Brother to Simon Peter, Saint Andrew was a fisherman who heroically died — martyred on a saltire, or x-shaped cross, where he is said to have preached from for two days. For this reason, the x-shaped cross is often called the Saint Andrew cross and is featured on the flag of Scotland of which he is the patron saint.
An Advent tradition for many is to begin praying the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena on November 30, the day the Catholic church celebrates the feast of Saint Andrew. The novena is not actually addressed to Saint Andrew but to God Himself, asking Him to grant our request in the honor of the birth of His Son at Christmas. It is attributed to Saint Andrew given the prayers traditionally begin on his feast day. It is also often called the Christmas Anticipation Novena. While a novena is normally a nine-day prayer, the term can be used for any prayer that is repeated over a series of days.
I have read that many pray the Saint Andrew Novena 15 times a day from November 30 until Christmas Day (perhaps five times at each meal). For some of us, 15 times a day may simply be a bit much and one time at each meal may be more feasible. As stated at Catholic.com, when prayed as a family, the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is a good way to help focus the attention of your children on the Advent season.
Here’s the prayer. Join us? Between November 30 and December 25, the words of the prayer will be displayed in the upper right corner of the home page.
Saint 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 piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires (mention your intentions here), through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.
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