Novena To The Fourteen Holy Helpers (July 31 – August 8)

PREPARATORY PRAYER (This is said each day)

Great princes and princesses of Heaven, Holy Helpers,
who sacrificed to God all your earthly possessions,
wealth, enjoyments, and even life,
and who now are crowned in Heaven
in the secure delight of eternal bliss and glory,
have compassion on me,
a poor sinner in this valley of tears.
Obtain for me from God,
Who loves you and for Whom you gave up all things,
the strength to bear patiently all the trials of this life,
to overcome all temptations,
and to persevere in God’s service to the end.
So that, one day, I too may be received into your company,
to praise and glorify Him,
the supreme Lord,
Whose beatific vision you enjoy,
and Whom you praise and glorify for ever.
Amen.

DAY ONE

Begin with the Preparatory Prayer.

MEDITATION

The practice of honoring and invoking the Saints to obtain, through their intercession, help in the various needs of body and soul, is as old as the Church. Prayer is our resource in every difficulty, and difficulties and trials are never wanting on earth. Because the needs of mankind on earth are various, these saints were selected as intercessors in certain cases of distress, and obtained relief; hence these saints came to be regarded as special patrons in such trials, and were called Holy Helpers.

PRACTICE

Make this novena with full confidence in the power of the intercession of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. During their earthly life, they devoted all their energy into spreading God’s kingdom and for the relief and succor of their fellow-men. They can do much more now that they are in the enjoyment of eternal happiness, and can pray for us at the very throne of God.

The saints can help us by their intercession. God hears their prayers and He performs miracles to confirm us in this belief, even while His servants are alive here on earth. They desire and are willing to help us.

St. Bernard says: “In Heaven, hearts do not grow cold; they are rather rendered more affectionate and tender. By receiving the crown of justice, the Saints were not hardened against the sufferings of their brethren on earth.” Therefore, in calling on the Holy Helpers, have full confidence in their power and ability to come to your aid!

PRAYER

We beseech You, O Lord,
to hear the prayer which we send up to You
in honor of Your glorified servants,
the Fourteen Holy Helpers:
and as we cannot rely upon our own worthiness,
grant our petition through the intercession of those
whose merits have made them especially dear to You.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

To finish the prayers for this day, say the…
“Litany of the Fourteen Holy Helpers” and the “Invocation of the Holy Helpers”.

DAY TWO

Begin with the Preparatory Prayer.

MEDITATION

The Holy Helpers faithfully cooperated with God’s designs concerning their eternal destiny. No obstacle could make them stray from the path of duty. Always and everywhere they fulfilled the will of God.

You, too, have an eternal destiny. You are not your own master, but belong to God. Therefore you must obey Him, and not your own inclinations. You must do His will, and not your own. God has the right of requiring our submission to Him without giving us a reward, because He is Our Lord. Nevertheless, He has promised to give us Himself in reward for our faithful service. What greater motivation could there be then to know that our Loving and Almighty God will give us Himself, if we but serve Him zealously and gratefully?

Remember also that you shall be unhappy both in this and in the next world if you do not give yourself entirely to God, for whom you were created. St. Augustine says: “Thou hast created us for Thee, O Lord, and our heart remains restless until it rests in Thee.”

PRACTICE

Thank God for the undeserved grace of creation and redemption. Make an act of contrition for all the ways that you have been unfaithful. Promise to amend your ways and invoke the aid of God’s grace through the intercession of the Holy Helpers.

PRAYER

O God, Who according to the decrees of Thy providence
has created man for eternal bliss,
grant, through the intercession of the Holy Helpers,
that I may attain to my destiny
by being united with Thee in this life
and loving and praising Thee for ever in Heaven.

Amen.

To finish the prayers for this day, say the…
“Litany of the Fourteen Holy Helpers” and the “Invocation of the Holy Helpers”.

DAY THREE

Begin with the Preparatory Prayer.

MEDITATION

The Holy Helpers were so thoroughly filled with the virtue of Divine Faith, that they believed its sacred truths with perfect abandonment of their intellect, will, liberty, and whole being. They did not waver amidst the severest torments, but remained firm until death in the Faith of Christ.

PRACTICE

Enkindle your faith by the reflection of the example of the Holy Helpers. Do not, out of fear for human respect, neglect the sanctification of the Lord’s Day, the observance of days of fast and abstinence, the reception of the holy sacraments, the profession of your belief in the real presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, etc. Meditate frequently on the words of Christ: “He that shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father Who is in Heaven” (St. Matthew 10:33).

PRAYER

O God, I beseech You,
through the faith of the Holy Helpers,
grant me the grace to treasure in my heart
the doctrines of our holy Faith,
to believe them firmly,
to confess them bravely,
and to live according to their precepts,
that through that same Faith
I may become worthy
to be admitted to Your beatific vision in Heaven.

