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Devotions are prayers or pious exercises used to demonstrate reverence for a particular aspect of God or the person of Jesus, or for a particular saint.

This page includes:

Eucharistic Devotions

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Devotion to the Holy Spirit

The Way of the Cross

Devotion to Mary

Marian Doctrine

Marian Devotions

Marian Apparitions

Devotion to St. Joseph

Catholic Prayers Devotion to the saints

Eucharistic Devotions  

The Second Vatican Council in its Decree on the Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Consilium) indicated that Eucharist devotions must flow from the liturgical celebration of Eucharist (Mass) and lead to the reception of the Eucharist (Communion).

Eucharistic devotions include exposition and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, adoration or prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, processions and Eucharistic congresses. Before Vatican II they also included the Forty Hours Devotion which has been replaced by the Annual Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is placing the consecrated host in a receptacle (monstrance) which is constructed to hold the host aloft so it will be visible to those who come to pray before it. Such expositions should be seen as connected with Mass, i.e. begin after the Eucharistic celebration and close with benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is a worship service in which the consecrated host is placed on the altar in a special holder (monstrance) so as to be visible to the faithful. Prayers and hymns of adoration are recited and sung and those present are blessed (signed to form a cross). This service frequently concludes Evening Prayer of the Hours.

Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament is a long-standing Catholic practice which includes attitudes of adoration, thanksgiving, reparation and petition. It is, therefore, a prolongation of the spirit of prayer which marks the Eucharistic liturgy. This type of prayer enriches and deepens one’s personal relationship with Jesus Christ, as one prays for the Church and the needs of one’s family and friends.

Solemn Annual Exposition, which replaces the Forty Hours Devotion popular before Vatican II, is an annual parish celebration of the Eucharist involving exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. It is a time for instruction, reflection and prayer focused on the Eucharist (Eucharisticum Mysterium, 63).

Eucharistic congresses are regional, national, and international gatherings honoring Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Conferences, celebrations and devotions are focussed on Jesus and his gift of the Eucharist. The highlight of the congresses are generally the solemn procession and final celebration of the Eucharist (Mass).Eucharistic congresses began at the instigation of Marie Marthe Emilia Tamisier (1834-1910). The first international congress was held in 1881 in Lille, France. Shortly thereafter a Permanent Commission for International Eucharistic Congresses was set up.

In 1893, the first International Eucharistic Congress outside Europe was held in Jerusalem. The first one in the Western Hemisphere convened at Montreal in 1910. Pius XI attended the Congress in Rome in 1922 and determined they should be held every two years. (They had been held annually.) At present, they convene every four years.

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Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus  

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has been popular since the 18th century, especially in Europe, due to the efforts of Juliana of Norwich, Frances of Rome, Saint Bonaventure and Margaret Mary Alacoque. A Mass and office for the day were authorized by the pope in 1765 and became universal in 1856. This devotion focusses on the heart of Jesus as a symbol of his love for humanity. The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart is celebrated on the Friday after Corpus Christi; hence June is known as the month of the Sacred Heart.

First Fridays are a devotional practice honouring the Sacred Heart of Jesus in which Catholics receive Holy Communion on the first Friday of the month for nine consecutive months. It is believed that those who follow this practice will be granted special graces such as final perseverance in faith and a happy death.

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Devotion to the Holy Spirit  

Come, Holy Spirit:

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.

And kindle in them the fire of your love.

Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created.

And you will renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray.

Lord, by the light of the Holy Spirit you have taught the hearts of your faithful. In the same Spirit help and always rejoice in your consolation. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Veni Sancte Spiritus (Come, Holy Spirit):

Holy Spirit, Lord Divine,
Come, from heights in heav’n and shine.
Come with blessed radiance bright!
Come, O Father of the poor,
Come, whose treasured gifts endure.
Come, our heart’s unfailing light!

Of consolers, wisest, best,
And our souls’ most welcome guest,
Sweet refreshment, sweet repose.
In our labor rest most sweet,
Pleasant coolness in the heat,
Consolation in our woes.

Light most blessed, shine with grace

In our heart’s most secret place,
Fill your faithful through and through!
Left without your presence here,
Life itself would disappear,
Nothing thrives apart from you!
Cleanse our soiled hearts of sin,
Arid souls refresh within,
Wounded lives to health restore!
Bend the stubborn heart and will,
Melt the frozen, warm the chill,
Guide the wayward home once more!

