Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Novena for Expectant Families

In my group of friends, there seems to be an annual wave of babies. For the first time in almost 6 years, I am not part of that wave. As a thank you for all the prayers I have been blessed with over my four pregnancies, I had the inspiration to say a Novena for the nine days before each family's due date. After I hatched the plan, I got to the business of picking 9 different Saints (or pairs of Saints where that made sense) that I found myself drawn to and wrote out a special prayer beseeching their intercession. Each day, I will start off with an Our Father, then say the prayer for that specific day, then end with a Hail Mary and a Glory Be. I have included below the prayers that I wrote in the order in which I intend to pray them. The only prayer that I didn't write was the prayer for St. Gerard Majella, who had a beautiful one already!

1. St. Gerard Majella
O great Saint Gerard, beloved servant of Jesus Christ, perfect imitator of your meek and humble Savior, and devoted child of Mother of God, kindle within (mother's name) heart one spark of that heavenly fire of charity which glowed in your heart and made you an angel of love.

O glorious Saint Gerard, because when falsely accused of crime, you did bear, like your Divine Master, without murmur or complaint, the calumnies of wicked men, you have been raised up by God as the patron and protector of expectant mothers. Preserve (Mother’s name) from danger and from the excessive pains accompanying childbirth, and shield the child which she now carries, that it may see the light of day and receive the purifying and life-giving waters of baptism through Jesus Christ

We humbly pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

2. St. Anne and St. Joachim
St. Anne and St. Joachim, who were chosen to raise her who was to become the Mother of God, we come to place (parents names/family’s name) under your special care. We entrust them and their unborn child to you. Look upon this growing family with the abundant love of a Grandparent and place them in the care of your Grandson, our Lord Jesus Christ. Just as you raised Mary to be a faithful woman and worthy Mother of our Lord, teach (parents names) the virtues of godly parenthood and faithful service.

We ask all this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

3. St. Joseph

St. Joseph, adoptive Father of our Saviour, guide and teach (father's name) to model his life after yours. Help him as he supports (mother's name) through her pregnancy and delivery. Just as you quietly supported Mary and Jesus through your daily devotion, let him be the foundation on which his family can always rely. May God, through your intercession, teach him how to lead his family into greater holiness by his example of prayer, devotion, and selflessness. Bless (father's name) as he prepares to welcome this child with great joy and love. Help him to always recognise that every child is a gift granted from God who we are charged to care for as dutifully as St. Joseph and Our Lady cared for the Word who became flesh before their eyes in the stable in Bethlehem.

We make this prayer through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

4. St. Gianna Beretta Molla

St. Gianna, you gave your life for the sake of your child and became for all who hear your story a model of the sacrificing love of true parenthood. Draw (mother’s name) close to your motherly heart and whisper in her ear the wisdom of your abundant and endless love for your child. Embolden her heart to love her child without fear and to serve God through her witness of the daily love of her motherhood. Beseech our Heavenly Father, we pray, to bless (mother’s name) during this pregnancy and grant her a safe and healthy delivery.
We ask all this through Christ, who is Lord forever and ever. Amen.

5. St. Monica

St. Monica, mother of a great Saint, St. Augustine, help us to follow your example of constant motherly love and care. May God grant that the prayers we beseech for our children may, like yours, bring our precious and beloved children closer to the unending love of God. Draw this expectant mother into your heart and imbue her with the motherly virtues you lived unceasingly in your own life. Let her learn to rely fully on God in all her cares and concerns for her children throughout the years. We beseech you bring our pleas for (mother’s name) before the throne of God with the same devotion with which you prayed for your own child.
We ask all this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

6. Blessed John Paul II

Blessed John Paul II, we pray that through your intercession God will help (parents names) to teach their child about God’s love and salvation with the same fervour and humility that you did. We know you have a special care for all young people and their families, and so we entrust this young family to you, knowing you will intercede for them before our Holy Mother Mary and her Son, our Saviour.
We ask all this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

7. Blessed Zelie and Louis Martin

Blessed Zelie and Louis Martin, parents of the Little Flower, St. Therese de Lisieux, through your intercession may God grant (parents names) the patience and holiness to raise up their child(ren) to love God without reserve. Help (parents names) to follow your example of parenthood so that they may see their vocation as a married couple and as parents as an opportunity to grow closer to each other and to God. Help them to become an earthly image of Heavenly Love that their children will always desire to emulate in their own lives.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

8. Saint Elizabeth

St. Elizabeth, who against all odds became pregnant with a son in  your old age, John the Baptist, we beseech you to intercede on behalf of (mother's name). May her child, like your son, know from within the womb God's love and presence and once born become a messenger of God's Salvation. Fill (mother's name) with faith in God's Providence and trust in God's Will as she comes closer to meeting her new baby, now resting safely in her womb.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

9. Our Lady

O Mary, who was born to be the living tabernacle of our Lord's flesh, give (mother’s name) the desire to grow in the virtues of the motherhood you demonstrated so perfectly for us. Sweet Mother, who was chosen as the earthen vessel into which God poured His Divinity and became Man, aid (mother's name) to repeat your “Yes” as she accepts her call to motherhood. Help her to imitate your quiet devotion as she works every day to protect and grow the life growing within her womb. Mother most dear, we give (mother’s name) unto your care, trusting you will draw her up into your arms and lay all her cares before your Beloved Son.
We ask for your intercession in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.