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For the town in Singapore, see Novena, Singapore.

In the Catholic Church, a novena is a devotion consisting of prayer said (most typically) on a single day, asking to obtain special graces. These may consist of small prayer books, recitation of the Rosary, or small prayers through the day. There are four recognized categories of Novenae, those of mourning, preparation, prayer, and those which are indulgenced, however, a given novena can belong to more than one of these categories.

The practice of saying novenas is derived from Scripture. After Jesus's Ascension into heaven, he told his disciples to pray together in the upper room and devote themselves to constant prayer (Acts 1:14). Doctrine proposes that the Apostles, Blessed Virgin Mary, and other followers of Jesus prayed together for nine consecutive days, concluding in the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.

Though the novena is primarily a devotion used by members of the Catholic Church, it has spread to the Orthodox, Anglican, and even some Lutheran churches.


  • The New Revised "Triple" Novena Manual, by th Right Reverend Monsignor Joseph F. Stedman, Confraternity of the Precious Blood, 1975.
  • Novena, by Barbara Calamari & Sandra DiPasqua, . . . Penguin Studio, 1999. ISBN 0-670-88444-8

External links

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