On the Novena to St. Walburga

Today begins the 9-day countdown to the feast of St. Walburga. St. Walburga was a great medieval saint, an abbess of a (ahem) Benedictine Abbey, and patroness of a number of worthy causes:

against coughs
against dog bites
against famine
against hydrophobia
against mad dogs
against plague
against rabies
against storms
Antwerp, Belgium
Eichstätt, Germany, diocese of
Gronigen, Netherlands
Oudenarde, Belgium
Plymouth, England, diocese of
Zutphen, Netherlands

In addition, the rock that seals her relics in Germany weeps an oily liquid that is used as a sacramental as an oil of anointment for bodily ills. It’s called “Walburgis oleum”, and no, I’m not making that up. See the old Catholic Encyclopedia for further details.

If any of those are important to you, or if you just want to take her as a personal patron, then you can join me in a 9-day novena prayer to this great and under-remembered saint.

The Novena to St. Walburga from the Walburga Abbey in Colorado, is kept by prayed thusly:

O God, come to my assistance.
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Psalm 23
A psalm of David.

The LORD is my shepherd;
there is nothing I lack.
In green pastures he makes me lie down;
to still waters he leads me;
he restores my soul.
He guides me along right paths
for the sake of his name.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff comfort me.
You set a table before me
in front of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Indeed, goodness and mercy will pursue me
all the days of my life;
I will dwell in the house of the LORD
for endless days.

Holy Walburga, you dwell in the glory of heaven, gazing upon the face of the Triune God in the company of all the saints. I turn to you, full of trust in the words of Jesus Christ, “Amen, amen I say to you, the one who has faith in me will do the works I do, and greater far than these” (Jn 14:12). God has granted you the gift of healing; help me in my need, which I bring before you (mention petition). Beg God to grant healing, consolation and strength to me and to all those for whom I pray. Implore Him to let me recognize His love and know His presence, whatever He may have in store for me. Ask this for me through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns in the unity of the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.

St. Walburga, pray for us!