On the faithful who are true
And profess their faith in you,
In your sev’n-fold gift descent!
Give us virtue’s sure reward,
Give us your salvation, Lord,
Give us joys that never end! Amen.

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Devotion to Mary

“All generations will call me blessed”: ”the Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship.”  The Church rightly honours “the Blessed Virgin with special devotion.  From the most ancient times the blessed Virgin has been honoured with the title of ‘Mother of God’, to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs ...  This very special devotion ... differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration.”  The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an “epitome of the whole Gospel”, express this devotion to the Virgin Mary.  (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 971)

Everything the Church believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ; Marian doctrine emerges from Christian doctrine. Because Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, the Church reserves a special place with regard to Mary in the way it instructs the faithful. Moreover, Mary's place in theology has been treated delicately throughout the course of history to prevent any distraction from Jesus' unique role as mediator between God and humankind. The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium) of the Second Vatican Council confirms Jesus' place as sole mediator, and explains Mary's contribution to Jesus' mediation.

In the words of the apostle there is but one mediator: "for there is but one God and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as redemption for all" (1 Timothy 2:5-6). But Mary's function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. But the Blessed Virgin's salutary influence on men originates not in any inner necessity but in the disposition of God. It flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it and draws all its power from it. It does not hinder in any way the immediate union of the faithful with Christ but on the contrary fosters it.

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Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B.

Jerusalem has the great and tragic privilege of being the city of the historical Via Dolorosa. The Via Crucis, as we know it, is a fusion of three different devotions that were widespread from the beginning of the XV century, especially in Germany and in the Netherlands.

  • a devotion to the times that Christ fell under the weight of the cross (there were 7 such falls.)
  • a devotion to the “sorrowful way of Christ” that consisted at first in processions from one church to another, (sometimes as many as 7 or 9 different churches) commemorating the sorrowful way. These processions marked Jesus’ different “processions” during the passion narratives: from Gethsemane to the house of Annas (Jn. 18:13); from the house of Annas to the residence of Caiaphas (Jn. 18:24; Mt. 26:56); the walk to the Praetorium of Pilate (Jn. 18:28; Mt. 27:2); the walk to the Palace of Herod (Lk. 23:7); etc.
  • a devotion to the “stations of Christ” i.e., those moments in which he stopped along the way to Calvary, for reasons of the heavy burden he was bearing, because of exhaustion, or moved by love and compassion, in order to talk with those women and men along the way who participated in his passion. Each of these stations was often marked with a pillar or a cross which became objects of meditation and veneration.

The Way of the Cross as we have it today with the 14 stations is first attested to in Spain in the first half of the XVII century, especially in areas where Franciscans were present. It then spread first to Sardinia (at that time under Spanish control), and then up the Italian peninsula. Another way to look at the Via Crucis is from a purely biblical perspective:

Biblically-based stations emphasize the tragic interplay of persons, the struggle between light and darkness, between the truth and falsehood. Along the way of the cross, Luke and John offer us models who teach us to live in our daily lives Jesus’ passion as a journey towards a resurrection. Simon of Cyrene, who was “coming in from the fields” ... after laying the cross on him they made him carry it ‘behind’ Jesus. The mere fact of carrying the cross is not what is most important. Many persons in this world suffer dramatically: every people, every family has on its shoulders sorrows and burdens to bear. That which gives fullness of meaning to the cross is to carry it behind Jesus, not in a journey of anguished solitude, hopeless wandering or rebellion, but rather in a journey sustained and nourished by the presence of the Lord.

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A Biblical Way of the Cross  

  1. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mk 14:32-36)
  2. Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested (Mk 14:13. 45-56)
  3. Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin (Mk 14:55.60-61.62.64)
  4. Jesus is denied by Peter (Mk 14:72)
  5. Jesus is condemned by Pilate (Mk 14-15)
  6. Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns (Mk 15:17-19)
  7. Jesus is made to carry his cross (Mk 15:20) 8. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry
    his cross (Mk 15:21; Lk 23:26)
  8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem (Lk 23:27-28)
  9. Jesus is crucified (Mk 15:24)
  10. Jesus promises the Kingdom to the repentant thief (Lk 23:39-40.42)
  11. On the cross Jesus speaks to his mother and his beloved disciple (John 19:25-27)
  12. Jesus dies on the cross (Mk 15:34. 36-37)
  13. Jesus is laid in the tomb (Mk 15:46)
  14. On the third day Jesus rises from the dead (Mk 16:1-8; Lk 24:1-12)

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Marian Devotion Today  

Marian devotion today is based on the documents of the Second Vatican council, namely Lumen Gentium, or the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. Here the Church reminds its members that, although devotion to the Blessed Virgin is to be "generously fostered" and "highly esteemed," this devotion should always remain in its proper context: integrated into the theologies of Christ and the Church.

