The Novena of Grace, which begins March 4th and ends on the 12th, the day of the canonization of St. Francis Xavier, owes its origin to the Saint himself.
At Naples, in December, 1633, Father Marcello Mastrilli, S.J. was at the point of death. The Saint appeared to him and, bidding him renew a vow he had made to labor in Japan, said: “All those who implore my help daily for nine consecutive days, from the 4th to the 12th of March included, and worthily receive the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist on one of the nine days, will experience my protection and may hope with entire assurance to obtain from God any grace they ask for the good of their souls and the glory of God.” The Father arose, instantly cured. So well has the Saint kept this promise that this devotion in his honor became universally known as the Novena of Grace. Its efficacy is not restricted to the dates mentioned.
great Saint Francis Xavier, well beloved and full of charity, with thee I reverently adore the divine Majesty; and since I especially rejoice in the singular gifts of grace bestowed on thee in life, and of glory after death, I give thanks to God, and beg of thee, with all the affections of my heart, that by thy powerful intercession thou mayst obtain for me above all things the grace to live a holy life and die a holy death. Moreover, I beg of thee to obtain for me . . . (here mention the spiritual or temporal favor to be prayed for); but if what I ask does not tend to the glory of God and the greater good of my soul, do thou, I beseech thee, obtain for me what will more certainly attain these ends. Amen.
Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…
(300 days each day. Plenary, within eight days of completion.)