Starts: June 17th
Feastday: June 26th
Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer was born Spain in 1902 to a devout family. During his childhood, three of his younger sisters died, and his family had other difficult challenges.
He received the call from God to become a priest as a young man, and in following that call he was ordained to the priesthood, and then received a call-within-a-call to start Opus Dei.
Opus Dei helps people of every walk of life serve God and His Church through their work and ordinary daily lives. It is a personal prelature within the Church — an institution that has characteristics of a religious community and a worldwide diocese but is its own unique organization.
St. Josemaria died in 1975 and was canonized by Pope St. John Paul II in 2002.
This novena was written by Francisco Faus.
Intro Prayers (start each day with this prayer)
O God, through the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, you granted countless graces to your priest St. Josemaria, choosing him as a most faithful instrument to found Opus Dei, a way to holiness through daily work and the ordinary duties of a Christian.
Grant that I also may learn to turn all the circumstances and events of my life into opportunities to love you and serve the Church, the Pope, and all souls, with joy and simplicity, lighting up the paths of the earth with faith and love.
Through the intercession of St. Josemaria, please grant me the favor I request (mention your request here). Amen.
Daily Novena Prayers
Day 1: “We have come to call attention once again to the example of Jesus, who spent thirty years in Nazareth, working as a carpenter. In his hands, a professional occupation, similar to that carried out by millions of people all over the world, was turned into a divine task. It became a part of our Redemption, a way to salvation.” (Conversations with Monsignor Josemaría Escrivá, 55)
May our Lord God help me see my job as a path to holiness and a service to others, where God my Father awaits me at every moment, asking me, in each situation, to imitate Jesus when he worked as a carpenter in Nazareth.
Day 2: “The dignity of work is founded on Love. Man’s great privilege is to be able to love, transcending from what is fleeting and ephemeral.” (Christ is Passing By, 48)
May our Lord God help me to understand that what gives value to any honest work is the love with which I do it: love for God, in the first place, to whom I can offer up my work; and love for my neighbour, whom I wish to serve and be useful to.
Day 3: “How short indeed is the time of our passing through this world! For the true Christian these words ring deep down in his heart as a reproach to his lack of generosity, and as a constant invitation to be loyal. Brief indeed is our time for loving, for giving, for making atonement. It would be very wrong, therefore, for us to waste it, or to cast this treasure irresponsibly overboard. We mustn’t squander this period of the world’s history that God has entrusted to each one of us.” (Friends of God, 39)
With the help of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, may I learn to use my time as the treasure it is, and make the effort to improve in the virtue of order, so as to work more punctually, intensely and constantly, without disorder or delays. May I achieve this by following a well-structured plan, which allows for me to spend the appropriate amount of time on each of my duties: spiritual life, family life, professional life and social relations, in a balanced way.
Day 4: “It is no good offering to God something that is less perfect than our poor human limitations permit. The work that we offer must be without blemish and it must be done as carefully as possible, even in its smallest details, for God will not accept shoddy workmanship. ‘Thou shalt not offer anything that is faulty,’ Holy Scripture warns us (Lev 22:20), ‘because it would not be worthy of him.’
For that reason, the work of each one of us, the activities that take up our time and energy, must be an offering worthy of our Creator. It must be operatio Dei, a work of God that is done for God: in short, a task that is complete and faultless.” (Friends of God, 55)
May God help me to work well, with the greatest possible perfection. May I never work carelessly, but be convinced that work done badly cannot be sanctified, because it lacks love, and love alone enables any human action to be pleasing to God.
Day 5: “It is time for us Christians to shout from the rooftops that work is a gift from God and that it makes no sense to classify men differently, according to their occupation, as if some jobs were nobler than others. Work, all work, bears witness to the dignity of man, to his dominion over creation.” (Christ is Passing By, 47)
If my present job is below my level of competence and my legitimate aspirations, may I not belittle it. Rather, while seeking something more appropriate, may I carry it out in a fully responsible way, giving it the same value as Jesus gave his work at Nazareth.
Day 6: “I beg you, don’t ever lose the supernatural point of view. Correct your intention as the course of a ship is corrected on the high seas: by looking at the star, by looking at Mary. Then you will always be sure of reaching harbour.” (The Forge, 749)
May God open the eyes of my soul to understand that he is always at my side. So as not to lose sight of this marvelous reality, may I make the effort to stay in God’s presence during my work, using as a discreet reminder a small crucifix, or a small picture of Our Lady or of some saint to whom I have devotion, positioned where I can see it often, without attracting unnecessary attention.
Day 7: “Everything in which we poor human beings intervene — even sanctity — is a tissue of small trifles, which — depending on the purity of our intention — can form a tapestry of splendid heroism or of meanness, of virtues or of sins.” (The Way, 826)
May God help me to develop the Christian virtues and to mature spiritually through the work I do. May I seek to be patient and understanding, both towards my managers and towards my colleagues and subordinates. May I be simple and humble, avoiding vanity and exhibitionism. In a word, may I do everything with purity of heart.
Day 8: “Consider too that, by doing your daily work well and responsibly, not only will you be supporting yourselves financially, you will also be contributing in a very direct way to the development of society, you will be relieving the burdens of others and maintaining countless welfare projects, both local and international, on behalf of less privileged individuals and countries.” (Friends of God, 120)
May God infuse in my soul the desire to make of my work, not a self-centered activity geared to my own interests, but a service that is open and useful to many, done in the certainty that this ideal of service to others will give a new, higher and more joyful meaning to my life.
Day 9: “Professional work is also apostolate, an opportunity to give ourselves to others, to reveal Christ to them and lead them to God the Father.” (Christ is Passing By, 49)
May God help me see in the area of my work, a wide field for the apostolic mission that God entrusts to all the baptized, using the opportunities he offers me to help my colleagues, friends and clients discover the marvels of the Christian faith.
Concluding Prayer for each day
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.