Honoring Mary should occur within the bounds of a rightly ordered faith and thus not overshadow the one triune God: Father, Son, and Spirit. It should keep clearly in view that Christ alone is the merciful Savior and one Mediator between God and human beings. It should give due recognition to the working of the Holy Spirit in the gift of grace. And it should give expression to the newly recognized connection between Mary and the Church.
(Elizabeth Johnson, "Blessed Virgin Mary", Encyclopedia of Catholicism.)

According to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, there are three components of Marian devotion:

  • veneration, or the reverent recognition of the dignity of the holy Virgin Mother of God;
  • invocation, or the calling upon our Lady for her motherly and queenly intercessions; and
  • imitation, which may take such forms also as dedication and consecration.

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Marian Doctrine  

Mother of God, 431

The doctrine of Mary as the Mother of God was defined at the Council of Ephesus, held at the request of Nestorius, who preached against the use of the title Theotokos, meaning, "God-bearer." The Council condemned Nestorius and declared Mary as the Mother of God.

Immaculate Conception, 1854

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception was officially promulgated in the papal bull Ineffabilis Deus by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854. The dogma declares that Mary was born free from original sin because she was destined to become the Mother of God.

The Assumption, 1950

The second Marian dogma, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, declares that Mary was taken body and soul into heaven at the end of her life. It was officially promulgated by Pope Pius XII in the papal bull Munificentissimus Deus on November 1, 1950.

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Marian Devotions  

Devotions to Mary have taken many forms over the years.  Amongst the most popular, are the following:

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The Angelus  

This prayer honours the Incarnation of Jesus and Mary’s role as His mother.  It has been popular since the sixteenth century.  The prayer takes its title from the two words of the prayer: angelus domini (the angel of the Lord).

The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace ...
Holy Mary, Mother of God ...
Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
Be it done to me according to your word.
Hail Mary, full of grace ...
Holy Mary, Mother of God ...
And the Word was made flesh.
And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary, full of grace ...
Holy Mary, Mother of God ...

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

Let us pray.  Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts, that we to whom the incarnation of Christ, your 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.

The origin of this prayer is unsure. It may go back as far as the tenth century. It is known that by the thirteenth century, people were encouraged to follow the Franciscan custom of praying three Hail Marys at the ringing of the evening bell at six o'clock. The devotion, as we know it, was sanctioned by the church in the sixteenth century.

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Regina Caeli (Queen of Heaven)

This prayer replaces the Angelus during Eastertime.

Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
For he whom you were chosen to bear, alleluia.
Has risen as he said, alleluia.
Pray to God for us, alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad, Virgin Mary, alleluia.
For the Lord is truly risen, alleluia.

Let us pray.  Father you were pleased to give
joy to the world through the resurrection of
your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.  Grant, we
beseech you, that through the meditation of
the Virgin Mary, His mother, we may come
to possess the joys of life everlasting.
Through the same Christ our Lord, Amen.

Latin Version (Regina Caeli)

Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia
Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia
Resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia
Oro pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

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The Rosary

The Rosary is probably the best known private devotion in the Catholic Church. It is a form of meditative prayer, aided by the repetition of the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory to the Father (Doxology) while meditating on fifteen "mysteries" of Jesus’ and Mary’s lives.The devotion was popularized by the Dominican Order and some attribute its format to St. Dominic.The "mysteries" which accompany the recitation of the decades (one Our Father, ten Hail Marys and the Doxology) are:

