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Daily Catholic Question

What is a novena?

A novena is usually a nine-day period when a person prays for some special intention. Acts of the Apostles 1:13-14 says that Mary and the apostles spent the time between Jesus’ Ascension and Pentecost in prayer. That is nine days if you don’t count Pentecost itself.

No special prayers are required, though prayer books often have recommended prayers for asking saintly intercession or addressing God directly.

A novena could be nine of some day of the week. For example, the nine Tuesdays before the feast of St. Anthony of Padua (June 13) are considered a novena.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Daily Catholic Question for 12/18/2012 Daily Catholic Question for 12/20/2012


All Saints: The earliest certain observance of a feast in honor of all the saints is an early fourth-century commemoration of "all the martyrs." In the early seventh century, after successive waves of invaders plundered the catacombs, Pope Boniface IV gathered up some 28 wagonloads of bones and reinterred them beneath the Pantheon, a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods. The pope rededicated the shrine as a Christian church. According to Venerable Bede, the pope intended "that the memory of all the saints might in the future be honored in the place which had formerly been dedicated to the worship not of gods but of demons" (<i>On the Calculation of Time</i>). 
<p>But the rededication of the Pantheon, like the earlier commemoration of all the martyrs, occurred in May. Many Eastern Churches still honor all the saints in the spring, either during the Easter season or immediately after Pentecost. </p><p>How the Western Church came to celebrate this feast, now recognized as a solemnity, in November is a puzzle to historians. The Anglo-Saxon theologian Alcuin observed the feast on November 1 in 800, as did his friend Arno, Bishop of Salzburg. Rome finally adopted that date in the ninth century.</p> American Catholic Blog Touch can be an act of kindness when someone is dying. If you visit a sick person and find that you are at a loss for words, reach out and touch her hand.

 
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