General Catholic Devotions
COMPILED BY REV. BONAVENTURE HAMMER, O.F.M.
NEW YORK, CINCINNATI, CHICAGO BENZIGER BROTHERS
PRINTERS TO THE HOLY APOSTOLIC SEE PUBLISHERS OF BENZINGER'S MAGAZINE
Imprimi Permittitur. FR. CHRYSOSTOMUS THEOBALD, O.F.M., _Minister Provincialis._ Cincinnati, Ohio, die 30, Martii, 1908.
Nihil Obstat. REMY LAPORT, S.T.L., _Censor Librorum._
Imprimatur. JOHN M. FARLEY, Archbishop of New York.
NEW YORK, March 4, 1909.
COPYRIGHT, 1909, BY BENZIGER BROTHERS.
MORNING PRAYERS EVENING PRAYERS PRAYERS AT HOLY MASS PRAYERS AFTER MASS PRAYERS FOR CONFESSION Before Confession After Confession PRAYERS FOR HOLY COMMUNION Before Communion After Communion VISIT TO THE BLESSED SACRAMENT PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS PRAYERS TO JESUS SUFFERING THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS PRAYER TO OUR SUFFERING REDEEMER PRAYER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY PRAYER FOR ALL THINGS NECESSARY TO SALVATION
THE FOUR APPROVED LITANIES LITANY OF THE MOST HOLY NAME OF JESUS LITANY OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS LITANY OF LORETO, IN HONOR OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY LITANY OF ALL SAINTS
"The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. He will do the will of them that fear Him, and He will bear their prayer and save them" (_Ps._ cxliv. 18, 19).
"Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, instant in prayer" (_Rom._ xii. 12).
On awaking, sign yourself with the sign of the cross, saying:
IN THE name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
I rise in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who redeemed me by His precious blood. Bless, guide, and protect me from all evil, O Lord! Strengthen me to all good and lead me to eternal life. Amen.
After dressing, kneel and say:
My Lord and my God! I prostrate myself before the throne of Thy divine Majesty, and give Thee infinite thanks, O Lord, that I have passed this night safely and have not died in my sins, but was preserved by Thy bounty for Thy further service.
I offer up to Thee all that I shall do and suffer to-day, and unite it with the prayers, labors, and sufferings of Our Lord Jesus Christ and of His blessed Mother Mary.
TAKE, O Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my whole will. Thou hast given me all that I am and all that I possess; I surrender it all to Thee that Thou mayest dispose of it according to Thy will. Give me only Thy love and Thy grace; with these I will be rich enough, and will have no more to desire.
Indulgence. 300 days, once a day. (Leo XIII, May 26, 1883.)
Acts of Faith, Hope, and Charity
MY LORD and God! I most firmly believe all that Thou hast revealed and all that Thy holy Church believes and teaches, because Thou, who art infallible Truth, hast so revealed and commanded.
My Lord and God! Because Thou art almighty, infinitely good and merciful, I hope that by the merits of the passion and death of Jesus Christ, our Saviour, Thou wilt grant me eternal life, which Thou hast promised to all who shall do the works of a good Christian, as I purpose to do by Thy help.
My Lord and God! Because Thou art the highest and most perfect good, I love Thee with my whole heart, and above all things; and rather than offend Thee, I am ready to lose all things else; and for Thy love, I love and desire to love my neighbor as myself.
Indulgence. (1) A plenary indulgence, once a month, for devoutly making these acts daily; under the usual conditions. (2) A plenary indulgence at the hour of death, under the same conditions. (3) Seven years and seven quarantines, every time. (Benedict XIV, January 28, 1728.) The same Pope declared that it is not necessary to use any set formula, but that any form of words may be used, provided it expresses the particular motive of each of the three theological virtues.
To the Blessed Virgin Mary
Hail Mary, etc.
MY QUEEN, my Mother! I give myself entirely to thee; and to show my devotion to thee I consecrate to thee this day my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my whole being, without reserve. Wherefore, good Mother, as I am thine own, keep me, guard me, as thy property and possession.
Indulgence. (1) 100 days, once a day. (2) A plenary indulgence, once a month, for saying it every day; under the usual conditions. (Pius IX, Aug. 5, 1851.)
To the Angel Guardian
ANGEL of God, my guardian dear, To whom His love committed me here, Ever this day be at my side, To light and guard, to rule and guide! Amen.
Indulgence. (1) 100 days, every time. (2) A plenary indulgence on the feast of the holy Guardian Angels, for saying it morning and evening throughout the year; under the usual conditions. (3) A plenary indulgence at the hour of death, for saying it often during life. (Pius VI, Oct 2, 1795, and June 11, 1796.) (4) A plenary indulgence, once a month, for saying it daily; under the usual conditions. (Pius VII, May 15, 1821.)
ETERNAL and merciful God! I adore Thee and give Thee thanks for all the graces and benefits which Thou hast conferred upon me during my whole life, and particularly during this day. May the saints and elect, especially the Holy Helpers, praise and thank Thee for me.
Enlighten me now through Thy holy Spirit, and let me know whether and how I have offended Thee to-day in thought, word, deed, and omission of duty.
Examine your conscience.
An Act of Contrition
O MY God! I am deeply sorry for all my sins, for those I committed to-day, and for those of my whole life, because thereby I offended Thy supreme and most loving goodness. Pardon me for the sake of Jesus, Thy Son, who shed His most precious blood on the cross for our sins. With the help of Thy grace, I firmly resolve to amend my life, and rather to die than again offend Thee by a mortal sin.
PROTECT me and mine and all men during this night, and through the intercession of the blessed Virgin Mary and of the Holy Helpers preserve us from all dangers of body and soul. Keep away from us sickness, fire, and calamities of every kind. Protect us against the assaults of the wicked and of Satan. Into Thy hands I commend my body and soul; let me rest in Thy most holy wounds.
Visit, we beseech Thee, O Lord, this habitation, and repel from it all the snares of the enemy; let Thy holy angels dwell herein to preserve us in peace, and may Thy blessings be upon us for ever. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
To the Sacred Heart of Jesus
(_Prayer of St Alphonsus._)
ADORABLE Heart of my Jesus, Heart created expressly for the love of men! Until now I have shown toward Thee only ingratitude. Pardon me, O my Jesus! Heart of my Jesus, abyss of love and of mercy, how is it possible that I do not die of sorrow when I reflect on Thy goodness to me and my ingratitude to Thee? Thou, my Creator, after having created me, hast given Thy blood and Thy life for me; and, not content with this, Thou hast invented a means of offering Thyself up every day for me in the Holy Eucharist, exposing Thyself to a thousand insults and outrages. O Jesus, do Thou wound my heart with a great contrition for my sins, and a lively love for Thee. Through Thy tears and Thy blood give me the grace of perseverance in Thy fervent love until I breathe my last sigh. Amen.
To the Blessed Virgin Mary
REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, and sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother! To thee I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
Indulgence. (1) 300 days, every time, (2) A plenary indulgence, once a month, for having said it daily; under the usual conditions. (Pius IX, December 11, 1846.)
Litany of Loreto (located in the list of litanies).
To St. Joseph
GUARDIAN of virgins and father, holy Joseph, to whose faithful care Christ Jesus, very innocence, and Mary, Virgin of virgins, were committed; I pray and beg of thee by these dear pledges, Jesus and Mary, free me from all uncleanness, and make me with spotless mind, pure heart, and chaste body, ever most chastely to serve Jesus and Mary all the days of my life. Amen.
Indulgence. 100 days, once a day. (Pius IX, Feb. 4, 1877.)
(_Prayer of St. Alphonsus._)
MY LORD and God Jesus Christ! I adore Thee and give Thee thanks for all the graces which Thou hast granted me to-day. I offer up to Thee my rest and every moment of this night, and implore Thee to preserve me from all sin. Therefore I place myself into the wound of Thy sacred side, and beneath the protecting mantle of my Mother Mary. May Thy holy angels assist me and watch over my peace, and may Thy holy blessing remain with me.