Joyful Mysteries (Mondays and Saturdays)
The Annunciation: The angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she is to become the Mother of Jesus. Luke 1:26-38.
The Visitation: Mary visits and helps her cousin Elizabeth. Luke 1:39-56.
The Nativity: Mary gives birth to Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem. Luke 2:1-20.
The Presentation in the Temple: Jesus is presented in the Temple. Luke2:21-38.
The finding of the child Jesus in the Temple: Jesus is found in the Temple and "all who heard Him were amazed." Luke 2:41-51.
Mysteries of Light / Luminous Mysteries (Thursdays) 
The Baptism in the Jordan: Jesus' public life begins when John baptizes him in the Jordan. Matthew 3:13-17.
The Wedding Feast at Cana: Jesus performs his first sign, turning water into wine. John 2:1-11.
The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God: Jesus calls everyone to enter the Kingdom of God. Matthew 4:12-17.
The Transfiguration: Jesus briefly reveals his divine glory in the presence of Peter, John and James. Mathew 17:1-8.
The Institution of the Eucharist: The Passover meal receives a new meaning with the institution of the Eucharist, anticipating the glory of the Kingdom. Matthew 26:26-29.
Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesdays and Fridays)
The Agony in the Garden: Jesus suffers his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and overcomes temptation through prayer. Matthew 26:36-46.
The Scourging at the Pillar: Jesus is taken to Pilate and is mocked and whipped at the pillar. John 19:1-3.
The Crowning with Thorns: Jesus is crowned with a circle of sharp thorns. Matthew 27:27-31.
The Carrying of the Cross: Jesus carries the cross to Golgotha. Mark 15:21-24.
The Crucifixion: Jesus dies on the cross. Luke 23:33-46.
Glorious Mysteries (Wednesdays and Sundays)
The Resurrection: Jesus rises from the dead on the third day. Luke 24:1-12.
The Ascension: Jesus ascends into heaven forty days after resurrection. Mark 16:19-20.
The descent of the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit descends upon Mary and the apostles. Acts 2.1-4.
The Assumption: Mary, "when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven, where she already shares in the glory of her Son's Resurrection, anticipating the resurrection of all members of his Body" (CCC, 974). Luke 1:46-55.
The crowning of Our Lady Queen of Heaven: Mary is crowned Queen of heaven and earth. Revelation 12:1.

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Hail, Holy Queen (Salve, Regina)

This is one of the most ancient Marian antiphons.  Traditionally, it is sung as the last prayer at Compline, the liturgical Evening Prayer of the Church.

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy!  Hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope!  To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.  To you do we send up our sighs, mourning, and weeping in this valley of tears.  Turn then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.  O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!  Amen.
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This prayer is usually ascribed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090 - 1153).

Remember, most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided.  Inspired by this confidence, I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my mother.  To you I come; before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.  O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer me.  Amen.
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Stabat Mater  

An anonymous Latin poem, for private devotion originally, but now a common Lenten hymn.
At the Cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.
Through her heart His sorrow sharing,
All his bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword had passed.
Holy Mother! pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Saviour crucified,
Let me share with thee His pain,
Who for all my sins was slain,
Who for me in torments died.
Oh! how sad and sore distress'd
Was that Mother highly blest
Of the sole-begotten One!
Christ above in torment hangs;
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying glorious Son.
Let me mingle tears with thee,
Mourning Him who mourned for me
All the days that I may live:
By the Cross with thee to stay;
There with thee to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of thee to give.
Is there one who would not weep,
Whelm'd by miseries so deep
Christ's dear Mother to behold?
Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that Mother's pain untold?
Virgin of all virgins best,
Listen to my fond request;
Let me share thy grief divine,
Let me, to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of thine.
Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
She beheld her tender Child
All with bloody scourges rent.
For the sins of His own nation.
Saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.
Wounded with His every wound,
Steep my soul till it hath swooned
In His very blood away;
Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
Lest in flames I burn and die,
In His awful Judgment-day.
O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
Make my heart with thine accord;
Make me feel as thou hast felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ my Lord.
Christ, when Thou shalt call me here
Be Thy Mother my defense;
Be Thy Cross my victory;
While my body here decays,
May my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee.

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Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (“Litany of Loreto”)  

This litany was first approved by Pope Sixtus V in 1587.  It is believed to be a simplified version of some of the more elaborate Marian litanies popular in the 12th century.

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

God, the Father of Heave, 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 (after each invocation).

