The Litany of the Saints may seem like an odd choice for our novena of the week, but there are three good reasons why I have chosen it. First, this week's novena will end on May 2, the eve of the Feast of Saints Philip and James, Apostles. Like all of the apostles, Philip and James are mentioned in the Litany of the Saints.
Second, tomorrow, April 25, is the major Rogation Day, an ancient celebration removed from the liturgical calendar when it was revised in 1969 at the introduction of the Novus Ordo. Parishes can still celebrate the Rogation Days if they wish, and the major Rogation Day is often marked in Europe with a parish procession. That procession begins with—you guessed it—the Litany of the Saints. (April 25 also happens to be the Feast of Saint Mark, Evangelist, who is, of course, mentioned in the Litany of the Saints.)
Third, while the Litany of the Saints can be recited alone, it, like all litanies, was intended to be recited with others. So if you've been praying the novena of the week privately and have wanted to get your family or friends to join you in the practice, here is your opportunity. Tell them that you need their help in praying the novena this week, and, while you're at it, explain to them why I chose this particular novena.
If you succeed in getting your family and/or friends to join in with you, make sure to encourage them to sign up for our free Catholicism newsletter. That way, they can receive notice of the novena of the week every Tuesday, along with all of the many other features in both the Tuesday and Friday editions of the newsletter.
(Central Russian icon of selected saints. Photo © Slava Gallery, LLC, LLC; used with permission.)