We invite you to join us and pray the Novena of Grace in honour of Saint Francis Xavier. It is traditional to pray the Novena for a particular intention; to ask for what you desire from God. Pray for your own needs, those of your loved ones, or the needs of the world.
The Novena of Grace usually takes place in a church, from 4-12 March, where a preacher gives a sermon, traditionally on the life of Saint Francis Xavier and draws lessons for his listeners. There is a set prayer and a hymn that the congregation sing. Usually the novena is set within the Eucharist. We have added a modern version of the prayers. We suggest you choose whichever version you are most comfortable with.
The first Novena of Grace of Francis Xavier, nine days of prayer, is said to have taken place in Goa, India, in 1615, when a boy, crippled from birth, was cured. After Francis Xavier was named a Saint on 12th of March, 1622, the Novena of Grace grew in popularity around the world. It reached Ireland in 1712 when it was first celebrated in Mary’s Lane Chapel in St Michan’s Parish, Dublin.
Grace can be seen as the power within us that gives us the strength to reach out to others in generosity, care and love. ‘Grace‘ is a traditional term used in the Catholic Church for a favour or free gift from God. Christians often ask God for favours, or graces. In doing this we acknowledge that God is the Giver of all Gifts.
We suggest that you:
- read the story from the life of Saint Francis
- ponder on the ‘Reflection’ for a few minutes
- pray the novena prayer
Saint Francis Xavier Novena Prayer
O most kind and loving saint, in union with you I adore the Divine Majesty. The remembrance of the favours with which God blessed you during life, and of your glory after death, fills me with joy; and I unite with you in offering to God my humble tribute of thanksgiving and of praise.
I implore of you to secure for me, through your powerful intercession, the all important blessing of living and dying in the state of grace. I also beseech you to obtain the favour I ask in this Novena (here mention the favour to be asked for):
but if what I ask is not for the glory of God or for the good of my soul, obtain for me what is most conducive to both.
who was pleased to gather unto your Church
the people of the East
by the preaching and miracles of blessed Francis,
mercifully grant that we who honour his glorious merits,
may also imitate the example of his virtues,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Alternative Novena Prayer
I join with you Saint Francis in bowing before the God of all Creation. When I look at the great things you did during life, I see what marvels can be achieved by a person blessed by God. I join with you in praising God and giving thanks for all the good things I have been given. Dear Saint Francis, please pray to God for me and ask that I may live and die in God’s favour. Please ask God for me for provided, of course, that this would be good for me. In the end, my only wish is for whatever gives glory to God and is good for my health in body, mind and spirit. Amen.
O God, you used Francis Xavier
to take the Christian message to the East.
You inspired his teaching,
supported him in his work
for the poor, sick and oppressed,
and strengthened him
in times of loneliness and trial.
May we who are inspired
by the life of Saint Francis Xavier
imitate his virtues,
and come to our eternal joy with you,
through Christ our Lord.
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