Novena to St. John Cantius
Novenas preceded celebrations honoring John from Kenty, first of all, constituted a spiritual preparation for the observance of the anniversary of the saint’s death (dies natalis), ie. December 24. That holiday was solemnly observed from time immemorial--as stated by a document from the time of Bl. John from Kenty’s canonization (Congregatione Sacrorum Rituum ..., Romae 1675, s.90).
St. John of Kenty
- The celebration of St. John Cantius, the patron and native son of the Kraków Archdiocese, can be preceded by a novena, which should begin October 11 and be conducted during Rosary services (in place of the prayer to St. Joseph).
- In centers of special devotion to St. John from Kenty (ie. Kenty, the parish of St. Anne in Kraków, churches under the patronage of this saint) one should attempt to maintain a solemn character for the novena, combining it with Holy Mass and a sermon. Also, wherever a thriving devotion to St. John Cantius exists, a perpetual Thursday novena is recommended. During that time, only if liturgical rubrics allow for it, a votive Mass for St. John Cantius should be said (see the order of the Mass for St. John Cantius).
- The proposed intentions for the individual days of the novena listed below can be supplemented with prayers which take into consideration local needs and matters entrusted to the patronage of St. John Cantius (ie. prayers for the intention of professors, academicians, teachers and educators, students, children and youth, as well as the sick, those suffering from impoverishment, etc.).
Novena to St. John Cantius
Almighty God, One and Only, in the Most Holy Trinity, from the depths of our hearts we desire above all to give thanks for countless graces and for all that we have received from Your generous hand. Father most kind, we stand before You with childlike faith and trust. Along with the gift of ourselves we bring to You our joy, which flows from the small victories along the road of our daily struggles with the world around us. God, the Holy Spirit, enlighten our thoughts and our hearts.
Show us the path marked out for our life and do not allow us to ever stray from that path by choosing wrongly from among those choices offered to us everyday by life. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, we offer You our difficulties, sufferings, and all adversities, which constitute the pain of life. We join them with Your Cross as an expression of our gratitude for Your Passion and Death, and as proof of our solidarity with the Most Sorrowful Blessed Mother, who for us and in our name stood beneath the Cross on Golgotha. We do this in our own name and with thought of those for whom today we wish to pray. Lord God, through the intercession of St. John from Kenty, grant us our requests. Reject not our petitions.
St. John Cantius, be our confidant at the side of God. Fervently, we ask you to take us under your care. Obtain for us from the Throne of grace those indispensable gifts, without which we would be unable to fulfill those tasks, which God has given to us in His age-old plan. We ask of you today, to obtain for us from God, that special favor, which we so fervently desire ... and above all, the remission of our sins, a continuation in His grace, and a happy death. Amen.
Our Father, ... ; Hail Mary, ... ; Glory Be ....
St. John Cantius, pray for us.
- Petition for the grace of fervent faith
Lord Jesus Christ, You said: “If you will have faith the size of a mustard seed,” you will be able to conquer all the obstacles of life. Humbly we beseech Thee, bestow upon us the grace of fervent faith and grant, that by imitating St. John from Kenty, we would place in You our hope for the life of this world, and that we would be rewarded in eternity for fidelity to Your teaching. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
[After each petition, say the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be 3 times, followed by the Litany to St. John Cantius.]
- Petition for the spirit of prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, “enduring in prayer,” You gave Your disciples an example of how they were to worship the Father, and You bestowed upon St. John from Kenty the singular gift of contemplation. Grant, that we would unceasingly praise You, and by imitating the humble life of our Patron, could through his powerful intercession gain help in all our spiritual needs and remain faithful in the face of the adversities of life. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
- Petition for love among people
Lord Jesus Christ, You taught us through your Apostle: “Love each other mutually with brotherly love.” We humbly ask You, through the intercession of St. John from Kenty, untiring advocate of the Gospel of love, that we more perfectly love our brothers as you loved us. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
- Petition for the spirit of penance
Lord Jesus Christ, You told us: “Do penance, for the Kingdom of heaven has drawn near.” Grant that we would through the intercession of St. John from Kenty, who distinguished himself by a singular devotion to the Lord’s Passion, perform acts of penance and recognize them as the path to exoneration, which brings us closer to a joyful eternity. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
- Petition for the fulfillment of God’s will
Lord Jesus Christ, You told us: let the will of the Heavenly Father “be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Grant, that by following the example of St. John from Kenty, we would cherish the humble and meek fulfillment of Your will and in that manner proclaim the glory of Your name. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
- Petition for the spirit of mercy
Lord Jesus Christ, in giving the example of the Good Samaritan, You told us: “Go and do the same.” Likewise, St. John from Kenty, by his conduct, proclaimed the Gospel of mercy to prisoners, beggars, and all in need. Grant, that by his example, we may fulfill the fundamental law of the Last Judgement: “Whatever you did for the least of my brethren you did unto Me.” Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
- Petition for the gift of Christian witness
Lord Jesus Christ, through Your Apostle You reminded us, that in the world we are Your letter “written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.” We ask, that through the intercession of St. John from Kenty, you give us the grace of Christian witness, so that as “a living tablet” we would open to the world our hearts filled to overflowing with the Spirit of God and in that manner bear witness to Your presence in the human family. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
- Petition for priestly vocations
Lord Jesus Christ, You told us: “Beseech therefore the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into His harvest.” Grant we ask, through the intercession of St. John from Kenty, who performed his priestly duties with such great fervor, that the Holy Mother Church would never lack worthy laborers in Your Vineyard. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
- Petition for loyalty to the Cross
Lord Jesus Christ, You told us: “He who does not carry his cross and follow Me, cannot be my disciple.” We implore Thee, that through the intercession of St. John from Kenty, who distinguished himself by a special love of the mystery of the Holy Cross, as well as by a devotion to the Most Sorrowful Mother, we would follow the example of Your servant by pondering the mystery of Your Passion and Death, and in that manner learn of love and attain the glory of the resurrection. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.