Monthly Archives: November 2018


This novena was originally written for a group of predominantly married Catholic women, and so its focus is distinctly feminine, which I at least consider a bonus. Each day has a focus on one area that tends to come up during the holidays; if a day doesn’t apply to you, feel free to substitute another intention (“siblings” for “in-laws” or “children,” e.g.).  I’ve listed the individual days’ intentions first, and if you scroll to the end you’ll find the prayers to be said every day.

We’ll be relying on the intercession of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Jeanne de Chantal, St. Monica, and St. Rita, all women who experienced various family difficulties throughout their lives be it with in-laws, their own parents, their children, their husbands—really, all of the above, and I encourage you to read up on them. Meditating on their wisdom, we’ll recite the Litany of Humility with the aim of decreasing ourselves so Christ may increase in us, so that no matter what obstacles or hurtfulness we encounter, we may radiate love while resting secure in God’s love for us. Thank you for praying with me!


Meditations from the saints:
“We know certainly that our God calls us to a holy life. We know that he gives us every grace, every abundant grace; and though we are so weak of ourselves, this grace is able to carry us through every obstacle and difficulty.”
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

“Cordial love of the neighbor does not consist in feelings. This love flows not from a heart of flesh but from the heart of our will.”
St. Jeanne de Chantal

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Today we pray for our immediate families, those in which we were raised and those we are raising ourselves, your domestic Church, where we first live out Your calling and experience your love, whence we bring your Gospel to the world. [Add any other intentions here.]


Meditations from the saints:
“I then, O my Praise and my Life, Thou God of my heart, putting aside for a little her good deeds, for which I joyfully give thanks to You, do now beseech You for the sins of my mother. …and inspire, O my Lord my God, inspire Your servants my brethren, Your sons my masters, who with voice and heart and writings I serve, that so many of them as shall read these confessions may at Your altar remember Monica, Your handmaid, together with Patricius, her sometime husband, by whose flesh You introduced me into this life, in what manner I know not. May they with pious affection be mindful of my parents in this transitory light.”
St. Augustine

“Our God loves us; this is our comfort.”
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Today we pray for our parents, who gave us life and those who raised us, who are called to be models of Christ and His Church for us their children; we give thanks for those who received the grace to live out their vocations, and beg pardon for those who turned away. [Add any other intentions here.]


Meditations from the saints:
“Her mother-in-law, also, being at first prejudiced against her by the whisperings of evil-disposed servants, she so conquered by submission, persevering in it with patience and meekness, that she voluntarily disclosed to her son the tongues of the meddling servants, whereby the domestic peace between herself and her daughter-in-law had been agitated, begging him to punish them for it. …And…they lived together with a wonderful sweetness of mutual good-will.”
St. Augustine

“Must you continue to be your own cross? No matter which way God leads you, you change everything into bitterness by constantly brooding over everything. For the love of God, replace all this self-scrutiny with a pure and simple glance at God’s goodness.”
St. Jeanne de Chantal

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Today we pray for our in-laws, who through God’s blessing gave us the great gift of our spouses, whom we are called to love as our own parents; we give thanks for those who love us as their own, and pray for an end to strife with those who do not. [Add any other intentions here.]


Meditations from the saints:
“Let us be sure that we understand what an honor it is for us to spend time in prayer, as much time as we wish, as intimately as we wish. The man who wins an hour-long audience from his prince, considers himself lucky. And our God, before whom the kings of the earth are less than a spark in the full blaze of the sun, and less than a little worm in the presence of the highest angels — this great God, nevertheless, is eager to hear us no matter what hour of the day or night we turn to Him.”

“Give them books and conferences treating of the virtues, and tell them that they must set about practising them. Later on they can talk about high things for by the exercise of true and solid virtue light comes from Him who is the Master of the humble, and whose delight it is to be with souls that are simple and innocent.”
St. Jeanne de Chantal

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Today we pray for our children, gifts from God whom we are called to shepherd from infancy to independence, that they may always be faithful to Him; and we pray especially for those adult children who have left the Church, that their mothers’ intercession may open their hearts to the grace to return. [Add any other intentions here.]


Meditations from the saints:
“The accidents of life separate us from our dearest friends, but let us not despair. God is like a looking glass in which souls see each other. The more we are united to Him by love, the nearer we are to those who belong to Him.”
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

“This only I ask, that you will remember me at the Lord’s altar, wherever you be.”
St. Monica

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Today we pray for our family members who have finished their life’s journey on this earth, whose absence leaves a void filled with many emotions and tender hearts; we [remember them especially during this month of All Souls] and pray fervently that they may be admitted into your kingdom, and that those they have left behind may know the consolation of Christian hope in God’s mercy. [Add any other intentions here.]


