All About the St. Therese Novena Prayer

st therese novena prayer

The St. Therese  Nine-Day Novena Prayer is starting for the Catholic Community of Jennings County.

Father Jerry Byrd, who has a deep devotion to the Carmelite saint, is asking all his parishioners to join him.

The petition to St. Therese is for seminarians and priestly vocations especially from our parishes. Father Byrd feels a deep desire to pray for priests and more vocations from the parish. His prayers have been answered in ways he never expected!

To date, there are seven seminarians from the Catholic Community of Jennings County attending either the minor seminary of Bishop Simon Brute in Indianapolis or St. Meinrad Archabbey and Seminary in St. Meinrad, Ind.

You can download your beautiful prayer card for this novena that starts September 23, 2022 and ends on the St. Therese’s feast day on October 1.  A special Feast Day Novena Prayer will be prayed to end the novena on the saint’s feast day. This feast day prayer is used worldwide by all Carmelite monasteries for the intercession of St. Therese.

Who was St. Therese of Lisieux?

This 19th century French saint is famous for roses.  She is known to answer novenas for her intercession by sending a sign of roses in some manner as an answer to the novena prayer.

St. Therese often spoke of roses through her numerous writings.

“How shall I show my love is proved by deeds? Well – the little child will strew flowers…she will embalm the Divine Throne with their fragrance, will sing with silvery voice the canticle of love.”

Her love of God was evident from childhood and her parents are also canonized saints.

Why St. Therese is known for roses

Here’s 5 Quick Facts about the well known ‘shower of roses,’ St. Therese is most-known for:

  • She always loved roses and as a child would throw rose petals before the Blessed Sacrament.
  • As she was dying St. Therese looked out her window to see rose bushes blooming.  For her it was a sign of what her Eternal Life would be stating: “After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses. I will spend my heaven doing good upon earth. I will raise up a mighty host of little saints. My mission is to make God loved…”
  • Shortly after her death the shower of roses began in earnest with people reporting receiving roses in some way or the fragrance of roses.
  • Cures of painful or fatal diseases were attributed to her intercession
  • Even those who did not receive roses often found inner peace by praying to the saint who has become known as the Little Flower both for her roses and her “Little Way,” of prayer. The Little Way encourages simplicity and practicing the virtues with complete trust in God like that of a little child.

What is the St. Therese Novena?

Novena’s have centuries of tradition in the Catholic Church. The novena to St. Therese has been popular since her death on September 30, 1897. The word “novena” is derived from the Latin word for nine, or “novem.”

A novena:

  • Refers to nine days of prayer, asking God for a specific intention through a saint’s intercession.
  • It is a beautiful way to grow in trust of God and persist in a daily prayer ritual.
  • Usually they are prayed for 9 days because the apostles prayed for nine days after Christ ascended into heaven. The Virgin Mary also carried Christ in her womb for nine months. The two significant events is a beautiful meditation on Christ coming forth into the world from the Virgin. Later, Christ sends His apostles and disciples to spread the Gospel once His mission on Earth was fulfilled.

Tips for praying the St. Therese Novena

We want to give you some tried and true methods to begin the novena and to stick with it.

  • Download the St. Therese Novena Prayer for the Catholic Community of Jennings County.
  • Choose a time you are likely to pray the novena and then set an alarm on your cell phone to remind you to pray it.
  • There’s also a great app that will give you daily reminders
  • Pray it with a friend to encourage one another. You can pick up a copy of the novena in the back of each parish to share!

Rest in the Graces

A novena is a great way for our parish family to stay in sync with one another. The outpouring of graces that comes from a shared petition has great spiritual power.

Scripture tells us, “For when two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them,” (Matthew 18:20)

The Catholic Church teaches the intercession of the saints as a way to more closely unite with Christ. The saints “do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus. . . . So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped.” (Catechism of The Catholic Church #956)

The catechism even quotes St. Therese and St. Dominic’s explanations that they will help others better once in heaven. This is a grace that is open to all in our parish-wide novena!