The Storm Novena Prayer

All text comes from "The Storm Novena," originally published in 1947 by two friars from my Order. Enjoy. -V

What is a Storm Novena?

A Storm Novena consists of nine visits to the Blessed Sacrament in one day, praying on one's knees, and with outstretched arms, to obtain a speedy and unfailing answer to prayer. The Franciscan sisters mentioned above, define it in these terms: "Storm" means a sudden, forceful assault in the shape of ardent prayers on heaven at the throne of our divine Lord, so that he(sic) will take immediate note and answer them readily. One, so to say, storms heaven with implicit confidence, in accordance with the Gospel story recorded in Saint Luke 11:5-13, which reads: "Let us suppose that one of you has a friend to whom he goes at the dead of night, and asks him, 'Lend me three loaves of bread, neighbor. A friend of mine has turned in to me after a journey, and I have nothing to offer him.' And suppose the other answers from within the doors, 'Do not put me to such trouble; the door is locked, my children and I are in bed; I cannot bestir myself to grant the request.' I tell you, even if he will not bestir himself to grant it out of friendship, shameless asking will make him rise and give his friend all that he needs. And I say the same to you; knock, and the door shall be opened for you. Everyone that asks, will receive; that seeks, will find; that knocks, will have the door opened to him. Among yourselves, if a father is asked by his son for bread will he give him a stone? Or for a fish, will he give him a snake instead of a fish? Why then, if you, evil as you are, know well enough how to give your children what is good for them, is not your Father much more ready to give, from heaven, his Holy Spirit to those who ask him?" Thus man has power over God.

It is performed on our knees to indicate our total helplessness and dependence on God; with extended arms - similar to Moses, who, as long as he prayed with extended arms, sustained his army in fighting successfully; then also to remind the heavenly Father of his divine Son on the cross - in virtue of which all our prayers have their power, whether they be expiation, reconciliation, adoration, or pleadings for help. Praying with extended arms was a favorite manner of prayer employed by Saint Francis of Assisi in memory of our crucified savior. When Saint Gertrude asked our Lord to teach her how to pray so as to commemorate his passion, our Lord answered. "When you pray, spread forth your hands so as to represent to God the Father the memory of my passion, in union with that love with which I stretched out my hands on the cross; and if you do this habitually, without fear of ridicule or reproach, you will pay me an honor as great as is shown to a king when he is solemnly enthroned."

"The prayer of him that humbleth himself shall pierce the clouds." (Eccl. 35:31)

In the seventeenth century, a certain John Flavel asserted that "Man's extremity is God's opportunity." Yes, indeed, Percy Maxman contends. "Invincible is the spirit of man that stands firm in reliance upon God."

Whatever perils may confront humanity, faith in a power above and beyond ourselves can assert itself and dispel fear and doubt from the mind. Dr. Alexis Carrel once said, "Our deepest source of power and perfection has been left miserably undeveloped."

How We Make Our Storm Novenas

The first visit is always introduced by an act of Perfect Contrition:
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.
To which are then added the following invocations at each visit:
1. O Sacred Heart of Jesus --
have mercy on us and grant us our request.

2. Our Lady of Perpetual Help --
pray for us and obtain our request.

3. The Memorare:
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, and sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence I fly unto thee, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother! To thee I come, before thee I stand sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

