How to Pray The “St Raphael Novena”: Discerning God’s Will? 13 Tips to Total Clarity

The “St Raphael Novena”: Discerning God’s Will? 13 Tips to Total Clarity

The devotion of the St Raphael Novena emerged quietly through the centuries but has become a powerful and meaningful tradition within the Catholic Church. This nine-day period of focused prayer and petition honors the holy archangel Raphael, whose name fittingly means “God heals.” While the exact origins of this practice are difficult to pinpoint, its roots can be traced back to the faithful invoking St. Raphael’s aid in times of illness and need over the ages.

By the Middle Ages, the story of Raphael in the Old Testament Book of Tobit had inspired Catholics to call upon this angel known for protection, healing, and guidance. Stories of St. Raphael’s miraculous intercessions grew through the centuries, as the faithful prayed novenas before journeys and in times of plague. By the 18th century, this devotion was established with printed St Raphael Novena booklets circulating.

In the 19th century, famous saints such as John Vianney and Alphonsus Ligouri promoted the St Raphael Novena and composed prayers to St. Raphael still used today. Over time, the nine-day devotion has proven a source of spiritual nourishment and miraculous aid for those who faithfully persevere in calling upon St. Raphael. This simple yet profound practice of honoring a holy angel continues to draw the faithful into deeper relationship with God and the saints. The St Raphael Novena is a testament to the power of tradition, prayer, and heavenly intercession to bless and transform lives today, as through the ages.

St Raphael Novena
St Raphael Novena

What is a novena in general?

A novena is a devotional practice in the Catholic faith consisting of special prayers or services over the course of nine successive days or weeks. The word novena comes from the Latin word novem, meaning nine. Novenas are often prayed in preparation for a feast day or as a petition for special graces or needs.

They can be prayed privately by individuals or publicly within a church. Some novenas are widely practiced traditions in the Church, while others may be more specific to a particular saint or intention. Novenas trace back to early Christian practices but became more formalized starting in the Middle Ages. Praying a novena is a spiritual exercise that requires focused faith, perseverance, and trust in God’s timing and will.

The St Raphael Novena is one of the most popular and powerful novenas within the Catholic Church. Let’s take a deeper look at this meaningful devotional practice and how it can be prayed.

Who was St. Raphael the Archangel?

To understand the significance of the St Raphael Novena, it helps to know who St. Raphael is according to Catholic tradition. Raphael is one of the archangels named in the Old Testament of the Bible. The name Raphael means “God has healed.” Raphael appears by name only in the Book of Tobit, where he comes in disguise to guide and protect Tobiah on a journey, and then reveals his identity as “one of the seven who stand before the Lord.”

Based on this reference, the Church has honored Raphael as one of the seven archangels who stand eternally in the presence of God. He is traditionally considered a guardian angel and guide, and patron of travelers, health, happy meetings, and Christian marriage. Along with Michael and Gabriel, Raphael is one of the three archangels mentioned by name in Catholic prayers and sacramentals. Devotion to St. Raphael has been popular throughout history, often under the title “Saint Raphael the Archangel.”

St Raphael Novena
St Raphael Novena

What are the specific prayers in the St Raphael Novena?

The most common prayers included in a St Raphael Novena are:

Day 1:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Intro Prayer

Glorious Archangel Saint Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace.

You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners. I beg you, assist me in all my needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels.

Because you are the medicine of God, I humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of my soul and the ills that afflict my body. I especially ask of you the favor (mention your request here) and the great grace of purity to prepare me to be the temple of the Holy Spirit.


Concluding Prayer

St. Raphael, of the glorious seven who stand before the throne of Him who lives and reigns, Angel of health, the Lord has filled your hand with balm from heaven to soothe or cure our pains. Heal or cure the victim of disease, and guide our steps when doubtful of our ways.

Repeat this prayer for the next 9 day. Mark it on your calendar or set a reminder in your phone to keep you on track.

