A Novena Prayer to St. Miriam, Prophetess

A Novena is a form of worship within the greater Catholic Church consisting of special prayers, or services, on nine successive days. This Novena to St. Miriam was Written by Eric Healy, Holy Infant Parish, on the occasion of the Baptism of his daughter, Abigail Miriam Healy. Used by permission.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening Prayer:

St. Miriam, we honor you as one of the most influential Saints among the stories in the Bible. It was you, throughout your life, that impacted and guided an enslaved people towards freedom. While your name means “bitterness”, your journey, faith and works combined, have transformed the meaning of your name to by synonymous with “hope”. How underappreciated, underrated and unsung you were and are. Let your name be a beacon of hope and refuge for girls and women in need of your guidance and mercy.

Day 1:

St. Miriam, daughter of Amram and Yocheved, and older sister of Aaron and Moses, being born when the bitter enslavement began, pray that we gain perspective from your bondage and appreciate the freedom we have to worship Adonai.

Day 2:

St. Miriam, prophetess, who was open to the word of Adonai, prophesied when you were still only a child. You told your mom, Yocheved, that she was going to give birth to a son who would free the Jewish people from Egyptian bondage. Pray that we are open to Adonai’s guidance and graces during our pilgrimage and journey.

Day 3:

St. Miriam, King Pharoah decreed you and your mother as midwives to kill, at birth, any baby boy born to a Jewish mother. You defied Pharoah, knowing Adonai is the ruler of the universe. You saved babies, while risking your own life. Pray that we respect life, in all its forms, born and unborn regardless of ability.

Day 4:

St. Miriam, how distraught you must have been when your parents, Yocheved and Amram, separated. King Pharoah had said that all Jewish baby boys be thrown into the river. You explained to your dad that your father’s decree was worse than Pharoah’s, for Pharaoh aimed at boys only, while your father would prevent both boys and girls from being born. Your father Amram was a leader of your people and his people would have followed his example and divorced their wives to prevent the birth of boys. How wise were you to speak up to prevent numerous divorces. Amram remarried Yocheved and the following year Moses was born. Pray we respect the union of marriage and all of its intended purposes and pray parents are open to hearing their children because like you St. Miriam, children can say things that are wise beyond their years.

Day 5:

St. Miriam, your mother hid Moses for 3 months, but could no longer hide him from the king’s officers who wished to throw all Jewish babies into the Nile River. Yocheved placed Moses in a basket and placed him among the reeds at the river’s bank. You had faith that Moses would be rescued somehow. Like a good big sister, you watched from a distance. Pray that we build our faith everyday so that we may have the trust you had in Adonai as you watched your baby brother float down the Nile River.

Day 6:

St. Miriam, you boldly and bravely approached the princess after she discovered the baby Moses in the Nile. The princess had leprosy and upon touching the basket, her leprosy disappeared. You then offered the princess to bring a Jewish nursing mother to nurse the baby. She agreed and you brought your mother to nurse Moses. Pray that we may be brave enough to have faith and confront difficult situations in our lives. Pray that we ask for what we need, for Adonai will provide, so long as the request is in line with his will.

Day 7:

St. Miriam, you and your two brothers Aaron and Moses were the three devoted shepherds of the people throughout their forty years’ wandering in the desert on the way to the Promised Land. Three divine gifts sustained the Jewish people in the desert. The Manna, the clouds of glory and the well were the divine gifts. These gifts were bestowed in the merit of you and the other two worthy shepherds. Your merit provided the well. How you quenched the thirst of your people during their journey. Miram’s Well, a rolling rock that accompanied you on your journey, provided fresh water in the desert. Pray that your well quenches our thirst as we tire on our journey. As our cup empties, we pray your well quenches our needs. Pray that we never doubt that Adonai will provide for our needs.

