Novena To Blessed Alphonse Marie
For the Salvation of the Souls
Why Should We Pray for Nine Days? Why Should We Pray the Novena?
The word novena comes from Latin novem, which means nine. Its supporters say that this practice arose when Jesus was ascending to the heavens and commanded his disciples to pray for nine days. The Acts of the Apostles reminds us of the period after Christ’s ascension that at His command the apostles returned to the upper room praying in the simple community, which was the first core of the Church (cf. Acts 1:12-14), “While meeting with them, he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father. All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers” (Acts 1:4.14). The disciples prayed nine days and on the tenth day – on Pentecost – received the Holy Spirit.
Every year after the Ascension, the Church experiences this first novena – Novena to the Holy Spirit. The apostles gathered in the upper room with Christ’s mother and prayed that the promise given them by the resurrected Christ would be fulfilled. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). This first apostolic Novena to the Holy Spirit is a model of every celebration in the Church: Veni, Creator Spiritus! “Come Holy Spirit….
This Novena to Blessed Alphonse Marie is an urgent plea for salvation of souls. She said the Lord, “My Divine Spouse, I do not want honor and respect for myself; I only want honor for you and salvation of souls.” She highly recommended to her Sisters, “Do not hesitate; choose the opportune moment because the soul’s salvation is in question.” Why do we hesitate to embrace the cross and allow ourselves to be nailed on it when our reward is happiness for all eternity?