What is a Novena?
The word novena is taken from “novem,” the Latin word for nine. A novena is made up of nine days of prayer and meditation usually to ask God for special prayer requests or petitions. Novenas are often used to ask specific saints to pray for us. Novenas are an ancient tradition that goes back to the days of the Apostles. Jesus told His disciples to pray together after His ascension into heaven, so they went to an upper room along with the Blessed Virgin Mary, (Acts 1:14) and joined constantly in prayer for nine days. These nine days of constant prayer by the Apostles at the direction of Jesus led up to Pentecost. This is when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples as “tongues of fire” (Acts 2:1-4). This pattern of 9 days of prayer is the basis the novenas we pray today. Thus, the novena is an imitation of the Lord’s command to the Apostles when they prayed for 9 days in anticipation of the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Read more at: Pray More Novenas
Why pray the novena to the Sacred Heart?
Pope Francis has said “The Heart of Jesus is the ultimate symbol of God’s mercy; but it is not an imaginary symbol, it is a real symbol, which represents the center, the source from which salvation of all humanity gushed forth.”
Throughout the past year, the Church in America has been forced to reevaluate the pain inflicted upon innocent lives at the hands of those in authority. This has left many to feel lost, or disillusioned by the church leadership, and perhaps even lose their trust in God and His Church. Rather than allow ourselves to become disheartened, the people of the parish, in alliance with our pastoral staff and clergy of Sacred Heart have renewed our own spiritual foundation built upon our faith in the Merciful Sacred Heart of Jesus. In the past few years, we have increased the opportunities for devotion and spiritual rebuilding. Exposition of the Holy Eucharist along with Adoration and Benediction, have been
added monthly on the first Sundays. We observe in song, prayer and fellowship the public recitation of the Novena to the Sacred Heart leading up to our Patronal Feast Day in June. This past year we added a processional litter and statue of the Sacred Heart to our Procession to the picnic grounds on the Feast Day.
If a Novena is 9 days, why are we holding a 12 day 'novena' this year?
As of June 2019, members of our parish designed, created and printed 12 unique banners which hang in the transcept (6 per side) of our church and recall the 12 Promises of Jesus given to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. We believe these promises hold all of the keys to healing the wounded, embittered and broken within our Church, community and families. The artwork used on the banners represents styles from many diverse Catholic cultures and regions of the world, and inspire reflection on the universal heart of
Christ. As one of the most culturally, linguistically and economically diverse parishes in the Archdiocese, the images were chosen with the intention of representing to each of our parishioners a vision of Christ which is most intimately reflected within their own family.
We believe that the 12 Promises of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the 16th century, still hold all of the answers to solve the problems of our families, our church and our world here and now. We will spend the 12 days of our super-sized novena, reflecting on each of these 12 promises. Please Join us!
How do I pray with the community of Sacred Heart this year?
Our Novena begins June 1, 2021 at 7:30pm in our church Sanctuary.
Whether you join us in person or via LiveStream as we adore Jesus Christ present body, blood soul and divinity in the Eucharist for corporate worship, we invite you pray with us by following the worship aid here:
The 12 Day Novena of Sacred Heart