Indulgence. 60 days, once a day, also for the souls in purgatory. (Leo XIII, June 30, 1898.)
JESUS, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, assist me in my last agony.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul in peace with you.
Indulgence. 100 days for the recital of any one of these invocations, 300 days for all three. (Pius VII, Aug. 26, 1814.)
Prayers at Holy Mass
ALMIGHTY and eternal God! I appear in Thy presence to assist at the most holy sacrifice of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, my Redeemer, and to offer it up jointly with the priest and the faithful here present, in grateful remembrance of His passion and death, for the promotion of Thy glory, and for my salvation. Together with all the holy Masses that are celebrated throughout the world, I offer up this august sacrifice for the following intentions: To adore Thee, O my God, as Thou dost deserve to be adored; to give Thee due thanks for the innumerable benefits which I owe to Thy bounty; to make reparation for the many offenses I have committed; to appease Thy just anger, and to invoke Thy infinite mercy for me, for Thy holy Church, for the whole world, and for the souls in purgatory. Amen.
At the Beginning of Mass
O HEAVENLY Father! Hear the prayer of Thy holy Church invoking Thy divine Majesty in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to come to the aid of Thy children in all their needs. Turn not from us Thy gracious eyes, but deliver us from all evil, so that we may live to please Thee, die in Thy love, and enter the kingdom of glory. Amen.
At the Gospel
ALMIGHTY God, Thou source of all truth, holiness, and justice; having spoken in the Old Law by the mouth of Thy prophets, Thou spokest in the fulness of time through Thy divine Son Jesus Christ, and speakest now through Thy holy Church, appointed by Thee the Teacher of truth. We thank Thee for the saving doctrines entrusted to her for our good, and implore Thy grace to practise them and to please Thee by all our actions.
At the Credo
Say the Apostles' Creed.
At the Offering
ALMIGHTY and eternal God! Look graciously on the forms of bread and wine offered up to Thee on the altar by the priest, imploring Thee to bless and sanctify them for the eucharistic sacrifice of the New Law. With this sacrifice, O my God, I offer up to Thee my heart with all its affections, desires, and inclinations. Sanctify my thoughts, words, and deeds, that they may become a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to Thee.
At the Preface
TO THEE, O Lord, I raise my heart in gratitude for all Thy mercies. For truly meet and just, right and salutary is it for us to give Thee always and everywhere praise and thanks, O holy Lord, almighty Father and eternal God, through Christ our Lord; through whom the angels and archangels, the cherubs and the seraphs praise Thy majesty and adore Thy might. With them I unite my voice, joining in their hymns of praise, and saying:
At the Sanctus
HOLY, holy, holy, Lord, God of hosts. Heaven and earth are filled with Thy glory. Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
At the Canon
O GOD! Let my prayer be acceptable to Thee, and graciously hear the intercession which I make confiding in the virtue of this holy sacrifice. I commend to Thy mercy our holy Father, N., our bishop, N., and all bishops and priests of Thy holy Church. Let Thy kingdom be spread more and more all over the earth; grant peace and concord to the nations; protect our country; preserve peace and love in all families. Remember graciously my parents, brothers, sisters, and relatives, my benefactors, my enemies, and all for whom I am in justice or charity bound to pray.
At the Elevation
HAIL, thou body of my Saviour, conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of Mary the immaculate Virgin! With profound humility I adore Thee. Lord, have mercy on me!
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the precious blood of Jesus, in satisfaction for my sins, and for the wants of holy Church.
Indulgence. 100 days, every time. (Pius VII, Sept. 22, 1817.)
After the Elevation
MOST amiable Jesus! Thou art now present on the altar, God and man, really, truly, and essentially. Divine victim for our sins, have mercy on us! Be our mediator with Thy Father; avert from us the punishment we have deserved for our sins, deliver us from all dangers that threaten us, and from all evil. Promote the welfare of Thy Church, and remember in Thy mercy those who have gone before us with the sign of faith and rest in peace. (_Remember the departed for whom you intend to pray._)
To these, O Lord, and to all that sleep in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and peace.
Also to us sinners, Thy servants, confiding in the multitude of Thy mercies, grant some part and fellowship with Thy saints, through whose intercession we invoke Thy favor, and into whose company we beseech Thee to admit us, not in consideration of our merit, but of Thy own pardon. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
At the Pater Noster
INSTRUCTED by Thy saving precepts and following Thy divine directions, we presume to say:
Our Father, etc.
At the Agnus Dei
LAMB of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, give us peace.
LORD, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof; say but the word, and my soul shall be healed. (_Three times._)
O JESUS, I firmly believe that Thou art truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. I see Thee therein full of love, willing to pardon us, anxious to be united with us. I wish most earnestly to respond to this Thy desire and love. I detest all the sins by which I have ever displeased Thee. Pardon me, O Lord! I desire to receive Thee into my heart, and since I now can not receive Thee sacramentally, come at least spiritually to me.
I embrace Thee, I unite myself with Thee as if Thou wert really present in my heart. With all my love I cling to Thee. Preserve me from sin, that I may never be separated from Thee, but remain united with Thee for ever.
Indulgence. 60 days, once a day. Also for the suffering souls. (Leo XIII, June 30, 1893.)
At the Blessing
BLESS me, O Lord, by the hand of Thy priest, and let the power of this blessing remain upon me for ever. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
At the Last Gospel
O JESUS, incarnate Word of the eternal Father, Thou true light which enlightens the world! I give thanks to Thee at all times for having dwelt among us, the only-begotten Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. Amen.
Prayers after Mass
Hail Mary, etc. (_Three times._)
HAIL, holy queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
_Let Us Pray._
O GOD, our refuge and our strength! Look down with favor upon Thy people crying to Thee; and through the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of her spouse, blessed Joseph, of thy holy apostles Peter and Paul, and all Thy saints, mercifully and graciously hear the prayers which we pour forth to Thee for the conversion of sinners and for the liberty and exaltation of holy mother Church. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
St. Michael the archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. Command him, O God, we humbly beseech Thee, and do thou, O prince of the heavenly hosts, by the divine power, cast into hell Satan and the other evil spirits who roam through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Indulgence. 300 days. (Leo XIII, September 25, 1888.)
Prayers for Confession
MERCIFUL God! I give infinite thanks to Thee for the many and great graces Thou hast bestowed upon me during my whole life. Would that I had never been ungrateful to Thee, that I never had offended Thee. But I have sinned exceedingly and often, and have done so again since my last confession. Therefore I come to Thee, imploring Thee in profoundest humility to give me Thy light and Thy grace, that I may know and acknowledge all my sins, faults, and transgressions, be truly sorry for them, sincerely confess them, do penance, and amend my life; for Thy greater glory and for the salvation of my soul.
Examine your conscience.
SUPREME God and Lord! A poor sinner, I cast myself at the throne of Thy divine Majesty, and contritely confess that I have sinned in thought, word, and deed, and through the omission of my duties. I am heartily sorry that I was ungrateful to Thee and have deserved to be punished in this life and in the life to come. Above all I am sorry because by my sins I have offended Thee, my supreme and infinite God, who art worthy to be loved and honored above all else for Thy supreme goodness and mercy. I detest and abhor my sins above all other evils, and wish I had never committed them. Humbly I implore Thy pardon, and confidently hope to obtain it through the merits of the blood of Jesus Christ shed for us poor sinners, and through those of the Blessed Virgin Mary, of the Holy Helpers, and of all the saints.
I firmly purpose to amend my life, to avoid all occasions of sin, to use the means for conquering my passions, and to practise virtue by ordering my life according to Thy divine will and pleasure, and rather to die than to offend Thee again, my God and Lord. I am now ready to make reparation to Thy divine Justice for all the offenses of which I have been guilty against Thee, as far as is in my power. Therefore I will confess my sins sincerely, contritely, fully, and perform the penance imposed upon me.
Before entering the confessional.
The Lord be in my heart and on my lips that I may worthily and competently confess my sins.
