The Novena of Grace is a centuries old tradition and is one of the main Jesuit devotions worldwide. It was first held in Dublin in 1712 and takes place in the days prior to the anniversary of the canonization of Saint Francis and St Ignatius on March 12th.
Francis Xavier is hailed as the greatest missioner in the Church and one of the greatest travellers of all time. The distances he covered – mainly on foot – were staggering. He baptized countless thousands – in India and later in Japan. He died in sight of China, where he had wanted to go. He is rightly venerated as principal Patron of the Missions.
It was in the process of the canonization of St Francis Xavier that the Novena is first mentioned. In Goa, (where Xavier first set foot in India) in 1615, a young boy, crippled from birth, was cured after this Novena was made by the Faithful. The first public Novena of Grace was held in Naples in 1643. It was first celebrated in Ireland in 1712 in St Mary’s Lane Chapel (near Dublin Castle) and, since 1831, in the Jesuit church dedicated to Saint Francis Xavier in Gardiner Street, Dublin.
Today we continue to be part of this long tradition and the Novena of Grace is celebrated in all Jesuit parishes and in the Communities throughout the world. It has become a tradition here in Clongowes that we make our special intention of the Novena to pray for the current Rhetoric – that God may inspire them to choose their career in life Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam – for the Greater Glory of God. So let us do that during these nine days up to 12th March.
O kind and loving St Francis Xavier – united to you, we adore almighty God.
When we recall the graces, which God gave you in life -and of your glory after death – we rejoice and give thanks.
And we unite with you to offer God praise and worship.
Now – through your powerful help -we ask you to gain for us the all-important grace of living and dying in friendship with God.
We also ask you to obtain the special favour we now ask during the Novena [we pray especially that the Holy Spirit may guide our Rhetoric students in their choice of career as men-for-others -and also for our own particular intentions], but – if what we ask is not for the glory of God or for our own good – obtain for us what is best for both.
Our Father – Hail Mary – Glory be to the Father.
The Novena Leaflet will be available on the table beside the Pastoral Noticeboard -please help yourself. The Novena Prayer will be said each day at Morning Assembly and all are invited – if unable to attend – to make the Novena at a time which suits best.