What is a Novena?

By Annie Huntington on May 5, 2020

Rural Outreach and Ministry

Novena comes from the Latin word “novem”, meaning nine. A novena is a nine-day period of prayer, private or public, to call upon God for special graces, petitions, or in praise. Novenas usually ask for a particular Saint to intercede on behalf of the individual, community or nation. Therefore, they typically begin or end on a Saint’s feast day.

How do I pray a novena?

To pray a novena, you simply pray the prayer for each day. Some novenas have specific prayers for each day and others repeat the same prayer daily. It is not necessary to pray at the same time every day or to pray the rosary in conjunction with the novena but you are always welcome to add those prayers if you want to.

What if I miss a day?

It’s okay! We suggest you either say two prayers in one day, one for the day you missed plus the current day, or just don’t sweat it and continue with the current day. There are no consequences and God is merciful!

Who is St. Isidore and why are you offering a novena to him?

St. Isidore is the Patron Saint of farmers and Catholic Rural Life. He was a very prayerful man and particularly devoted to daily Mass and the Holy Eucharist. It was said that because of this, two angels, one on either side of Isidore, appeared and joined their pious companion in plowing the fields. To read more about the life of St. Isidore and his wife, Maria, click here.

Every year hundreds of people across the country join together for a very special Novena to St. Isidore. Due to the challenges of the current pandemic, we decided to offer the novena virtually this year! In this novena, we join with St. Isidore to implore the Lord to have mercy on us, especially our farmers and the most vulnerable in our rural communities during this pandemic.

For more information about the virtual novena, click here.

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