Guest Post by Julie Cragon
I was first introduced to the Christmas Novena to Saint Andrew in 1987. After a couple of years of trying to conceive, my husband and I found out we were pregnant early in the year. Along with my two sisters and a sister-in-law, I would have a new baby in November. Unfortunately, we lost our child in late April. By October and November, when the other new little ones were born I was beginning to wonder if we would ever have children.
At the end of November, my mother gave me a copy of the Christmas Novena and said to pray it fervently for anything I really wanted. Well, that was a no-brainer. That summer I found out again that we were blessed with a child. Again, during Christmas, I dedicated my Novena to the birth of a healthy child. Catherine Elizabeth was born in March of 1989. The elderly doctor showed us and five pre-med students (nice audience for my first full-term birth) the true knot in my newborn’s umbilical cord. Normally a cause of still-birth or complications, the doctor remarked that in his 40-something years of delivering babies, he’d only seen two babies live who were delivered with such a knot. Our prayers are answered in amazing ways.
Now my husband used the Novena one year to unload an old truck he owned that had become a true burden on our finances. He has been a true believer ever since that truck drove out of our driveway in January of the same year. It seems Saint Andrew is constantly bringing us to Christ, to faith in our prayer life, to belief in so much more.
I began speaking to mom’s groups about Advent and Lent preparation with small children shortly after the birth of our second child. I always share the power of the Saint Andrew Novena. One morning, I received a tap on my shoulder before Mass. A young man wanted to thank me for introducing the Christmas Novena to his wife. After years of trying to have another child, they were pregnant. I see both girls now and then and I must say, they are beautiful and the pride of both parents.
As I see it, Saint Andrew has brought more true believers to the power of prayer.