Day 8:

St. Miriam, you criticized your brother Moses for divorcing his wife Tzipporah. G-d spoke sternly to you and said that Moses was correct in his action so Moses could focus on leading his people. You were punished with leprosy. You had to leave for seven days. You were obedient and patient. You accepted your punishment. Your people were patient as well and showed their love for you. They waited to continue the journey until you were cured. Pray that when we fall short and make mistakes, may we be humble and pray for forgiveness and grow in strength from acknowledgement of our shortcomings. Pray that we have a family or group of people that accept us for our imperfect nature and want to grow with us guided by the light of Adonai.

Day 9:

St. Miriam, throughout the history of this world, women have not been afforded the G-d given rights and respects afforded to men. This is unacceptable. By your example, throughout your entire life, you provided a shining example of the greatness that women can achieve. Pray that we raise our girls and boys to be empowered and work together for gender equality. Pray that adults model positive behavior to which our children can strive to treat each other with respect, regardless of gender.

Closing Prayer:

St. Miriam, please intercede on our behalf. We pray especially for ( … ). Please watch over us, as you did baby Moses and your people, as our journey is unveiled to us. Quench our thirst.

St. Miriam, we humbly request you join us in the following prayer to Adonai.

You abound in blessings, Adonai, creator of the universe. Who sustains us with living water. May we, like the children of Israel leaving Egypt, be guarded and nurtured and kept alive in the wilderness, and may You give us wisdom to understand that the journey itself holds the promise of redemption.

Then Say: One Our Father, One Glory Be, One Hail Mary, and The Litany of Miriam

The Litany of Miriam

Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.

Daughter of Amram and Yocheved,
Quench our thirst.
Older sister of the prophet Aaron,
Quench our thirst.
Older sister of the prophet Moses,
Quench our thirst.
Born into slavery, oppression and hard labor,
Quench our thirst.
Miriam: Hebrew word for bitterness,
Quench our thirst.
Great great granddaughter of Jacob,
Quench our thirst.
Great granddaughter of Levi,
Quench our thirst.
Ancestor of David
Quench our thirst.

Child Prophetess,
Quench our thirst.
Prophesied her mom would give birth to a son,
Quench our thirst.
Prophesied this son would free the Jewish people from Egyptian bondage,
Quench our thirst.
Named Puah: Whisperer of Prophecies,
Quench our thirst.
Defied Pharoahs orders to kill all Jewish baby boys,
Quench our thirst.
Midwife at age 5,
Quench our thirst.
Midwife who risked her life to continue to protect human life,
Quench our thirst.
Prophetess who questioned father’s policy to divorce to prevent human life,
Quench our thirst.
Prophetess who saw Moses born a year after father heeded Miriam’s wisdom,
Quench our thirst.
Protective sister following the baby Moses in the basket,
Quench our thirst.
Protective sister hiding and watching from the reeds,
Quench our thirst.
Fearless advocate, offering Pharoah’s daughter a Jewish midwife,
Quench our thirst.
Reuniter of Moses and Yocheved, son and mother,
Quench our thirst.
Worthy shepherd of the Israelites,
Quench our thirst.
Devoted shepherd of the Israelites,
Quench our thirst.
Wanderer of 40 years,
Quench our thirst.
Merit of the divine gift of the well,
Quench our thirst.
Miriam’s Well,
Quench our thirst.
Rolling rock,
Quench our thirst.
G-d fearing and saintly prophetess,
Quench our thirst.
Devoted to women and children,
Quench our thirst.
Dancer with timbrels,
Quench our thirst.
Defender of marriage,
Quench our thirst.
Sternly talked to by G-d,
Quench our thirst.
Humbled with leprosy,
Quench our thirst.
Cleansed in 7 days,
Quench our thirst.
Worthy of G-d’s and her flock’s forgiveness,
Quench our thirst.
Obedient to Adonai,
Quench our thirst.
Symbol of women’s empowerment,
Quench our thirst.
Ideal model for matriarchs,
Quench our thirst.
Beacon of hope and love,
Quench our thirst.

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus meek and humble of heart,
Make our hearts like unto thine.

Pray for us, O Holy Prophetess St. Miriam,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