Friday, May 30, 2008

A Novena to Matt Talbot for Alcoholics

Earlier this month of May, 2008, we noted and linked a "Novena to the Holy Spirit for Addictions and Recovery" by Paul at
Paul has, today, provided a "Novena to Matt Talbot for Alcoholics" in advance of the anniversary of Matt's death on June 7, 1925. Only Day 1 will be posted here; the subsequent days of this novena can be found on his blogspot at

Sober Catholic

Novena to Matt Talbot for Alcoholics

Posted: 30 May 2008 01:02 PM CDT

Today we shall begin a Novena for Matt Talbot's intercession. A novena is a series of prayers said over 9 days and is rooted in Sacred Scripture in the 9 days that the Apostles and Mary prayed between the time Jesus' Ascension into Heaven and the Holy Spirit's descent on Pentecost).

We Catholics pray to (or through) saints and others believed to be in Heaven solely for their power to intercede for us. Saints have no other power than intercession. If a prayer is granted, it is because God willed it and granted it. The saint only interceded for us. Kind of like if you asked me to pray for you because of something going on in your life.

Why a novena to Matt Talbot? Well, although not a saint (YET), he had been declared a "Venerable" by the Church in 1975. That is the first step towards canonization. Matt, when canonized, will probably be declared the Patron Saint of Alcoholics. In the sidebar of this blog there are a list of links in the "Catholic Resources for Alcoholics", among them are several on him. One of the best places to get to know him is at the Venerable Matt Talbot Resource Center .

Anyway, Matt Talbot died on June 7, 1925. As today is May 30, today we begin the novena which would then end on the anniversary of his death. This is traditional for novenas, although you can say a novena at anytime of the year. One traditionally starts a novena 9 days prior to the feast day as your prayers are joined by everybody else that is also saying the novena.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Novena to Matt Talbot for Alcoholics: Day 1

Today we pray Day One of our Novena to Matt Talbot for Alcoholics. We begin with:


God of mercy, we bless You in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who ministered to all who come to Him. Give Your strength to N., Your servant, bound by the chains of addiction. Enfold him/her in Your love and restore him/her to the freedom of God's children. Lord, look with compassion on all those who have lost their health and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of Your unfailing mercy, and strengthen them in the work of recovery. To those who care for them, grant patient understanding and a love that perseveres. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pick a person in your life that you know is struggling with alcohol or some other addiction. You can pray for yourself, but if praying for others rather than ourselves we often find our own lives bettered. But if you're still in the serious throes of addiction, then pray for yourself. Others reading this novena will pray for those who have to pray for themselves.

But think about that person. And that individual is still a person, regardless of their condition. Is he/she still caught in their addiction? Or are they clean and sober for awhile but are just going through a rough patch that is threatens their sobriety? But for the grace of God go you.

Pray for that they be strengthened, that their faith become a rock upon which the hazards of daily living crash upon and disperse.

We conclude the daily novena with:

Official Prayer for the Canonization of Blessed Matt Talbot

"Lord, in your servant, Matt Talbot you have given us a wonderful example of triumph over addiction, of devotion to duty, and of lifelong reverence of the Holy Sacrament. May his life of prayer and penance give us courage to take up our crosses and follow in the footsteps of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Father, if it be your will that your beloved servant should be glorified by your Church, make known by your heavenly favours the power he enjoys in your sight. We ask this through the same Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen."

The source of these prayers is Circle of Prayer - Matt Talbot Intercedes for Alcoholics .