O GOD of infinite mercy! I give Thee due thanks, and praise Thee for having admitted me to the confession of my sins and for having, through Thy minister, granted me absolution for them. I implore Thee by the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, of Mary, His most blessed Mother, of the Holy Helpers, and of all the saints, to accept my confession, and in Thy infinite mercy to condone and amend all the defects and faults I committed in making it, and to ratify in heaven the absolution I received on earth.
O my Jesus! How blind I was in not knowing Thee and preferring transitory beauty and earthly attractions to Thy grace and love, and thereby offending Thee! Now I acknowledge my fault, and am convinced that it is my duty and privilege to love Thee above all things. Too late I have learned it, but I shall zealously strive to make reparation for my past neglect. Therefore I renounce the pleasures, vanities, and joys of this deceitful world, and abhor sin and all that leads to it. In the future nothing shall ever part me from Thy love. From this moment on I am resolved nevermore to offend Thee. Confirm, O Jesus, this my resolution, and with Thy almighty power strengthen my frailty. Seal my purpose of amendment with the bestowal of Thy grace, and preserve me in Thy grace and love unto the end. Amen.
Prayers for Holy Communion
An Act of Faith
MY LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ! I firmly believe that Thou art really present in the Blessed Sacrament. I believe it contains Thy body and blood, Thy soul and divinity. I acknowledge these truths, I believe these wonders. I adore Thy power which has wrought them; I praise Thy infinite goodness which has prepared them for me. "I will praise Thee, my God, with my whole heart, and will recount all Thy admirable works; I will rejoice in Thee, and bless Thy holy name" (_Ps._ ix. 2, 3). In this faith, and with this acknowledgment, I presume to approach this adorable banquet, wherein Thou bestowest on me the divine food of Thy body and blood to nourish my soul. Grant, O Jesus, that I may approach Thee with such a sense of reverence and humility as is due to Thy divine Majesty. Who am I, O God, that Thou shouldst work such wonders for my sake? Grant, O Lord, that I be not altogether unworthy of them, and that I may now receive Thee with a pure heart, a clean conscience, and a sincere and lively faith. Pardon my sins, which have rendered me most unworthy to approach Thee. I detest them from the bottom of my heart, because they are displeasing to Thee, my God. I renounce them for ever, and promise to be faithful to Thee.
An Act of Hope
IN THEE, sweet Jesus, I place all my hope, because Thou alone art my salvation, my strength, my refuge, and the foundation of all my happiness. Were it not for the confidence I place in Thy merits, and in the precious blood Thou didst shed for my redemption, I would not presume to partake of this banquet. Encouraged, therefore, by Thy goodness, I come to Thee as one sick to his physician, as a condemned criminal to his powerful intercessor. Heal me as my physician, and as my powerful advocate deliver me from the sentence of sin and death. It is in Thy mercy that I put all my trust. Have pity, therefore, O Jesus, on me, and save me, for Thou forsakest none that place their hope in Thee.
An Act of Love
O DIVINE Redeemer, how strong was the force of Thy love, that, being about to depart from this world to Thy eternal Father, Thou didst provide for us this divine banquet, enriched with all heavenly sweetness! It was through an excess of Thy love that Thou hast left us Thy body and blood for the food and nourishment of our souls; that, as Thou didst unite Thyself to our humanity, so we might be partakers of Thy divinity. I desire to love Thee, my Jesus, who art my only comfort in this place of banishment, the only hope of my infirm soul, my happiness above all I can enjoy in this life. I love Thee, my God, with my whole heart, with my whole soul, and with all my mind and strength. I wish that, as every moment is an increase of my life, so it may also be of my love toward Thee. I desire, with all the affections and powers of my soul, that, as the inmost thanks are due to Thee, so they may be returned to Thee by all the faithful, for this divine food, which is our refreshment, support, strength, armor, and defense in all our miseries; and that my love may never cease, inflame my heart with the fire of heaven, that it may continue burning till, nature and corruption being consumed, I may at length be transformed into Thee. Come, O Lord, hasten to release me from the bonds of sin, and prepare me for the blessing Thou art now about to bestow on me.
An Act of Desire
MY LORD and Saviour, Jesus Christ! "As the heart panteth after the fountains of waters so my soul panteth after Thee, O God!" (_Ps._ xlii. 1). Tired with my own evil ways, I now return to Thee, to taste Thy banquet, that my soul may be refreshed. I henceforth despise all human consolations, that I may be comforted by Thee, my only good, my God and Saviour, whom I love above all things and desire to entertain within my heart with as much devotion and affection as is conceived by Thy chosen servants, who now sit at Thy table in celestial bliss. And however I may have been wanting hitherto in my duty, I now for ever renounce my folly and weakness, and from my heart request that for the future my joy, my relief, my treasure, and rest may be entirely centered in Thee. May I never desire anything besides Thee, and may all things seem contemptible and as nothing without Thee, O my God!
An Act of Fear
O MY God and Saviour, it is with fear and trembling that I approach Thy banquet, having nothing to confide in but Thy goodness and mercy, being of myself a sinner, destitute of all virtue. My soul and body are defiled with many crimes, my thoughts and tongue have been under no restraint. I have frequently resolved to amend, and yet where do I remain but in the midst of sin and vice? How little pains do I take to recover from this misery and return to Thee, to whom I have repeatedly promised to be faithful! These thoughts cause me to fear that what Thou hast mercifully ordained for my salvation, I should now receive to my judgment and condemnation. In this wretched condition I hasten to Thee; to Thee I expose all my wounds, to Thee I disclose my depravity. Look, therefore, on me with the eyes of compassion, and have mercy on me, O Lord and Saviour!
An Act of Humility
O IMMENSE, almighty, and incomprehensible God, who am I, that Thou shouldst vouchsafe to come to be my food, and to take Thy habitation within my soul? The consideration of Thy greatness and my unworthiness penetrates me with awe and confusion. With the utmost sincerity I can only declare the extent of my misery, and admire that infinite goodness which induces Thee to visit personally the lowest and basest of Thy creatures. Receive, then, Thy unworthy servant into the compassionate arms of Thy mercy. Cast all my sins out of Thy sight, and with the tenderness of a loving father extend Thy arms to receive me; and let me effectually experience the truth of Thy prophet's words: "A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit; a contrite and humble heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise" (_Ps._ l. 19).
IMMEDIATELY BEFORE COMMUNION
LORD, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof: say but the word, and my soul shall be healed.
The body of Our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my soul to life everlasting.
An Act of Thanksgiving
O JESUS, my God and Saviour! I return Thee thanks for having, out of Thy pure mercy, without any desert of mine, been pleased to feed my soul with Thine own most sacred body and blood. Suffer me sooner to be forgetful of myself than to be ever unmindful of this great favor. Although I have hitherto been ungrateful, with the help of Thy grace I shall be so no more. But what return can I make Thee, being of myself insolvent, indigent, and miserable? The sacrifice of all that I am or have is not worthy to be presented to Thee; but, behold I offer Thee Thyself, and consider all my debts as abundantly discharged. May Thy infinite mercy be for ever exalted for having given me such an excellent means of repaying Thee to the full. O that I could ever remember Thee, think of Thee, ever love Thee alone! Imprint the memory of what Thou didst for me so deeply in my heart, that I spend my whole life in thanking Thee for all Thy benefits, but especially for this banquet of Thy love. Amen.
An Act of Adoration
UNDER the sacred veil of Thy eucharistic presence, where Thy love of man conceals the splendor of Thy majesty, I most humbly adore Thee, O almighty God! The grandeur of the heavens is as nothing in Thy sight; they shall perish, but Thou shalt remain for ever. The earth Thou hast poised in Thy hand. The ocean is before Thee but as a drop of water. All nature bows and trembles in Thy presence. How, then, shall I extol Thee, immortal King of glory? What homage can I give in proportion to Thy greatness? Thou art the perfect image of Thy Father's substance. Thou art the splendor of His glory. Thou art His almighty Word, supporting all things. Thee He has seated at His right hand. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a scepter of justice is the scepter of Thy reign. I bow before Thy sacred Majesty. I acknowledge with the sincerest gratitude that Thou art my redeemer, my creator, the supreme arbiter of my eternal destiny. I desire to humble myself as profoundly for Thy sake as Thou art humbled for my love in the center of my soul, and to consecrate to the glory of Thy name the whole extent of my being. Amen.
