Among the numerous texts and prayers written by Blessed Bartolo Longo, there is the “Novena of Petition”, composed in July of 1879. Having been struck down with typhoid fever, Bartolo Longo wrote it in order to ask for graces in the most desperate cases. Every day he went before the Picture of the Virgin of the Rosary to be inspired and to do some corrections. But one day, owing to a serious worsening of his illness, he taught that the only remedy was to take the Picture of the Virgin from the Chapel and place it in his bedroom. Turning to Saint Catherine of Siena so that she would intercede in his favour with Our Lady, he suddenly recovered. Since then, the Heavenly Mother has been granting graces to anyone prays to Her with the Novena written by Her most profound devotee. In 1894, at Arpino (Italy), Saint Catherine of Siena, represented at the feet of the Virgin in the Pompeiian Icon, appeared to a dying young girl and invited her to recite the Novena and to pray it together with her. At the end of the prayer the young girl was perfectly cured. The Novena, approved by Pope Leo XIII on November 29th, 1887.
Among the many persons prodigiously cured by Our Lady of Pompeii, there is also the Commendatore Agrelli’s daughter of Naples, to whom Our Lady appeared personally in 1884 and told her: “Whenever you wish to obtain graces from me, make three Novenas of Petition and at the same time recite the fifteen decades of my Rosary and then three Novenas of Thanks”. The young Fortunatina Agrelli made according to the Virgin’s indications and was miraculously cured.
The Novena consists of 15 decades of the Rosary each day for twenty-seven days in petition; then immediately 15 decades each day for twenty-seven days in thanksgiving, whether or not the request has been granted. This is a 54 days novena.