Need a Miracle?

Father William J. Aldridge, O.P., introduced me to the "Rosary Novenas to Our Lady" by Charles V. Lacey published by Benziger Brothers, Inc. You can buy this booklet at almost any Catholic book store or order from the publisher. This novena consists of praying the rosary twenty-seven days in petition for a specific intention and twenty-seven days in thanksgiving for the answered prayer. I began praying the Rosary Novena almost fifteen years ago, and I can attest that it is one of the most powerful means of intercession God has given to us besides the Mass. Miracles happen. Some situations take more than one Novena, but I have always experienced answered prayer in a very tangible way after praying one Novena.

Prayer takes discipline and commitment. Sometimes it even feels like hard work! I usually keep a Novena going for one reason or another. The Novena is usually done for one intention. It is very good to be specific in your intentions because you will be able to see more clearly how your Novena is being answered. When some situations are critical, it will be important to add fasting to your prayer.

"This kind does not leave but by prayer and fasting."

Matt 17:21

For fasting, you might consider giving up sodas, sweets, smoking, TV, chocolate, etc. Use some form of self-denial as a form of fasting to support your Novena. For additional prayer support, you can place your prayer requests on the prayer line and in the prayer bowl. You can also call a house of prayer, convents, and monasteries to join you in prayer. Intercessory prayer is part of their ministry on behalf of those who ask their prayers. When possible, have a mass said for the specific intention.

Sometimes our prayers can be hindered by our own hearts, so it is very important to avail ourselves to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist as often as possible.

Be sure you pray for yourself daily while you are praying for someone else. I begin my day by praying a rosary for myself, and going to the Eucharist as often as possible. I try to go to confession at least once a month in order to keep my heart clean. Messages from many Marian apparitions encourage frequent confession. To minister to others we need to strengthen ourselves spiritually. The instructions that an airline steward gives to passengers about how to use the oxygen mask in case of emergency is: "Be sure to place the oxygen mask on yourself first and then proceed to help any infants with you." We cannot help anyone else if we are suffering from lack of "spiritual" oxygen.

To complete your prayers, you may have to get up earlier. You can pray while you walk or do some form of exercise. This way you will receive the benefit of better health at the same time. Turn off the TV and spend that time in prayer. Turn off the radio and put in a rosary cassette to use that time in prayer. You can iron or clean house while you pray. You can pray while you drive, but be careful when you turn the steering wheel. I have broken some rosaries and this can be dangerous! You can use the finger rosary while you drive, although I prefer a regular rosary. I usually try to pray early, otherwise, I may fall asleep and not be able to complete my prayers.

Pray and ask God for the grace and gift of intercessory prayer. You might want to do your first Novena for yourself so that God will give you a heart and the discipline to intercede on your and your family’s behalf. Intercessory prayer is God’s grace. Every time I think I’m doing well, God seems to lift the grace to remind me that it is His grace that helps me pray.

Sit down and make a list of the most critical needs in your life and the needs of your family. After you make your list, re-arrange it and list your most urgent need first. Once you have your list, then it’s time to get to work. Keep this list with your Novena Booklet. It will motivate you to continue to pray. After each Novena you will be able to chart the progress. To me, intercessory prayer is the most important work in the world to do. What good does it do to work for material goods and accumulation of wealth when the salvation and protection of our children are in danger?

Persevere and be persistent until you receive your answered prayer. Do not be discouraged by what the outward physical appearance of the situation appears to be. Almost always the heart has to change first before we see any manifestation of physical change. It may even appear like a situation has gotten worse. That is when God is doing His greatest work. Before a new freeway can be built the old one has to be broken up. That sometimes has to happen in our lives and in the lives of those we pray for.

Some strongholds need intense and lengthy prayer and fasting. At times you will see a glimpse of how your prayers are being answered. Sometimes it will be in eternity before you will see the fruit of your labor. Keep praying!

"For nothing is impossible with God."

Luke 1:37

After intense prayer you may need a little time off before you begin another Novena. Do not take too much time off. There is much work to do. Begin today to reclaim what has been robbed from you through spiritual neglect or spiritual warfare. Each time different needs come to your mind add them to your list. For some intentions you may want to do a nine day Novena.

When Mother Theresa needed a quick miracle, she would pray the Memorare nine times in succession.1

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

Ask the Lord to direct you in your intercessory prayer. He may direct you to use one of the many other Novenas that are available to you. There is a book called "Treasure of Novenas" by Rev. Lawrence G. Lovasik, S.V.D. published by Catholic Book Publishing Co. This book was published to accommodate those who would like to make various novenas. Do not be robbed of a miracle because a specific novena doesn’t read like you would like for it to. You can modify your novena. What is important is your love, commitment, perseverance and prayer. However there is a story in II Kings 5:10-14 that tells of the story of Naaman that was almost robbed of his miracle. He became furious and indignant because Elisha asked him to wash in the Jordan seven times to receive his healing. It happened though that after the encouragement of one of his servants, he went and washed and was healed. Novenas are tools to keep us focused and persistent in prayer for specific intentions.

If you address each need, one at a time using the rosary novena, you can address six critical needs a year. Depending on your list and your time, you can actually do two Novenas at a time!!!
I really get excited when I see the miracles that happen when people get serious about praying.

Will you ask our Lord to use you as an instrument in bringing about deliverance through prayer for yourself and your loved ones. Begin today. Pray a Rosary Novena! God Bless You. Arlene

"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?"
"Here I am," I said; "send me!"

Isaiah 6:8


Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Phil 4:6-7


The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

James 5:16


Added Reference on December 2, 2001

1.    In the news releases after the death of Mother Theresa of Calcutta in the year 1997, I found the following information about her praying an express novena- nine Memorares in a row:

Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR, Yonkers, NY, re-counted his first meeting with Mother Teresa in New York. Fr. Andrew has given retreats for the Missionaries of Charity contemplative sisters in the South Bronx on several occasions. On our first meeting, Mother Teresa gave me a rosary and commented that "the Blessed Mother is all over the world bringing people to Her Son." She told me a story stating, "whenever I need a special favor, I do an Express Novena. An Express Novena is 9 Memorares in a row. In 1983, one of our Superior sisters had gotten sick in Eastern Berlin, and Mother Teresa had to appoint a replacement that could handle the Communist government. The sister that they appointed as the successor for Eastern Berlin needed a Visa. Mother Teresa gathered her nuns and started praying the Express Novena (9 Memorare’s). On the 8th Memorare, the phone rang, it was a Communist official stating that it would be 6 months until they would receive the Visa. After the 9th prayer, Mother Teresa started the novena again. On the 8th Memorare the second time, the telephone rang this time, it was a Communist official who stated you will have your Visa immediately!" Mother Teresa had a tremendous love for Our Lady. She had great courage and once stated to me that "I never refused God anything".  



Rosary Novena for Peace


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