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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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30564 news items

Irish Times

Irish Times
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 06:21:46 -0700

Novena speakers this year will include Jesuit Fr David Neuheus on Thursday next, Dominican Fr Timothy Radcliffe on Friday, Bishop of Raphoe Philip Boyce on Saturday, Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran on Sunday, Fr Padraig Devine of the Shalom Centre for ...
Leinster Express
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 05:11:15 -0700

This year's novena runs over nine evenings starting on Sunday, August 31 when Fr Paddy Byrne will be the main speaker. The other nights details are as follows: Monday, September 1, Fr Flan Lynch; Tuesday, September 2 Fr Eamonn O'Gorman; Wednesday ...

The Straits Times

The Straits Times
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:24:54 -0700

Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital (MENH) has begun accepting patients from Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) this week, in a move to ease the massive bed crunch faced by public hospitals. It becomes the third hospital from the Parkway Pantai group, the ...
Mayo News
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 04:37:30 -0700

THE annual Knock Novena crossed the halfway stage last night (Monday) and is now entering the last four days of the nine day event. The celebrations on August 15 attracted thousands to the village with the first pilgrims arriving before 5am, many after ...

Irish Independent

Irish Independent
Sun, 17 Aug 2014 18:30:00 -0700

Fr Bishop said that as soon as the novena finishes his attention will turn to a new programme of evangelisation and the overhaul of the basilica which will be announced in October. Bishop Doran's message yesterday in Knock and at the All Ireland Fleadh ...
Thu, 07 Aug 2014 13:48:45 -0700

Jersey City's Holy Rosary Church is holding a series of daily Novena services, which started yesterday and run until Aug. 14, for the feasts of Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Rocco. Church Secretary Christina Szpala said each Novena service will ...
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 21:41:15 -0700

Another book 'Novena of Holy Cross' was released by Praveen Patrao, vice president of the Parish Pastoral Council. The books were transliterated by Sushil Noronha, former vice president and Richard Alvares. The program was presided by Fr Valerian Pinto ...

Patheos (blog)

Patheos (blog)
Sat, 09 Aug 2014 07:03:45 -0700

Saint_Edith_Stein On August 9th, 1942, Edith Stein (St. Theresa Benedicta of the Cross) was gassed to death at Auschwitz along with perhaps a thousand others. This brilliant and holy woman, a Carmelite nun and convert from Judaism, was one of many ...

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