The word "novena" comes from the Latin word novem, or nine; that is, novenas are usually based in some way on the number nine. Most novenas are said nine times in a row for nine days in a row.

What is a novena?

A novena is the reciting of powerful prayers and devotions for a special request over nine consecutive days.Traditionally, a novena included praying, fasting, and meditating.

Do I have to be Catholic to make the novena? Do I have to be religious?

No! You only have to be someone having a difficult time coping with one (or more) difficult problems in your life that do not seem resolvable on your own. You're human! It's alright to be overwhelmed sometimes.

How often and for how long should the novena be said?

Traditionally, the novena prayer is said for 9 days. The 9 days signifies the 9 days the early Apostles prayed together during the time between the Ascension of Jesus, and Pentecost, when they experienced the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit. However, there is no hard and fast "rule" for praying; it is best if you adopt a series of prayers and a rhythm for saying them that is comfortable for you and allows you to open a dialogue with God.

Catholics consider the very first novena to have been created by Jesus Christ himself. Before Christ rose into heaven He instructed His apostles to spend nine days praying for divine guidance as they awaited the arrival of the Holy Spirit who appeared to them after nine days in the form of tongues of fire.