Which novena to pray for Ukraine? Here are some really good ones

Our Lady of Fatima Credit Ricardo Perna Shutterstock CNA 1 Our Lady of Fatima. | Ricardo Perna / Shutterstock.

The bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church have asked people around the world to join them in an urgent, nine-day novena beginning March 17 to conclude on the Solemnity of the Annunciation on Friday, March 25.

Pope Francis has chosen that day to consecrate Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a dramatic act aimed at ending the violence that has taken place since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

EWTN will broadcast the ceremony live beginning at 12 noon EST.

In an interview Thursday with St. Rita Radio, an EWTN radio affiliate in Norway, Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki of Lviv, Ukraine, repeated his request for a worldwide novena.

"On 25 March our Holy Father, Pope Francis, will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the immaculate heart of Our Lady of Fatima. We wish to prepare ourselves for this event by means of a novena, which we begin today," he said. "We ask the whole universal, Catholic Church to unite itself to our prayers, asking for the forgiveness of sins and praying that this terrible war will end soon. Praise be Jesus Christ!"

Catholics worldwide are eager to join in this special time of prayer. But many are asking which novena they ought to pray.

The short answer is that there is no “official” novena tied to the pope’s consecration ceremony. In other words, those wishing to participate may choose any novena they wish.

A novena is simply a daily prayer said over the course of nine days to obtain a special grace.

There are untold numbers of novenas that Catholics have prayed over the centuries, many of which remain hugely popular today. Some are short and can be said in a minute or less; others are more lengthy, and might even include the daily recitation of the rosary.

Ukraine’s Latin rite bishops have posted the text, in Ukrainian, for each day of their own novena, which began on March 17. You can find it here

One option, then, would be to say that novena (provided you can find a translation or do one yourself, using an online translation tool such as Google Translate or DeepL, if you can’t read Ukrainian.)

Here are some other suggestions that are perfectly appropriate to pray.

The Annunciation Novena. This one is suitable because the pope’s consecration coincides with the Solemnity of the Annunciation, marking Jesus’ Incarnation, the moment in time when Jesus Christ took on a human nature (Luke 1:26-38.) Because it is brief, we will reprint it here:

I greet you, Ever-blessed Virgin, Mother of God, Throne of Grace, miracle of Almighty Power! I greet you, Sanctuary of the Most Holy Trinity and Queen of the Universe, Mother of Mercy and refuge of sinners!

Most loving Mother, attracted by your beauty and sweetness, and by your tender compassion, I confidently turn to you, miserable as I am, and beg of you to obtain for me from your dear Son the favor I request in this novena:

(mention your request).

Obtain for me also, Queen of heaven, the most lively contrition for my many sins and the grace to imitate closely those virtues which you practiced so faithfully, especially humility, purity and obedience. Above all, I beg you to be my Mother and Protectress, to receive me into the number of your devoted children, and to guide me from your high throne of glory.

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Do not reject my petitions, Mother of Mercy! Have pity on me, and do not abandon me during life or at the moment of my death. Amen.

Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly of the Knights of Columbus has asked his fellow knights to recite the Annunciation Novena, along with at least a decade of the rosary each day.

Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is another short prayer, which recognizes the great purity and love of the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary for God. Here it is:

O Most Blessed Mother, heart of love, heart of mercy, ever listening, caring, consoling, hear our prayer. As your children, we implore your intercession with Jesus your Son. Receive with understanding and compassion the petitions we place before you today, especially... (special intention).

We are comforted in knowing your heart is ever open to those who ask for your prayer. We trust to your gentle care and intercession, those whom we love and who are sick or lonely or hurting. Help all of us, Holy Mother, to bear our burdens in this life until we may share eternal life and peace with God forever. Amen.

Novena for Peace to Our Lady of Sorrows. The main intention for worldwide prayers at this moment, of course, is for peace in Ukraine. For that reason, this slightly longer novena, reflecting on the many sorrows that Mary experienced during her lifetime, is an excellent option. You can find the words of this beautiful prayer here.

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