What is a novena anyway? A novena is a vocal prayer that you commit to praying over an extended period of time, typically nine days. These prayers are usually linked to a specific devotion and typically to a specific intention that we are praying for. One can offer a novena, as a way to petition God for a special grace, like the healing of a sick person, or the conversion of someone who is far away from God. It is important to remember, however, that novenas are not magic formulas. They are prayers and are a way we can enter into conversation with God.
Why do we pray the novena? Our Shrine’s devotion is to Our Lady of Knock, whose feast day is August 21st; and so, we pray this novena 9 days prior to this day.
The Apparition The Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, and St. John the Evangelist, along with a Lamb atop the altar, appeared one night to a small group of people at the south gable of the Church of St. John the Baptist in County Mayo Ireland, on August 21, 1879.
At the time, this apparition was a certain sign of God’s love to a people in need. Pilgrims now travel to the Knock Shrine in Ireland, as Mary in all her motherly love, reaches out to them as Pope Francis said during his trip to Aparacida, “Dear Friends, we have come to knock at the door of Mary’s house. She has opened it for us, she has let us in and she shows us her Son. Now she asks us to “do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5). Yes, dear Mother, we are committed to doing whatever Jesus tells us! And we will do it with hope, trusting in God’s surprises and full of joy!’
If you are hearing a knocking on your heart that just keeps coming back like a though or an urge to come join us, pray with Mary and adore her Son in the Blessed Sacrament, then most likely the Holy Spirit is knocking on your heart repeating what Jesus said, “I will draw all back to myself.” Listen to the whispers on your heart the Lord is speaking to you….come join us this next summer, August, 2017 as we again present our prayers and petitions to Our Lady of Knock. Click here for novena prayer.