Today is the first day of the Novena of Grace, an annual time of prayer directed to the intercession of St. Francis Xavier. This special novena has been celebrated for hundreds of years. It ends on March 12, the day that St. Francis and St. Ignatius Loyola were canonized. A Jesuit who was miraculously healed through Francis’s intercession said that the saint promised that “all who ask his intercession with God for nine days, in honor of his canonization, would infallibly experience the effects of his great power in heaven and would receive whatever they asked that would contribute to their salvation.”
Prayers for the novena have been posted by the Maryland province of the Jesuits. If you pray them, you’ll learn much about the dramatic life of one of the church’s great saints.