The Power of Novena Prayers

The Power of Novena Prayers

painting of St. Francis

Detail of Christine H.'s painting inspired by Francisco de Zurbarán’s art on St. Francis’ death contemplation.

Lately I've been going through a midlife crisis. My mom had a stroke in June of last year, and there's an unresolved rift between my siblings over her minor inheritance. My husband has continued to be unfaithful in our marriage. Sadness and disappointment have hit me. However, with daily Rosary prayer and regular confession and penance, I receive graces and strength from God to turn my anguish into positive thoughts, which I’ve expressed in two paintings.

calligraphy with flowers and whear

C.H.'s calligraphy, "Food for Life" is inspired by John 6:51.

One is an oil painting of St. Francis praying before the crucifix that was inspired by Francisco de Zurbarán’s art on St. Francis’ death contemplation. I drew St. Francis holding a Tau cross instead of skull. The other one is calligraphy art—"Food for Life" with grapes, wheat, and the Holy Eucharist that was inspired by John 6:51: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

I kept praying through the intercession of St. Francis and Our Lady and invoked the Holy Spirit to hold my hands to draw and asked Abba Father to unite my sufferings with Christ. I also prayed for the souls in purgatory, the conversion of sinners, and all people who are suffering from illnesses. Lord Jesus, have mercy on us sinners!

By the sixth day of the Novena to St. Francis, two of my prayers were answered. I prayed and hoped to be able to introduce and lead the Franciscan Crown Rosary with the catechism students, and we did it on Saturday during a fruitful, joyous, and spirit-filled session with 50 over people.

Secondly, I prayed to the Lord through the intercession of Mary and St. Francis to let my two paintings sell off during the student art exhibition (theme: Praise God for All His Creatures) to contribute a little donation to the poor. Indeed, both sold the next day!

Alleluia! Praise the Lord!

—Christine H. from Malaysia

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2 paintings of St. Francis

The painting on the left, Saint Francis of Assisi in His Tomb, by Francisco de Zurbarán (Spanish, 1598–1664), was the inspiration for Christine’s painting on the right.

Posted in: Prayer, Saint Francis