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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.
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23220 news items

PA home page

PA home page
Sun, 27 Jul 2014 11:22:30 -0700

Normally, the weather makes headlines during the novena, from heat and humidity to rain, but this year the conditions were perfect almost everyday for people to bring their intentions to the grandmother of Jesus. This year, people who turned out for ...

Scranton Times-Tribune

Thu, 17 Jul 2014 13:37:30 -0700

St. Ann's Novena brings crowds several times a day to the Electric City's west side. St. Ann Street and the surrounding neighborhood in West Scranton becomes a parking lot leading up to the five masses that are held each day of the novena. The novena ...

Scranton Times-Tribune

Scranton Times-Tribune
Sat, 26 Jul 2014 18:54:36 -0700

Rick Frechette spoke of finding “wings” through faith to overcome loss and tragedy during one of the last sermons of St. Ann's Novena on Saturday, it struck a chord with the Dunmore resident. Father Frechette, a Catholic priest and physician stationed ...
Santa Monica Daily Press
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 06:18:45 -0700

For 102 years, the congregation has celebrated the Novena, a multi-day celebration honoring the church's namesake. Members of the church are currently in the middle of the nine-day event and they will mark its conclusion with a pair of public process ...

PA home page

PA home page
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:33:45 -0700

Scranton, Lackawanna County -- As the nearly decade-long pastor of St. Ann's Basilica in Scranton, Fr. Fran Landry, C.P. leads the parish. During the church's annual novena, he helps lead the food stand. Fr. Fran and an army of volunteers help prepare ...

Scranton Times-Tribune

Scranton Times-Tribune
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:18:45 -0700

Sara Davison of Princeton, N.J., lights a candle with Mary Agnes Procaccino of Princeton, N.J., as they remember and pray for family members in the Grotto to St. Ann between Novena services in Scranton, Pa., on Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Jake Danna ...

PA home page

PA home page
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 14:33:45 -0700

Scranton, Lackawanna County -- "Hold yourself up to the beatitudes and see how you are doing." That phrase uttered by Fr. Rick Frechette is part of his message at the 90th Novena to St. Ann. He is challenging the crowds attending the nine day novena to ...

Scranton Times-Tribune

Scranton Times-Tribune
Sat, 19 Jul 2014 21:07:30 -0700

JASON FARMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Julia Shandra, 5, with her grandmother, Kay Reuther of Dunmore, is blessed by the Rev. Richard Burke, rector of St. Ann's Monastery, during the Children's Mass on Saturday as part of the annual Solemn Novena ...

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