ASK FATHER: “What prayers or novena for a Trump victory?”

From a reader…

I’m writing from New Zealand and I’m a great believer in the power of Novenas. It will soon be the United States election which not just concerns the States but the entire political axis of the World. A Trump victory would be great. Also a good tonic against the Queen of the left Jacinda Ardern leader of New Zealand who won a massive landslide here last weekend. Any particular prayer or novena for your readers to pray?

I’m reminded of story about a man who really really really wanted a Maserati. He wanted it so badly that he considered praying a novena for one. However, he had a qualm of conscience about praying for something so worldly. He decided to ask a priest. He went to the nearby parish, staffed by Franciscans and asked the priest if it would be okay to pray a novena for a Maserati.  The unworldly Franciscan was puzzled and asked “What’s a Maserati?” When told, Father responded that it would not be right to pray a novena for such a car. Dismayed, the man went on his way, but he decided he needed a second opinion. Stopping at an other parish, one staffed by Dominicans, he presented his question. Again, the friar didn’t know about Maseratis and, when informed, doubled down on the Franciscan’s “no”. Determined to get yet another opinion, he stopped at the local college staffed by Jesuits. Having easily identified a Jesuit by his lack of clerical clothing, he asked if it would be okay to pray a novena for a Maserati. Puzzled for a moment, the Jesuit asked, “What’s a novena?”

Can one pray a novena about the outcome of an election?  I think, “yes”.  You can pray for peace and for rain and for good crops and for the cessation of earthquakes… all for the common good.

Yes, you can pray a novena for the outcome of an election.  You could, in a determined way, pray to the Angel Guardians of other voters, that they should be illuminated properly about the advisability of the candidates, that they make an informed choice, in keeping especially with their view of the common good and Christian principles. 

Also, many years ago a priest friend who was a professor of history at the local Catholic college – not a Jesuit – had all the students, Catholic or not, pray a Memorare before class.  When asked why he chose that prayer, he said, “Because it is the most obnoxiously Catholic prayer I know.”

I know nothing about the politics of New Zealand.  However, things in these United States are really serious.  This is the most important Presidential and Senatorial election cycle of my life time.  The results of this election will have profound consequences for the rest of the world.  Hence, those of you who do NOT live in these USA had better get down on your knees and pray pray pray for a good outcome from the ballot box.  I am convinced that there will be massive ballot/voting fraud which will lead to conflict and fear.  There are powerful forces arrayed against one side in particular, and they are not going to go gentle into that good night.

I, personally, could never consider voting for a candidate who supports the Democrat platform, with its demonic promotion of abortion.

At the same time, I consider it utter madness to refuse to vote on basis that there isn’t a perfect candidate.   The more important the election, the crazier it is not to vote.

Moreover, there are “down ticket” items on ballots, local offices, etc., and we ought to be engaged on a local level for the sake of the common good.

I don’t think it is a absolute moral imperative to vote, an absolute obligation.  However, there is a strong moral case to be made in favor of voting, even if the better candidate is not perfect.  The more important the election, the stronger the case in favor of participation.

I have been praying for a good outcome to this election.   I hope you all will too.

I very much hope you will also VOTE.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. tho says:

    That was a wonderful answer Father. You have become my online mentor, notwithstanding any drivel that I may post.

  2. Pawel Pojawa says:

    Living in Poland, I often find myself praying for America when saying Prime from the Little Office of Our Lady.

    Its Psalm 84, “Benedixisti Domine terram tuam”, seems especially fitting when praying for both our countries.

  3. Hildegard says:

    My family has joined about 10,000 people praying an online 54 Day Rosary Novena for the United States. It began October 1st, so it will overlap the election. It’s a marathon, but these times certainly warrant breaking out the “big guns.” My family is particularly praying for peace in the country and a Trump victory.

  4. ArthurH says:

    There was a time, ~1953– I was a young altar boy then– that the very first American movie came out that broke the famous Hays Code of morality for the screen; Otto Preminger did it and the movie was “The Moon Is Blue.” ( )

    All priests from the pulpits condemned it loudly and the Catholic rating agency gave it a “C” for condemned, the other ratings being A, B1 and B2 for harmless for all, objectionable for kids, and objectionable for all respectively; before that, all C moves had come from Europe.

    By today’s standards the movie had no obectionable parts: A a young woman toys with the idea of giving up her virginity, decides to, then decides not, and there was a scene where she was in her slip (I saw it 20-ish years ago out of curiosity).