Holy Mother of God,
Holy Virgin of virgins,
Mother of divine grace,
Mother most pure,
Mother most chaste,
Mother inviolate,
Mother undefiled,
Mother most amiable,
Mother of good counsel,
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 sin,
Queen assumed into heaven,
Queen of the most holy Rosary,
Queen of Peace,

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.  Grant, we beg you, O Lord God, that we your servants, may
enjoy lasting health of mind and body, and by the glorious intercession of
the Blessed Mary, every Virgin, be delivered from present sorrow and enter
into the joy of eternal happiness.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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First Saturdays

First Saturdays are a devotional practice honouring the Immaculate Heart of Mary by receiving the Sacrament of Reconcilaition and receiving Holy Communion on five successive first Saturdays, along with reciting five decades of the rosary and meditating on these sacred mysteries for at least fifteen minutes. These devotions are based on claims that the Blessed Mother, in apparitions at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, promised "to intercede for the faithful at their final hour".

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Immaculate Heart of Mary  

This devotion to Mary’s maternal love for Jesus and for the Church arose fairly early and rose to prominence in the Middle Ages when St. John Eudes linked it specifically to devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It has been a frequent theme in religious art for many centuries. The first Masses in honour of the Heart of Mary were sanctioned in 1648. Pius VII (1805) formally authorized the devotion and Mass texts were designated for it in 1856. In 1944, a new Mass and Office was approved and celebration of this feast of Mary was assigned to August 22 (a week after the Assumption). It became an optional memorial on the church’s liturgical calendar shortly after the Second Vatican Council.

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Mary's Canticle (Magnificat) Luke 1:46-55  

Mary's Canticle is Mary's response to Elizabeth's greeting at the visitation. The canticle's title in Latin, Magnificat, comes from the opening words: "My soul magnifies ..." or "proclaims". The Magnificat is prayed each day by the Church as part of its Evening Prayer.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the might from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

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Marian Apparitions  

Ecclesiastical Approval There have been countless reports of Marian apparitions throughout time, but only a few have received ecclesiastical approval. Reported visions are studied very carefully and are required to meet certain criteria, such as the following cited by the Catholic Almanac:

  • authentic texts of the revelation must be procured, without corrections or amendments; [the visionary] should show spiritual progress afterward;
  • the apparitions should "never produce any sentiment of contempt toward anyone."

Notable Marian Apparitions with Ecclesiastical Approval Guadalupe, Mexico Mary appeared four times in 1531 to Juan Diego. Paris, France (Rue de Bac) Mary appeared three times in 1830 to Catherine Labouré. La Salette, France Mary appeared in 1846 to Melanie Matthieu and Maximin Giraud. Lourdes, France Mary appeared 18 times in 1858 to Bernadette Soubirous. Pontmain, France Mary appeared in 1871 to a group of peasant children. Fatima, Portugal Mary appeared six times in 1917 to Lucia dos Santos, and Francisco and Jacinta Marto. Beauraing, Belgium Mary appeared 33 times from 1932-33 to five children. Banneux, Belgium Mary appeared eight times in 1933 to Mariette Beco.

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Devotion to St. Joseph  

We know Joseph was a man of faith, obedient to whatever God asked of him without knowing the outcome. When the angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him the truth about the child Mary was carrying, Joseph immediately and without question or concern for gossip, took Mary as his wife. When the angel came again to tell him that his family was in danger, he immediately left everything he owned, all his family and friends, and fled to a strange country with his young wife and the baby. He waited in Egypt without question until the angel told him it was safe to go back.

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Litany of St. Joseph  

Litany of St. Joseph:

The Litany of St. Joseph was approved for the universal Church by Pope St. Pius X on March 18, 1909.

Lord, have mercy. Guardian of the Virgin
Lord, have mercy. Foster father of the Son of God
Christ, have mercy. Faithful guardian of Christ
Christ, have mercy. Head of the holy family
Lord, have mercy. Joseph, chaste and just
Lord, have mercy. Joseph, prudent and brave
God our Father in heaven, Joseph, obedient and loyal
have mercy on us. (after each Pattern of patience
invocation) Lover of poverty
God the Son, Redeemer of the world Model of workers
God the Holy Spirit Example of parents
Holy Trinity, one God Guardian of virgins
Holy Mary Pillar of family life
pray for us (after each invocation) Comfort of the troubled
St. Joseph Hope of the sick
Noble son of the House of David Patron of the dying
Light of patriarchs Terror of evil spirits
Husband of the Mother of God Protector of the Church

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. (after each invocation) Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world V. God made him master of his household. R. And put him in charge of all that he owned.

