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The Litany of Loretto is a form of prayer in which the most glorious titles are given to the Mother of God, and her intercession is unceasingly implored.

The litany of Loretto takes its origin and its name from the place of pilgrimage in Italy, Loretto, where the holy house of Nazareth now stands. In this litany first of all God is called upon for mercy, as in the Kyrie Eleison of the Mass. This is followed by the invocation of the most Holy Trinity. Then the Blessed Mother of God is invoked, and her intercession is besought. These invocations may be divided into six groups: (1), The first three invocations express her special prerogatives: her sanctity, her divine maternity, her immaculate virginity; (2), Then her perfections as a Mother are enumerated: Mother of Christ; (3), She is next extolled in virtue of her virginity: Virgin most prudent, etc.; (4), Her glories are then depicted under a number of figures and types: Mirror of justice, etc.; (5), Mary is next shown in her relation to the Church Militant: Health of the sick, etc.; (6), And finally in her relation to the Church triumphant: Queen of angels, etc. At the conclusion of the litany, confiding in the mediation of our Advocate, we appeal to her divine Son, beseeching Him to spare, to hear, to have mercy upon us. Several of the invocations have been added by the Holy See in the course of centuries; for instance, “Help of Christians” after the victory over the Turks; “Queen conceived without original sin,” after the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception; and recently, “Queen of the most holy Rosary,” on the introduction of the custom of reciting the Rosary in public during the month of October. An indulgence of three hundred days may be gained for each recital of this litany. The Salve Regina or “Hail, holy Queen,” as it is also called, was composed in 1009 by Blessed Herman, and in 1146 the illustrious St. Bernard added to it the sweet words: “clement, pious, sweet Virgin Mary.”


Litany of Loreto

V. Lord, have mercy.
R. Christ have mercy.
V. Lord have mercy. Christ hear us.
R. Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

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, …
Mother most pure, …
Mother most chaste,
Mother inviolate,
Mother undefiled,
Mother most amiable,
Mother most admirable,
Mother of good Counsel,
Mother of our Creator,
Mother of our Savior,
Virgin most prudent,
Virgin most venerable,
Virgin most renowned,
Virgin most powerful,
Virgin most merciful,
Virgin most faithful,
Mirror of justice,
Seat of wisdom,
Cause of our joy,
Spiritual vessel,
Vessel of honor,
Singular vessel of devotion,
Mystical rose,
Tower of David,
Tower of ivory,
House of gold,
Ark of the covenant,
Gate of heaven,
Morning star,
Health of the sick,
Refuge of sinners,
Comforter of the afflicted,
Help of Christians,
Queen of Angels,
Queen of Patriarchs,
Queen of Prophets,
Queen of Apostles,
Queen of Martyrs,
Queen of Confessors,
Queen of Virgins,
Queen of all Saints,
Queen conceived without original sin,
Queen assumed into heaven,
Queen of the most holy Rosary,
Queen of families,
Queen of peace,

V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
R. Spare us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
R. Graciously hear us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
R. Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, that we thy servants may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body, and by the glorious intercession of blessed Mary, ever Virgin, may we be freed from present sorrow, and rejoice in eternal happiness. Through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen


This article, THE LITANY OF LORETTO AND THE SALVE REGINA is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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