An antique prayer for anxious times
Laid-off, foreclosed, going broke, ill, stressed, lonely or sad? The Novena to St. Jude is tailor-made for times of troubles
BY SOUL’S CODE — Call it a Catholic meditation. Call it a koan of loving kindness. In the 19th century, the Novena to “the forgotten saint” Jude was known as a prayer for desperate cases, or when a miracle is needed. It now seems perfectly scripted for this century.
With almost one fifth of the U. S. workforce unemployed or under-employed — and five million Americans losing their jobless benefits between Thanksgiving, 2010 and March, 2011 — is it any wonder that a new study estimates that one-fifth of the population of the last ‘superpower’ suffered from a mental illness last year?
So if you’re feeling in any way left out at the turn of this new year and new decade, we reproduce the Novena to St. Jude below as a spiritual prescription.The prayer has worked miracles for many, and we share it at the urging of friends of Soul’s Code who have testified to its positive power.
Novena is from the Latin word for nine (novem, or nove in Italian). The ritual is to say the lines below six times a day, for nine days in a row.
Prayer to St. Jude
O glorious Apostle, St. Jude Thaddeus, true relative of Jesus and Mary. I salute you through the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Through this Heart I praise and thank God for all the graces He has bestowed upon you. Humbly prostrate before you, I implore you through the Heart to look down upon me (or __________ ) with compassion. Oh, despise not my poor prayer; let not my trust be confounded. To you God has granted the privilege of aiding mankind in the most desperate cases. Oh, come to my (or _________’s) aid that I may praise the mercies of God! All my life I will be grateful to you and will be your faithful client until I can thank you in heaven. Amen.
May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, loved in all tabernacles until the end of time.
May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever.
ST. JUDE PRAY FOR US AND HEAR OUR PRAYERS.
Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be Saint Jude Thaddeus in all the world for all eternity.
HAIL MARY, full of grace,
the Lord is with Thee.
Blessed art Thou among women, and
Blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
The prayer booklet for the Novena at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, which is the seat of the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, advises you to make 81 printouts or photocopies of the prayer to St. Jude — and leave nine of them a day in a a church on each of the consecutive days you are reciting the petition. It also boldy declares, in bold caps on the title page, “PRAYER WILL BE ANSWERED . . . ON OR BEFORE 9TH DAY: HAS NEVER BEEN KNOWN TO FAIL!”
The point of making all of these copies of the Novena and leaving them in churches is not mathematical precision: It is to ground yourself in a place where a lot of prayer has been deposited, and to make that connection and intention a daily routine. “You will recive your intention before the nine days are over,” says our copy of the Novena, “no matter ow impossible it may seem.”
The personal stories we’ve heard here at Soul’s Code support that claim, and we invite you to share yours in the Comment field below — or request your own prayer.