54 Days’ novena is life changing

By Vivian Marino

In February 2022, I joined an online ministry called “Sorrow to Strength” that was started by two sisters after the loss of their brother. In that particular month, the sisters began a 54-day novena that was to end on Easter Sunday.

I had never done a 54-day novena and honestly felt daunted by the task, but figured I’d find strength in numbers.

In a 54-day novena, you pray the rosary daily with added prayers. The first 27 days are in petition, and the last 27 days are in thanksgiving. So, I thought of my petition and began my 54-day journey. The fruits that resulted from this novena were amazing, and I knew I had to do another one.

Fast forward to my son’s college move-in day this year that fell on a Sunday. I knew that I wanted to do another 54-day novena and felt the Monday after his move-in would be a perfect time to start. Coincidentally, the “Sorrow to Strength ministry” was starting another one on this day. I joined them, and my petition was for my son’s safety and that Mama Mary would wrap him under her blue mantle of love.

Day 19 fell on a Friday – the start of Labor Day weekend. I was hoping my son would be coming home, but I received a call that morning from him saying he couldn’t due to school and fraternity obligations. More than likely, he said he would return in late October for fall break.

To say I wasn’t a little sad or disappointed would be a lie. So, I teared up a bit and then moved on to tend to my other children who were home from school.

I usually set aside 11:30 a.m. daily to sit upstairs in my room and pray my 54-day novena rosary. As I gathered my things and began, I heard the side door open to my house. I yelled down to my daughter to see who it was, and she said it was my son Carter – the one at college. I told her that was impossible because I had just spoken to him, and he told me that he wasn’t coming home.

I jumped up to look out the window and, sure enough, it was his car. He was home, and he wanted to surprise us!

Was this a coincidence? No. Was it Mary? 100 percent yes. You see Mary is our mother, and she knows what we need. She knew that I wanted him to be home with the family. She heard my petition, and she chose to answer it early. After all, she knows what it’s like to have a son and to miss him dearly.

If you’ve never done a 54-day novena, I highly recommend it. It’s super easy to do especially with the use of an app that can keep track of the days and mysteries. I figure if I do six of them in a year and 24 total for four years, he’ll be covered in prayer for his college career. With that being said, I have 4 kids … if you need me, you can find me praying the rosary!

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