"Walking in the way and the love of the Lord"
Today is the Feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle! Andrew, like his brother Simon Peter, was a fisherman. He was a disciple of the great St. John the Baptist. When John pointed to Jesus and said, "Behold the Lamb of God!" Andrew understood that Jesus was greater. At once he left John to follow the Divine Master.
Jesus knew that Andrew was walking behind him, and turning back, he asked, "what do you seek?" When Andrew answered that he would like to know where Jesus lived, Our Lord replied, "Come and see." Andrew had been only a little time with Jesus when he realized that this was truly the Messiah.
From then on, he chose to follow Jesus. Andrew was thus the first disciple of Christ. Next, Andrew brought his brother Simon (St. Peter) to Jesus and Jesus received him, too, as His disciple. At first the two brothers continued to carry on their fishing trade and family affairs, but later, the Lord called them to stay with Him all the time. He promised to make them fishers of men, and this time, they left their nets for good.
The feast of St. Andrew marks the end of the liturgical year and the beginning of a new year with the start of Advent. In fact, the Sunday that falls nearest to St. Andrew’s feast day on November 30th is always the first Sunday of Advent.
There are many popular traditions associated with St. Andrew's feast day. The most popular St. Andrew’s feast day tradition is to begin a Christmas novena prayer.
It’s called the St. Andrew Christmas Novena, or more simply, The Christmas Novena, and it’s a wonderful way to enter into the Advent season that is marked by a time of anticipation, penance, and prayer. While the origins of this prayer are unknown, it is over 100 years old at least and may have come from Ireland. This novena prayer is prayed longer than the traditional nine days - it is prayed through all four weeks of Advent. What a perfect Novena to help us spiritually during this Advent season. It is believed that whoever recites the St. Andrew Christmas novena prayer FIFTEEN times each day from the feast of St. Andrew (30th November) until Christmas Eve will obtain the favor requested.
This won't be easy. Please dedicate your advent to this prayerful time. Pray this novena 15 times a day for 25 days. This Novena will leave your heart well-prepared to welcome the coming of Christ.
The beauty and sweetness of this prayer through its daily recitation will allow you to meditate more fully on the profound mystery of the Incarnation. Prayer is an essential part of Advent. We must remember to bring Christ into our Advent and use this time to prepare ourselves. This special novena is a simple yet beautiful way to celebrate the spiritual significance of the Advent season and to experience a deeper conversion to Jesus.
Go ahead! Prepare the way for Our Lord by opening your hearts. Copy it, save it to your desktop, memorize it, print it out, set a hourly reminder on your phone... whatever you need to help you remember to pray this novena!! You won't be disappointed.
St. Andrew Christmas Novena
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born Of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, 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. Amen.
Prayerful Path/Mary Maddox
Saint James, pray for us that we may be willing to leave everything to follow Jesus as you did. Help us to become special friends of Jesus as you were. Amen