The St Raphael Novena is prayed each day for nine consecutive days. The phrasing can be adapted according to the specific intention. The key is sincerely and reverently calling upon Saint Raphael to intercede in bringing God’s help and healing. Many also pray the St Raphael Novena annually on the feast days as a devotional practice. Over time, praying this novena fosters a sense of spiritual friendship with this powerful yet compassionate archangel.

Faith Focused Dating Paul and Regina

What is the history and origin of the St Raphael Novena?

The exact origin of the St Raphael Novena is unknown, but devotion to the archangel through nine days of prayer developed over centuries among the faithful through local church traditions and revelations of saints. Raphael has been invoked in times of plague and illness throughout history, and his protection of travelers naturally led to prayers to him before journeys.

By at least the 18th century, Catholics were praying the St Raphael Novena seeking his intercession and healing. Some of the first printed St Raphael Novena booklets appeared in the mid-19th century. St. John Vianney, the famous 19th century Curé of Ars, had a special devotion to St. Raphael and prayed novenas in his honor.

Popular novena prayers to St. Raphael were also penned by the French priest Fr. Xavier Ducoudray in the 1890s. The most commonly used St Raphael Novena today is likely rooted in one of these 19th century devotional booklets or prayers. Through continued use and spiritual fruit over the last century, the St Raphael Novena has become a cherished tradition for Catholics desiring healing and protection.

St Raphael Novena
St Raphael Novena

When is the best time to pray the St Raphael Novena?

The St Raphael Novena can be prayed at any time of year when a petitioner feels called to seek the archangel’s intercession. However, there are particular feast days connected with the saints when novenas to them are encouraged:

– September 29th – Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael

– October 24th – Feast of St. Raphael in particular

– Wednesdays – Tradition days to honor St. Raphael

Novenas may begin on these feast days or in preparation for them. The nine days of prayer follow consecutively. If praying privately, it’s common to begin on a Monday so the novena ends on the feast day. But one can begin a St Raphael Novena any day of the week as needed. Overall, the autumn months are considered a fitting time to invoke this archangel known as a healer and protector. Yet his aid can be sought all year long!

What intentions and petitions are appropriate for the St Raphael novena?

Some of the most common intentions and petitions associated with the St Raphael Novena include:

– Healing for illness or injury

– Safe travels and pilgrimages

– Guidance on life decisions

– Protection from dangers or enemies

– Help in finding a spouse or healing a marriage

– Conceiving a child and healthy pregnancy

– Reconciliation in relationships

– Securing employment or a new home

– Deliverance from addictions or bad habits

Because Raphael means “God heals,” he is often invoked for any form of spiritual, mental or physical healing. But his patronage extends to all life circumstances needing guidance, protection or restoration.

Raphael’s history of discreetly aiding Tobiah on his journey makes the saint sympathetic to any “travels” in life – physical, emotional or spiritual. The St Raphael Novena creates a space to present all hopes and needs with childlike trust to this angel known for bringing God’s presence wherever he goes.

How do you pray the St Raphael Novena most effectively?

To pray the St Raphael Novena in a focused, reverent manner and open oneself to receive grace, some recommended tips are:

– Set aside quality quiet time for each day of the St Raphael Novena

– Approach each St Raphael Novena prayer as a conversation with Raphael

– Maintain sincerity, patience and expectancy throughout

– Fast or offer sacrifices to accompany the St Raphael Novena

– Read about St. Raphael to grow in devotion to him

– Journal reflections or any inspirations received

– Pray for humility and right motives in the request

– Seek spiritual direction if needed to discern God’s will

– Trust God’s response over personal preferences or timing

– Reflect on how to live out the favors received in service

Praying well requires discipline, but should also foster intimacy with God and the saints. Consistent focus, openness and thanksgiving allows God to work through his angels as he desires – whether the answer is yes, not yet, or something better!

St Raphael Novena
St Raphael Novena

Are there any special rituals or customs associated with the St Raphael Novena?

