Novena to Saint Cecilia

A 9-Day Prayer for the Patroness of Musicians & the Blind

In the Catholic tradition, a Novena is a course of prayer said on 9 successive days to a particular saint. It can be made with a particular intention, for oneself, or as “intercession” on behalf of someone else.

If you wish to extend these prayers, you can also recite this litany each day, courtesy of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia.

Day 1

Saint Cecilia, you were born into wealth but chose poverty; given into marriage, but chose virginity. Through your sacrifice, you converted your husband Valerian to the faith, and brought him to the heavenly kingdom through the narrow gate of martyrdom. You yourself were martyred by the sword, but your brave witness while you lived gave life to hundreds in Rome who were baptized and believed in the Gospels as a result of your preaching.

We seek your prayers for… (Mention your intentions here…). St. Cecilia, we ask for your intercession because you generously offered your life for the love of Jesus, to whom you were devoted with your heart and soul. Graciously hear our prayers. Amen. Saint Cecilia, pray for us. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Day 2

Saint Cecilia, your wedding featured music that you could not hear, as you sat apart and sang to the Lord in your heart. You have inspired poets and musicians with sublime words and songs that have sewn the Gospel in millions of ears:

Orpheus could lead the savage race,
And trees uprooted left their place
Sequacious of the lyre:
But bright Cecilia raised the wonder higher:
When to her Organ vocal breath was given
An Angel heard, and straight appeared –
Mistaking Earth for Heaven.

— John Dryden, Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day

Oh, Saint Cecilia, Orpheus’ lute made trees, but you produced living stones and disciples. Help us to sing in our hearts and with our voices so that we may live the Gospels with joy at all times.

We seek your prayers for… (Mention your intentions here…). St. Cecilia, we ask for your intercession because you generously offered your life for the love of Jesus, to whom you were devoted with your heart and soul. Graciously hear our prayers. Amen. Saint Cecilia, pray for us. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Day 3

Oh Saint Cecilia, you were arraigned before a Roman prefect for the offense of loving Christ. You refused to sacrifice to the pagan Gods and debated your captors with unshakeable faith, even to the point of a death sentence. Bless all those who are not offended by God’s scandalous message of grace and forgiveness, and help us overcome every kind of idolatry that keeps us in servitude.

We seek your prayers for… (Mention your intentions here…). St. Cecilia, we ask for your intercession because you generously offered your life for the love of Jesus, to whom you were devoted with your heart and soul. Graciously hear our prayers. Amen. Saint Cecilia, pray for us. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Day 4

Saint Cecilia, born to parents of illustrious wealth, you wore a hair shirt under your fine clothing, prayed fervently, and always helped those in need. Help us oh Holy Virgin martyr in our spiritual poverty to understand what we really need.

We seek your prayers for… (Mention your intentions here…). St. Cecilia, we ask for your intercession because you generously offered your life for the love of Jesus, to whom you were devoted with your heart and soul. Graciously hear our prayers. Amen. Saint Cecilia, pray for us. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Day 5

Saint Cecilia, on the night of your wedding you warned your husband Valerian of the angel guarding your purity. When he asked to see the angel, you told him he must be purified of his unbelief and be baptized by the bishop. The bishop was seeking refuge from the brutal Roman persecution in a cave, but Valerian found him on the third milestone Appian Way — just as you said you would.

“Know that I have a fearful and wonderful angel of God Who diligently guards my body, so that no man might defile me. Now if he sees that you desire to touch me out of carnal desire, he shall become angry and shall slay you instantly. Thus, you shall lose the flower of your youth. However, if he sees that you love me in a clean and pure fashion, as your sister, he shall love you as me, and shall reveal himself to you!” — Saint Cecilia, to her husband, Saint Valerian (†)

Help us to renew our baptismal vows in the one and Triune God this day and seek conversion wherever it may be found.

We seek your prayers for… (Mention your intentions here…). St. Cecilia, we ask for your intercession because you generously offered your life for the love of Jesus, who you were devoted to with your heart and soul. Graciously hear our prayers. Amen. Saint Cecilia, pray for us. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Day 6

Saint Cecilia, you lived in a time of brutal persecution of Christians. Once inspired by your witness, your husband Valerian and his brother Tibertius dedicated themselves to the task of evangelization for the rest of their short lives. You have since then inspired countless martyrs throughout the age to pass with peace amid the tumult of man’s violence.

Intercede for us, to grant the grace of a good death, with our savior’s name on our lips.

We seek your prayers for… (Mention your intentions here…). St. Cecilia, we ask for your intercession because you generously offered your life for the love of Jesus, to whom you were devoted with your heart and soul. Graciously hear our prayers. Amen. Saint Cecilia, pray for us. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Simon Vouet, Saint Cecilia — c. 1626

Day 7

Saint Cecilia, your vow of chastity was scorned in your time as chastity is today, and yet you patiently awaited the fruits of this virtue and the conversion of sinners to eternal salvation. Let us recall your sacrifice and embrace the virtues of a chaste life anew. Help us with temptations toward excessive sensuality, and bodily pleasure.

We seek your prayers for… (Mention your intentions here…). St. Cecilia, we ask for your intercession because you generously offered your life for the love of Jesus, to whom you were devoted with your heart and soul. Graciously hear our prayers. Amen. Saint Cecilia, pray for us. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Day 8

Oh, Saint Cecilia, your inner vision has given hope and miraculous healing to many who were blind. Let us listen with attentive ears for the words and songs that can give us new sight, and heal our lack of vision. May we come to rely more on faith than sight, and in doing so, find both strengthened.

We seek your prayers for… (Mention your intentions here…). St. Cecilia, we ask for your intercession because you generously offered your life for the love of Jesus, to whom you were devoted with your heart and soul. Graciously hear our prayers. Amen. Saint Cecilia, pray for us. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Day 9

Saint Cecilia, your pure witness caused even your accusers to see the beauty of your faith. This witness converted hundreds in your lifetime and untold numbers after your pass from this life. May we imitate your purity and single-hearted devotion to the gospels in whatever we do, and reap a harvest of souls into eternity.

We seek your prayers for… (Mention your intentions here…). St. Cecilia, we ask for your intercession because you generously offered your life for the love of Jesus, to whom you were devoted with your heart and soul. Graciously hear our prayers. Amen. Saint Cecilia, pray for us. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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