Saint Andrew Novena Prayer
What is the Saint Andrew Novena?
It is a devotion, also known as the Christmas Anticipation Prayer, that starts on the feast day of St Andrew the Apostle, November 30, and ends on Christmas Eve. It consists in reciting the prayer found below 15 times each day of the novena period. Its exact origin is unknown, but it is believed to have begun in Ireland during the 19th century. This is a very meditative prayer that brings about graces, increases our awareness of the real focus of Christmas and prepares us spiritually for His coming.
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, [here mention your request] through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.
Recite the above prayer 15 times a day from November 30 to December 24
By Kevin di Camillo
The Birth of St Andrew into Eternal Life
It occurred at Patras in Achaia. Saint Andrew was arrested by Aegeas the proconsul, and first of all imprisoned, then severely scourged, and lastly hung upon a cross, whereon he survived for two days, teaching the people; and after beseeching the Lord that he would not permit him to be taken down from the Cross, he was enveloped in a great light from heaven and when this faded away he gave up the ghost.
Saint Andrew and the Liturgy
Naturally, St Andrew is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass (along with all the other apostles in the Roman Canon/Eucharistic Prayer I), but also in a particularly curious spot in the Tridentine Mass: at the Libera Nos and the Fraction of the Host (right after the “Our Father”) we pray:
“Deliver us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, from all evils, past, present, and to come; and by the intercession of the blessed and glorious Mary ever Virgin, Mother of God, together with Thy blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and Andrew, and all the saints.” Thus, Andrew is the last saint named before we receive Christ’s body and blood.
The new Daily Roman Missal does include a particularly beautiful “Prayer of Saint Andrew,” or as it is known in Latin, “O Bona Crux”:
O good Cross,
Made beautiful by the body of The Lord:
Long have I desired you,
Ardently have I loved you,
Unceasingly have I sought you out;
And now you are ready for my eager soul.
Receive me from among men and restore me to my Master,
So that He — who by means of You, in dying redeemed me —
May receive me. Amen.