Wednesday 23 June 2021

Handbook of Novenas to the Saints - Glynn MacNiven-Johnston and Raymond Edwards - CTS Devotions

Handbook of Novenas to the Saints
Short Prayers for Needs & Graces
Glynn MacNiven-Johnston
Raymond Edwards
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860826870
eISBN 9781784694456
CTS Booklet D733

I picked up this book right after finishing the companion volume, Handbook of Novenas for Feasts and Seasons, and both are excellent volumes. This is the seventh volume from Glynn MacNiven-Johnston that I have read, and the fifth from the pen of Dr. Raymond Edwards. Over the last several years I have read almost 200 books from the Catholic Truth Society. They are many great series, and books available from the CTS. And the CTS Devotions is among my favourites. The description of this booklet is:

“A novena is a way of praying, often for a particular intention or need. It consists, very simply, of a prayer or prayers said for nine (usually consecutive) days.

This booklet contains specially composed novena prayers asking for the intercession of various saints. The long experience of praying Christians, and the teaching of the Church, assure us that the duty of Christians to support each other with prayer does not end with this life, and the saints delight to add their voices to ours when we make our requests to God our Father.

Each novena is prefaced with a short biography of the saint, which gives some suggestions of the particular intentions or needs where their intercession has been found especially powerful.”

The chapters in this booklet are:
What is a Novena?
How to use this booklet
St Thomas Aquinas (January 28th)
St Josephine Bakhita (February 8th)
St David (March 1st)
St John of God (March 8th)
St Patrick (March 17th)
St Joseph (March 19th; May 1st)
St Benedict (March 21st; July 11th)
St George (April 23rd)
St Peregrine (May 1st)
The English Martyrs (May 4th)
St Damien of Molokai (May 10th)
St Dymphna (May 15th)
St Rita (May 22nd)
St Anthony of Padua (June 13th)
St Thomas More (June 22nd)
St John Fisher (June 22nd)
St Christopher (July 25th)
St Anne (July 26th)
St Martha (July 29th)
St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) (August 9th)
St Maximilian Kolbe (August 14th)
St Helena (August 18th)
St Monica (August 27th)
St Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) (September 23rd)
St Joseph of Cupertino (September 18th)
St Raphael (September 29th)
St Thérè se of Lisieux (October 1st)
St Gerard Majella (October 16th)
St Jude (October 28th)
St Martin de Porres (November 3rd)
St Andrew (November 30th)
Blessed Charles de Foucauld (December 1st)

This book was originally published in 2010 and the eBook edition released in 2017. The book begins with these words:

“A novena is a way of praying, often for a particular need or grace. It consists of a prayer or prayers said over nine days. The word novena is originally Latin, and means “in a group of nine”. 1 This is because a novena lasts for nine consecutive days; on each day, there is a particular prayer to be said, or devotional practice to be made.”

We are also informed in the introduction that:

“There are many different sorts of novena; you can make a novena using any prayer you want: the main thing is to pray it regularly for nine days in a row. Nevertheless most people will make a novena using a prayer composed for the purpose. Some novena prayers are long, and may include litanies, or meditations; others are short. You can make a novena using the same prayer nine times, or nine different prayers, one for each day. There are no rules; what follows are only suggestions.”

And they are some wonderful suggestions. I have set calendar reminder’s to do a few of these Novena’s over the next year. At the end of the introduction is a section called How To Use This Booklet and it states:

“On each day of the novena, say the short prayer for that day, and add your intention (if any); then say the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be. Do this on each of the nine days.

Some of the novenas have only one prayer, which you should say each day for the nine days.”

What follows is 31 wonderful novenas. Several of which I have set calendar reminders to pray this year. And have plans to go back for some of the ones I missed this year and do them next year. The variety of saints presented in these novenas is a wonderful cross section of saints spanning time, from around the world, and different stations in life. I have read biographies from the Catholic Truth Society for many of these saints and have several others on my wish list. Each of the novena’s begins with an introduction to the person, a bit about them and what they are known for. Some are a few lines, and others a few pages.

This is another excellent little volume. A wonderful book to have in your collection., and pray the novena’s throughout the year. It is an excellent resource that I highly recommend. You will likely want to pick up the companion volume for they are both great!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Glynn MacNiven-Johnston:
Maria Goretti Teenage Martyr
Pier Giorgio Frassati Inspiration for Students
Father Damien Apostle to the Lepers
Martin de Porres

Rita of Cascia 

Prayer Books:
Handbook of Novenas for Feasts and Seasons
Devotions to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
The Infant of Prague
Handbook of Novenas to the Saints: Short Prayers for Needs & Graces
Handbook of Scriptural Novenas: For Various Needs and Intentions
Devotion to St Jude: Patron of Hopeless Cases

A Book of Novenas

Books by Dr Raymond Edwards:
Catholic Traditionalism
The Dowry of Mary 
Handbook of Novena to the Saints
Handbook of Novenas for Feasts and Seasons
Handbook of Scriptural Novenas for Various Needs and Intentions
J.R.R. Tolkien - His Life, Work & Faith
Prayer on the Go
A Simple Glossary of Catholic Terms
Stories of World War I
The Miraculous Medal
The Reformation in England
A Book of Novenas

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