March 4, 2019 — We invite you to join us in praying the Novena of Grace of Saint Francis Xavier (March 4-12). Below are links for each of the days, providing a printable Novena prayer PDF and a thoughtful reflection on Francis Xavier from Jesuits who share his name.
The present form of the Novena of Grace was begun in the 17th century by Fr. Marcello Mastrilli, SJ (1603-1637). While working in Naples, he sustained serious head injuries. Prayers were offered to St. Francis Xavier and Fr. Mastrilli recovered. In his prayer, Fr. Mastrilli heard the promise that whoever took time each year to complete the nine days of prayer would "experience Francis’s protection and might hope with great assurance that any grace they asked of God would be granted, provided it be for their good and the glory of God."
The Novena of Grace is traditionally prayed in the nine days leading up to March 12, the day Francis was declared a saint in 1622.
As you offer up your petitions during the Novena, please keep in your prayers our Jesuit men in formation who are discerning a life of service to others as a Jesuit priest or brother, and to our senior Jesuits who continue to dedicate their lives praying for the Church and for the Society of Jesus.
While at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, I embraced many of the freedoms college offers, but I failed to develop my spiritual life in any way beyond an occasional prayer to God for a date to go well or for an A on an exam. After graduating, I moved to Chicago to work for a financial firm. I was achieving my goals, yet I felt deeply unfulfilled by life. I found myself asking, “How can I claim to believe in Jesus Christ if I don’t really even have a relationship with him?”