    Priests warned of mortal sin and hell if one intentionally went to see that movie. Today it would get an a from the CNA and be seen by the altar society, so far have we let our morality slide.

    Enough said except for this: How timidly most clergy suggest for whom to vote, despite the moral consequences today being so great, so much greater than seeing that movie. For remember, despite what they say as the reason for the silence, or at best reticence, there is NO govt rule preventing them from so speaking. See:

  5. Josephus Corvus says:

    Sometimes one is moved to pray in a certain way or to certain saints based on the relationship the person you’re praying for has with the method or saint. That might be the influence of the Holy Spirit.

    A completely unrelated matter…. :-) A few weeks (or was in months ago) there was a photo on this very blog of the First Lady of the United States along with her husband kneeling in prayer at the Shrine of Pope St. John Paul II. Around the same time there was a news article about the First Lady redoing the Rose Garden at the White House. One of the new rose varieties being used is named after Pope St. John Paul II. [I did not know that!] Any student of history will tell you that he was not a fan of Socialism.

  6. There are so many worthy novenas going on, I can’t keep track of them all. So I pray my daily Rosary with the general intent to join in all of them.

    Might not hurt to dust off the maledictory Psalms either.

  7. JustaSinner says:

    1. What’s a Jesuit?
    2. Memorare with the declarative statement rocks!
    3. Got new Rosario app on cell phone. Now Rosario Cardio!!!

  8. WVC says:

    Our parish is offering a novena of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament leading up to the election. We’ve also been praying the Devotion to the Holy Face after every Sunday Mass for at least a month. This is a very, very important election. God have mercy on us if Biden wins.

  9. Padre Pio Devotee says:

    There have been multiple 54 Day Rosary campaigns for the US election Outcome (fortunately).
    A Holy Face Novena is a great novena, due to approved apparitions of Our Lord to St. Mary of St. Peter in France in the 1800’s. Our Lord said devotion to His Holy Face would be a remedy for the upcoming onslaught we philosophy of Communism.

    St. Jude’s feast day is close to the election and he is also, Saint of the Impossible and Despairing, quite appropriate.

    Also, A Novena to the Immaculate Conception, whom the USA is consecrated too and whom is the USA patron….comes to
    mind as well.

    Also, this is the 100th anniversary year of St. Joesph being declared patron Against Communism and the 150th anniversary of St. Joseph being declared Patron and Protector of the Church!

    Regardless of which novena or to who , we need to PRAY!

  10. “Catholic or not, pray a Memorare ”

    Pray nine Memorares in a row. St. Mother Teresa calls if the “Flying Novena.” The Blessed Mother, with God’s permission, has never failed me when I pray this novena. It is also suggested to pray it again in thanksgiving once your prayer has been answered.

  11. Irish Timothy says:

    I am praying a 54 day novena for a fair US election and the outcome to be God’s will. Also for the souls in purgatory and the conversion of sinners. Know this American friends: we are praying for you in Canada. Maybe not as many as we would like, but as bad as things are at least the topic of abortion is still out in public in your country. Our cATHOLIC leaders won’t touch it on either side of government both in power and in opposition for the most part. Sad. Keep praying and know God’s still in charge and never leaves us. God Bless the USA!

  12. bookworm says:

    There was some discussion in the Catholic blogosphere last time around about whether it would be wrong to pray for a particular candidate to win an election or (by extension) for the other candidate to lose, because that would be “wishing evil” upon the other candidate. I don’t agree with that idea, because losing a presidential election is not IMO an “evil” in the same sense as death, mortal sin, sickness, financial ruin, imprisonment, etc. Losing a presidential election doesn’t seem to have been the literal end of the world for Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, John Kerry, Al Gore, etc. — they are still alive and kicking and making a living in whatever way they do. Now, if one prayed for the losing candidate to be publicly disgraced, imprisoned, or personally/financially ruined, that would IMO be wishing evil upon them and be wrong, but simply praying that they lose the election is not wrong.

    That said, I prefer to simply pray that God’s will be done with regard to the election outcome (rather than specifically praying for Trump to win) and that Pres. Trump and all candidates be protected from harm and evil. That’s what I prayed for last time and it seems to have worked.

  13. Charivari Rob says:

    Thank you, Father – I didn’t know that joke had a Catholic version. I had only ever heard the Jewish version.

  14. bookworm says:

    In other news, the Archbishop of Portland OR reportedly prayed an “exorcism” for his city (about time)….

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