Novena is the term applied in the Church of Rome to a nine-days' devotion on some peculiar or extraordinary occasion; as e.g. in honor of some mystery of the redemption, or in honor of the Virgin Mary, or of some saint, in order to obtain any particular request or blessing. The liturgical service used on such occasions is also called Novena. Thus there is "A Novena to St. Joseph," in the Garden of the Soul. It begins thus:
"O glorious descendant of the kings of Judah! inheritor of the virtues of all the patriarchs! just and happy St. Joseph! listen to my prayer. Thou art my glorious protector, and shalt ever be, after Jesus and Mary, the object of my most profound veneration and tender confidence. Thou art the most hidden, though the greatest saint, and art peculiarly the patron of those who serve God with the greatest purity and fervor. In union with all those who have ever been most devoted to thee, I now dedicate myself to thy service; beseeching thee, for the Fake of Jesus Christ, who vouchsafed to love and obey thee as a son, to become a father to me; and to obtain for me the filial respect. confidence, and love of a child towards thee. O powerful advocate of all Christians! whose intercession, as St. Teresa assures us, has never been found to fail, deign to intercede for me now, and to implore for me the particular intention of this novena. (Specify it.) Present me, O great saint, to the adorable Trinity, with whom thou hast so glorious and so intimate a correspondence." This novena specially and repeatedly beseeches St. Joseph under many titles, as "Guardian of the Word Incarnate," "Spouse of the ever-blessed Virgin," etc., "pray for us;" and concludes with the prayer:
"Assist us, O Lord! we beseech thee, by the merits of the Spouse of thy most holy Mother, that what our unworthiness cannot obtain, may be given us by his intercession with thee: who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen."