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Though I have never been able to find the exact origin of the custom of saying novenas, they are an old custom in the Christian church. Not all churches teach them; they are generally considered part of the mysteries of Catholicism. However, the power of novenas is real and is there for anyone with an honest belief in them. No one sect of Christianity can claim the power of the Arch Angels as their own and deny it to others.

Novenas are prayers said to a specific Saint, asking for their help. Seven of these Saints are actually Arch Angels. These 7 are:




St. Gabriel

Special Messenger of God


St. Raphael

Healer & Guide for the Christian Pilgrim


St. Uriel

Archangel of Justice


St. Sealtiel

Archangel of Worship & Contemplation


St. Jhudiel

Archangel of Divine Mercy


St. Barachiel

Archangel of Divine Providence


St. Michael

Prince of Heavenly Hosts



Novenas are said daily for a 9-day period, and then published in some fashion. Normally this means in a newspaper, but today this also includes being published online. Some sources indicate that the novena should be said nine times a day, others believe just once. Like many things with novenas, there are variations no matter who you ask.

Many people have probably seen the colored novena candles sold in stores, even if they didn't know what they were for. These are tall glass cylinders filled with candle wax that have graphics of the Saint on one side and the novena on the other.

Often I have heard these referred to as "Voodoo candles" by people, though that is not correct in this case. Humorously, our local grocery store stocks their novena candles in with the Mexican foods.

(Note however that not all candles you will find like this are novena candles. Some are for use by other religious groups. Candles such as the green "Lucky 7" candle with images of horseshoes, dice, slot machines and money on it is meant to attract luck in gambling has absolutely nothing to do with the Saints or the Glory of God)

The specific wording for novenas (like everything else about them) seems to change slightly from source to source, and some of them I feel have had extra passages added to them over the years that don't seem to be entirely part of the core novena. If you are going to say a novena, look at several sources to find the wording you feel most comfortable with.

Though this should be very obvious, novenas are not to be said for malicious reasons. Only to help ones self and others. You are asking for the aid of an Arch Angel of God, after all.

Novena to St. Raphael
Thank You for Favors Recieved

Catholic Doors
Wonderful web site for
Novenas, Prayers, and Christian Study

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