EWTN Catholic Q&A
Pope John Paul II Thank You....
Question from Nancy Gregor on 04-09-2005:

I would like to Thank EWTN for the wonderful coverage of the death of our beloved John Paul II. I have watched other news channels, but I always came back to EWTN to make sure that what I heard on the other channels was correct. Also, the Masses that have been televised for John Paul the Great have been great!! It is now Saturday 4/9/05, the day after his funeral and I watched a Mass today. Are these Masses now similar to a novena prayed for someone after their death?? Thank you for your wonderful station!! God Bless your televised Ministry!!

Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 04-12-2005:

Thank you. Your kind words encourage us to keep on going.

Yes, they are a nine day "novena" of prayer for the repose of the soul of Pope John Paul II. The Christian idea of a novena comes from the example of the Apostles prior to Pentecost.

The term "novendiales" (nine days) is an ancient Latin word. The Romans mourned for nine days, celebrating a feast on the ninth day.