An Act of Oblation
O MY Saviour! What pledge can I give as an earnest of the gratitude I owe to Thee? I have nothing worthy of Thee, and if I had, I have nothing but what is Thine on several accounts. But such is Thy goodness as to be content to accept from us what is already Thine. Wherefore, behold, I offer to Thee my body and soul, which are both now sanctified by the honor of Thy divine presence. I consecrate them to Thee for ever, since Thou hast chosen them for Thy temple; my body to be continually employed in Thy service, and nevermore to become an instrument of sin; my soul to know Thee, to love Thee and be evermore faithful to Thee. And as I am now resolved to serve Thee with body and soul, I will take pains to correct their evil inclinations. I will declare war against myself, renounce my wonted pleasures, my delights, my passions, my anger, my self-love, my pride, my own will, and, in fine, whatever may offend Thee.
Offering and Petition
ALMIGHTY God, I offer Thee this holy communion in union with the superabundant merits of Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son, and the infinite love of His adorable Heart; in union with the Blessed Virgin and the ardent love of her immaculate heart; in union with the Holy Helpers and all the happy souls who enjoy Thy glorious vision in heaven, and with all the just on earth. O my God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, present in me in the eucharistic species; fill me with that lively faith, profound humility, tender confidence, pure conscience, and ardent love, with which so many happy souls are inflamed in partaking of this sacred banquet, and supply by Thy mercy all my deficiencies. I offer my communion to render Thee the honor and glory which are due to Thy infinite majesty; to satisfy Thy justice, which I have provoked by my sins; to thank Thee for the innumerable benefits which I have received from Thy bounty; and to obtain from Thy infinite mercy the graces necessary for me; particularly the grace to subdue my predominant passion and to acquire the virtue in which I am most deficient; but especially the grace of a happy death.
I likewise offer my communion, O merciful Father, in memory of the passion and death of Thy dear Son, my divine Redeemer, to love Him with more ardor and perfection; to participate in the merits of His labors and sufferings; to acquire His spirit; to imitate His virtues; to model my life on His, and to make His adorable Heart a public reparation for all the sacrilegious communions, irreverences, and profanations which are committed against Him in this sacrament of His love. I offer it to thank Thee, O God, for all the graces Thou hast bestowed on mankind, particularly for all those Thou hast conferred on Thy blessed Mother, on all the angels and saints, especially on my guardian angel, on my holy patron, and on the Holy Helpers. I offer it, likewise, for the triumph of our holy religion, for the exaltation of the Catholic Church, for the conversion of infidels, heretics, schismatics, and all those who are in the unhappy state of sin. Also for the needs of my relatives, friends, benefactors, and enemies; for the perseverance of the just, the comfort of the afflicted, and the deliverance of the souls in purgatory; in a word, for all those for whom I am bound to pray; and I desire to enter into the intentions requisite for gaining the indulgences granted by the Church to-day for worthy communicants.
SOUL of Christ, sanctify me! Body of Christ, save me! Blood of Christ, inebriate me! Water from the side of Christ, wash me! Passion of Christ, strengthen me! O good Jesus, hear me! Within Thy wounds, hide me! Permit me not to be separated from Thee! From the malignant enemy defend me! In the hour of my death call me! And bid me come to Thee, That, with Thy saints, I may praise Thee For ever and ever. Amen.
Indulgence, (1) 300 days, every time. (2) 7 years, once a day, after receiving communion. (3) A plenary indulgence, once a month, to all who have the pious custom of saying it at least once a day for a month; under the usual conditions. (Pius IX, January 9, 1854.)
Prayer to Jesus Crucified
[Illustration: A crucifix]
LOOK down upon me, good and gentle Jesus, while before Thy face I humbly kneel, and with burning soul pray and beseech Thee to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope, and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment; while I contemplate with great love and tender pity Thy five wounds, pondering over them within me, and calling to mind the words which David Thy prophet said of Thee, my Jesus: "They pierced my hands and my feet; they numbered all my bones" (_Ps._ xxi. 17, 18).
Indulgence. A plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, if said before an image or picture of the crucified Redeemer, after holy communion. (Pius IX, July 31, 1858.)
Visit to the Blessed Sacrament
(_Prayer of St. Alphonsus._)
LORD Jesus Christ, who through the love which Thou bearest to man, dost remain with them day and night in this sacrament, full of mercy and love, expecting, inviting, and receiving all who come to visit Thee; I believe that Thou art present in the Sacrament of the Altar. From the abyss of my nothingness I adore Thee, and I thank Thee for all the favors which Thou hast bestowed upon me, particularly for having given me Thyself in this sacrament, for having given me for my advocate Thy most holy Mother Mary, and for having called me to visit Thee in this church.
I this day salute Thy most loving Heart, and I wish to salute it for three ends: first, in thanksgiving for this great gift; second, in compensation for all the injuries Thou hast received from Thy enemies in this sacrament; third, I wish by this visit to adore Thee in all places in which Thou art least honored and most abandoned in this holy sacrament. My Jesus, I love Thee with my whole heart. I am sorry for having hitherto offended Thy infinite goodness. I purpose, with the assistance of Thy grace, nevermore to offend Thee; and at this moment, miserable as I am, I consecrate my whole being to Thee. I give Thee my entire will, all my affections and desires, and all that I have. From this day forward, do what Thou wilt with me and with whatsoever belongs to me. I ask and desire only Thy holy love, the gift of final perseverance, and the perfect accomplishment of Thy will. I recommend to Thee the souls in purgatory, particularly those who were most devoted to the Blessed Sacrament and to most holy Mary; and I also recommend to Thee all poor sinners. Finally, my dear Saviour, I unite all my affections with the affections of Thy most loving Heart; and thus united I offer them to Thy eternal Father, and I entreat Him, in Thy name and for Thy sake, to accept them.
Indulgence. (1) 300 days, every time this prayer is said before the Blessed Sacrament. (2) A plenary indulgence, once a month, for saying it every day for a month; under the usual conditions. (Pius IX, Sept. 7, 1854.)
An Act of Oblation to the Sacred Heart
DIVINE Heart of my Jesus! I adore Thee with all the powers of my soul, which I consecrate to Thee for ever, with my thoughts, my words, my works, and my whole self. I purpose to offer to Thee, as far as I can, acts of adoration, love, and glory, like unto those which Thou offerest to Thy eternal Father. Be Thou, I beseech Thee, the repairer of my transgressions, the protector of my life, my refuge and asylum in the hour of death. By Thy sighs, and by that sea of bitterness in which Thou wast plunged for me throughout Thy whole mortal life, grant me true contrition for my sins, contempt of earthly things, a burning desire of eternal glory, trust in Thy infinite merits, and final perseverance in Thy grace.
Heart of Jesus, all love! I offer Thee these humble prayers for myself and for all who unite with me in spirit to adore Thee. Vouchsafe out of Thy great goodness to hear and answer them, chiefly for that one among us who will first end this mortal life. Sweet Heart of Jesus! pour into his heart, in his death agony, Thine inward consolations; receive him within Thy sacred wound; cleanse him from all stains in that furnace of love, so that Thou mayest soon open to him the gates of Thy eternal glory, there to intercede with Thee for all those who tarry yet in this land of exile.
Most holy Heart of my most loving Jesus! For myself, a wretched sinner, and for all who unite with me in adoring Thee, I purpose to renew and offer to Thee these acts of adoration and these prayers at every moment and to the last instant of my life. I recommend to Thee, my Jesus, our holy Church, Thy well-beloved spouse and our true mother; the souls who are following the path of justice, poor sinners, the afflicted, the dying, all men on the face of the entire earth. Let not Thy blood be shed in vain for them; and vouchsafe, lastly, to apply it for the relief of the souls in purgatory, and above all, for those who in life were foremost in their devotion to Thee.
