Novena of Grace

The Novena of Grace is a Catholic devotion addressed to St. Francis Xavier, who was a great missionary and evangelizer and who was canonized (along with St. Ignatius Loyola, his fellow Jesuit) in 1622.

This Novena is often celebrated from March 4 to March 12, the anniversary of Francis’s canonization.  The Church of St. Thomas More in St. Paul is currently praying the Novena of Grace in the context of the celebration of the Mass, with a preacher (this year Brother Tho Vu, S.J.) giving the homily each evening (and at the Sunday masses), which draws on the life of St. Francis Xavier.

Although I have missed most of the sessions, I was able to attend last evening. The Mass opened with a lovely Litany and Brother Tho gave a thoughtful homily on forgiveness.

Here is the prayer we prayed at the conclusion of the general intercessions:

Lord God, we honor the memory of the apostle of the Indies and Japan, St. Francis Xavier.

The remembrance of the favors with which you blessed him during life and of his glory after death fills us with joy; and we unite with him in offering to you our sincere tribute of thanksgiving and praise.  We ask you to grant us, through his powerful intercession, the supreme blessing of living and dying in the state of grace.  We also ask you to grans us the favors we seek in this novena.

[pause to bring to mind the spiritual or temporal favor you wish to receive.]

But if what we ask is not for the glory of God and the good of our souls, grant us, we pray, what is more conducive to both.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

St. Francis Xavier, pray for us!