A few rituals and customs that are often incorporated into praying the St Raphael Novena include:

– Lighting a candle by a holy image of St. Raphael each day of the St Raphael Novena.

– Writing out the St Raphael Novena petition on a piece of paper and placing it near the candle.

– Reciting prayers or novena day outside by a traveling road, especially when the intention involves a journey.

– Reading the Book of Tobit from the Bible on the ninth day.

– Spreading devotion to St. Raphael by giving prayer cards to others in need.

– Making a pilgrimage to a church named for St. Raphael or containing an image of him.

– Visiting hospitals, nursing homes, or places of injury/illness while praying the St Raphael Novena.

– Doing acts of service and charity honoring Raphael as a model.

– Making a commitment to continue fostering devotion to St. Raphael even after the request is answered.

These practices help deepen awareness of Raphael’s holy presence and loving concern for every person’s welfare, both spiritual and physical. They allow the faithful to honor the archangel through time-honored traditions.

What are some stories of prayers answered by praying the St Raphael Novena?

Over the centuries, many miraculous healings, protections, and provisions have been attributed to the intercession of St. Raphael through the faithful praying of his novena. Some notable examples reported are:

– St. Aloysius Gonzaga, as a youth, prayed a novena to St. Raphael while discerning whether to enter religious life. He later became a famed Jesuit priest and saint.

– A Portuguese man suffering from a stomach tumor was miraculously healed in the 1950s after praying the St Raphael Novena at the hospital.

– During WWII, a mother prayed novenas to St. Raphael for her son’s safe return from battle. He arrived home unscathed on the ninth day.

– A woman unable to sell her home for two years finally got a buyer shortly after praying a novena to St. Raphael.

– A college student with writer’s block and anxiety over exams asked Raphael’s aid, and soon finished his papers with ease.

– An alcoholic man reported losing all desire to drink after praying a novena to St. Raphael.

These inspiring stories remind us that while God’s ways are mysterious, miracles can and do happen still through Raphael’s intercession when our requests align with God’s will. The St Raphael Novena is a proven way to call upon this angel’s help in all life’s circumstances.

How long do you need to pray the St Raphael Novena before seeing results?

There is no guaranteed timeframe in which one can see the results of praying the St Raphael Novena. God responds according to His perfect wisdom and timing, which doesn’t always align with our hopes and expectations. However, many attest to receiving extraordinary graces during or soon after completing the nine-day novena as a sign of St. Raphael’s heavenly intervention.

It is not the length or intensity of the novena that matters, but the sincerity of heart and openness to God’s will. The key is persistence in prayer and unwavering faith that God hears our pleas and will answer in the way most for our good and His glory. So while no certain number of novena days can be prescribed, persevering in prayer and works of charity after the novena can only better allow us to receive divine aid through the intercession of the Archangel Raphael.

How can one make a Catholic Pilgrimage to honor St. Rafael?

What joy and grace one can find in praying the St Raphael novena! As the prayerful words fill one’s heart over those nine days, one may feel nudged by the Holy Spirit to embark on a special journey honoring this beloved archangel known for guiding travelers. Though God’s presence surrounds us always, making a pilgrimage to a sacred place connected to the saints is like walking hand-in-hand with them for a time.

One could decide to visit the quaint National Shrine of St. Raphael nestled in the countryside of St. Raphael, Wisconsin. This tiny rural town even bears the name of this powerful intercessor! The Catholic Church has approved the shrine as an official place of prayer and veneration in honor of St. Raphael. One would be able to book a stay at their peaceful retreat center and secure transportation to that remote corner of the world.

As one prayerfully prepares for the trip, one may feel St. Raphael smoothing the way, for he is the patron of happy meetings. One’s spirit could rejoice at the blessing of spending a few days focused solely on honoring this angel who had already brought immense comfort through the novena. What joy to now walk where so many before had trod in devotion to sweet St. Raphael!