Most loving heart of Mary, which, amongst the hearts of all God's creatures, is at once the purest and the most inflamed with love for Jesus, and the most compassionate toward us poor sinners, obtain for us from the Heart of Jesus, our Redeemer, all graces which we ask of thee. Mother of mercies, one throb, a single beat of thy burning heart, offered by thee to the Heart of Jesus, has power to console us to the full. Grant us, then, this favor. And then the Heart of Jesus, through the filial love He had for thee, and will ever have, will not fail to hear and answer our request. Amen.
O LORD Jesus Christ! In union with that divine intention, with which Thou, whilst on earth, didst give praise to God through Thy most sacred Heart, and which Thou dost still everywhere offer to Him in the Holy Eucharist, even to the consummation of the world; I, in imitation of the most sacred heart of the ever-immaculate Virgin Mary, do most cheerfully offer to Thee, during this entire day, all my thoughts and intentions, all my affections and desires, my words and all my works.
Indulgence. 100 days, once a day. (Leo XIII, Dec. 19, 1885.)
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine!
Indulgence. 300 days, once a day. (Pius IX, January 25, 1858.)
PRAYERS TO JESUS SUFFERING
The Stations of the Cross
MOST merciful Jesus! With a contrite heart and penitent spirit I bow down in profound humility before Thy divine majesty. I adore Thee as my supreme Lord and master; I believe in Thee, I hope in Thee, I love Thee above all things. I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, my supreme and only good. I resolve to amend my life; and though I am unworthy to obtain mercy, yet the sight of Thy holy cross, on which Thou didst die, inspires me with hope and consolation. I will therefore meditate on Thy sufferings, and visit the stations of Thy passion in company with Thy sorrowful Mother and my guardian angel, with the intention of promoting Thy glory and saving my soul.
I desire to gain all the indulgences granted for this exercise, for myself and for the suffering souls in purgatory. O merciful Redeemer, who hast said; "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself," draw my heart and my love to Thee, that I may perform this devotion as perfectly as possible, and that I may live and die in union with Thee. Amen.
_Before Every Station_
We adore Thee, O Christ, and praise Thee: Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.
_After Every Station_
Lord Jesus, crucified: Have mercy on us.
JESUS IS CONDEMNED TO DEATH
JESUS, most innocent, who neither did nor could commit sin, was condemned to death, and, moreover, to the ignominious death of the cross. To remain a friend of Caesar, Pilate delivered Him to His enemies. A fearful crime--to condemn innocence to death, and to offend God, in order not to displease men.
O INNOCENT Jesus, having sinned I am guilty of eternal death, but Thou dost willingly accept the unjust sentence of death, that I might live. For whom, then, shall I henceforth live, if not for Thee, my Lord? Should I desire to please men, I could not be Thy servant. Let me, therefore, rather displease men and all the world than not please Thee, O Jesus.
Our Father, etc. Hail Mary, etc.
JESUS CARRIES HIS CROSS
ON BEHOLDING the cross, our divine Saviour most willingly stretched out His bleeding arms, lovingly embraced it, tenderly kissed it, and placing it on His bruised shoulder, despite His exhaustion joyfully carried it.
O MY Jesus, I can not be Thy friend and follower if I refuse to carry the cross. O dearly beloved cross, I embrace thee, I kiss thee, I rejoice to receive thee from the hands of God. Far be it from me to glory in anything save in the cross of my Lord and Redeemer. By it the world shall be crucified to me, and I to the world, that I may be Thine for ever.
Our Father, etc. Hail, Mary, etc
JESUS FALLS THE FIRST TIME
OUR dear Saviour carrying the cross was so weakened by its heavy weight as to fall exhausted to the ground. Our sins and misdeeds were the heavy burden which oppressed Him; the cross was to Him light and sweet, but our sins were galling and insupportable.
O MY Jesus! Thou didst bear my burden and the heavy weight of my sins. Should I, then, not bear in union with Thee my easy burden of suffering and accept the sweet yoke of Thy commandments? Thy yoke is sweet and Thy burden light; I therefore willingly accept it. I will take up Thy cross and follow Thee.
Our Father, etc. Hail Mary, etc,
JESUS MEETS HIS AFFLICTED MOTHER
HOW painful and how sad it must have been for Mary, the sorrowful Mother, to behold her beloved Son laden with the burden of the cross! What unspeakable pangs her most tender heart experienced! How earnestly she yearned to die instead of, or at least with, Jesus! Implore this sorrowful Mother that she assist you in the hour of your death.
O JESUS, O Mary! I am the cause of the great and manifold pains which pierce your loving hearts. O that my heart also would feel and experience at least some of your sufferings! O Mother of sorrows, let me participate in the sufferings which thou and thy Son endured for me, and let me experience thy sorrow, that, afflicted with thee, I may enjoy thy assistance in the hour of my death.
Our Father, etc. Hail Mary, etc.
SIMON OF CYRENE HELPS JESUS TO CARRY THE CROSS
SIMON of Cyrene was compelled to help Jesus carry His cross, and Jesus accepted His assistance. How willingly He would permit you also to carry the cross! He calls you, but you hear Him not; He invites you, but you decline. What a reproach, to bear the cross reluctantly!
O JESUS! Whosoever does not take up His cross and follow Thee is not worthy of Thee. Behold, I join Thee in the way of Thy cross; I will be Thy assistant, following Thy footsteps, that I may come to Thee in eternal life.
Our Father, etc. Hail Mary, etc.
VERONICA WIPES THE FACE OF JESUS
IMPELLED by devotion and compassion, Veronica presents her veil to Jesus to wipe His disfigured face. And Jesus imprints on it His holy countenance; a great recompense for so slight a service. What return do you make to your Saviour for His great and manifold benefits?
MOST merciful Jesus! What return shall I make for all the benefits Thou didst bestow on me? Behold, I consecrate myself entirely to Thy service. I offer and consecrate to Thee my heart. Imprint upon it Thy sacred image, never to be effaced again by sin.
Our Father, etc. Hail Mary, etc.
JESUS FALLS THE SECOND TIME
JESUS, suffering under the weight of His cross, again falls to the ground; but His cruel executioners do not permit Him to rest a moment. Pushing and striking Him, they urge Him onward. It is the frequent repetition of our sins which oppresses Jesus. Witnessing this, how can I continue to sin?
O JESUS, son of David, have mercy on me! Offer me Thy helping hand, and aid me that I may not fall again into my former sins. From this very moment I will earnestly strive to reform; nevermore will I sin. Do Thou, O sole support of the weak, by Thy grace, without which I can do nothing, strengthen me to carry out faithfully this my resolution.
Our Father, etc. Hail Mary, etc.
THE DAUGHTERS OF JERUSALEM WEEP OVER JESUS
THESE devoted women, moved by compassion, weep over the suffering Saviour. But He turns to them, saying, "Weep not for Me, who am innocent, but weep for yourselves and for your children." Weep thou also; for there is nothing more pleasing to Our Lord, and nothing more profitable for thyself, than tears shed from contrition for thy sins.
O JESUS, who shall give to my eyes a torrent of tears, that day and night I may weep for my sins? I beseech Thee through Thy bloody tears to move my heart by Thy divine grace, so that from my eyes tears may flow abundantly, and I may weep all days over Thy sufferings, and still more over their cause, my sins.
Our Father, etc. Hail, Mary, etc.
JESUS FALLS THE THIRD TIME
JESUS, arriving exhausted at the foot of Calvary, falls for the third time to the ground. His love for us is not exhausted, not diminished. What a fearfully oppressive burden our sins must be to cause Jesus to fall so often! Had He, however, not taken them upon Himself, they would have plunged us into the abyss of hell.
MOST merciful Jesus! I return Thee infinite thanks for not permitting me to continue in sin, and to fall, as I have so often deserved, into the depths of hell. Enkindle in me an earnest desire of amendment. Let me never again relapse, but vouchsafe me Thy grace to persevere to the end of my life.
