I have so many favorite prayers that I like to pray, or thanks to iTunes, sing to. One of my favorite ones is the Litany of Saints? What is so great about the Litany of Saints. Well, it’s calling on all the Saints to pray for us.
Have you met someone who is going through some problems in life (or maybe you are that person). What is the first thing that we usually say to them, “I’ll pray for you.” Well, this is like that.
One of my favorite prayers is the Litany of the Saints. Usually, we recite this prayer during All Saints Day (November 1) and Easter Vigil when new converts enter the Church.
Litany of Saints
The very first time I heard the prayer of the Litany of Saints, it was the night of my conversion back in high school on Easter Vigil when I too entered and became part of the Catholic family. I can remember that Church I went to had all the lights out and the complete Church was lit only by candle light. There we (seven of us) knelt, as the congregation called the names of each saint, and ask that they pray for us.
Saint Michael, Raphael, Gabriel… names of the saints called one by one; and in my mind I would imagine them taking up post in the Church with us–praying for us. As we neared to the end of the list, I could honesty feel that there were more than just the congregation in the church with us. I felt as if each Saint was present with us, as we remembered them. Even speaking of it now, I get goosebumps.
Each time I hear the Litany of the Saints, I cry like I cried then, because of the beauty of the prayer, and what it means, and how we say it.
Non- Catholic Exposure
One of the largest non-Catholic exposure to the Litany of Saints was during Pope John Paul II funeral service (2005). It seemed like such a long time ago, but I can still remember being told that there was such a calmness to the prayer, and how can feel inner peace as it’s chanted.
Some people whom never had contact with the prayer noted its beauty and significance.
The only difference in that version is that instead of the Church replying, “pray for us.” We said, “pray for him.” Still a beautiful service for a most beloved Pope. (You can watch it here.)
What I love about it.
I love knowing about the lives of the Saints that lived before us. They not only showed us how to live as an image of God, but they showed us how much faith they had even while being persecuted. Theologians, Doctors of the Church, witnesses, most of whom were martyred for believing in Christ. Because of this, and all the contributions that they have made, they have no doubt made Christianity rich with a vibrant history. A very popular quote by Tertullian has said it best: “blood of the martyrs is the seeds of Christians.”
Not only that, but they truly remind us that we are not alone in this journey. That through troubles and darkness that they faced, there is a whole family of brothers and sisters (through Christ) that we can look at to remind us what we can do to be the best we can be. They lived their lives as a witness and example to Christ, and remind us everyday of the many different ways we too can live our lives as a witness to Christ.
So while we walk this pilgrimage “alone,” we’re never truly alone. There is so much to learn.
But What Is it?
The best way I can describe it is by sharing it, and this is the Latin version of it. (For a translation of Latin to English, you can click here.)
Do you have a favorite prayer? How about a favorite Psalms?