The History of Novenas
The first novena in Christian history was the feast of the Pentecost, the very “birthday” of the Church. Immediately before Our Lord ascended into Heaven, He told His disciples, “[Y]ou will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The disciples and the Blessed Virgin Mary then gathered in prayer for nine days until that first Pentecost, when God poured out His Spirit, as promised.
The word “novena” itself comes from the Latin for the number nine, and Christians have associated this number with various themes, the aforementioned preparation for Pentecost, the nine months Christ spent in the Virgin’s womb, or the Lord giving up His spirit at the ninth hour upon the Cross.
We offer four preached Novenas each year, and three non-preached Novenas, along with a month-long commemoration of the souls of the faithful departed during all of November. We offer a Mass and remember all intentions at our times of prayer as a Dominican community, as well as placing all intentions we receive on the altar of St. Jude. Intentions can be submitted online, by phone, by mail, or even in person at our office or Shrine.
- Our Lady of Lourdes (February 3-11)
- St. Peregrine (June 1-9)
- St. Monica (August 19-27)
- St. Jude (October 20-28)
- Mother’s Day Novena (ending on Mother’s Day each year)
- Father’s Day Novena (ending on Father’s Day each year)
- Christmas Novena (December 25-January 2 of the following year)
Special Commemoration of All Souls of the Faithful Departed
For the entire month of November.