Saint Benedict the Moor Mission
The Storm Novena, what an unusual name. The story of this novena and the instructions for offering it are to be found inside this priceless little book. As you can see from the illustration on the front over, this novena attained prominence because of the miraculous response from heaven when it was used repeatedly and prayed with great joy and fervor by an American mission to the poor colored people of Milwaukee and Chicago. Although potent for all spiritual and temporal needs, its fruitfulness is especially noted for financial and business needs.
This novena is surely one of the most unusual and powerful you have ever encountered. It is typically American, and very modern. It comports well with the up-tempo pace of our lives today. If this was true in the 1940’s it is ever more so today in the 21st century. The editor and publisher of this book can personally attest to its efficacy, having had his prayers answered more than once through the intercession of the saints invoked in this novena.
It is our hope that more people will make use of this method of storming of the gates of Heaven.
Table of Contents
The Storm Novena
The First Storm Novena
The Second and Succeeding Storm Novenas
Saint Benedict the Moor Mission Has Become “The
National Shrine of the Storm Novena” in America
What is a Storm Novena?
How We Make Our Storm Novenas
What Others Say About the Storm Novena
It would be difficult to overestimate the distrust with which shortcuts and get rich quick schemes are looked upon in our disillusioned day and age.
Approach a stranger and offer him a cigar. He will look at it suspiciously and ask, half smilingly, “What’s the catch?” High-pressure sales talk and bargain ballyhoo leave him cold. “You can’t get somethin’ for nuthin’.” That settles it! Toughened by stock market crashes, depression blues, and evaporation of pools, the intended victim of “Castle in Spain” appeals now crosses his arms and scowls: “You gotta show me.”
“Showing” people has been the Church’s job for centuries.
Recently novenas have begun to emerge from the domain of the pious groups to convince enormous crowds of ordinary Christians that, where God is concerned, prayer short cuts, such as nine day novenas, do work. Proof: the thousands of novenites at the Sorrowful Mother shrine in Chicago, Illinois.
The author tells us here of a new method of prayer in keeping with the growing pace of modern life . . . the “Storm Novena.” Some readers may think that this is a rather unusual practice, but the facts are there to prove that it is pleasing to God and beneficial to man.
During the past twenty years two hundred thousand people have heard about this one day novena and have asked to be “shown.” Daily a stream of letters comes back from these businessmen, politicians, landlords, mothers, teachers, hard-pressed parish priests, and others proclaiming that this novena does deliver the goods.
-Raymond Durocher, 0. M. I.
The Storm Novena
On October 30, 1913, two Franciscan sisters came from Vienna, Austria, to America, to inquire about a new foundation of their community in our land. In Europe these sisters have convents of strict enclosure. Their main purpose is perpetual adoration. At the time of their coming to the United States they lived under the protectorate of Cardinal Piffl, who also allowed them to introduce nocturnal adoration for men, laborers, students, etc., in the convent chapel, with marvelous spiritual success to his flock. Arriving in this country, they came first to the Capuchin monastery of Saint Francis of Assisi in Milwaukee, to discuss a foundation in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, because they desired to have a Capuchin father as their spiritual director. The brother porter called a father to interview the sisters. They presented their plan of establishing convents of their community in the United States, the first one to be in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Smilingly the father asked them two preliminary questions: First, “Have you already received the permission of the Archbishop?” Second, “Have you the necessary funds?” He explained at the same time that financial conditions differ here in America from those in Europe, where pious and charitable people supply all contemplative orders with the necessary victuals, clothing, etc., for their support. The father received a negative answer to all this. However, the two good sisters were hopeful because of their long-accustomed and well-tested confidence in God’s divine providence due to their fervent “Storm Novenas.” The term “Storm Novena” was entirely new to the Father. He asked them to explain the novena.
This is the story the sister related:
In Vienna they were located in the midst of a section of socialists who were known as Church haters. Whenever neighboring pastors had a difficult case, especially that of a dying, impenitent socialist, they reported it at once to the sisters, who then made the so-called “Storm Novena,” with the result that the poor sinner usually called for the priest and was reconciled with God before he died. These sisters made the Storm Novena for many purposes, spiritual and material, and the results were always phenomenal. Their method of making these novenas in Vienna consists in making nine visits to the Blessed Sacrament, kneeling during prayer with arms extended. The novenas are accompanied by fasting and other penances.
When, in later years, these Sisters were questioned relative to the origin of their novenas, one of them wrote as follows: ‘I can only say that many years ago a distinguished lady from Italy called at our Vienna convent, requesting, and making herself, such a ‘Storm Novena,’ as she knew it was the custom in Italian convents of Franciscan nuns in the birthplace of Saint Gemina, to visit a church or chapel nine times in one day and say six Our Fathers, six Hail Marys and six Glorias each time. She assured us many favors were granted her and her family through them. We really experienced this ourselves.”
Their endeavors for a foundation in Milwaukee failed. However, after many trials the two sisters found a great benefactor in Archbishop Schrembs of Cleveland who wanted sisters for perpetual adoration and who welcomed them to pray and offer reparation for his diocese. The holy see changed their name to “Franciscan Nuns of the Most Blessed Sacrament.” Address: 4108 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio.
The Storm Novenas which have been introduced at Saint Benedict the Moor Mission are not made with such extraordinary exercises as in Europe; however, we have experienced wonderful results. The main thing we stress is fervor and unbounded confidence in God. We do not discount the other qualities of a good prayer, namely, devotion, humility, perseverance, resignation to God’s will, and praying in the name of Jesus, i.e., begging favors in virtue of the inexhaustible merits of Christ; for they are the exchanges in bargaining with God. It then becomes evident to every reader that these novenas are a secret of success, for God told no lie when he promised: “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.” The Creator obeys his creature. How marvelous!
Prayer gives genuine value to life if recited with full resignation to God’s will. The most meritorious prayer ever said was: “Lord, not my will but thine be done.”
What can be greater than God’s will since he has our greatest welfare at heart? Have you never experienced that your requests often were granted only when you fully resigned yourself to it? According to Catholic doctrine on grace, the least degree of grace surpasses all earthly values. Consequently, when we pray, every word coming from our lips bestows more value on us than all earthly riches. We do not gather dust but gold kernels for eternity. God’s blessing rains down on us, and each word has a value over all temporal goods.
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