A Promise to Publish
The Saint Jude Novena


Saint Jude Novena - Catholic Reviews

Devotions to Saint Jude include making eighty-one copies of 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 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." One metaphysical website 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. This metaphysical website also offers advice on Aura Readings, Feng Shui, Reiki, and a number of other New Age practices.

The novena to Saint Jude listed on this metaphysical website reads as follows: "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."1

The reason why a metaphysical website would be interested in promoting the Saint Jude Novena is because it takes a healthy devotion away from Jesus, and incites other people to pray to a spiritual entity that's not God. When novenas are directed toward the "patron of desperate and hopeless causes," it is almost impossible to discern the identity of the spiritual entity that is promising to give patrons anything they want. Not only can Satan assign the name "Saint 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 than asking another people to join their prayers together with your prayers 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.

The Saint Jude Novena is considered unhealthy because God is not obligated to answer anyone's prayer request just because they recite rote prayers over and over again for nine consecutive days. God wants all of his children to connect their minds and 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.

Jesus already wants to give us everything we need for the salvation of our souls. He already wants to bless all of his obedient children. In Matthew 7:7–8, Jesus says, "Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened."

There isn't any reason to publish a "thank you" note in the church bulletin, because according to John 14:12–14, Jesus says, "Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it."


Scripture Passages to Set the Captives Free


"Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive." — Matthew 21:22

"The transmission of the Christian faith consists primarily in proclaiming Jesus Christ in order to lead others to faith in him." — Catechism of the Catholic Church: 425

"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."2
Catechism of the Catholic Church: 2111


New Age 9-Day Novenas

For more information please visit Communicating with Ghosts, Phantoms & Other Spirits.


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:2111; Cf. Mt 23: 16–22.
  3. Dr. Standley's "List of Novenas": http://www.drstandley.com/guid ance_novena_list.shtml