The word Novena comes from the Latin novem meaning ‘nine’. A novena is a devotion consisting of prayer said on nine successive days, asking to obtain special grace. The practice of saying novenas is derived from Scripture. After Jesus’ Ascension into heaven, he told his disciples to pray together in the upper room and devote themselves to constant prayer (Acts 1:14). The Apostles, Blessed Virgin Mary, and other followers of Jesus prayed together for nine consecutive days, concluding in the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
This year, Our Holy Father, Pope Francis’, papal message for the 55th World Day of Prayer is: Listening, Discerning, and Living the Lord’s call. Using this theme of listening, discerning, and living the Lord’s call, we invite you to pray with us for increased grace to respond to God’s call to the priesthood and religious life throughout the world, but especially in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. As the world prepares for the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October, with the theme “Young People, The Faith and Vocational Discernment”, Pope Francis reminds us that we are not ‘victims of chance…. (but that) our life and our presence in this world are the fruit of a divine vocation!’
We invite you to join the Philadelphia seminarians in praying a Novena for Vocations between April 14 and April 22. Each day, these videos will be uploaded to our website (below) as well as on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/phillypriest.
We thank you for partnering with us to build a culture of vocations in our parishes, schools, communities, and homes. To echo Pope Francis, “May Mary Most Holy, who as a young woman living in obscurity heard, accepted and experienced the Word of God made flesh, protect us and accompany us always on our journey.”
Sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Stephen P. DeLacy