Let us pray. Almighty God,
in your infinite wisdom and love
you chose Joseph to be the husband of Mary,
the mother of your Son.
As we enjoy his protection on earth
may we have the help of his prayers in heaven.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Catholic Prayers  

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2559) states, “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.”

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Prayers of Sorrow  

An Act of Contrition:

My God,

I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.

In choosing to do wrong

and failing to do good,

I have sinned against you

whom I should love above all things.

I firmly intend, with your help,

to do penance,

to sin no more,

and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.

Our Savior Jesus Christ

suffered and died for us.

In his name, my God, have mercy.

The Jesus Prayer:

Lord Jesus, Son of God,

have mercy on me, a sinner.

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Devotion to the saints  

Various devotions, prayers, novenas, pious practices have become associated with various saints in many countries. It is important to note that though saints may be reverenced or emulated, they may never be worshipped. The purpose of devotion to any saint is always to further one’s commitment to God, who alone is worshipped. 

Prayer of St. Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

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Prayer of St. Patrick:

Christ be with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ within me, Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit,
Christ where I arise,
Christ in the heart of every one

who thinks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Christ.
May your salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.

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Litany of the Saints:

Litany of the Saints (traditional):

This is believed to be the most ancient of the Church’s litanies. It was mentioned by St. Basil in the fourth century (in a slightly different form) and prescribed by Pope Gregory the Great in 590 for a public procession of thanksgiving after a plague that had ravaged Rome. Traditionally, versions of this litany have been used at the Easter Vigil, on Rogation Days, on the feast of St. Mark (April 25), in the Mass of Ordination, before the conferring of major orders, during the Forty Hours’ devotion, and during religious profession. The words "pray for us" are, in Latin, the familiar ora pro nobis.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. St. Matthew
Lord, have mercy. St. Simon
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us. St. Thaddeus
God, the Father in Heave, St. Matthias
have mercy on us. St. Barnabas
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, St. Luke
have mercy on us. St. Mark
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us. All holy apostles and evangelists
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us. All holy disciples of the Lord
Holy Mary, All holy Innocents
Pray for us. (after each invocation) St. Stephen
Holy Virgin of Virgins St. Lawrence
St. Michael St. Vincent
St. Gabriel St. Fabian and St. Sebastian
St. Raphael St. John and St. Paul
All holy angels and archangels St Cosmas and St. Damian
All holy orders of blessed spirits St. Gervase and St. Protase
St. John the Baptist All holy martyrs
St. Joseph St. Sylvester
All holy patriarchs and prophets St. Gregory
St. Peter St. Ambrose
St. Paul St. Augustine
St. Andrew St. Jerome
St. James St. Martin
St. John St. Nicholas
St. Thomas All holy bishops and confessors
St. James All holy doctors
St. Philip St. Anthony
St. Bartholomew St. Benedict
St. Bernard On the day of judgment
St. Francis We sinners,
All holy priests and Levites we beg you to hear us. (after each
All holy monks and hermits invocation)
St. Mary Magdalen That you spare us
St. Agatha That you pardon us
St. Lucy That you bring us to true penance
St. Agnes That you govern and preserve your
St. Cecilia Holy Church
St. Catherine That you preserve our Holy Father
St. Anastasia and all ranks in the Church in holy
All holy virgins and widows religion
All holy saints of God, intercede for us. That you humble the enemies of Holy
Be merciful, spare us, O Lord. Church
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Lord That you give peace and true concord
From all evil, to all Christian rulers
deliver us, O Lord. (after each That you give peace and unity to the
invocation) whole Christian world
From all sin That you restore to the unity of the
From your wrath Church all who have strayed from
From sudden and unprovided death the truth and lead us all unbelievers
From the snares of the devil To the light of the gospel
From anger, hatred, and all ill will That you confirm and preserve us in
From all lewdness Your holy service
From lightning and tempest That you life up our minds to heavenly
From the scourge of earthquakes desires
From plague, famine, and war That you grant everlasting blessings
From everlasting death to all our benefactors
By the mystery of your holy incarnation That you deliver our souls and the
By your coming souls of our brethren, relatives,
By your birth and benefactors from everlasting
By your baptism and holy fasting damnation
By your cross and passion That you give and preserve the fruits
By your death and burial of the earth
By your holy resurrection That you grant eternal rest to all the
By your wondrous ascension faithful departed
By the coming of the Holy Spirit, the That you graciously hear us, Son of
Advocate God

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us,

O Lord. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us,

O Lord. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

Lord, have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Let us pray.