4. Saint Joseph, Friend of the Sacret Heart --
pray for us and obtain our request.

5. Saint Jude --
pray for us and obtain our request.

6. Saint Anthony --
pray for us and obtain our request.

7. Saint Conrad --
pray for us and obtain our request.

8. Saint Benedict [the Moor] --
pray for us and obtain our request.

9. Saint Roch --
pray for us and obtain our request.

10. Saint Dominic and Saint Francis --
pray for us and obtain our request.

11. Saint Theresa, Little Flower of Jesus --
pray for us and obtain our request.

12. Ye Blessed Martyrs of Uganda --
pray for us and obtain our request.

13. Saint Martin de Porres --
pray for us and obtain our request.

14. All Ye Holy Angels and Saints --
pray for us and obtain our request.
Our children are constantly reminded of the great power of prayer, by means of which God shares his creative power with man. Mere words created the universe. Mere words, at Mass, change bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. Mere words create what we ask. The success of a good prayer does not depend on ourselves or even our good will, but entirely on the merits and satisfactions of Christ, and its efficacy is based on God's infinite willingness to hear every prayer. Bear in mind the life of Christ and "all that Christ earned is ours. The passion of Christ belongs to us as really as though we ourselves had suffered it. (Saint Thomas.) And we offer these inexhaustible treasures to God in exchange for his favors. Redemption was placed within our reach but not within our grasp. A child may want an apple from a tree. It cannot reach it. However, if his father lifts him up he can pluck it. Thus, prayer is the means placed at our disposal to receive God's gifts. No request is ever refused, so that, when once we enter the portals of heaven, we will find that not a single prayer sent up to heaven remained unanswered or unrewarded.

I will explain the various invocations in detail later, as some of the saints may not be recognizable to anyone who is neither in the African-American Catholic community or in the Franciscan/Capuchin community. -V

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7 Response to The Storm Novena Prayer

June 20, 2009 at 8:31 AM

Peace be to you! A great idea which petitions and praises God as well as creating a good environment internally and externally. The essence of God is love which is more than the scholastic definition it is the holy spirit or the spirit of God which is the likeness that Adam was created as. The world does not have the full story and will not admit to it. Amen

January 31, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Praise to Jesus, Infant Baby of Prague! I love you! I thank you for answering my prayers so quickly and for my Dad's clean bill of health. I thank you for my faith in you. I thank you for The Blessed Mother and the angels and saints in my life.
I am so grateful to you and will praise your name forever.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, sweet Jesus. I love you so much!

February 14, 2011 at 12:54 AM

my family and l prayed using novena and we have never been failed ...9 hours before the new year we started praying and placing our needs to God and asking baby Jesus to intercede for us baby was ill form birth and noone understood what the problem was....she has completely regained here health and her skin which was badly scarred is healing so significantly and she no longer scratches wer she used to scratch non stop for the whole day, My husband who was unemployed is now employed. my boss at work used to pay me 10 days late every month when all my debit orders had bounced and there was no food in the house but all this has changed. l asked for a car and by the grace of God l am in the process of buying one . There is stil some of our prayers which are yet to come through but l have already seen that everything is falling into place .
My brothers and sisters , l testify that God is living and he is a faithful and loving father. When friends and relatives have failed you , kneel down and call on His name...he will definitely answer...Storm the s with your request and just as he has promised he will give it unto you ...and dont forget to tithe when you have recieved so that you contribute to groth of the church and surely your blessings will be multiplied .

February 14, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Thank you for posting this. I lost my Storm Novena Prayer booklet.
God Bless You.

October 9, 2011 at 11:29 PM

I add this after the Act of Perfect Contrition:

My Lord, you are gracious to hear us in our necessity. Hear also our petition for the temporal and spiritual needs of the homeless, the working poor, the imprisoned, the addicted, and the down-trodden of our own parish, and in particular the needs of St. Ben's Ministries in Chicago, in gratitude for blessings so generously shared by the distribution of this novena.

October 9, 2011 at 11:48 PM

Whoops . . . should that be Milwaukee? Or where?

June 6, 2012 at 12:17 PM

My friend at work recently gave me her copy of the Storm Novena and I prayed it in one day as it is suggested and the saints of heaven and the Lord heard my pleadings. The very two difficult requests I made of heaven were answered and I see this as a miracle. The prayers were answered a day or two after I prayed the novena.

My brother is having a hard,long struggle with alcoholism and after in-house rehab and several (5 at least) visits to the ER and almost died, he drove out of state all the way to Louisiana on Bourbon street drunk and had fights and was in the hospital and ID and wallet stolen and no money left, no phone and we lost track of him. Nearly giving up and losing hope, I prayed the novena that he come home safe and that he seek recovery and God answered both those prayers. He was in a horrible state (couldn't talk, walk) that none of us can figure how he drove home and he finally surrendered and said he wanted help. I wish I could hug Jesus right now. I love the Storm Novena and the method of praying with arms outstretched and on my knees like St. Francis. I am a shy person and this was difficult at first even by myself in the chapel, but I understand that it pleases God.