The Novena to Sacred Heart of Jesus begins 9 days before the feast of the Sacred Heart – nine days of prayer leading up to his feast. The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a movable feast celebrating the love of Christ for all mankind. How is the date of the Feast determined?
The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is celebrated 19 days after Pentecost Sunday, which is seven weeks after Easter.
The origin of the idea of praying for a special intention for nine days is very attractive and worth thinking about – it comes from the alleged length of time that Mary and the eleven remaining disciples spent praying together in the upper room, waiting for the Spirit to come upon them at Pentecost. In our imitation of them in these nine days we’ll surely be in good company, especially with Mary, the one who shows us what our attitude in prayer should be: she always trusted, despite confusion; she continued to hope, despite the seeming darkness. The disciples were a small community of fragile yet hopeful trust, of confusion yet deep desire within their hearts. In short, they were probably very much like ourselves at the beginning of this novena.
On each day of the novena, try to have a few quiet moments with yourself or with others to reflect on the passage. Then, in your own time, move on to the reflection and think about what it might say to you today. Then pass on to the short prayer and make it your own. Always end with the Novena Prayer and include in it any intention you would like to make.
(This Novena was prayed by Mother Teresa for more than 50 years and is prayed still now by the Missionaries of Charity)
O Divine Jesus, who has said: Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you; behold us prostrate at Your feet. Animated with a lively faith and confidence in these promises, dictated by Your Sacred Heart and pronounced by Your adorable lips, we come to ask
(here mention the request.)
From whom shall we ask, O sweet Jesus, if not from You, whose Heart is an inexhaustible source of all graces and merits? Where shall we seek, if not in the Treasure which contains all the riches of your clemency and bounty? Where shall we knock, if it be not at the door of your Sacred Heart through which God Himself comes to us and through which we go to God? To You then, O Heart of Jesus, we have recourse. In You we find consolation when afflicted, protection when persecuted, strength when overwhelmed with trials, and light in doubt and darkness.
We firmly believe that You can bestow upon us the grace we implore, even though it should require a miracle. We confess we are most unworthy of Your favors, O Jesus, but this is not a reason for us to be discouraged. You are the God of Mercies and You will not refuse a contrite and humble heart. Cast upon us a look of pity, we beg of You and Your compassionate Heart will find in our miseries and weakness a pressing motive for granting our petitions. But, O Sacred Heart, whatever may be Your decision with regard to our request, we will never cease to adore, love, praise, and serve You. Deign, Lord Jesus, to accept this, our act of perfect submission to the decrees of your adorable Heart, which we sincerely
desire may be fulfilled in and by us and all your creatures for ever and ever. Amen.