Spiritual Resource: The Miraculous Novena of Grace
HISTORY: The Novena of Grace, which begins March 4th and ends on the 12th, the day of the canonization of St. Francis Xavier, owes its origin to the Saint himself. At Naples, in December, 1633, Father Marcello Mastrilli, S.J. was at the point of death. The Saint appeared to him and, bidding him renew a vow he had made to labor in Japan, said:
PROMISE: “All those who implore my help daily for nine consecutive days, from the 4th to the 12th of March included, and worthily receive the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist on one of the nine days, will experience my protection and may hope with entire assurance to obtain from God any grace they ask for the good of their souls and the glory of God.”
The Father arose, instantly cured. So well has the Saint kept this promise that this devotion in his honor became universally known as the Novena of Grace. Its efficacy is not restricted to the dates mentioned. It may be made very appropriately from November 25 -December 3, the Feast of St. Francis Xavier. Though any prayers can be said in honor of the Saint, the following are generally recommended.
Prayers for the Novena
PRAYER TO ST. FRANCIS XAVIER
Attributed to Father Marcello Mastrilli, S.J. (17th century)
O Saint Francis Xavier, well beloved and full of charity, in union with thee I reverently adore the Majesty of God, and since I specially rejoice in the singular gifts of grace bestowed on thee in life, and of glory after death, I give thanks to God, and beg of thee, with all the affection of my heart, that by thy powerful intercession thou may obtain for me above all things the grace to live a holy life and die a holy death. Moreover, I beg of thee to obtain for me (mention your favor), but if what I ask does not tend to the glory of God and the greater good of my soul, do thou, I beseech thee, obtain for me what will more certainly attain these ends. Amen.
Pray 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, 1 Glory be
Prayer of Saint Francis Xavier for the Conversion of Infidels
Eternal God, Creator of all things, remember that Thou alone didst create the souls of infidels, framing them to Thy Own image and likeness; behold, O Lord! how, to Thy dishonor, Hell is daily replenished with them. Remember, O Lord! Thy Only Son, Jesus Christ, Who suffered for them, most bountifully shedding His Precious Blood: suffer not, O Lord Thy Son and our Lord to be any longer despised by infidels; but rather, being appeased by the entreaties and prayers of the elect, the Saints, and of the Church, the most blessed spouse of Thy Son, vouchsafe to be mindful of Thy mercy, and forgetting their idolatry and infidelity, cause them also to know Him Whom Thou didst send, Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord, Who is our health, life, and resurrection, through Whom we are freed and saved, to Whom be all glory forever.
The Vision of St. Francis Xavier
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