Amen.

To finish the prayers for this day, say the…
“Litany of the Fourteen Holy Helpers” and the “Invocation of the Holy Helpers”.

DAY FOUR

Begin with the Preparatory Prayer.

MEDITATION

“Hope confounds not” (Romans 5:6). These words of Holy Scripture are understood to be in the sense that our works must be in conformity with that which is the object of our hope; that is, we must live in such a manner that we really merit the reward of Heaven.

We sin against hope also by presuming on God’s mercy, by despair, and by over-confidence in our own righteousness. Holy Scripture reminds us that we cannot, of our own ability, perform a good act. But we can do all in Him that strengthens us.

All these truths are exemplified in the lives of the Holy Helpers. Their hope was based on the firm foundation of faith, and consequently, like their faith, their hope was firm, constant, and unwavering.

PRACTICE

Like the Holy Helpers, hope to obtain from God all things necessary to salvation, for “the Lord is good to them that hope in Him, to the soul that seeks Him” (Lam. 3:25). Live so that He can fulfill His promises. Place no obstacle to His might and generosity by living a sinful life.

PRAYER

Eternal God of love and mercy,
I thank You for all the benefits You have conferred upon me,
and I hope to obtain,
through the intercession of the Holy Helpers,
all the graces necessary for my salvation.
Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

To finish the prayers for this day, say the…
“Litany of the Fourteen Holy Helpers” and the “Invocation of the Holy Helpers”.

DAY FIVE

Begin with the Preparatory Prayer.

MEDITATION

The Love of God which inflamed the Holy Helpers showed throughout their whole life, and particularly at their death. We, too, ought to be inflamed with such love. For without it, faith, wisdom, the gift of tongues, and good works in general, all avail nothing – for the love of God must inspire them. “And we know that to those that love God, all things work together unto good” (Romans 8:28). This, and this alone, will receive the crown of life. Did not God love us first? To redeem us from sin and eternal death, He did not even spare His only begotten, Divine Son. All goods of life are gifts of His love – signs of His infinite love. And we find it difficult to return this love? How ungrateful not to love God with your whole heart!

PRACTICE

Imitate the Holy Helpers in their ardent love of God. Implore their intercession to obtain it. Meditate often on God’s love for you, and your heart will be enflamed with love for Him.

PRAYER

O God of mercy and love,
I thank You with all my heart
for the countless graces
which Your infinite love has bestowed on me.
By the ardent love which the Holy Helpers had for You,
I implore You to enkindle in my heart
the flame of Your love,
so that I may remain in You and You in me.

Amen.

To finish the prayers for this day, say the…
“Litany of the Fourteen Holy Helpers” and the “Invocation of the Holy Helpers”.

DAY SIX

Begin with the Preparatory Prayer.

MEDITATION

Charity is one of the fundamental virtues of the Catholic religion. The moral doctrine preached by Christ is comprised in the words: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments depends the whole law and the prophets” (St. Matthew 22:37-40).

As in everything else, the Holy Helpers are our models also in charity. Charity consists in wishing well for our fellow men, rejoicing with the glad and sympathizing with the sad. It includes also doing good to all, being friendly, lenient, meek, and helpful toward them. We are loving our neighbor when we assist the poor and distressed, when we harbor no envy for those better off than ourselves, when we esteem the just for their virtue, and hate not the sinner but their sin.

We love our neighbor by not just having these sentiments in our heart, but by showing them in our actions.

PRACTICE

Endeavor to exercise this charity according to the spirit of Christ. The love of your neighbor must not be a sentimental affection; it must not be based on your personal inclination, or some casual qualities of their character or rank, etc. True charity must have the love of God as its motive. We must exercise charity toward all because God wills it, and it must be in the manner in which He wills it. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

PRAYER

O God of charity,
Who wills that I love my neighbor for Your sake,
grant me the grace,
through the intercession of the Holy Helpers,
to be filled with that spirit of charity
which embraces all and excludes none,
which “is patient, kind, envies not,
deals not perversely, is not puffed up,
is not ambitious, seeks not their own,
is not provoked to anger,
thinks no evil, rejoices not in iniquity,
but rejoices with the truth,
bears all things,
believes all things,
endures all things, and never falls away” (1 Cor. 13:4-8).

Amen.

To finish the prayers for this day, say the…
“Litany of the Fourteen Holy Helpers” and the “Invocation of the Holy Helpers”.

DAY SEVEN

Begin with the Preparatory Prayer.

MEDITATION

By the conscious fulfilling of the duties of their state of life, the Holy Helpers show us that the Will of God alone was the motive of all their actions. Human respect, regard for the opinion of others, did not influence them. The cowardly fear, “What will people say?” is the ruin of many a soul. The devil, the enemy of mankind, is always intent on preventing us from doing good because of human respect. He makes it seems that virtue and piety are out of date and ridiculous.

