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Novena

The novena (from the latin “novem”), as proposed by the Caholic Church, consists of praying for nine consecutive days, generally to entrust an intention to God or to ask for a particular grâce.

This traditional form of prayer, which is very popular and encouraged by the Church, generally calls upon the intercession of the Virgin Mary or a saint.

The novena is a privileged way of praying because it allows us to persevere in prayer by taking our time: taking the time to lay a difficult situation at the Lord’s feet, to devoutly entrust a particular intention to him, to prepare our hearts to receive his grâces, to welcome the Holy Spirit so that it may help us to discern…

This novena puts us in touch with Blessed Eugénie.

 

For 9 days, in a quiet place that will help you pray, you can follow the following itinerary:

♦ Make the sign of the Cross.

 Pray the “Our Father” by becoming a child before God, our Father in Heaven.

 Read the short introduction of the day, then meditate on one or more quotations of the Blessed… Leave a time of silence between two quotations in order to let the sentences reach your heart and permeate it.

Formulate the intention for which we make the novena.

Say a “Hail Mary”.

 Say the prayer of the novena.

Make the sign of the Cross.

Download a paper version

To make your own novena booklet :

  • Download and open the file
  • Print sheets on both sides

(or print the odd pages then go back to print the even pages)

  • Fold the pages in half and put them in order

Prayer of the Novena

Prayer to Blessed Eugénie Joubert

Heavenly Father,

We thank you for giving to the Church and to the world Blessed Eugénie Joubert.

The Holy Spirit led her to become a religious of the Holy Family of the Sacred Heart,

fully given to your Son Jesus, the Beloved of her soul.

She was a model of joy, humility and love received from the Virgin Mary,

she was a catechist of fireand a witness to your Love with the children.

May her prayer lead us to discover, in her wake, the path of evangelical childhood full of trust.

Blessed Eugénie, you who lived in the intimacy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy heart of Mary,

help us to deepen our Christian life in union with their two Hearts.

Heavenly Father, grant us, through the intercession of Blessed Eugénie, the grace to … (specify which)

And if it be Your will, allow that Blessed Eugénie may be declared saint.

We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son.

Amen

Imprimatur : Monseigneur Jean-Pierre Delville, Bishop of Liège

First day of the Novena

Her intense love for our Heavenly Mother

Eugénie Joubert was born on the 11 Februry 1876, 18 years to the day of the first apparition of Our Ladu of Lourdes … That might not have been an accident, but a will from divine Providence for that little sister who impressed with her devotion to Mary.

Her relationship with the Blessed Virgin was truly that of small child with her/his beloved mother.

The rosary was her favorite prayer. She recited it with such lively piety that she seemed to be in conversation with the Blessed Virgin.

She resorted to the Blessed Virgin in everything, especially when she was tempted to discourage herself in the path of her sanctification.

She used to say: “With Mary, we can do anything!”

Let us meditate:

– “The secret to remain a child of our Lord is to remain a child of the Blessed Virgin. Every day we must ask her to die rather than commit a single mortal sin.”               (1887)

– “Love Mary, love her always more and more! I love her because she is my Mother. She gave me everything, she gives me everything and wants to give me everything… I love her because she is all beautiful and pure. I love her and I want every beat of my heart to tell her: ‘Mother Immaculate, you know how much I love you!’” (1897)

– “Each of my crosses was carved by Jesus according to my size and strength, in the little workshop in Nazareth, under the eyes of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Jesus asked if this or that cross would not be too heavy for me. And the Blessed Virgin answered: ‘I will be her sweetness.’”

Let us live:

 Today, let’s turn to the Virgin Mary for all the little or big worries that we face… Like a child, let’s call our heavenly Mother to help us.

Spiritual childhood

(from the second to the fourth day of our novena)

Barely younger than Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus, Sister Eugénie was her contemporary. Less known, she resembled her in her evangelical childhood. The end of the 19th century was still steeped in Jansenism, which presented God as hard and distant. That discouraged many people … That was undoubtedly why the Holy Spirit gave rise to that spirituality of spiritual childhood, of trust in God’s infinite Mercy. During three days we are going to discover that spiritual childhood is a small path accessible to everyone, but it requires a daily struggle and leads to great holiness!

Let us get started!

Second day of the novena

Trust to the point of self-abandonment

On the 8 september 1897, during the homily at Eugénie’s vows, Father Rabussier, the superior of the community, outlined for her the path of spiritual childhood… Blessed Eugénie took great care to follow it with all her heart. Her spiritual notes show that she understood that Jesus was educating her on that point. Nevertheless, for her reasoning temperament, that was “the complete uprooting of her nature”.

