There is nothing quite like the pain of a breakup. In fact, a broken heart can sometimes feel as if it will never heal. While are many things you can do if you’re struggling with the pain of heartbreak, perhaps the best way to begin the healing process is with prayer.
You can always bring your heartache to God in prayer, and you should bring this pain to him. But it can also be helpful to get some Heavenly friends to take up the cause and to intercede for your healing, too.
Here are three novenas to try if you’re struggling with the pain of a broken heart.
Our Lady Undoer of Knots
The devotion to Mary as the Undoer of Knots dates back to Saint Irenaeus, a bishop who was martyred in 202.
St. Irenaeus noted in his work Against Heresies the parallel that Paul makes between Adam and Christ as the new Adam. He also compared Eve and Mary, saying, “Eve, by her disobedience, tied the knot of disgrace for the human race; whereas Mary, by her obedience, undid it.”
Around the year 1700, an artist named Johann Georg Melchior Schmidtner painted an image of Our Lady Undoer of Knots to depict this idea that Mary can undo knots in our lives.
This painting shows her standing on a crescent moon with angels around her. The Holy Spirit is above her as a dove. She holds a long, knotted cord and is untangling the knots in it. Meanwhile, her foot is on the head of a snake who is also wound in knots.
There can be many situations in our lives when it truly feels as if things are tied in knots that we cannot undo. The pain of a broken heart can definitely be one of those things.
Here’s the format that the novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots follows for nine days of prayer:
- Say the Act of Contrition
- Say the first three decades of the Rosary
- Pray the meditation for the day
- Say the last two decades of the Rosary
- Say the final prayer to Our Lady Undoer of Knots
The great thing about this novena is that it includes praying the rosary, which is itself a very powerful prayer.
Saint Dwynwen, patron saint of lovers
Dwynwen was a 5th-century nun whose life details are largely mixed up with legendary materials.
Although we don’t know all the details of her life with certainty, it’s apparent that she suffered from a lot of heartache because she was unable to marry the man she loved.
One account says that Dwynwen fell in love with a certain prince and wished to marry him, but that her father had already arranged a marriage for her to another man. Another account holds that she and the prince fell in love with one another, but she had already promised herself to God as a nun and was unwilling to break this promise.
Both accounts say that Dwynwen was distraught over being unable to marry the man she loved, and that she asked God to allow her to forget her prince.
Legend says that an angel appeared to Dwynwen and gave her a sweet drink. When Dwynwen drank it, her lover turned to a block of ice. Dwynwen was upset with this turn of events, so she asked God for three things: that her lover would be restored to life, that all lovers would find happiness, and that she herself would never have the desire to marry for the rest of her life. It is said that God answered her prayers and that she lived as a nun for the rest of her life.
While some of the elements of Dwynwen’s story definitely sound far-fetched, it’s clear that she at least knew a thing or two about the pain of a broken heart. Here’s a good novena prayer to Dwynwen.
Saint Rita, patron saint of impossible causes
If you’re sorting through the painful emotions of a break up, you can also try praying a novena to Rita, patron saint of impossible causes. It can definitely feel impossible to move on from the pain of a broken heart, after all.
Beyond being officially named the patron saint of impossible causes, Rita is also a great saint to pray to in such a situation because she herself suffered a lot of heartache in her marriage. Since she was born in the 1300s, Rita married at a young age and her husband was a violent and immoral man.
Rita’s husband abused her physically and verbally, cheated on her, and made many enemies who negatively influenced Rita’s family life. During the Middle Ages, there was essentially no recourse for victims of domestic abuse. So Rita was forced to endure these sufferings. Though her marriage must have been a huge disappointment for her Rita endured her sufferings with saintly patience.
Rita can be a great saint to turn to if you’re feeling like your heartbreak is impossible to get over. She can also be a wonderful heavenly friend if part of your pain comes from abuse in your past relationship. Here’s a good set of prayers for a novena to intercede to Rita for help.
No matter how difficult it might feel to move on from the pain of an ended past relationship, we can always bring our pain and our worries to God and to the powerful Heavenly intercessors He has given us.