The Saint Andrew Novena is a beautiful prayer and a beautiful way to keep a proper focus on the coming of Christ at Christmas.
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment
in which the Son of God was born
of the most pure Virgin Mary,
in the piercing cold.
In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God,
to hear my prayer and grant my desires through the merits
of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother.
The moments in the life of Christ do not have a merely historical significance, but echo into every age of man. When we prepare for and celebrate the Birth of Christ, we enter into that mystery of Israel's longing for the Messiah. Thus, as we await Christmas, we do so knowing what will happen, yet still waiting for Him to appear.
The shepherds did not know that God was about to be born. The Magi had glimpses into this mystery, but did not fully understand. Only the wisest of the people of Israel knew. We share in this wisdom.
The origin of this prayer is unknown, but it is over a hundred years old. It is named after Saint Andrew because it is a perpetual prayer which begins on his feast day, which is November 30th. His feast day is always close to the start of Advent, so this prayer began under his patronage. It is prayed fifteen times a day, and would be best if done throughout the day, rather than all at once. Sanctify the days of Advent by praying without ceasing! (1)
There is a petition implied in the wording of the prayer, so be sure to have one, or several, in mind. It is best to focus your petition, though, rather than have it be too general.
Spread the word about this beautiful prayer! To get a St. Andrew Prayer card, or give one to a friend or loved one, purchase a St. Andrew Prayer Box. It would make a great gift to encourage someone to make a good start to this sacred Season of Advent.
(also available without holy water bottle)
(1) 1 Thessalonians 5:17