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The Miraculous Novena of Grace
March 4 -March 12
or
November 25-December 3


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 foregoing 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 rejoice with exceeding joy in the singular gifts of grace bestowed upon thee during thy life, and thy gifts of glory after death, I give Him hearty thanks therefore; I beseech thee with all my heart's devotion to be pleased to obtain for me, by thy effectual intercession, above all things, the grace of a holy life and a happy death. Moreover, I beg of thee to obtain for me . . . (here mention the spiritual or temporal favor to be prayed for). But if what I ask of thee so earnestly doth not tend to the glory of God and the greater good of my soul, do thou, I pray, obtain for me what is more profitable to both these ends. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

If, for any reason, the above prayer cannot be said, it will suffice to say five times Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.-----S. C. Ind., March 23, 1904.

PRAYER OF ST. 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.


ST. FRANCIS XAVIER'S HYMN OF LOVE

O GOD, I love Thee for
Thyself,
And not that I may Heaven gain,
Nor because those who
love Thee not,
Must suffer Hell's eternal pain.

Thou O my Jesus! Thou
didst me
Upon the Cross embrace;
For me didst bear the nails
and spear
 And manifold disgrace;

And griefs and torments
numberless,
And sweat of agony;
E'en death itself-----and all
for one
Who was Thine enemy.

Then why, O blessed Jesus
Christ,
Should I not love Thee well:
Not for the sake of winning
Heaven,
Or of escaping Hell;
Not with the hope of gaining aught, not seeking a
reward;
But, as Thyself hast loved
me, O ever-loving Lord?

E'en so I love Thee, and will
love, and in Thy praise
will sing;
Solely because Thou art my
God
And my eternal King.

 

--------From My Prayerbook, by Fr. Lasance




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