A Novena (Saint Paul of the Cross)

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St. Paul of the Cross, the founder of the Passionists, was born in Ovada, Italy, in 1694, the eldest of six children surviving from a family of fifteen. As a child he knew the hardship, uncertainty and fear brought by widespread poverty to families like his. Then, as a young man, Paul experienced a call from God. For the rest if his long life of 81 years he would remind the disheartened people of his time of the Passion of Jesus of God's wisdom and love.

The novena that follows is a nine day prayer, modeled after the nine day period the apostles prayed before Pentecost. Recite the first two prayers for the nine days. Then offer the special prayer for each day.

"Look on the face of the Crucified who invites you to follow him.
He will be father, mother -- everything to you." -Saint Paul of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Come to my aid, O God.
O Lord, make haste to help me.

Almighty God,
Father of mercies
and giver of all good gifts,
we come before you
to honor you in your saints
and to ask their help
in our many needs.
You promised those who ask,
would receive;
those who seek,
would find;
those who knock,
would have doors opened to them.
Hear the prayers of your church,
grant our requests,
and pardon our sins.

Bring your requests to God

O good Saint Paul of the Cross,
you proclaimed God's wonders
in the Passion of God's only Son.
By word and deed,
you became a spiritual guide
and preacher of the gospel
to a world grown cold
to the love of Jesus Christ.
Help me to see God's love
in the merciful cross of Jesus,
and teach me to trust
in the blessings God gives.
May the Passion of Jesus
be in my heart,
and bring life to all the world.

Day 1
O Jesus Christ,
I look to you as my companion and support,
be with me as I carry my cross;
be Father, mother -- everything to me.

Day 2
O Jesus Christ,
in all the choices I make in life,
help me to be wise and just,
loving and generous.

Day 3
O Jesus Christ,
in the dark garden you depended
on your Father above
to help you carry on.
Listen, as I pray in sorrow and cares.

Day 4
O Jesus Christ,
judged by Pilate unjustly,
scourged and spit upon,
make me strong
when I am wrongly judged and harshly treated.

Day 5
O Jesus Christ,
you bore your cross,
enduring insult and injuries;
yet you forgave your offenders.
Give me a forgiving heart.

Day 6
O Jesus Christ,
abandoned in sorrow,
be with the discouraged and lonely.
You know the power of comfort;
encourage those in need.

Day 7
O Jesus Christ,
nailed to the cross,
fixed and unable to move,
help all of us who get nowhere,
give us patience to try again.

Day 8
O Jesus,
dying on the cross,
in the darkness and alone,
be with us in our dying,
Stay with us in the darkness.

Day 9
O Jesus Christ,
risen from the dead,
in you we too arise.
Give us the joy of new life;
help us to rise again.