Due to human respect, many people boast of what should make them blush. They think it degrading to themselves if they do not mock the God and the things of God as much as others. Should we really let the opinion and ridicule of the world influence us or even prevent us from pleasing God? St. Paul says: “If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10).

Our Lord Himself tells us, “He that shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father Who is in Heaven” (St. Matthew 10:33).

PRACTICE

Our Lord says: “So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father Who is in Heaven” (St. Matt. 5:16). Do not stray from the path of duty on account of human respect. Do not let yourself be influenced by the judgments of the world.

PRAYER

Merciful God,
who gave the Holy Helpers the grace to fulfill Your Will,
regardless of human respect,
grant that we may obtain through their intercession and merits
the courage to despise the opinion of men,
and ever serve You with a fearless heart.

Amen.

To finish the prayers for this day, say the…
“Litany of the Fourteen Holy Helpers” and the “Invocation of the Holy Helpers”.

DAY EIGHT

Begin with the Preparatory Prayer.

MEDITATION

The Holy Helpers, knowing well the power of prayer, vigilantly devoted themselves to it. From their prayers they drew that wonderful strength which sustained them in their combat for the Faith.

Prayer is the elevation of the mind to God, interaction with Him by prayers of adoration, praise, thanksgiving, and petition. St. Chrysostom says of prayer: “Without prayer it is impossible to lead a good life – for no one can practice virtue except for those who humbly implore God of it, Who alone can give them the strength necessary. Those who cease to love and practice prayer, no longer possess the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But those that persevere in the service of God, and deem it an irreparable loss to miss constant prayer, possesses every virtue and is a friend of God.”

PRACTICE

Offer yourself at the beginning of each day to God, and thereby you will belong to Him throughout the whole course of the day. Renew your consecration to God frequently during the day with short acts of virtue and especially by a good intention. In this way, you will make all your work as a prayer, and you will attain perfection.

PRAYER

O God, I implore You through the merits
and intercession of the Holy Helpers,
to grant me the spirit of prayer,
that following their example
I may walk in Your presence
and ever enjoy the consolation of interaction with You.
Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

To finish the prayers for this day, say the…
“Litany of the Fourteen Holy Helpers” and the “Invocation of the Holy Helpers”.

DAY NINE

Begin with the Preparatory Prayer.

MEDITATION

A victorious death was the reward of the Holy Helpers’ perseverance in the service of God. During this novena you have, no doubt, formed many good resolutions, exclaiming with King David, the Royal Prophet, “And I said, now I have begun” (Ps. 76:11).

But as it happens to many, that despite their good will, they become neglectful in the pursuit of virtue. And satan does all that he can to obtain their ruin. He portrays and exaggerates the difficulties that will be encountered on the path of virtue. They hesitate, stumble, and finally turn back. This is the most unfortunate thing that can happen. Our Lord Himself says of those who are in this condition: “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through places without water, seeking rest, and not finding, he says: ‘I will return into my house whence I came out.’ And when he is come, he finds it swept and garnished. Then he goes and takes with him seven spirits more wicked than himself, and entering in they dwell there. And the last state of that man becomes worse than the first” (St. Luke 11:24-26). These words are truly a serious warning to encourage us to never let go of our good resolutions.

PRACTICE

In concluding this novena, examine again the depths of the incomprehensible eternity which is awaiting you. Think about and contemplate the endless chain of centuries following each other in eternity – an eternity of reward or of punishment. This thought alone should conquer all of the difficulties that challenge our perseverance.

PRAYER

O God, Whose mercies are infinite
and Whose goodness is without limit,
I beseech You through the merits and intercession of the Holy Helpers,
grant me the grace of perseverance in Your Love
and service to the end.
O generous God,
Who dispenses so many favors through the Holy Helpers,
despise not my prayer,
but graciously hear me
and grant my great desire.

Amen.

To finish the prayers for this day, say the…
“Litany of the Fourteen Holy Helpers” and the “Invocation of the Holy Helpers”.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

O faithful servants of God
and powerful protectors of man, Holy Helpers!
Since Our Lord appointed you as the heavenly advocates
for our needs on earth,
I confidently turn to you for help in my distress.
Countless people praise you for aiding them
with counsel in doubt,
with consolation in anxiety,
with health in illness,
with safety in danger,
with delivery from prison,
and with help and assistance in all tribulations.
Therefore I also have recourse to you,
and implore you not to refuse me your aid.

Give thanks to God for me
for all the graces He has granted to me during this Novena.
I attribute them to your great merits and powerful intercession.
I thank you all together,
and each one in particular,
for your interest in my favor before the throne of God.
I commend myself to your continued protection,
that I may one day be united with you in Heaven,
there to thank the Giver of all good things
and to praise Him for all eternity!

Amen.