Frequently Asked Questions
I haven’t prayed the rosary probably since the 2nd grade. Where do I start?
Click our Novena resources tab for instructions on how to pray the Rosary and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. God is incredibly happy when we make the attempt to pray! If you still feel lost, you can also watch someone else pray the rosary in our email blast each day throughout the novena. This means we won’t have to know anything or do anything other than follow along. On our FRP resource page, you can also watch Archbishop Kurtz pray the rosary to learn how best to get started.
I have never done a 54-Day Novena. Do we pray just one decade of the rosary per day for 54 days and use the reflections as part of our petitions?
Ideally, we invite everyone to pray one set of Mysteries, which is five decades of the Rosary every day for 54 days with our prayer of petition said at the beginning of each Rosary for the first 27 days and then our prayer of thanksgiving for the last 27 days.
What is a novena?
A novena is a specific prayer that is prayed for a period of nine days, just like the nine days the Apostles prayed while they waited after Jesus ascended into Heaven for the coming of the the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
Why the rosary?
The rosary is a powerful prayer of meditation on Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection. Mother Mary asked us to pray the Rosary and gave it to us to pray for peace, unity, and conversion. It is also one of the most recognized prayers in the Church and is very accessible and simple to learn.
Why does this last 54 days?
Mother Mary invited us to pray 3 consecutive novenas in petition and 3 consecutive novenas in thanksgiving, regardless of whether we’ve received our request or not. Since a novena is 9 days, that’s 27 days + 27 days = 54 days. Practically speaking, this is also a great opportunity to get into a more prayerful routine and trust Jesus to take care of us.
54 days is a lot. I don’t think I can commit to that!
This is definitely a challenge for anyone, but many people have experienced great healing and peace from the daily commitment to the Rosary. It has broken the chains of addiction, brought about miraculous recoveries, and changed millions of lives. Even if we just said the Hail Mary once a day, we would start to see a clear difference in our life. This might be one way with little children to teach the prayers of the rosary, reciting them once or twice each day.
What if I miss a day? Do I need to make it up?
Everyone misses a day or two occasionally. The difference between success and failure though is not giving up when we fall short. Try making it up by saying an extra rosary, or if that’s too much, just trust Jesus as He tells us all to “Keep going!”
How do I get my family involved when we’ve never really prayed together before?
We’ve found it more loving and respectful to invite and inspire others to pray with us than force or pressure. Love is about accepting people exactly where they are and wanting the very best for them. Pray for them and trust that Jesus knows what they need during this time. Simple words like “Would you like to pray a Rosary with me?” instead of throwing the whole 54-day commitment at them at once might be a great place to start.
As a family you may want to plan a celebration after you pray, and pop some popcorn, or share a dessert. Having fun is a great way to end your prayer time together.
If you are praying close to bedtime, you might want to have everyone get on their pajamas and get comfortable with pillows and blankets. This way you can have a nice, quiet way to end your day together.
Can we also include our own intentions in this rosary novena?
Absolutely! Prayer is about giving God our best and worst and trusting Him to take care of us. The prayers of petition and thanksgiving are there to unite us all during this time. We all have our own needs and experiences that we will be bringing to God during this time. Don’t be afraid to be real with Him!
This seems like its more for older adults or parents with little kids. What about young people in late high school or college with jobs and school responsibilities?
We are all forced to “make time” for the most important things in life. This is a challenge. We believe we can all rise to this challenge—young people included—provided we believe in the cause, know we will not be judged on how well we do, and know we are not alone in this challenge. You may feel like you’re drowning in busyness and constant activity. This is a lifeline where you will be cheered on each day to keep going, even if you forget a day, so that crossing the finish line will feel possible even at the beginning. This is also a commitment though, so be prepared for the long journey ahead!
What if it’s after August 15th, the novena has already started, and I haven’t signed up? Is it too late?
It’s never too late! Join in as quickly as you can, but don’t worry about the timing. God’s in charge of that, and He is the One who guided you here to begin with. Any prayer at any moment is a good start!