Our Father, etc. Hail Mary, etc.
JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS
AFTER arriving on Calvary, our Saviour was cruelly despoiled of His garments. How painful must this have been, because they adhered to His wounded and torn body, and with them parts of His bloody skin were removed! All the wounds of Jesus are renewed. He is despoiled of His garments that He might die possessed of nothing. How happy shall I die after laying aside my former self with all evil inclinations and desires!
INDUCE me, O Jesus! to lay aside my former self, and to be renewed according to Thy will and desire. I will not spare myself, however painful this should be for me; despoiled of things temporal, of my own will, I desire to die, in order to live for Thee for ever.
Our Father, etc. Hail Mary, etc.
JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS
JESUS, being stripped of His garments, was violently thrown upon the cross, and His hands and feet were most cruelly nailed thereto. In such excruciating torments He remained silent, because it thus pleased His heavenly Father. He suffered patiently because He suffered for us. How do I act in suffering and affliction? How fretful and impatient, how full of complaints I am!
O JESUS, gracious Lamb of God! I renounce for ever my impatience. Crucify, O Lord, my flesh and its concupiscences. Scorch, scathe, and punish me in this world; do but spare me in the next! I commit my destiny to Thee, resigning myself to Thy holy will; may it be done in all things.
Our Father, etc. Hail Mary, etc.
JESUS IS RAISED UPON THE CROSS, AND DIES
BEHOLD Jesus crucified! Behold the wounds He received for the love of you! His whole appearance betokens love. His head is bent to kiss you; His arms are extended to embrace you; His Heart is open to receive you. O superabundance of love! Jesus, the Son of God dies that man may live and be delivered from everlasting death.
O MOST amiable Jesus! Who will grant me that I may die for love of Thee? I will at least endeavor to die to the world. How must I regard the world and its vanities, when I behold Thee hanging on the cross, covered with wounds? O Jesus, receive me into Thy wounded Heart; I belong entirely to Thee; for Thee alone do I desire to live and to die.
Our Father, etc. Hail Mary, etc
JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS, AND PLACED IN THE ARMS OF HIS MOTHER
JESUS did not descend from the cross, but remained on it till after His death. And when taken down from it, He, in death as in life, rested on the bosom of His Mother. Persevere in your resolutions of reform, and do not part from the cross; he that persevereth to the end shall be saved. Consider, moreover, how pure the heart should be that receives the body and blood of Christ in the adorable Sacrament of the Altar.
O LORD Jesus! Thy lifeless body, mangled and torn, found a worthy resting-place on the bosom of Thy virgin Mother. Have I not compelled Thee often to dwell in my heart, full of sin and impurity as it was? Create in me a new heart, that I may worthily receive Thy most sacred body in holy communion, and that Thou mayest remain in me, and I in Thee, for all eternity.
Our Father, etc. Hail Mary, etc
JESUS IS LAID IN THE SEPULCHER
THE body of Jesus is laid in a stranger's tomb. He who in this world had not whereupon to rest His head, would not even have a grave of His own, because He was not of this world. You, who are so attached to the world, henceforth despise it, that you may not perish with it.
O JESUS, Thou hast set me apart from the world; what, then, shall I seek therein? Thou hast created me for heaven; what, then, have I to do with the world? Depart from me, deceitful world, with Thy vanities! Henceforth I will follow the way of the cross traced out for me by my Redeemer, and journey onward to my heavenly home, there to dwell for ever and ever.
Our Father, etc. Hail Mary, etc.
ALMIGHTY and eternal God, merciful Father, who hast given to the human race Thy beloved Son as an example of humility, obedience, and patience, to precede us on the way of life, bearing the cross; graciously grant, that we, inflamed by His infinite love, may take up the sweet yoke of His Gospel, together with the mortification of the cross, following Him as His true disciples, so that we shall one day rise gloriously with Him, and joyfully hear the final sentence: "Come, ye blessed of my Father, and possess the kingdom which has been prepared for you from the beginning," where Thou reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, and where we hope to reign with Thee throughout all eternity. Amen.
Prayer to Our Suffering Redeemer
O MY Lord Jesus Christ! Who, to redeem the world, didst vouchsafe to be born amongst men, to be circumcised, to be rejected and persecuted by the Jews, to be betrayed by the traitor Judas with a kiss, and as a lamb, gentle and innocent, to be bound with cords and dragged, in scorn, before the tribunals of Annas, Caiphas, Pilate, and Herod; who didst suffer Thyself to be accused by false witnesses, to be torn by the scourge and overwhelmed with ignominy; to be spit upon, to be crowned with thorns, buffeted, struck with a reed, blindfolded, stripped of Thy garments; to be nailed to the cross and raised on it between two thieves; to be given gall and vinegar to drink, and to be pierced with a lance; do Thou, O Lord, by these Thy most sacred pains, which I, all unworthy, call to mind, and by Thy holy cross and death, save me from the pains of hell, and vouchsafe to bring me whither Thou didst bring the good thief who was crucified with Thee, who with the Father and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be to the Father, etc., five times.
Indulgence. (1) 300 days, once a day. (2) A plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, on any one of the last three days of the month, after saying this prayer daily for a month. (Pius VII, August 25, 1820.)
Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary
(_By St. Alphonsus._)
MOST holy and immaculate virgin, O my Mother, thou who art the Mother of my Lord, the queen of the world, the advocate, hope, and refuge of sinners! I, the most wretched among them, come now to thee. I venerate thee, great queen, and give thee thanks for the many favors thou hast bestowed on me in the past. Most of all do I thank thee for having saved me from hell, which I so often deserved. I love thee, Lady most worthy of love, and by the love which I bear thee I promise ever in the future to serve thee, and to do what in me lies to win others to thy love. In thee I put all my trust, all my hope of salvation. Receive me as thy servant, and cover me with the mantle of thy protection, thou who art the Mother of mercy! And since thou hast so much power with God, deliver me from all temptations, or at least obtain for me the grace ever to overcome them. From thee I ask a true love of Jesus Christ, and the grace of a happy death. O my Mother, by thy love for God I beseech thee to be at all times my helper, but above all at the last moment of my life. Leave me not until thou seest me safely in heaven, there for endless ages to bless thee and sing thy praises. Amen.
Indulgence, (1) 300 days, every time. (2) A plenary indulgence, once a month, for having said it daily during the month; under the usual conditions. (Pius IX, Sept. 7, 1854.)
Prayer for All Things Necessary for Salvation
O MY God! I believe in Thee; do Thou strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in Thee; do Thou secure them. I love Thee with my whole heart; teach me to love Thee more and more. I am sorry that I have offended Thee; do Thou increase my sorrow. I adore Thee as my first beginning; I aspire after Thee as my last end. I give Thee thanks as my constant benefactor; I call upon Thee as my sovereign protector. Vouchsafe, O my God, to conduct me by Thy wisdom, to restrain me by Thy justice, to comfort me by Thy mercy, to defend me by Thy power. To Thee I desire to consecrate all my thoughts, my actions, and my sufferings, that I henceforward may think only of Thee, speak only of Thee, and ever refer all my actions to Thy greater glory, and suffer willingly whatever Thou shalt appoint. O Lord, I desire that in all things Thy will be done, because it is Thy will, and in the manner that Thou willest. I beg of Thee to enlighten my understanding, to inflame my will, to purify my body, and to sanctify my soul. Give me strength, O my God, to expiate my offenses, to overcome my temptations, to subdue my passions, to acquire the virtues proper for my state. Fill my heart with tender affection for Thy goodness, a hatred of my faults, a love for my neighbor, and a contempt for the world. Let me always be submissive to my superiors, condescending to my inferiors, faithful to my friends, and charitable to my enemies. Assist me to overcome sensuality by mortification, avarice by almsdeeds, anger by meekness, and tepidity by zeal. O my God, make me prudent in my undertakings, courageous in dangers, patient in affliction, and humble in prosperity. Grant that I may be ever attentive at my prayers, temperate at my meals, diligent in my employments, and constant in my resolutions. Let my conscience be ever upright and pure, my exterior modest, my conversation edifying, my comportment regular. Assist me, that I may continually labor to overcome nature, correspond with Thy grace, keep Thy commandments, and work out my salvation. Discover to me, O my God, the nothingness of this world, the greatness of heaven, the shortness of time, the length of eternity. Grant that I may be prepared for death, fear Thy judgments, escape hell, and, in the end, obtain heaven.
