St. Francis Xavier and his Novena of Grace, the first novena to receive
a papal indulgence.
Thomas Byrne S.J.
Prae. Prov. Hib Society of Jesus
Dublin, April 22, 1952
The Novena of Grace, which begins on March 4th and ends on the 12th,
the day of the canonization of St. Francis Xavier, owes its origin to the saint himself. At Naples, in December, 1633, Father Marcello Mastrilli S.J., was at the point of death. The saint appeared to him, and bidding him renew a vow he had made to labor in Japan, “All those who implore my help daily for nine consecutive days, from the 4th to the 12th of March included and worthily receive the sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist on one of the nine days, will experience my protection and may hope with entire assurance to obtain from God any grace they ask for the good of their souls and the glory of God.” The Father arose, instantly cured. So well has the saint kept this promise, that this devotion in his honor became universally known as the Novena of Grace.
(Taken from Fr. Lasance’s ”My Prayer Book”, 1923)
O most amiable and loving Saint Francis Xavier, in union with thee I adore the Divine Majesty. The remembrance of the favors with which God blessed thee during life and of thy glory after death fills me with joy. I unite with thee in offering to Him my humble tribute of thanksgiving and of praise. I implore thee to secure for me through thy powerful intercession the inestimable blessing of living and dying in the state of grace. I also beseech thee to obtain the favor I ask in this novena (here ask the favor you wish to obtain) but if what I ask is not for the glory of God and for the good of my soul, do thou obtain for me what is most conducive to both. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be to the Father.
Three years indulgence on each of the nine days of this novena, and at its conclusion, a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions. It is customary to say this novena from March 4-March 12, or November 25-December 3, but it may be said at any time throughout the year.