David (354112 ) who has lead so many Rosary Novenas in the past would post much helpful information about the Rosary Novena. This was posted in an earlier rosary thread and may be helpful.
WHAT IS THE 54 DAY ROSARY NOVENA?
The 54 Day Rosary Novena is a
series of six consecutive, 9 day novenas, with three in petition (27
days) and three novenas (another 27 days) in thanksgiving.
Origins of the 54 Day Rosary Novena
The 54 Day Rosary Novena
originated in 1884 at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of
Pompei. After appearing to and curing a dying woman, Fortuna Agrelli,
Our Blessed Mother told her, "Whoever desires to obtain favors from me
should make three novenas of the Rosary in petition with the reciting of
the fifteen decades of the Rosary and three in thanksgiving. By 1885
more than 900 cures had been recorded at the shrine.
This Novena is the most powerful way to pray the Rosary and is nearly
unequaled in drawing down the grace and blessings of God. It follows
all the advice given by Jesus in the Gospels on how to pray in a way
that is pleasing to God.
Balanced Petition and Thanksgiving
When Jesus cured the ten lepers, only one returned to thank Him.
"Were not all ten made clean? The other nine, where are they?" (Luke 17 :
18) We, being needy creatures, are quick to request God's help when in
need. But once we have what we requested, we just as quickly turn our
backs on God and focus our attention only on the gift we have received.
We should instead, thank God for answering our prayers for at least as
long as we spent asking for His help. The Rosary Novena does this, with equal time being spent in petition for what we ask and in thanksgiving for receiving it.
Petition Combined With Trust
"Have faith in God. I tell you solemnly, if anyone says to this
mountain, 'Get up and throw yourself into the sea, with no hesitation
in his heart but believing that what he says will happen, it will be
done for him. I tell you therefore: everything you ask and pray for,
believe that you have it already, and it will be yours." (Mark 11 :
22-25) "Is there a man among you would hand his son a stone when asked
for bread? How much more will your Father in Heaven give good things to
those who ask him." (Matthew 7 : 9-11) These are just a few of the many
times that Jesus implored us to trust completely in the love, care, and
trustworthiness of our Heavenly Father. If what we are asking for is
truly in our, or someone else's best interests, we should have complete
confidence that God, the good and loving Father, will grant what we have
asked. Like a little toddler who simply runs to their parent and cries
when they need something, we should trust completely that our Heavenly
Parent will provide us with everything that is truly good for us when we
"cry" to Him in prayer.
This too, is an integral part of the Rosary Novena.
The first half of the Novena is prayed in petition for whatever is
needed with complete trust that God has in fact, actually already
granted what we have asked for but has not yet revealed it to us, much
like a wrapped present placed at the foot of a Christmas tree that we
will get to open at a later time. During the second half of the Rosary,
we continue trusting in God by offering sincere thanksgiving for the
gift we have received, even if it is still "sitting under the tree" and
it has not yet been revealed to us that we have received what we have
Perseverance In Prayer
"Search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to
you." (Matthew 7 : 7) A single prayer alone is often not enough to
obtain for us what we have asked. Jesus taught us that loving, trusting
perseverance is often required.
If we always received what we wanted the moment we requested it, our
relationship with our Heavenly Father would degrade to mere acts of
manipulation on our part. God would become little more than a vending
machine in our eyes. We would deposit the "coins" of prayer and out
would pop the grace or blessing we selected. To keep our relationship
one of humble and loving petition between a child and their parent, God
often makes us wait for a while before He grants what we have asked. He
makes us ask Him several times for the same thing and waits to see if we
will get impatient, angry, distrustful, or disrespectful, or if we will
remain loving, obedient, and trusting while we wait for Him to answer
God often makes us ask for something several times to test our
dedication to receiving that particular gift. How much work are we
willing to do in order to obtain what we want? If we are praying for the
salvation of a particular soul, how precious is that soul to us? Are we
willing to spend the rest of our lives in prayer and penance? Would we
dedicate a year? A month? A day? An hour? What is the limit of what we
are willing to invest in order to receive what we have asked for?
This aspect of perseverance in prayer is also a part of the Rosary Novena.
If you are not fully dedicated to receiving what you are asking for in
the Novena, it becomes very easy to not bother praying the Rosary for
the full 54 days in a row.
What Is A Novena?
In essence, a novena is a group of nine spiritual acts performed consecutively in order to obtain a specific blessing. This
prayer form is based on the nine days of prayer performed by the
apostles as they waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit after Jesus'
Ascension. It is intended especially to use the aspect of perseverance in prayer to obtain the spiritual gifts we need.
The additional grace that is attached to the Novena, over and above
what you would receive by praying the nine individual prayers
separately, comes from your commitment
to praying the Rosary daily and your perseverance in following through
on that commitment. It is the difference between saying to God, "I will
definitely do this for You, regardless of what else happens" and saying
"I might do something for You later, if I feel like it and nothing else