I remember when I first heard about novenas.
I had become Catholic a year prior, and I was intrigued by the idea of asking a saint to pray for me for a particular intention for nine days in row.
At the time, I was longing to meet my future wife, a holy and beautiful Catholic young woman who was somewhere “out there.” So I asked St. Joseph to help via a particular set of prayers I found on the internet.
Nine days later, I finished the novena. But I still hadn’t met my wife.
So I did another novena, this time to St. Therese, my patron saint. This was for the intention of growing in purity for my future wife. I figured perhaps God wanted me to be a bit more prepared before He was going to introduce us together, so this was a good novena intention for me to pray.
Soon, I was hooked! I wanted to pray as many novenas as I could find.
Fast forward years later, and our family life is busy with young children. Looking back, I realize that I only prayed about three novenas per year in the past several years.
Sometimes I forgot which day I was on.
Sometimes I forgot to pray for multiple days in a row and wondered if I had “blown it” for that novena.
And several times I wanted to ask someone to pray with me but never got around to trying to coordinate it. A friend of mine did a coordinated novena by emailing a group of us to pray the Mary, Undoer of knots novena. He then sent out the prayers each day, which was nice, but somewhat laborious for him.
I’ve been a computer programmer for over fifteen years. About six months ago, the thought came to me: Why not write a novena app that would solve or avoid all the pain points that trip me up with them?
And so, in between coaching soccer games and having father-daughter dates, I did. I wrote an app called Pray: the Catholic Novena App that is free, easy to use, tells you which day your on, automatically puts together each day’s prayer, and enables you to invite close friends to pray a novena together for an intention.
Already I’ve been using it to pray and now I’m praying two novenas at a time, for different requests! I’ve prayed more novenas in the past two months than I did all of last year. I hope you find it helpful, too.