Did you know that a novena is not limited to just nine days, but can be said over a period of nine consecutive hours? The concept of a novena (from the Latin word “novem” meaning “nine”) comes from the nine days that the Blessed Virgin Mary spent praying with the apostles between the Ascension of Jesus and the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. However, in today’s busy world, there may be times when we don’t have nine days to wait for an answer. In those emergency cases, you can say a novena prayer for nine consecutive hours instead of days. However, remember that the power of any prayer or novena does not come from the words themselves (that would be superstitious), but rather relies on the faith in which these prayers are said.
Ideally, the best way to do a 9-hour novena is to prepare your day so that you can focus on the prayers and God during those nine hours, making that your primary focus during these nine hours. Between these prayers (usually said at the top of every hour), you can do menial tasks while focusing on your request, but make sure to stop at the same time every hour to say the prayers. If you do have to work at your job on that day (and can’t wait until a weekend), then do your best to minimize the amount of distractions and set your alarm on your phone to go off every hour to remind you to say the prayers.
It is also recommended to say the prayer for the first nine hours, and on the beginning of the tenth hour, say a pray of thanksgiving in advance. For example, if you start at 9 am, then you would say prayers nine times at the top of every hour (9, 10, 11 am, 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 pm) and then a prayer of thanksgiving at the end of the ninth hour (6 pm).
You can basically pray any novena durig these nine hours, but there are few that have gained popularity:
St. Teresa of Calcutta Emergency Novena
One of St. Teresa of Calcutta’s favorite prayer was the Memorare, and when she needed a favor quickly, she turned this prayer into a 9-hour “express” novena. In cases of a real emergency, she would simply say the Memorare nine times in a row, meditating on the words she was saying.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
Infant Jesus of Prague Powerful Novena
Devotion to Jesus as a child is a long-standing tradition going back to the early Church Fathers, like St. Athanasius and St. Jerome, and later saints helped increase this devotion. Meditation on “the hidden life [of Jesus] at Nazareth allows everyone to enter into fellowship with Jesus by the most ordinary events of daily life.” (CCC 533).
The statue known as the “Infant of Prague” is about 18 inches tall, and has a rich history and numerous miracles attributed this devotion to the child Jesus (click here for more information). As Jesus told Fr. Cyril who repaired the statue: “The more you honor Me, the more I will bless you.” There are two prayers that are commonly used for this special novena:
Efficacious Prayer to the Holy Child Jesus
This prayer was revealed by the Blessed Mother to Father Cyril.
O Child Jesus, I have recourse to You through Your Holy Mother; I implore You to assist me in this necessity, for I firmly believe that Your Divinity can assist me. I confidently hope to obtain Your holy grace. I love You with my whole heart and my whole soul. I am heartily sorry for my sins, and entreat You, O good Jesus, to give me strength to overcome them.
I am firmly resolved never to offend You again and to suffer everything rather than displease You. Henceforth, I wish to serve You faithfully. For love of You, O divine Child, I will love my neighbor as myself. O Jesus, omnipotent Child, I entreat You again to come to my assistance in this necessity. (Mention It)
Grant me the grace of possessing You eternally with Mary and Joseph and of adoring You with Your Holy Angels and Saints. Amen.
Infant of Prague Urgent Novena
This Novena is to be said at the same time every hour for nine consecutive hours in one day.
O Jesus, Who has said, “ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you”, through the intercession of Mary, Your most Holy Mother, I knock, I seek, I ask that my prayer be granted. (Make Your Request).
O Jesus, Who has said, “all that you ask of the Father in My Name, He will grant you”, through the intercession of Mary Your Most Holy Mother, I humbly and earnestly ask Your Father in Your name that my prayer be granted. (Make Your Request).
O Jesus, Who has said, “Heaven and Earth shall pass away but my word shall not pass”, through the intercession of Mary, Your Most Holy Mother, I feel confident that my prayer will be granted. (Make Your Request).
O Divine Child of Prague, and still the great omnipotent God, I implore through Your Most Holy Mother’s most powerful intercession and through the boundless mercy of Your omnipotence answer to the Intention I so earnestly ask for in this Novena. O Divine Child of Prague, hear my prayer and grant my petition. (Say Three Times).
The Surrender Novena
Servant of God Father Dolindo Ruotolo (1882-1970) was a Franciscan priest who was born and lived in Naples, Italy. His contemporary Franciscan, St. Padre Pio, called him a “saint” and said that the “whole of paradise” was in his soul. Fr. Dolindo was blessed with many things, including conversations with Jesus. It was during these conversations that he was given the Surrender Novena, in which Jesus said: “A thousand prayers cannot equal one single act of surrender, remember this well. There is no novena more effective than this.”
You can find the prayers for the novena and Rosary of abandonment HERE.