From you, Lord, come holiness in our desires, right thinking in our plans, and justice in our actions. Grant your children that peace which the world cannot give; then our hearts will be devoted to your laws, we shall be delivered from the terrors of war, and under your protection we shall be able to live in tranquillity. Amen.

Litany of the Saints (contemporary):

Today, this version is used for solemn intercessions. Sections marked A and B indicate a choice of one or the other should be made. Saints’ names (patron, church title, or founder, for example) and petitions may be added at the end of the litany according to the occasion.

Petitions to God

Lord, have mercy. God our Father in heaven,
Lord, have mercy. have mercy on us. (after each
Christ, have mercy. Invocation)
Christ, have mercy. God the Son, our Redeemer
Lord, have mercy. God the Holy Spirit
Lord, have mercy. Holy Trinity, one God

II. Petitions to the Saints

Holy Mary, St. John and St. James
St. Thomas
pray for us. (after each invocation St. Matthew
Mother of God All holy apostles
Most honored of all virgins St. Luke
Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael St. Mark
Angels of God St. Barnabas
Prophets and Fathers of our Faith St. Mary Magdalen
Abraham, Moses, and Elijah All disciples of the Lord
St. Joseph Martyrs
St. John the Baptist St. Stephen
Holy patriarchs and prophets St. Ignatius
Apostles and Followers of Christ St. Polycarp
St. Peter and St. Paul St. Justin
St. Andrew St. Lawrence
St. Cyprian St. Charles Borromeo
St. Boniface St. Francis de Sales
St. Thomas Becket St. Pius
St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More
St. Paul Miki Priests and Religious
St. Isaac Jogues and St. John de Brebeuf St. Anthony
St. Peter Chanel St. Benedict
St. Charles Lwanga St. Bernard
St. Perpetua and St. Felicity St. Francis and St. Dominic
St. Agnes St. Thomas Aquinas
St. Maria Goretti St. Ignatius Loyola
All holy martyrs for Christ St. Francis Xavier
St. Vincent de Paul
Bishops and Doctors St. John Vianney
St. Leo and St. Gregory St. John Bosco
St. Ambrose St. Catherine
St. Jerome St. Teresa
St. Augustine St. Thérèse
St. Athanasius St. Rose
St. Basil and St. Gregory  
St. John Chrysostom Laity
St. Martin St. Louis
St. Patrick St. Monica
St. Cyril and St. Methodius St. Elizabeth
All holy men and women

III. Petitions to Christ

Lord, be merciful Christ, Son of the living God,
Lord, save your people. (after have mercy on us. (after each
each invocation) invocation)
From all evil By your suffering and cross
From every sin By your death and burial
From the snares of the devil By your rising to new life
From anger and hatred By your return in glory to the Father
From every evil intention By your gift of the Holy Spirit
From everlasting death By your coming again in glory
By your coming as man You came into this world
By your birth You suffered for us on the cross
By your baptism and fasting You died to save us
You lay in the tomb You are seated at the right hand of
You rose from the dead the Father
You returned in glory to the Father You will come again to judge the
You sent the Holy Spirit upon your living and the dead

IV. Petitions for Various Needs

Lord, be merciful to us. Lord, show us your kindness.
Lord, hear our prayer. (after each invocation) Lord hear our prayer. (after each invocation)
Give us true repentance Raise our thoughts and desires to you
Strengthen us in your service Save us from final damnation
Reward with eternal life all who do Save our friends and all who have
good to us helped us
Bless the fruits of the earth and of labor Grant eternal rest to all who have
died in the faith
Spare us from disease, hunger and war
Bring all peoples together in trust and
Guide and protect your holy Church
Keep the pope and all the clergy in
faithful service to your Church
Bring all Christians together in unity
Lead all people to the light of the

22. Conclusion

Christ, hear us. Christ hear us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins
Lord Jesus, hear our prayer. Lord of the world,
Jesus, hear our prayer. have mercy on us. (after each invocation)
Lamb of God, you take away the sins
of the world
Lamb of God, you take away the sins
of the world


God of love, our strength and Lord God, you know our weakness.
protection, hear the prayers of In your mercy grant that the example
your Church. Grant that when we come of your saints may bring us back to
to you in faith, our prayers may be love and serve you through Christ
answered, through Christ our Lord. Amen. our Lord. Amen.

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