For the Love of Saint Andrew: A Christmas Novena, Day 12

Guest post by Julie Cragon

Last Christmas, I watched a young couple holding a newborn and playing with young children at a Christmas party. I knew the couple wanted children and was having a difficult time. They have seen doctors and talked to many people and even thought about adoption. I have stayed out of the conversation because they and their family have “thought of and tried everything.”

But she has been pregnant once and miscarried so I believe in the possibility. As the end of November was approaching, I could not get the young woman off my mind. I stayed awake at night and composed words in my head to share with this couple. Then, I saw on the internet from Sarah Harkins at Clay Rosaries, a cool set of beads she’d crafted just for the Saint Andrew Novena. I decided to buy two and give one to my mom and keep one and dedicate this year’s novena for the young couple.

Even though I had prayed this Novena for twenty years, I never knew it had anything to do with conception. I know that is crazy but when I was introduced to the Novena and on all the cards I have of the prayer, they all say “it is piously believed that whoever recites the above prayer 15 times a day from the feast of St. Andrew until Christmas will obtain what is asked.”

So, I’ve made up my mind to keep my mouth shut and I received the chaplets from Sarah and they are wonderful and then… My daughter is sitting at my desk and asks what the boxes are and I tell her they are mine and she’s welcome to look at them. She opens them and asks, “Mom, are you trying to conceive?” “I’m 50, of course not.” “Well, this card says that the Saint Andrew Novena can also be used for women trying to conceive.”

I’ve never in the 20 something years of praying this novena have ever heard that and neither had my mother. That day, I sat and wrote the young couple a letter and explained all that the Holy Spirit had sent me in the way of messages and included the chaplet with the card enclosed. I told them I expected nothing to be said. I expected they already knew it all. The day the girl received the package, I got a call. I froze. I expected words to stay out of their business. I just listened. “I received the package and I have to tell you that strangely enough we had just had a long talk yesterday, and I mean just yesterday, about trying again to start our family.” She went on to explain possibilities, staying within the Church teaching. I just listened.

May Saint Andrew intercede for them to our gracious God and may they be blessed in every way. May good Saint Andrew lead us all to follow Jesus.

  • priest’s wife

    I think Catholic couples who are faithful to natural law and the Church will be so blessed in heaven whether or not they have biological children. They are such champions to NOT do all the 'scientific' things that the world says they should do to conceive a child. I am praying for this couple- May our Lord bless them with children

  • Elizabeth Mahlou

    I think you did exactly what you were supposed to do.

  • ThereseRita

    You know, that's pretty cool bc I too have been praying this novena every yr since 1987 & this year decided that my intention would be for a local couple who have been trying for years to conceive…then today, with this post, do I find out about the conception angle of the Novena, which makes sense, but I just never thought about it!

  • Allison

    @priests wife: yes! And children can also come to us through adoption. And perhaps our longing and our prayers for maternity will be answered in another way – through a vocation of teaching, or doctoring, or nursing, etc. etc. Helping others on the path to their own destiny. Blessings all.

  • Julie Cragon

    "within the Church teachings". And my prayer for them includes the possibility of adoption. They are an awesome couple. Anxious and sweet. Thank you for keeping them and others like them in your prayers.

  • Anonymous

    There are so many children and babies waiting for adoption. God blessed me with two beautiful babies through adoption as answer to my longing to be a mother. Has anybody seen the new Veggie Tales film on adoption? The theme song "Meant to Be" by Steven Curtis Chapman can be found on You Tube.