Let us meditate:

– “I want to be like the tiny child, carried in his mother’s arms, who sees through her eyes, who speaks with her mouth. He abandons himself, he trusts her. The best proof of love is to give your life for the One you love.”                      (1902)

– “Forget yourself, turn your gaze towards abandonment, towards absolute purity, let yourself be ravished by my beauty and my love.” (september 1902)

– “My child, said Jesus, let me do in your heart and your whole being what I want. Surrender yourself without further reasoning.”

Let us live:

Today, let us often say to Jesus in our hearts: ”Jesus, I trust you!”, especially when something worries us…

Third day of the novena

A great love in all things

Blessed Eugénie understood that spiritual childhood invited her not to wait until she did great things or lived extraordinary situations to become a saint…

“What Jesus expects of us above all is that we put a lot of love into the little things that make our daily live.”

Let us meditate:

– “One leaf of a tree taken separately is a very small thing, almost nothing; but all these leaves together give a beautiful shade and form a pleasing whole. In the same way, a small isolated act seems like a small little thing, and yet how much joy these often repeated small acts can give to Our Lord.”

– “My God, I know very well that I am unworthy of such a great grâce; nevertheless, I abslutely want to be a martyr for your glory; I want to be one, not by shedding my blood, if not by your will, but by dying 1000 times a day to my own love, my own judgement, my own heart…” (1898)

– “When you clean and maintain what everyone sees, it’s almost for the benefit of the world … whereas the little corners are for the good Lord only.”

Let us live:

Today, let us put a lot of love into little things: cleaning, writing an email, listening to someone we don’t particulary like, … can become a path to holiness if we do it with love for Our Lord!

Fourth day of the novena

Humility

Aware of her smallness and of not being able to do anything good by her own strength, Eugénie developed a real humility within herself. She easily looked on others thinking they were above herself… But she didn’t achieve that self control straight away; it was a real struggle against her strong-willed character and her sensitivity.

But she was not discouraged by her weaknesses and lived by obedience.

Let us meditate:

– “God grants his Mercy to the little ones, to those who go unnoticed, who don’t take up much space.”

– “Yes, I want to be small, very small, in order to penetrate more deeply into your heart, O Mary.”        (july 1898)

– “If I am generous, if I love Our Lord, how many opportunities will there be for me to disappear among my sisters, to rejoice that they are esteemed and appreciated, to take pleasure in remaining hidden, seen by Jesus only.” (june 1901)

– During her illness: “His will be done. I am not doing anything, but in this health condition, there is much more humility. I do God’s will, and that is the best thing.”

Let us live:

Today, I try not to justify myself when someone makes a comment to me and I look for ways in which this remark can help me to grow internally.

Fifth day of the novena

Charity as a way of life

The sisters who lived with Blessed Eugénie bore witness to her delicate charity: gentle thanks, small fraternal attentions… she found the strength to carry out what, in her opinion, was a way to please. “She was so good to us, said one sister; she did our jobs when one of us was tired.” As much as she forgot herself, she thought of her sisters. The more she had to do, the more her smile was friendly and radiant; just seeing her made everyone feel good. Her charity was for everyone. She never showed the slightest preference for any one.

Let us meditate:

– “We must love one another in God and for God.”

– “When one child, more turbulent than others, provokes impatience in me, make me think of the gentleness and patience that Jesus shows in spite of my unfaithfulness.”

– “Nothing is small in what Love demands.”

Let us live:

Today, let us multiply small kindnesses towards everyone!

Sixth day of the novena

Joy and enthusiasm: “28 years smiling”

Eugénie had a happy temperament. Those who knew her told of her joyful nature… Her childlike heart was delighted by everything beautiful, she marvelled, and her admiring heart gave thanks to God.

Eugénie’s cheerful soul made her an apostle. Her teachers remembered the good influence she had on her companions: she drew them in with her good mood. She radiated peace and joy, and never complained!

We might think that all that was the fruit of her happy nature, but her spiritual notes tell us that it was the fruit of a daily struggle: “If the first movement is not one of joy, repress it immediately and resist as many times as it reappears.” In that way, the little sister radiated joy as she worked for others; we only found out too late at what cost. She would always smile facing a sacrifice, a remark, or in her life as a patient…

Taught by the Lord to abandon herself, her secret was to make Jesus happy: “So long as Jesus is pleased.”

Let us meditate:

– “God does not prevent us from laughing and having fun, as long as we love him with all our heart and know how to keep our soul clear and sinless.”                    (1887)

– “O! Entirely to Jesus!”

– “So long as Jesus is pleased; it does not matter that everything inside me is shocking.”

