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The word Novena comes from the Latin ‘novem’ which means nine. In the Catholic Church a Novena is a period of private or public prayer for a special intention, usually said over nine days.

The first Novena was established by Christ himself immediately prior to his Ascension into heaven.

“… you will receive the power of the Holy Spirit which will come on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judaea and Samaria and indeed to earth’s remotest end.” Acts 1:. With that the disciples returned to Jerusalem to the upper room where they were ‘constantly in prayer’ Acts 1:14. After nine days of prayer they received the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Day.

St. Teresa of Calcutta was known to pray an “express novena” which was 9 Memorare’s in a row. She was all about showing love to her Mother in Heaven in the tiniest of ways. Pray a Memorare to your Mother in Heaven as a beginning of this day’s prayers:

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy 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.

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