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.