Aleteia

The Litany to England’s Lady of Walsingham asks simply: Be our Mother always

Lady of Walsingham
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This beautiful prayer focuses our minds not only on Mary’s virtues, but also her sufferings.

In 1061, during the reign of Edward the Confessor, a noblewoman named Richeldis de Faverches had been praying for guidance to fulfill her desire to honor the Blessed Mother. Her prayers were answered, and Our Lady appeared to Richeldis and promptly took her spirit on a trip to Nazareth.

When they arrived there, Our Lady showed Richeldis the house where the Annunciation took place and where the Holy Family lived. Our Blessed Mother told Richeldis that she wanted a replica of this house built in the village of Walsingham, England. Richeldis was promised,  “Whoever seeks my help there will not go away empty-handed.”

Richeldis had been given the dimensions of the house, and after a few more trials, it was built.

Richeldis’ house, known often as the Holy House, quickly became a focal point, with devotees coming to offer special devotion to our Blessed Mother. Not long after, the house was encased in stone to protect it from the elements. Devotion at the site continued to increase, and soon it was known as the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Walsingham became the premier shrine in all of medieval Christendom, with many kings and royal visitors coming to this place to pray.

A unique Litany to Our Lady of Walsingham, said to have been prayed by Erasmus at the shrine, leads us to contemplate Mary in her virtues, and also her sufferings. Above all, it pleads with her to, simply, be our mother …

The Litany to Our Lady of Walsingham

Lord have mercy on us, Lord have mercy on us.
Christ have mercy on us, Christ have mercy on us.
Lord have mercy on us, Lord have mercy on us.
Christ hear us, Christ graciously hear us.

God our Father in 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.

Mary, Pray to the Lord for us.
Mary without sin, Pray to the Lord for us,
Mary God’s Mother, Pray to the Lord for us,
Mary the Virgin, Pray to the Lord for us.
Mary taken to heaven, Pray to the Lord for us.

Mary at Bethlehem, Pray for all mothers.
Mary at Nazareth, Pray for all families.
Mary at Cana, Pray for all married couples.
Mary at the Cross, Pray for all who suffer.
Mary in the Upper Room, Pray for all who wait.
Mary, Model of womanhood, Pray for all women.

Woman of faith, Keep us in mind.
Woman of hope, Keep us in mind.
Woman of charity, Keep us in mind.

Woman of suffering, Keep us in mind.
Woman of anxiety, Keep us in mind.
Woman of humility, Keep us in mind.

Woman of poverty, Keep us in mind.
Woman of purity, Keep us in mind.
Woman of obedience, Keep us in mind.

Woman who wondered, Remember us to God.
Woman who listened, Remember us to God.
Woman who followed him, Remember us to God.
Woman who longed for him, Remember us to God.
Woman who loves him, Remember us to God.

Mother of God, Be our Mother always.
Mother of the Church, Be our Mother always.
Mother of all priests, Be our Mother always.
Mother of all missionaries, Be our Mother always.
Mother of all women consecrated to your son, Be our Mother always.
Mother of all people, Be our Mother always.
Mother we need you, Be our Mother always.

Mother who went on believing, We thank God for you.
Mother who never lost hope, We thank God for you.
Mother who loved to the end, We thank God for you.

Alone of all women, Mother and virgin,
Mother most happy, Virgin Most pure, now we, impure as we are, come to see you who are all pure.

We salute you; we worship you as how we may with our humble offerings.

May your Son grant us that, imitating his most holy manners, we also by the grace of the Holy Spirit, may deserve spiritually to conceive the Lord Jesus in our inmost soul, and once conceived, never to lose Him. Amen.