Today marks the last day of the liturgical year. St. Andrew is one of the last saints the Church commemorates on her calendar, and yet he was one of the first apostles called by Christ and one of the first martyrs to shed his blood for the Faith. We recall the words of Christ Himself, that the first shall be last. St Andrew is a heroic example of a life devoted to Jesus, and we ask him, as we come to the close of the old church year, for the gift of perseverance in the Faith for the year ahead.
The beloved Christmas Novena, also known as the St. Andrew Novena, begins today on his feast (Nov. 30) and ends on Christmas Day (Dec. 25). The novena is an excellent way to prepare your children for the coming of the Christ Child. The novena consists of saying the below prayer 15 times daily. The prayer should be familiar to every Catholic family.
The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena prayer:
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.