Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 28 November |
Saint of the Day: Pope St. Gregory III
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Saintly litanies can be mini-biographies

SAINTS

Renata Sedmakova | Shutterstock

Fr. Edward Looney - published on 11/04/20

Ask for their prayers and learn about their lives at the same time.

One of the most common litanies in our Catholic tradition is the Litany of Saints. Liturgically we hear it sung at the Easter Vigil and during ordination Masses. It is also prayed by the priest during the commendation of the dying.

The litany calls upon the names of many saints, from the apostles to founders of religious orders to the virgins and martyrs.

In addition to the litany of all saints, did you know that litanies — lists of brief invocations with a repeated response — are often used in private devotion to saints?

Where I live in Door County in Wisconsin, a custom of the Belgian immigrants was to build roadside chapels. These chapels are dedicated to Jesus, Mary, the Holy Family, or any number of saints. I decided to lead a virtual pilgrimage through social media to all 31 chapels during October.

In my preparation for each visit, I would look up a prayer to pray at each one. Often, I googled litanies followed by the saint name. “Litany of St. Peregrine” or “Litany of St. Roch” or “Litany of St. Odilia” can be found in my Google search history.

When I prayed those litanies, I learned a lot about the given saint.

When it came to St. Peregrine, the cancer saint, I learned that he was converted by the prayers of St. Phillip and that he was cured by the outstretched hand of the crucified Christ.

Regarding St. Roch, the saint invoked during times of plagues, I learned that he arrested the ravages of the plague by the sign of the Christ, saved from the contagion several famous cities, and was efficaciously invoked against the plague by the Church in a Council.

And for St. Odilia, I discovered that she was the patron of the Crosier Fathers, which makes sense because one of the priests who initially served the immigrant community was a Crosier priest.

Praying those invocations led me to search and learn more about their story.

In my curiosity, I turned to Google again to search and see if litanies existed for both common and obscure saints. You can find litanies in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Agnes, St. Therese of Lisieux, and St. Norbert, to name a few.

Having just observed the feast of All Saints, why not look up some litanies in honor of the saints to whom you are devoted? As you pray them, not only will you be asking for their prayers from Heaven, but you might learn something about them along the way.

Here are St. Rita, St. Jude, and Padre Pio to get you started!


POPE FRANCIS LORETO

Read more:
Pope adds ‘Mother of Hope’ to Litany of Mary, along with two other new titles

Tags:
PrayerSaints
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to t...
FIRST CENTURY HOUSE AT THE SISTERS OF NAZARETH SITE
John Burger
British archaeologist confident he has found ...
PRAY
Cerith Gardiner
12 Things we can be grateful for this Thanksg...
VATICAN POPE GOOD FRIDAY COLOSSEUM
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Learn to pray with the early Church and to di...
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio's favorite prayer of petition
EARTHQUAKE
Bret Thoman, OFS
Two earthquakes couldn't stop these Italian n...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.