November 30 is the feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle.
Saint Andrew was Christ’s first apostle, which is why the church celebrates his feast early in the liturgical year. The Orthodox tradition also refers to him as Πρωτóκλητος, which means “First Called.”
Jesus called Saint Andrew in Matt. 4:18-20:
"As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them, 'Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.'
At once they left their nets and followed him."
Beginning on Saint Andrew's November 30 feast day, Catholics come together to pray the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena.
The prayer dates back at least 100 years, but its origins are unknown. Some believe it began in Ireland.
Tradition says those who pray the novena will obtain their request.
Why is it called the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena?
The Christmas Novena, or the Christmas Anticipation Prayer, begins just before Advent on Saint Andrew's feast day. We pray it for 25 days in preparation for Christ's coming on Christmas.
The novena is not for Saint Andrew's intercession, however.
It helps us contemplate and prepare for Christ’s birth throughout the Advent season and reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas.
How to Pray the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena
The novena begins on November 30 and ends on December 24. Recite the prayer below 15 times per day for 25 days.
Saint Andrew Christmas Novena Prayer
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment
in which the Son of God was born
of the most pure Virgin Mary,
at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold.
In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee,
O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires,
(mention your request)
through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ,
and of His Blessed Mother.