A Promise to Publish
The Saint Jude Novena

 

Saint Jude Novena - Catholic Reviews

Devotions to Saint Jude include making eighty-one copies of paper prayer cards and leaving them inside of churches. The instructions on these slips of paper say, "The Saint Jude novena must be said nine times, for nine consecutive days, leaving nine copies in church each day. Your prayer request will be answered on or before the ninth day. This novena has never been known to fail!"

Other versions of the novena include making a promise to publish a "thank you" note so that the devotion will be spread among the faithful. The promise to publish a thank you note in the church bulletin, archdiocese newspaper, or on websites designed for this purpose, reads as follows: "I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you by publishing this request."

Other versions of this novena say, "By the ninth day your prayers will be answered. It has never failed. Publication must be promised." On one metaphysical website, Dr. Loretta Standley offers a list of novenas to help people connect with a variety of spiritual entities. This list includes novenas to Saint Anthony to help find lost articles, prayers to Saint Cecilia in times of dire need, and novenas to Michael the Archangel for the cleansing of negative energy. Dr. Standley's website also offers advice on Aura Readings, Feng Shui, Reiki, and a number of other metaphysical practices. The novena to Saint Jude listed on her site reads as follows:

Novena to Saint Jude
(Pray for 9 days or 9 hours straight)

"To Saint Jude, Holy Saint Jude, Apostle and Martyr, great in virtue and rich in miracles, near kinsman of Jesus Christ, faithful intercessor of all who invoke your special patronage in time of need. To you I have recourse from the depths of my heart and humbly beg to whom God has given such great power to come to my assistance. Help me in my present and urgent petition, (state your specific request or intention here) in return I promise to make your name known and cause you to be invoked. Saint Jude pray for us and all who invoke your aid. Amen."1

The problem with these types of novenas is that the prayers are not being addressed to God. When novenas are directed toward the patron of desperate and hopeless causes, it is almost impossible to discern the origin of the spiritual entity who is promising to give patrons anything they want. Not only can Satan assign the name St. Jude Thaddeus to his fallen angels, but the New Age Ascended Masters can also assume the name of Saint Jude or any other religious-sounding name they want.

The proper way to pray in communion with the saints is to pray directly to the Blessed Trinity in communion with the saints who are in heaven. This practice works the same way as you would pray in communion with the saints who are here on earth. Asking for the saints' intercession is no different from asking two people to join their prayers together when praying to God. One person doesn't pray to the other person, but both individuals come together in agreement when directing their prayers to God.

God is not obligated to answer anyone's prayer request just because they recite rote prayer mantras over and over again for nine consecutive days. Reciting rote prayers is a sin against love. God wants all of his children to connect their hearts to his infinite love. He wants us to enter into his presence, seek his will in all of our endeavors, and listen to the softly spoken voice of the Holy Spirit who resides deep within the hearts of all believers. Prayer is an intimate connection with God, not an attempt to manipulate the Almighty with superstitious behaviors and rote prayer mantras.

 

Scripture Passages to Set the Captives Free

 

"Do not put your Lord God to the test." — Deuteronomy 6:16

"Tempting God consists in putting his goodness and almighty power to the test by word or deed. Thus Satan tried to induce Jesus to throw himself down from the temple and, by this gesture, force God to act."2 — Catechism of the Catholic Church: 2119

"To attribute the efficacy of prayers or of sacramental signs to their mere external performance, apart from the interior dispositions that they demand, is to fall into superstition."3
— Catechism of the Catholic Church: 2111

 

New Age 9-Day Novenas

 

Notes

Excerpts from the English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for use in the United States of America © 1994, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.—Libreria Editrice Vaticana. English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Modifications from the Editio Typica copyright © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.—Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Used with permission.

Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition copyright © 1993 and 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

  1. Dr. Standley's "Novena to St. Jude": http://www.drstandley. com/guidance_StJude1.shtml
  2. Catechism of the Catholic Church: 2119; Cf. Lk 4:9.
  3. Catechism of the Catholic Church:2111; Cf. Mt 23: 16–22.
  4. Dr. Standley's "List of Novenas": http://www.drstandley.com/guid ance_novena_list.shtml