Even the saints prayed for a happy death.
As humans, we naturally do not seek out death, especially unexpected deaths. Most of us would prefer to die in our sleep, drifting off peacefully into the afterlife.
The saints wanted that as well. While many prayed for martyrdom, many more prayed for a “happy death,” ready to welcome Jesus when he came to call them home.
Here are four prayers from different saints who all desired a peaceful departure from this life to the next.
Blessed John Henry Newman
Oh, my Lord and Savior,
support me in that hour
in the strong arms of your Sacraments,
and by the fresh fragrance of your consolations.
Let the absolving words be said over me,
and the holy oil sign and seal me,
and your own Body be my food,
and your Blood my sprinkling;
and let my sweet Mother, Mary, breathe on me,
and my Angel whisper peace to me,
and my glorious Saints (NN.) smile upon me;
that in them all, and through them all,
I may receive the gift of perseverance,
and die, as I desire to live,
in your faith, in your Church, in your service,
and in your love. Amen.
Saint Vincent Ferrer
Lord Jesus Christ,
You do not will that anyone should perish
and never is a prayer made to you without hope of mercy.
You have promised:
“All things that you ask in my name, shall be done for you”.
Therefore, I ask you, O Lord,
for your holy Name’s sake,
to grant me at the hour of my death
full consciousness and the power of speech,
sincere contrition for my sins,
true faith, firm hope and perfect charity,
that I may be able to say to you with a clean heart:
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit:
you have redeemed me, O God of truth,
who are blessed for ever and ever. Amen.
St. Joseph Cafasso
I place the moment of my death in the hands of my dear Mother Mary, of my good Guardian Angel and of my special protectors, St. Joseph, St. Ignatius and St. Alphonsus Liguori, all of whom I expect to assist me at the hour of my death and in my voyage to eternity.
Come then, welcome death. Come, but conceal thy coming, so that the hour of my death may not give life back again.
It will be no longer death for thee, my soul, but a sweet sleep if, when thou art dying, Jesus assists thee, and if when thou art expiring, Mary embraces thee. Amen.
St. Alphonsus Liguori
Most holy Virgin Immaculate, my Mother Mary, I love you, O most lovable Lady, and because of my love for you, I promise to serve you always and to do all in my power to win others to love you also. In your hands I place all my hopes; I entrust the salvation of my soul to your care. Accept me as your servant, O Mother of Mercy; receive me under your mantle. And since you have such power with God, deliver me from all temptations, or rather, obtain for me the strength to triumph over them until death. Of you I ask the grace of perfect love for Jesus Christ. Through your help I hope to die a happy death. O my Mother I beg you, by the love you bear my God, to help me at all times, but especially at the last moment of my life. Do not leave me, I beseech you, until you see me safe in Heaven, blessing you and singing your mercies for all eternity, Amen. So I hope, so may it be.