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
- Day 1: The Early Years (1506-1525)
- Day 2: Francis meets Ignatius Loyola in Paris (1529-1534)
- Day 3: Francis and Ignatius gather a “group of friends” (1534-1536)
- Day 4: Francis and his companions in Rome (1536-1539)
- Day 5: The mission of Francis in South Asia – 1542-1549 (part 1)
- Day 6: The mission of Francis in South Asia – 1542-1549 (part 2)
- Day 7: The mission of Francis in South Asia – 1542-1549 (part 3)
- Day 8: Francis, First Missionary to Japan (1549-1551)
- Day 9: Death of Francis off the coast of China (December 3, 1552)
- The Novena Prayer
- The Novena hymns