I’ve traveled extensively. Among the nations I’ve traveled to are America, Scotland, Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, The Vatican, Switzerland, France, Milan, and all of Israel. I’ll be in Turkey very soon.

I am knowledgeable about every aspect of travel. I’ve given you a few simple resources to help you get ready for your vacation.

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Time to pack your bags! 🙂

Making travel arrangements to honor St. Rafael

Planning a pilgrimage to the National Shrine of St. Raphael the Archangel in St. Raphael, Wisconsin could be the perfect way to honor this saint. This small town is named for the saint and approved by the Catholic Church as a place of veneration in his honor.

One could book accommodations at their retreat center and a flight to the nearby city. As St. Raphael is the patron of happy meetings, he may bless the journey with joy as arrangements are made. When the pilgrimage dates arrive, packing bags, praying the novena, and setting off on an adventure with this angel at one’s side could make for a meaningful experience.

How can praying the St Raphael Novena help one become more saintly?

As one travels the road to the shrine, reflecting on how this devotion nurtures spiritual life could be insightful. The novena prayers and Scripture readings can shape thoughts toward heavenly things. Petitioning St. Raphael can be an exercise in humility, detachment, and abandonment to God’s will. This practice of honoring the saints could be a small step to becoming more saintly. While one may have far to go, St. Raphael may continue guiding the journey as he aids all pilgrims making their way through this life back to their true home.

Are You Inspired?

Do the things we’ve learned about the St Raphael Novena inspire or motivate you in any way? Saints’ biographies provide for engaging reading and conversation. It has a great chance of producing spiritual fruit in our lives.

Would you wish to provide your loved ones a simple explanation of the saints? Why don’t you buy one of these amazing shirts I made especially for you? You can seek up your favorite well-known saints using the search bar at the top of this website. Anyone who disputes the significance of your clothing can be answered by citing the biographies of your favorite well-known saints.

These motivational tales can even convince them to accompany you to church. Better yet, you might be able to share the Gospel with them. Everyone has sinned and falls short of God’s glory, according to Romans 3:23. As a result, everyone requires a Savior.

God sent His one and only son to fulfill the requirements of the law as part of the provision He made for us to inherit His genealogy. Rom. 4:15-16

In order to provide the ultimate atonement for our sins, Jesus had to come to Earth, live a sinless life, and die. The Bible states it this way…

“Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”

– Hebrews 9:22

Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and burial were not the conclusion of the narrative. No, He resurrected himself! He promises to bring us back to life once we die because He is alive. He eventually defeated sin and death. Hallelujah!

Give your family, friends, and acquaintances access to this crucial information, and invite them to the RCIA class at the closest Catholic church.

After reading about this St Raphael Novena, have you ever thought of coming back to our website every day to discover more about the Saint of the Day? Please take a moment to sign up if you’d like to receive my daily saint emails in your inbox. I’ll keep it short since I know you have a lot on your plate, but I’ll say more because I want you to learn something from me and constantly aspire to do better.

I’ll give you a Mother Mary printable as a freebie to put up in your home or place of business. I’ll email you a link to download it as soon as you submit the form.


Click HERE or on the image to view this St Raphael Novena T-shirt that was made just for you. Choose your favorite size and color, then press the BUY NOW button to be taken to the payment page.

St Raphael Prayer for Singles
St Raphael Novena

Are you free to read about another saint now that you’ve read the St Raphael Novena?

Why not look into:

After reading about this St Raphael Novena, have you ever thought of coming back to our website every day to discover more about the Saint of the Day? Please take a moment to sign up if you’d like to receive my daily saint emails in your inbox. I’ll keep it short since I know you have a lot on your plate, but I’ll say more because I want you to learn something from me and constantly aspire to do better.

I’ll give you a Mother Mary printable as a freebie to put up in your home or place of business. I’ll email you a link to download it as soon as you submit the form.




Well, that’s all for today.

I’ll see you back tomorrow with another Saint of the Day to inspire you!

God bless you,


Priscilla McNabb

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