Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Christ the King Chapel Liturgy Committee and Knights of the Holy Queen men’s household teamed up to start a 54-day novena for the intentions of Franciscan students.
The novena will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 11:15 a.m. in Christ the King. Senior Bailey Savoy, coordinator of the Knights of the Holy Queen household, is eager to begin the novena, which was proposed by the Rev. Shawn Roberson, TOR.
“I’ve actually never done the 54-day rosary novena before, but it’s very powerful,” said Savoy. The promise of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary was that whoever should make three novenas of the prayers of the rosary and three novenas in thanksgiving can obtain favors from her.
The Knights of the Holy Queen household holds a daily rosary in Christ the King Chapel on weekdays at 11 a.m., so starting the novena was not difficult. “It was Fr. Shawn Roberson’s idea,” said Savoy. “He asked the Knights to sponsor the novena because we already did the rosary every day.”
Savoy said the Knights of the Holy Queen daily rosary is offered up for the intentions of all Franciscan students, and more recently for the Church scandals. He said that the 54-day novena is no different, and it will be offered for the intentions of all students.
The 54-day rosary novena is split into two parts. Three novenas are prayed in petition, and three novenas are prayed in thanksgiving. Overall it consists of 6 novenas of rosaries, back-to-back, which creates the 54-day rosary novena. “(One of) the purposes behind it is to help instill a habit, because a novena is just nine days, but if you do something every day for a couple months it becomes a habit,” said Savoy.
The novena is not being prayed for a certain public intention, but for the overall intentions of the students, those who are involved in the novena and those who aren’t.
“Because our Church is going through a lot of pain because of the scandal, and our school is going through some hurt too, they’re instilling this new 54-day novena that’s supposed to help the students, just to help the community and campus spiritually,” said Savoy. Another purpose of the novena is to try and bring Franciscan’s campus together, through a prayer that requires dedication and involvement, said Savoy.
Bishop Jeffrey Monforton, the bishop of Steubenville, is re-consecrating Steubenville to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and this 54-day rosary novena is a response to that.
“We’re doing this novena to gather the student body and focus towards Our Lady, you know, to Christ, through Our Lady… it’s basically bringing Marian devotion back onto this campus, revitalizing Marian devotion and a love for the rosary and Our Lady. That’s pretty much what drove the novena,” said Savoy.
Franciscan students are encouraged to join in on the novena. “It’s an opportunity for students to go to an organized function of people praying the rosary and have that community there without any pressure. This is here, this is a resource, so take advantage of it,” said Savoy.
According to Savoy, the novena will be advertised around campus and will be prayed every day of the week. On weekdays, the Knights of the Holy Queen will be leading the rosary at 11:15 a.m., and on weekends it will be led by Christ the King Chapel’s Liturgy Committee at 9:30 a.m.
The novena began on Tuesday, Oct. 16 and will continue through the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on Dec. 8.