The St. Andrew Novena begins! This post has everything you need to know about St. Andrew and the St. Andrew Novena. Plus printables, a mobile lock screen, and a desktop wallpaper. Let’s get started.
Let’s begin with who St. Andrew was. According to the Gospel of John, Andrew was a follower of St. John the Baptist and when he saw Jesus, immediately recognized Christ as the Messiah and called his brother, Simon Peter to follow Him. Andrew was also present at the Last Supper; Andrew was with our Lord from the beginning of His public life to His earthly end. Andrew is also recognized as the Apostle who tells our Lord of the boy with five barley loaves and two small fishes.(John 6:1-15) Tradition states after Jesus ascended into Heaven, St. Andrew went to Greece to preach the gospel. He was eventually crucified by being tied to a cross-shaped in the form of an “X.” He lived two days, hanging in that state of suffering, still preaching the Gospel to the people gathered around.
Let me take a quick detour here. Tonight I was reading in my One Year Bible (I’m a little behind) and I was reading Daniel 6. In this chapter, the administrators and high officers didn’t like Daniel. They couldn’t find anything to accuse him of because he was, “…faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy.” The only thing they could get him on was something “…in connection with the rules of his religion.” They went to the king and had him issue a law “…that for the next 30 days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human,” except to the king, “will be thrown into the den of lions.”
Here’s the detour and it’s a good one. When Daniel learned that this law had been signed, look at verse 10, “…he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room” and “…prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.”
When I read that I ripped a piece of paper out of my planner (I haven’t started using my Bible and Prayer Journal yet. I will this weekend!) and wrote this down, “Don’t change what you’re doing when a hardship comes, continue in faithfulness.”
St. Andrew was being crucified on a cross, hanging upside down and he continued doing what he’d been doing–still preaching the Gospel. Daniel knew there was a law forbidding him to pray to God, and he responded by doing what he had always been doing, his “usual.” When we are tempted and attacked, we need to keep doing what we’ve been doing spiritually. In the midst of an attack is not the time to make serious changes to our spiritual life.
Back to St. Andrew though. St. Andrew is important because he was our Lord’s first follower. Not only did he follow Christ, he followed Christ to the death, Jesus’ and his own. And we just paid close attention to how he behaved during this time, he kept on preaching the Gospel right to the very end. That is the example I want to follow in my life and leave for my children.
Now, what’s a novena? A novena is simply nine days of prayer. Although the St. Andrew 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
So we talked about who St. Andrew was and what a Novena is. Here are your printables, desktop wallpaper and lockscreen.
I hope I have answered any and all questions you may have about praying the St. Andrew Novena also known as the St. Andrew Christmas Novena. Now, do you want to read some lovely stories of answered prayer? Well, I’ve gathered some attributed to the praying of the St. Andrew Novena:
Mary at Young and Catholic–Why You Should Pray the St. Andrew Christmas Novena This Advent
Sarah of Read Aloud Revival at Amongst Lovely Things–Why I Love the St. Andrew Christmas Novena
Allison at 1 Peter 5–Vouchsafe, O My God
Elizabeth at In the Heart of My Home–One Quiet Moment with God (Looking back through Elizabeth’s archives, it seems she’s been promoting the St. Andrew Novena since at least 2006 on her blog. I’m sure St. Andrew will greet her with a smile for helping spread this lovely devotion.