St. Francis Novena – Day 9

Let us pray for all those suffering with mental illness and their families.


Fr. David Kobak, OFM

How often do we find ourselves fretting over the mistakes we have made in the past? Our fears and anxieties in life often seem to take control over us until they leave room for nothing else. The grace and goodness of life appear out of reach. A deep spiritual depression sets in. Feelings of hopelessness and distance from God creep into us. What can we do?

One of my favorite therapists, Dr. Daniel Amen, M.D., calls these feelings ANTS: Automatic Negative Thoughts. Fears and Anxieties have a way of taking over. They appear often and out of nowhere. The key to ridding yourself of them is to recognize them for what they are. When you feel one of these “ANTS” crawling on you, shake it off and squish it. That “ANT” has no right to enter your life. It has no right to “bite you.” Yet those ANTS of fears and anxieties are persistent! I find myself “bitten” quite often. It is a never-ending struggle. The key is recognition. Our “guard” should always be on alert, ever vigilant. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? It is not.

The power of prayer can be miraculous. Open yourself to the healing Grace of the Holy Spirit. As we celebrate this Novena to St. Francis so close to his feast day, pray that through his intercession you may be free of all fears and anxieties. Pray that you can be free at last to live your life in goodness, peace, and love; to live as the Holy Spirit meant you to live. May this novena help us to unburden ourselves and live in the light of Christ.

Fr. David

(Fr. David Kobak, OFM, serves at St. Anthony Shrine in Cincinnati, Ohio.)

Pray the Novena to Francis of Assisi

Read by Fr. Murray Bodo, OFM

“At last, when all of God’s mysteries were fulfilled in him, the blessed man fell asleep in the Lord. One of his brothers and disciples saw his soul under the appearance of a radiant star being carried aloft in a shining cloud over many waters on a direct path into heaven,” writes St. Bonaventure in his Life of St. Francis. Post your prayer intentions to St. Francis on our Prayer page.

The Novena to St. Francis of Assisi

Day 9

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Poor and humble St. Francis, through your kind intercession we seek to love God above all things. We seek the faith, hope, and love that moved you to joyfully renounce honors and riches and to radically follow our Lord Jesus Christ.

Pray for us that we come to see the privilege of suffering with and for the poor after the example of Jesus. Help us to be always grateful for all the blessings we have received and give us the strength to overcome our most pressing concerns.

(Include your personal intentions now.)

Almighty Father, through the kind intercession of St. Francis, we humbly ask for the grace to be free of the fears and anxieties that beset us.

St. Francis, help us to continue praying for the grace to truly repent and change our hearts by actively seeking reconciliation with God and all those we have offended or hurt in any way. May the blessings we receive through your intercession deepen our faith, and inspire us to store up treasures in heaven, where we hope to spend eternity with our loving God.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.

St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,


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Fr. Murray Bodo, OFM, is a writer and poet. His book, Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from St. Francis, is published by Franciscan Media.

Videos and articles on St. Francis at Franciscan Media.

We follow Jesus in the footsteps of St. Francis, learn more at

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