November 30 is the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle. St. Andrew was the very first disciple called by Our Lord, and he is the one who got his brother, St. Peter, to become Jesus’ disciple too. We all know how the rest turned out.
The feast day of St. Andrew also marks the end of the liturgical year and the beginning of the new one on the first Sunday of Advent.
There are many popular traditions associated with St. Andrew’s feast day, especially in those countries that have him as their patron saint, Scotland and Russia.
But the most popular St. Andrew’s feast day tradition is for everyone, and that is the tradition to begin a Christmas novena prayer on St. Andrew’s feast day.
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.
If the St. Andrew novena was prayed as a traditional nine-day novena, it would end on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8. However, this novena prayer is actually traditionally prayed much longer than nine days—it is prayed through all four weeks of Advent. It is piously believed that whoever recites the St. Andrew Christmas prayer FIFTEEN (!) times each day from the feast of St. Andrew (30th November) until Christmas day will obtain the favor requested.
And here it is! Go ahead and memorize it, copy and paste it to your desktop, stick it on your car dashboard, write it on your arm, or whatever you need to do to make sure you prepare your heart for Christmas old-school style!
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 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.
Prayer is an essential part of Advent. Reciting this special novena prayer each day is a simple yet beautiful way to celebrate the spiritual significance of the Advent season and to experience a deeper conversion to Jesus. The St. Andrew Christmas novena is commonly found in many Advent prayer books which are also loaded with many other beautiful prayers and traditions for this time of year.
Have you made the St. Andrew Christmas novena a part of your Advent prayers in the past? If so, what blessings and graces did you receive?