All that I have asked for myself I confidently ask for others; for my family, my relations, my benefactors, my friends, and also for my enemies. I ask it for the whole Church, for all the orders of which it is composed; more especially for our Holy Father, the Pope; for our bishop, for our pastors, and for all who are in authority; also for all those for whom Thou desirest that I should pray. Give them, O Lord, all that Thou knowest to be conducive to Thy glory and necessary for their salvation. Strengthen the just in virtue, convert sinners, enlighten infidels, heretics, and schismatics; console the afflicted, give to the faithful departed rest and eternal life; that together we may praise, love, and bless Thee for all eternity. Amen.
The Four Approved Litanies
Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus
LORD, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us. Jesus, hear us. Jesus, 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 Ghost, have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us. Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on us. Jesus, splendor of the Father, have mercy on us. Jesus, brightness of eternal light, have mercy on us. Jesus, king of glory, have mercy on us. Jesus, sun of justice, have mercy on us. Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary, have mercy on us. Jesus amiable, have mercy on us. Jesus admirable, have mercy on us. Jesus, powerful God, have mercy on us. Jesus, Father of the world to come, have mercy on us. Jesus, angel of the great council, have mercy on us. Jesus most powerful, have mercy on us. Jesus most patient, have mercy on us. Jesus most obedient, have mercy on us. Jesus meek and humble of heart, have mercy on us. Jesus, lover of chastity, have mercy on us. Jesus, lover of us, have mercy on us. Jesus, God of peace, have mercy on us. Jesus, author of life, have mercy on us. Jesus, model of all virtues, have mercy on us. Jesus, zealous for souls, have mercy on us. Jesus, our God, have mercy on us. Jesus, our refuge, have mercy on us. Jesus, father of the poor, have mercy on us. Jesus, treasure of the faithful, have mercy on us. Jesus, good shepherd, have mercy on us. Jesus, true light, have mercy on us. Jesus, eternal wisdom, have mercy on us. Jesus, infinite goodness, have mercy on us. Jesus, our way and our life, have mercy on us. Jesus, joy of angels, have mercy on us. Jesus, king of patriarchs, have mercy on us. Jesus, master of the apostles, have mercy on us. Jesus, teacher of the evangelists, have mercy on us. Jesus, strength of martyrs, have mercy on us. Jesus, light of confessors, have mercy on us. Jesus, purity of virgins, have mercy on us. Jesus, crown of all saints, have mercy on us. Be merciful, spare us, O Jesus. Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Jesus. From all evil, deliver us, O Jesus. From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus. From Thy wrath, deliver us, O Jesus. From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Jesus. From the spirit of fornication, deliver us, O Jesus. From eternal death, deliver us, O Jesus. From the neglect of Thy inspirations, deliver us, O Jesus. By the mystery of Thy holy incarnation, deliver us, O Jesus. By Thy nativity, deliver us, O Jesus. By Thy infancy, deliver us, O Jesus. By Thy most divine life, deliver us, O Jesus. By Thy labors, deliver us, O Jesus. By Thy agony and passion, deliver us, O Jesus. By Thy cross and dereliction, deliver us, O Jesus. By Thy languors, deliver us, O Jesus. By Thy death and burial, deliver us, O Jesus. By Thy resurrection, deliver us, O Jesus. By Thy ascension, deliver us, O Jesus. By Thy joys, deliver us, O Jesus. By Thy glory, deliver us, O Jesus. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: Spare us, O Jesus. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: Graciously hear us, O Jesus. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: Have mercy on us, O Jesus. Jesus, hear us. Jesus, graciously hear us.
_Let us pray_
O LORD Jesus Christ, who hast said: Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: mercifully attend to our supplications, and grant us the gift of Thy divine charity, that we may ever love Thee with our whole hearts, and never desist from Thy praise.
Give us, O Lord, a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy name, for Thou never ceasest to direct and govern by Thy grace those whom Thou instructest in the solidity of Thy love; who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Indulgence. 300 days, once a day. (Leo XIII, January 16, 1886.)
Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
(_Approved by Pope Leo XIII, April 2, 1899._)
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 Ghost, have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, Son of the eternal Father, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mother, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, substantially united to the Word of God, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, sacred temple of God, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, burning furnace of charity, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, abode of justice and love, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, in whom dwells the fulness of divinity, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father was well pleased, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, of whose fulness we have all received, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, patient and most merciful, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, enriching all who invoke Thee, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, loaded down with opprobrium, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, bruised for our offences, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, obedient unto death, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, victim for sin, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who trust in thee, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, delight of all the saints, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: Spare us, O Lord. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: Graciously hear us, O Lord. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: Have mercy on us, O Lord. V. Jesus, meek and humble of Heart: R. Make our hearts like unto Thine.
_Let us pray_
O ALMIGHTY and eternal God! Look upon the Heart of Thy dearly beloved Son, and upon the praise and satisfaction He offers Thee in the name of sinners and of those who seek Thy mercy; be Thou appeased, and grant us pardon in the name of the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son; who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.
Indulgence. 300 days. (Leo XIII, April 2, 1899.)
The Litany of Loreto
_In Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary_
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 Ghost, have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us. Holy Mary, pray for us. Holy Mother of God, pray for us. Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us. Mother of Christ, pray for us. Mother of divine grace, pray for us. Mother most pure, pray for us. Mother most chaste, pray for us. Mother inviolate, pray for us. Mother undefiled, pray for us. Mother most amiable, pray for us. Mother most admirable, pray for us. Mother of good counsel, pray for us. Mother of our Creator, pray for us. Mother of our Redeemer, pray for us. Virgin most prudent, pray for us. Virgin most venerable, pray for us. Virgin most renowned, pray for us. Virgin most powerful, pray for us. Virgin most merciful, pray for us. Virgin most faithful, pray for us. Mirror of justice, pray for us. Seat of wisdom, pray for us. Cause of our joy, pray for us. Spiritual vessel, pray for us. Vessel of honor, pray for us. Singular vessel of devotion, pray for us. Mystical rose, pray for us. Tower of David, pray for us. Tower of ivory, pray for us. House of gold, pray for us. Ark of the covenant, pray for us. Gate of heaven, pray for us. Morning star, pray for us. Health of the sick, pray for us. Refuge of sinners, pray for us. Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us. Help of Christians, pray for us. Queen of angels, pray for us. Queen of patriarchs, pray for us. Queen of prophets, pray for us. Queen of apostles, pray for us. Queen of martyrs, pray for us. Queen of confessors, pray for us. Queen of virgins, pray for us. Queen of all saints, pray for us. Queen conceived without original sin, pray for us. Queen of the most holy rosary, pray for us. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: Spare us, O Lord. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: Graciously hear us, O Lord. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: Have mercy on us, O Lord. V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God: R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
_Let us pray_
POUR forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His passion and cross be brought to the glory of His resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
_Let us pray_
VOUCHSAFE, O Lord, that we may be helped by the merits of Thy most holy Mother's spouse; that what of ourselves we can not obtain may be given us through his intercession. Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.
Indulgence. (1) 300 days, every time. (2) A plenary indulgence on the following five feasts of the Blessed Virgin: Immaculate Conception, Nativity, Purification, Annunciation, and Assumption; under the usual conditions, to all who shall have said it daily during the year. (Pius VII, September 30, 1817.) These indulgences are granted for the litany alone; hence the prayers following it may be omitted.
