November 30 is the beginning of the St. Andrew Christmas Novena. What’s a novena and who is St Andrew and why a Christmas Novena you ask? Before I break all that down, let me point you to some lovely reading others have posted on the St. Andrew Christmas Novena. Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things has some of the best stories and posts on the internet concerning this novena. She also has beautiful pictures of the answer to her prayers. See those cute little twin boys–answered prayer.
*I’ve updated the printable and included a free desktop or mobile wallpaper with the prayer on it. Click here for the revised St. Andrew prayer.
Meadows of Grace has a beautiful St. Andrew Chaplet in her shop. (I’ve also been enjoying her Finer Femininity magazines.) And Ruth from the Tucker Bunch/Just Another Day in Paradise also makes a beautiful St Andrew Chaplet.
And finally, while we are looking at beautiful chaplets and rosaries, have you seen this beautiful one, Gifts for the King. That would make a lovely Christmas Gift or an Epiphany gift.
St. Andrew Christmas Novena
Click to print the St Andrew Christmas Novena Printable with space to list your intentions.
Back to the St Andrew Christmas Novena. First, what is a Novena? A novena is simply nine days of prayer. Although the St Andrew Christmas Novena begins November 30 and is said until Christmas Eve. But for a typical novena, “Why nine days?” Think back to the story of the Apostles and Mary waiting in the upper room after our Lord’s Ascension. They were instructed by our Lord to pray and wait for the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1) And although the Book of Acts does use the term “Novena” or “Nine days of prayer” here’s the timeline of events:
Ascension: Day 40, apostles go into prayer.
41 Pray – First day of prayer.
42 Pray – Day 2
43 Pray – Day 3
44 Pray – Day 4
45 Pray – Day 5
46 Pray – Day 6
47 Pray – Day 7
48 Pray – Day 8
49 Pray – Day 9
Pentecost: Holy Spirit descends
And again, why nine days? Aside from the obvious timeline of events, there is a constancy in prayer evident in committing to nine days. The scriptures tell us to pray without ceasing. Also, recall the story our Lord told of the persistent widow found in Luke 18. The widow was rewarded for her persistence. (Luke 18:7)
Who is St. Andrew and why do we pray to him? First, and most importantly, we are not praying to St. Andrew. We are remembering him as an Apostle of our Lord and seeking his intercession–although oddly, he is not even mentioned in this novena. Seeking the intercession of a saint or Mary, the Mother of Jesus can cause some confusion. But just like you may call me and ask me to pray for some intention you have: your husband getting a job, your mother’s medical tests, your joy in your home today…we ask the saints to do the same for us. And no, that is not praying to the dead as some my say. How many times do we say or hear someone say, “I know my granny is looking out for me from Heaven…I feel like my mom is watching over me through this trial…” Seeking the intercession of the saints is the same thing.
Why St. Andrew? Simply because November 30th is his feast day or the day we remember his death. Again, something we do all the time in our day to day with family and friends; we remember the day they were born and or the day they died. Again, although this called the St Andrew Christmas Novena, it being on his feast day, November 30 and is said until Christmas Eve.
I hope I have cleared up any confusion, questions or misconceptions you may have about the St Andrew Christmas Novena. Enjoy the printable with space to list your intentions and the other links I shared about this beautiful devotion.
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