– “Fighting cowardice with generosity. More love, more sacrifice! Not thinking about myself, but only about Jesus’ Heart, Mary’s Heart.” (1896)

 

Let us live:

Today, let us give free smiles to everyone we meet!

Seventh day of the novena

The cross: a gift to welcome

Let us not think that spiritual childhood excludes suffering…  Eugénie, following Jesus’ footsteps, experienced a great deal of suffering: a divided family, a distant father, a mother with little affection… Moreover, her health was not good and poor blood circulation gave her aches and migraines, not to mention that terrible tuberculosis. As a religious, she also experienced inner struggles.

Contemplating Jesus, the Beloved of her soul, she understood more and more that “suffering makes us be like Jesus on the Cross… Our Lord loves me and wants to unite me with Him…”

 

Spiritual childhood didn’t eliminate suffering, so it was rather a way of living it that Jesus proposed to her:

“With the cross, I always grant sufficient and even superabondant grace to carry it. But if you want an effective way of being faithful in suffering, follow the practice of spiritual childhood. Be like a child with me in sorrow, in suffering, in struggle, be little, obedient and let yourself be led, bearing everything with joy.“

Let us meditate:

– “Everything for You, my little Jesus. Everything for You, every last drop.”              (june 1904)

– “Everything that makes me give up my own will offends my sensibilities, any setback, misunderstanding or annoyance is an OPPORTUNITY to GIVE. Every opportunity to suffer in any way is an arrow from the Sacred Heart of Jesus, launched by his jealous love to awaken mine. I want to take advantage of it always.”

– “Be faithful in suffering. It is Jesus coming. In this way I can do so much for souls, for the Holy Family of the Sacred Heart.” (1902)

 

Let us live:

Today, let us banish all complaints from our lips or our hearts.

Eighth day of the novena

A true intimacy with Jesus’ Heart

Blessed Eugénie always had a devotion to Jesus’ Heart, the living Heart that beats in the Eucharist… Union with Him through prayer gradually established her in a heart-to-heart relationship with Him. During the long months of illness she spent in the infirmary, inactivity became self offering, and a special intimacy developped between her and Jesus, of which we have a direct record through her spiritual notes. She was very close to Jesus and her heart had conversations of love with Jesus one.

Let us meditate:

– “Meditate a lot on the intimate passion of the Sacred Heart, taste it, savour it. My vocation is not only of apostolic life. It is above all of contemplative life. By closing myself up in the wounded Heart of Jesus, I respond ever more fully to my vocation.”

– “I don’t know yet what love is. Jesus wants to teach me. He wants it, He asks me, from His crib He begs me with tears. He opens his Heart to me on the Cross.”

Jesus spoke to her: “Come, my child, it’s me, I speak to you, I am your God. Why do you still fear? Don’t you know I am always so loving, powerful, good and mercyful? Don’t be afraid. Heart-to-Heart with me purifies, revitalises and sanctifies. It is divine, it divinizes the soul, it makes it not only mine, but something of Me.“ (1902)

– “Jesus! Please do come! You have not told me anything since this morning. It is all sad when you are not here!”

Jesus answered: “I have not said anything to you because you have not listened to me. I am always present in anyone’s heart, but sometimes nobody is there for me. It takes very little to hide me, to withdrow my sensitive presence, but it also takes very little to find me. I want to give myself to you much more than you want to receive me.“

Let us live:

Today, let us try to say little words full of love to Jesus as we carry out our duties of state.

Ninth day of the novena

Jesus only!

Whe could say that Blessed Eugénie’s heart was an undivided heart…

At least, she wanted it to be undivided, only to Jesus. To achieve that, she fought heroically. Every day, she became more detached from herself, from her desires and inclinations in order to get attached to Jesus, to Him only.

Let us pray:

– “Jesus, You alone are beautiful, You alone are great, You alone deserve all my love. Be for me the One King, the One Lord of my being, because serving You is reigning, it is the wonder of life, the fullness of joy.”

Jesus made her understand: “If you truly love me, you will always be happy with my every will. Then I will reveal myself to your soul. I will come with the Father and the Holy Spirit and teach you how to find me in every place, how to love me in all things.“ (september 1902)

– “I want to make Jesus reign in me. If he is the One Lord of my heart, I am sure to make him reign also in others.”

– “O Jesus, I choose You for my King to make You the only master of my heart.”

Let us live:

Today, let us choose a resolution so that God may be the first to be served in our lives: start the day with the sign of the Cross, go to Mass during the week, cut back on activity that takes up too much of our time to find time to pray…

Article paru dans le magazine l’épervier de novembre 2023