What is a Novena

Servant of God, Tshimangadzo Samuel Benedict Daswa


A Novena is a devotion consisting of prayers said on nine consecutive days, asking to obtain special graces or favours from God. This has always been a popular form of prayer in the Church. It follows the example of the nine days that the apostles and Mary spent in prayer between Ascension and Pentecost Sunday as they awaited the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. (cf Acts 1,14)

To make a Novena is to persevere in prayer, by asking for a favour over a period of nine successive days. It is in fulfillment of our Lord’s teaching that we must continue to pray and never lose confidence. This is based on Our Lord’s words: “Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock and the door shall be opened to you. For whoever asks receives; whoever seeks finds; whoever knocks is admitted.” (Luke 11:9-10)