The novenas you are looking for are at the bottom of this page, but first I feel an obligation to God, to the Truth, and to you (as well as myself!) to take a moment to write about a moral problem that is widespread in this age.
Through the comments that have come in as a result of this page of novenas for pregnancy, I have come to realize that there is a great need to remind couples of the moral teachings regarding infertility and means to attempt to overcome it. Specifically, I am thinking about in Vitro Fertilization (IVF). I have been asked to pray for couples attempting IVF. This is a tricky request. They are asking me to pray for success for them as they disregard God’s moral law. I cannot do that. I do pray that they form their consciences to the Truth, that they are willing to set aside their desperate desires in order to submit themselves to God’s perfect will. I pray that God blesses them with a child. I cannot pray that they have a good “IVF”. That would be similar to praying for the “success” of someone who is committing any other grave sin ~ for the Church unequivocally has condemned the practice of IVF as a grave moral matter.
I am compassionate. I do understand. I get the desperation involved. I do have children, but I have suffered my own infertility which has never been explained. I have gone years without conception and I have lost 11 children through miscarriage. Yes, I do know heartache as it relates to the desire for children, as it relates to an empty womb. I may not understand perfectly what completely childless couples endure, but I do understand some of it. Yet I cannot compromise. I could not and would not compromise in my own heartache.
No matter how desperately we desire a child, there are moral limits to what we can do to achieve parenthood. Just because we are able to do something does not mean that we ought to do something. Just because good can come from some things does not mean that all is good to do.
Jesus Christ promised to lead the Church (not me, not you) into all Truth and to protect the Church from teaching error. The Church has taught clearly on the issues of fertility and infertility. Before we get to the novenas, here are two quotes. One from Donum Vitae and the other from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Donum Vitae, Part II, Section 5
Nevertheless, in conformity with the traditional doctrine relating to the goods of marriage and the dignity of the person, the Church remains opposed from the moral point of view to homologous ‘in vitro’ fertilization. Such fertilization is in itself illicit and in opposition to the dignity of procreation and of the conjugal union, even when everything is done to avoid the death of the human embryo.
Although the manner in which human conception is achieved with IVF and ET cannot be approved, every child which comes into the world must in any case be accepted as a living gift of the divine Goodness and must be brought up with love.
The second quote:
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
LIFE IN CHRIST
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
“YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF”
THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT
The gift of a child
2373 Sacred Scripture and the Church’s traditional practice see in large families a sign of God’s blessing and the parents’ generosity.
2374 Couples who discover that they are sterile suffer greatly. “What will you give me,” asks Abraham of God, “for I continue childless?” And Rachel cries to her husband Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!”
2375 Research aimed at reducing human sterility is to be encouraged, on condition that it is placed “at the service of the human person, of his inalienable rights, and his true and integral good according to the design and will of God.”
2376 Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child’s right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses’ “right to become a father and a mother only through each other.”
2377 Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible, yet remain morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that “entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children.” “Under the moral aspect procreation is deprived of its proper perfection when it is not willed as the fruit of the conjugal act, that is to say, of the specific act of the spouses’ union . . . . Only respect for the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and respect for the unity of the human being make possible procreation in conformity with the dignity of the person.”
2378 A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift. (emphasis added) The “supreme gift of marriage” is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged “right to a child” would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right “to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents,” and “the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception.”
2379 The Gospel shows that physical sterility is not an absolute evil. Spouses who still suffer from infertility after exhausting legitimate medical procedures should unite themselves with the Lord’s Cross, the source of all spiritual fecundity. They can give expression to their generosity by adopting abandoned children or performing demanding services for others.
NOVENA TO SAINT GIANNA:
God, our Father, you have granted to your church the gift of Gianna Beretta Molla. In her youth she lovingly sought you and drew other people to you, involving them, through apostolic witness and Catholic Action, in the care of the sick and aged, to help and comfort them. We thank you for the gift of this young woman, so deeply committed to you.
Through her example, grant us the grace to consecrate our life to your servce, for the joy of our brothers and sisters. May we become generous Christians at the service of our brothers and sisters, especially those with whom you design to share your Cross. We beg you to grant to our families the serene and Christian presence of mothers committed to transform their families into cenacles of faith and love, rich with generous activity and santifying service.
Grant us the grace we seek…and the joy to find an isnpiration in Saint Gianna who, as a model spouse and mother, after the example of Christ, gave up her life for the life of others.
We offer this Novena for the sanctity of all life and for the intentions of all those who are praying with us.
One Our Father
One Hail Mary
One Glory Be
The following novena was emailed to me by a friend who desires pregnancy and motherhood. I believe that she got it from the “Catholic Fertility List”. I’m not sure what that is… but here is the novena asking for John Paul the Great’s intercession:
NOVENA TO JPII TO CONCEIVE A BABY.
Dear John Paul II, Servant of God, who are already in heaven, this is a novena for your intercession that __________ becomes pregnant and delivers a healthy baby who will glorify and praise God.
For people, certain things are impossible to attain and sometimes people are unable to understand God’s will, but we deeply believe in your intercession, JPII. You always defended children, especially the unborn ones and you loved them above all. Please look at __________ who is asking for biological children. Look at the tears in her eyes, begging to become a mother.
St Ann, you gave birth at a late age to our Queen of heaven and earth, the Most Holy Mary. That is what God wanted. With God nothing is impossible.
We believe that God, Creator of heaven and earth will look kindly upon __________ and give her the blessing, through Mary, the Virgin Mother of God and John Paul II, of becoming a mother of her biological and adopted children whom she will love and thank God for.
Dear John Paul II, please help our prayers ot be answered and that __________’s womb will be filled with the beating heart of a tiny baby. WE already give you thanks and sincerely believe in your intercession.
Dear John Paul II, your beloved mother also asked God for you to be born. Please remember our prayers. Amen.