Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Novena to Blessed John Paul II

Following his beatification in May, ST PAULS is the first to publish a novena to Blessed John Paul II.

The word "novena" comes from the Latin meaning "nine each" and is prayer offered for nine consecutive days. In scripture, after the Ascension, we see Mary, together with the apostles and disciples, gathered in the upper room devoted to constant prayer prior to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 1:4-5).

The nine days of prayer can also be considered as representative of the nine months Jesus spent in the womb of Mary. Like Jesus our Head, we His Body are also to be born of Mary and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, each novena can be considered to be a time of gestation before a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus exhorted us to continually ask, seek, and knock for what we need (Lk 11:10), and he gave us strong examples of the value of persistence in prayer - like the widow who kept pleading with the judge (Lk 18:1-8) and the man who woke his neighbour in the middle of the night to give him bread (Lk 11:5-9). But prayer must always be made according to the will of God. Even Christ Himself prayed, "Not my will, Father, but Yours be done." We pray with trust that God will give us what He knows is best for us.

Novenas can be times of persevering prayer for special needs, or of preparation for solemn feasts. They also can help us to focus our intentions so that we can more effectively give thanks for God’s response to our needs - whatever they are - placing ever greater trust in the Lord Jesus.

Our Novena to Blessed John Paul II contains a series of petitions based upon nine of the many writings of John Paul II, with prayers based upon the writings of his successor, Pope Benedict XVI.

The Novena is available in all ST PAULS bookshops or can be purchased online from here.