In 2020, when Texas Tech shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak, a group of close friends and I started reading books and praying together over Zoom to retain our Catholic camaraderie over the remainder of the spring and summer.
We watched a lot of Ascension Presents videos to go with the topics we were reading about, and eventually stumbled across an amazing story about a 54-day rosary novena.
In short, the story goes that back in 1884, a very sick girl’s family prayed for months for her healing. Eventually, Mary visited the girl as an apparition.
Mary told her that the title Queen of the Most Holy Rosary was the most pleasing to her of all her names, and that anyone who invoked her through three novenas of the rosary in petition, followed by three novenas of thanksgiving, would receive their request.
My husband and I have now prayed this novena twice. Once, during the summer of 2020, for deeper holiness in our dating relationship, and again in 2021, for blessings over the rest of our engagement and the start of our marriage.
What we received throughout those 54 days were not at all what we expected.
Due to the pandemic in 2020, we encountered hardships, temptations, and difficulties like not knowing when we would see each other again. We were frequently in conflict over that summer and missed each other terribly.
In 2021, Joshua suddenly lost his job–less than three months before our wedding. In the blink of an eye, our entire future filled with uncertainty. We were both about to graduate, I had already been accepted to graduate school, and as our wedding date drew closer, we still didn’t have a home to move into.
Several other friends of mine have prayed this novena as well. Two of them were in long-term relationships that ended about halfway through the prayer. Another friend lost a relative suddenly while praying it.
I have concluded that praying this novena is dangerous. Mary is not exaggerating when she says you will be granted your request, but God hardly ever answers our prayers the way we want them answered.
My husband and I asked for holiness and experienced adversity and vices to overcome. We asked for blessing in our engagement and marriage and found our future endangered. My friends prayed for clarity and healing and suffered heartbreak and loss.
Mary is not simply asking us to say 2,862 Hail Marys over a couple of months. She is demanding trust in her intercession in God’s will.
This is challenging, no two ways about it. But it’s also incredibly rewarding. I firmly believe Joshua and I would not have the marriage we do if we had not surrendered to Mary in the way we did, during the times we did. We have received unimaginable blessings through these novenas–including a better job for Joshua, only two weeks after he lost his old one.
I recommend and encourage this novena to anyone who is willing to surrender their life to Mary’s intercession. You will probably experience growing pains if you give it a try, but I know you’ll reap incredible rewards.