Rules for the Proper Observance of Novenas, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori

detail of a devotional print of Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, c.1880, artist unknown; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsThe soul must be in the state of grace; for the devotion of a sinful heart pleases neither God nor the saints.

We must persevere, that is, the prayers for each day of the novenas must never be omitted.

If possible, we should visit a church every day, and there implore the favor we desire.

Every day we ought to perform certain specified acts of exterior self-denial and interior mortification, in order to prepare us thereby for the reception of grace.

It is most important that we receive holy communion when making a novena. Therefore prepare yourself well for it.

After obtaining the desired grace for which the novena was made, do not omit to return thanks to God and to the saint through whose intercession your prayers were heard.

– Saint Alphonsus Liguori