Orthodox and Anglican Christians, who hold close or similar beliefs regarding its pious practice.

See also[edit]



  • Right Reverend Monsignor Joseph F. Stedman, The New Revised 'Triple' Novena Manual, Confraternity of the Precious Blood, 1975.
  • Barbara Calamari & Sandra DiPasqua, Novena, Penguin Studio, 1999. ISBN 0-670-88444-8.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novena — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

35134 news items

Patheos (blog)

Patheos (blog)
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 04:48:45 -0700

A recent medical crisis prompted me to write the following Novena for Asthmatics, and I thought I'd share it. I don't tend to like fussy novenas, so this one is short and sweet. Add as many thees and thous and Memorares as you see fit. bernadette4 ...

Dundalk Democrat

Dundalk Democrat
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 03:41:15 -0700

For more than a century, the people of Dundalk, and all of Louth, Armagh, Monaghan, Cavan, Down, and beyond, have attended the nine-day annual novena in honour of St Gerard, a spiritual celebration by an entire community. There is a festive atmosphere ...
Sligo Champion
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 16:03:07 -0700

His life and thoughts will be recalled by his parents, Elma and Fionnbar Walsh, at a novena in Ballintogher on Saturday. Mrs Walsh told the Sligo Champion: "If we can reach one or two people, it will be good. "Donal was always positive and urged others ...


Mon, 08 Sep 2014 15:52:30 -0700

More than 15,000 devotees thronged the last large-scale annual outdoor procession in honour of Mother Mary at Novena Church on Sunday. The Catholic church, which will be closing its doors for a $45 million upgrade, has been holding the procession since ...

Patheos (blog)

Patheos (blog)
Sun, 07 Sep 2014 21:18:45 -0700

nativityofMary In honor of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I am posting “a novena of beauty” for nine straight days–starting today! I'll be sharing quotes on authentic beauty and its importance, links to articles on beauty, pieces of beautiful ...

Patheos (blog)

Patheos (blog)
Sat, 13 Sep 2014 06:07:30 -0700

Our_Lady_Carmel I didn't want to be Catholic any more. 1992 was the worst year of my life and I was a bitter, angry shell. But somehow, against my will, I was drawn to the Rosary. I didn't even know how to pray it, but I asked my mother to teach it to me.

Patheos (blog)

Patheos (blog)
Thu, 11 Sep 2014 07:31:16 -0700

phoneOFFhook An elderly lady from my church told me that she was the last to speak to her son-in-law the morning of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City. He called from an office engulfed in smoke to say a tearful good-bye ...
Patheos (blog)
Fri, 12 Sep 2014 13:03:45 -0700

Today, for Day Five of our Novena of Beauty, I feature videos that speak love, truth, and beauty to the world. First, a brief trailer from Brandon Vogt's extraordinary website, Strange Notions, which brings atheists and Catholics together for ...

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