Litany of the Saints
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 Ghost, have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us. Holy Mary, pray for us. Holy Mother of God, pray for us. Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us. St. Michael, pray for us. St. Gabriel, pray for us. St. Raphael, pray for us. All ye holy angels and archangels, pray for us. All ye holy orders of blessed spirits, pray for us. St. John Baptist, pray for us. St. Joseph, pray for us. All ye holy patriarchs and prophets, pray for us. St. Peter, pray for us. St. Paul, pray for us. St. Andrew, pray for us. St. James, pray for us. St. John, pray for us. St. Thomas, pray for us. St. James, pray for us. St. Philip, pray for us. St. Bartholomew, pray for us. St. Matthew, pray for us. St. Simon, pray for us. St. Thaddaeus, pray for us. St. Mathias, pray for us. St. Barnabas, pray for us. St. Luke, pray for us. St. Mark, pray for us. All ye holy apostles and evangelists, pray for us. All ye holy disciples of Our Lord, pray for us. All ye holy innocents, pray for us. St. Stephen, pray for us. St. Lawrence, pray for us. St. Vincent, pray for us. SS. Fabian and Sebastian, pray for us. SS. John and Paul, pray for us. SS. Cosmas and Damian, pray for us. SS. Gervaise and Protaise, pray for us. All ye holy martyrs, pray for us. St. Sylvester, pray for us. St. Gregory, pray for us. St. Ambrose, pray for us. St. Augustine, pray for us. St. Jerome, pray for us. St. Martin, pray for us. St. Nicholas, pray for us. All ye holy bishops and confessors, pray for us. All ye holy doctors, pray for us. St. Anthony, pray for us. St. Benedict, pray for us. St. Bernard, pray for us. St. Dominic, pray for us. St. Francis, pray for us. All ye holy priests and levites, pray for us. All ye holy monks and hermits, pray for us. St. Mary Magdalen, pray for us. St. Agatha, pray for us. St. Lucy, pray for us. St. Agnes, pray for us. St. Cecilia, pray for us. St. Catherine, pray for us. St. Anastasia, pray for us. All ye holy virgins and widows, pray for us. All ye men and women, saints of God: Make intercession for us. Be merciful: Spare us, O Lord. Be merciful: Graciously hear us, O Lord. From all evil, O Lord, deliver us. From all sin, O Lord, deliver us. From a sudden and unprovided death, O Lord, deliver us. From the snares of the devil, O Lord, deliver us. From anger, hatred, and ill will, O Lord, deliver us. From the spirit of fornication, O Lord, deliver us. From lightning and tempest, O Lord, deliver us. From the scourge of earthquake, O Lord, deliver us. From pestilence, famine, and war, O Lord, deliver us. From everlasting death, O Lord, deliver us. Through the mystery of Thy holy incarnation, O Lord, deliver us. Through Thy coming, O Lord, deliver us. Through Thy nativity, O Lord, deliver us. Through Thy baptism and holy fasting, O Lord, deliver us. Through Thy cross and passion, O Lord, deliver us. Through Thy death and burial, O Lord, deliver us. Through Thy holy resurrection, O Lord, deliver us. Through Thy admirable ascension, O Lord, deliver us. Through the coming of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, O Lord, deliver us. In the Day of Judgment, O Lord, deliver us. We sinners, Beseech Thee, hear us. That Thou spare us, we beseech Thee, hear us. That Thou pardon us, we beseech Thee, hear us. That Thou vouchsafe to bring us to true penance, we beseech Thee, hear us. That Thou vouchsafe to govern and preserve Thy holy Church, we beseech Thee, hear us. That Thou vouchsafe to preserve our apostolic prelate and all ecclesiastical orders in holy religion, we beseech Thee, hear us. That Thou vouchsafe to humble the enemies of Thy holy Church, we beseech Thee, hear us. That Thou vouchsafe to give peace and true concord to Christian kings and princes, we beseech Thee, hear us. That Thou vouchsafe to grant peace and unity to all Christian people, we beseech Thee, hear us. That Thou vouchsafe to confirm and preserve us in Thy holy service, we beseech Thee, hear us. That Thou lift up our minds to heavenly desires, we beseech Thee, hear us. That Thou render eternal good things to all our benefactors, we beseech Thee, hear us. That Thou deliver our souls and those of our brethren, kinsfolk, and benefactors from eternal damnation, we beseech Thee, hear us. That Thou vouchsafe to give and preserve the fruits of the earth, we beseech Thee, hear us. That Thou vouchsafe eternal rest to all the faithful departed, we beseech Thee, hear us. That Thou vouchsafe graciously to hear us, we beseech Thee, hear us. Son of God, we beseech Thee, hear us. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: Spare us, O Lord. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: Graciously hear us, O Lord. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: Have mercy on us, O Lord. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us. Our Father, etc. V. And lead us not into temptation. R. But deliver us from evil.
INCLINE unto my aid, O God: O Lord, make haste to help me. Let them be confounded and ashamed: that seek after my soul. Let them be turned backward and blush for shame: that desire evils unto me. Let them be presently turned away blushing for shame, that say to me: Tis well, 'tis well. Let all that seek Thee rejoice and be glad in Thee: and let such as love Thy salvation say always, The Lord be magnified. But I am needy and poor: O God, help Thou me. Thou art my helper and my deliverer: O Lord, make no delay. Glory be to the Father, etc. V. Save Thy servants: R. Trusting in Thee, O my God. V. Be unto us, O God, a tower of strength: R. From the face of the enemy. V. Let not the enemy prevail against us: R. Nor the son of iniquity have power to hurt us. V. O Lord, deal not with us according to our sins: R. Neither reward us according to our iniquities. V. Let us pray for our chief bishop, N. R. The Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. V. Let us pray for our benefactors: R. Vouchsafe, O Lord, for Thy name's sake, to reward with eternal life all those who have done us good. V. Let us pray for the faithful departed: R. Eternal rest give to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. V. May they rest in peace. R. Amen. V. For our absent brethren: R. O my God, save Thy servants trusting in Thee. V. Send them help, O Lord, from Thy holy place: R. And from Sion protect them. V. O Lord, hear my prayer: R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
_Let us pray_
O GOD, whose property it is always to have mercy and to spare, receive our petitions, that we, and all Thy servants who are bound by the chain of sin, may, in the compassion of Thy goodness, mercifully be absolved.
Hear, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the prayer of Thy suppliants, and pardon the sins of them that confess to Thee, that of Thy bounty Thou mayest grant us pardon and peace.
Out of Thy clemency, O Lord, show Thy unspeakable mercy to us, that so Thou mayest both acquit us of our sins and deliver us from the punishment we deserve for them.
O God, who by sin art offended and by penance pacified, mercifully regard the prayers of Thy people who make supplication to Thee, and turn away the scourges of Thy anger, which we deserve for our sins.
O almighty and eternal God, have mercy on Thy servant N., our chief bishop, and direct him, according to Thy clemency, in the way of everlasting salvation, that, by Thy grace, he may desire the things that are agreeable to Thy will, and perform them with all his strength.
O God, from whom all holy desires, righteous counsels, and just works do come, give to Thy servants that peace which the world can not give; that, our hearts being disposed to keep Thy commandments, and the fear of enemies being taken away, the times, by Thy protection, may be peaceable.
Inflame, O Lord, our reins and hearts with the fire of the Holy Spirit; to the end that we may serve Thee with a chaste body, and please Thee with a clean heart.
O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, give to the souls of Thy servants departed the remission of all their sins, that by pious supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired.
Direct, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our actions by Thy holy inspirations, and carry them on by Thy gracious assistance; that every prayer and work of ours may always begin from Thee, and by Thee be happily ended.
Almighty and eternal God, who hast dominion over the living and the dead, and art merciful to all whom Thou foreknowest shall be Thine by faith and good works; we humbly beseech Thee that they for whom we have purposed to offer our prayers, whether this present world still detains them in the flesh, or the next world has already received them divested of their bodies, may, by the clemency of Thine own goodness and the intercession of Thy saints, obtain pardon and full remission of all their sins. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer. R. And let my cry come unto Thee. V. May the almighty and merciful Lord graciously hear us. R. Amen. V. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. R. Amen.