Meditations from the saints:
“The love of talk distracts all the powers of our soul from God, and fills them with earthly objects and impressions, like a vessel of water that cannot be settled while you are continually stirring the earthly particles from the bottom.”
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

“When she had heard on both sides most bitter things, such as swelling and undigested discord is wont to give vent to, when the crudities of enmities are breathed out in bitter speeches to a present friend against an absent enemy, she would disclose nothing about the one unto the other, save what might avail to their reconcilement.”
St. Augustine

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Today we pray for preservation from gossip, from the sort of talk that seeks to spread jealousy, discord, strife, and enmity; we pray that we may avoid the near occasion of sin and, if unavoidably subjected to such conversations, that we may guard our hearts and tongues and instead speak Christ to all. [Add any other intentions here.]


Meditations from the saints:
“How sweet, the presence of Jesus to the longing, harassed soul! It is instant peace, and balm to every wound.“

“And in every disappointment, great or small, let your heart fly directly to your dear Savior, throwing yourself in those arms for refuge against every pain and sorrow. Jesus will never leave you or forsake you.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Today we pray for preservation from misunderstanding, from the unnecessary hardships that arise from the failure to speak clearly or to listen well; we pray for clarity, charity, and generosity in our dealings with others, that instead of retreating into bitterness we all may strive for reconciliation and progress towards our common goals. [Add any other intentions here.]


Meditations from the saints:
“Cut to the center, tear up every root, let it bleed, let it suffer anything, everything, only fit it for Thyself. Place only Thy love there, and let humility keep sentinel.”
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

“Love God above all things.”
St. Rita

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Today we pray for preservation from pride; we pray that we may humble ourselves before God’s guidance and will, that we may have the wisdom to discern when to stand firm not on our own judgment but in Christ’s, and when to patiently and joyfully bear our sufferings from the shelter of His wounds, always with the meekest gratitude that He might choose to use us as instruments of His love. [Add any other intentions here.]


Meditations from the saints:
“Suffering borne in the will quietly and patiently is a continual, very powerful prayer before God.”
St. Jeanne de Chantal

“Perseverance is a great grace. To go on gaining and advancing every day, we must be
resolute, and bear and suffer as our blessed forerunners did. Which of them gained heaven without a struggle?”
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Today we pray for patience and perseverance, that having so prepared ourselves for the holidays we may succeed in bearing Christ’s love in every encounter with every person we meet; we pray that we may have the patience to run well and finish the race, doing all things through Christ who strengthens us so that at the end of our labors, we and our loved ones may rest together in His peace. [Add any other intentions here.]


Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us.
Saint Jeanne de Chantal, pray for us.
Saint Monica, pray for us.
Saint Rita, pray for us.

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart,
Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved…
From the desire of being extolled…
From the desire of being honored…
From the desire of being praised…
From the desire of being preferred to others…
From the desire of being consulted…
From the desire of being approved …
From the fear of being humiliated …
From the fear of being despised…
From the fear of suffering rebukes …
From the fear of being calumniated …
From the fear of being forgotten …
From the fear of being ridiculed …
From the fear of being wronged …
From the fear of being suspected …

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I …
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease …
That others may be chosen and I set aside …
That others may be praised and I unnoticed …
That others may be preferred to me in everything…
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

Father God, we come before You today with hearts stressed and burdened by the demands of the season and the strife within our families. As we cast ourselves undeservedly into the arms of You, our most loving Father in Heaven, help us to truly leave to You the care of ourselves and our families so that we may be free to desire to please You and serve You well in all we can.

Lord Jesus, as we bring ourselves before You, help us to accept Your yoke and learn from You Who are meek and humble of heart. As we humble ourselves before You, we beg You to sanctify us, reign in us, transform us to Yourself, live in us, and let us live in You; so that all whom we encounter, especially within our own families, may know Your love and peace.

Holy Spirit, Who comes to the aid of our weakness and intercedes for us when we do not know how to pray as we ought, pour out Your grace upon us and our families. By Baptism we have been bound together as children of God, joint heirs with Christ; through You, may we experience that same unity in our earthly families and Your peace in our hearts. May we use Your gifts to bring forth Your fruits so that through us, Your love may renew the face of the earth.


In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.


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