What is a novena? The word comes from the Latin word for nine, which is novem. Our month of November gets its name because November was the ninth month of the ancient Roman year which began with March. A novena gets its name from the tradition of praying for nine successive days or weeks. A novena is a prayer for a special intention that is repeated nine times.
Praying on nine continuous days or weeks arose from the tradition that Mary and the apostles prayed in the Upper Room for nine days between the Ascension of Jesus into heaven and the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Novenas contain the idea of perseverance in prayer.
On any Tuesday you may join those making a novena at the National Shrine of St. Anthony by reciting and continuing to pray the following St. Anthony prayers for nine consecutive Tuesdays. Mass is offered in the Shrine chapel every Tuesday at 7:30 am and 7:00 pm, a St. Anthony Novena is at 2:30 pm, or you may wish to attend Mass on that day at any convenient church. In God’s own way, we are always blessed by this trust and perseverance.
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