St. Andrew’s novena is traditionally prayed by couples hoping to conceive.
St. Andrew was the first apostle to follow Jesus (along with his better-known brother, Simon Peter) and the first Sunday of Advent always falls on the Sunday closest to St. Andrew’s feast day of November, 30.
The novena to St. Andrew is traditionally known as the Christmas Novena. There are two ways to pray it, and while both start on November 30th, St. Andrew’s feast day, each ends at a different time:
Pray it like a normal 9-day novena: and it ends on December 8th, the feast of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. (A Holy Day of Obligation, what a better way to end the novena than with Mass?)
Pray it the traditional way, as St. Andrew’s Christmas novena: and it lasts the duration of Advent, ending on Christmas Eve. This way, it is used as preparation for the Lord’s birth and the joyous Christmas Season.
In each case, the St. Andrew Novena prayer is said 15 times a day, using a special 15-bead St. Andrew Chaplet to keep track. Of course, if you don’t have the special beads, a rosary works just as well: simply start 5 beads into a decade, pray the remaining five and the full length of the next decade. Just skip over the “Glory Be/Our Father” bead in between.
While both forms of the novena are associated with special intersession from St. Andrew on behalf of your intention, such successful intersession is particularly associated with the full Christmas novena.
Historically, this persistent prayer has been used to request special help from St. Andrew for any cause, but it has been particularly used by couples trying to conceive a child.
The prayer is as follows:
St. Andrew Christmas Novena
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment
in which the Son of God was born Of the most pure Virgin Mary,
in the piercing cold.
In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God,
to hear my prayer and grant my desires through the merits
of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother.
— Forest Hempen
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