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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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106191 news items

National Catholic Register

National Catholic Register
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 08:50:03 -0800

The novena is to take place on the first Thursday of each month, for nine consecutive months, beginning on Feb. 5. It will conclude on Oct. 1, the feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, three days before the opening of the synod. Already, faithful in Africa ...


Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:03:39 -0800

For this reason, and in response to Pope Francis' call to the faithful to offer special prayers over the course of this year for the crucial Synod on the Family in October 2015, a worldwide novena of Eucharistic Adoration is being launched to bring the ...

Connacht Tribune Group

Connacht Tribune Group
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 23:07:30 -0800

Rather than hymns, the faithful may well be bouncing home from the Novena with Beyoncé's hit Crazy in Love ringing in their ears as they attend this year's Novena in Galway Cathedral fresh from its makeover for its 50th anniversary. The theme of the ...
Wed, 14 Jan 2015 04:11:15 -0800

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A “9 Days for Life” novena taking place around the Jan. 22 anniversary of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion virtually on demand aims to unite Catholics in prayer, penance and pilgrimage. The Jan. 17-25 ...
Catholic Culture
Wed, 07 Jan 2015 02:10:15 -0800

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has announced that a novena for life will take place from January 17 to 25, around the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. “Pope Francis reminds us constantly of the loving concern ...
The Pilot
Tue, 06 Jan 2015 08:18:45 -0800

The “9 Days for Life” novena encourages nationwide solidarity in prayer for daily intentions, including for couples experiencing infertility, those mourning the loss of a child through abortion, children in need of adoptive homes, and for an end to ...
Tue, 06 Jan 2015 07:56:15 -0800

CEBU CITY -- Organizers said they have completed preparations for the Fiesta Señor nine-day novena. Fr. Jonas Mejares, rector of the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, said that the fiesta committee is fully prepared for the celebration, which will ...

GMA News

GMA News
Wed, 07 Jan 2015 21:32:07 -0800

People carrying images of the Sto. Nino join the Sinulog 2015 novena Mass and procession in Cebu City on Thursday, January 8. Ignazio Borromeo via YouScoop. Seen in these stories. Cebu Santo Niño image baffles owners with 'growing' hair 7:58PM Jan ...

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