The Golden Litany

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Ignatians have adopted the beautiful “Golden Litany”, first published in the 1530s and much loved by the persecuted Catholics of England from then on. It is a powerfully prayerful way to reflect on the Passion of Christ and to unite oneself more intensely with the Heroic Heart of Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.

By the creation of heaven and earth and all things that in them are, have mercy upon us.

By the frail nature of ours that it pleased thee to take for our sin, not abhorring the same, have mercy upon us.

By the ineffable joy which thy mother had in thy birth, have mercy upon us.

By the cold crib, in the which with vile clothes thou wast wrapped and laid, and with maiden’s milk nourished, have mercy upon us.

By the joy of the shepherds which honoured thee in the crib, have mercy upon us.

By thy fleeing into Egypt, and by all the necessity that thou suffered there with thy virgin mother, have mercy upon us.

By thy meek obedience and pains, have mercy upon us.

By the sorrow of thy heart, labour and weariness, have mercy upon us. By thy great poverty and contemplation, have mercy upon us.

By thy watchings and prayers, have mercy upon us.

By thy meek washing of thy disciples’ feet, and Judas the traitor’s feet, have mercy upon us.

By thy profound love, in that thou suffered thy disciple Saint John to rest upon thy breast at thy last supper, have mercy upon us.

By the peace that thou didst give to thy disciples, have mercy upon us. By the passing great heaviness that thou hadst, when thou didst pray to thy Father in the garden, have mercy upon us.

By thy painful and fearful death, have mercy upon us.

By the shedding of thy blood for anguish, have mercy upon us.

By thy immutable goodness that thou refuseth not to take the kiss of Judas, have mercy upon us.

By the labours that thou suffered in thy going from one judge to another, have mercy upon us.

By thy buffets and stripes, have mercy upon us.

By thy great patience and stillness, have mercy upon us.

By the hard step that thou hadst, bearing the Cross, when thou went to thy death, have mercy upon us.

By thy being naked, full of wounds, loaden with great sorrows, enduring the cold of the wind till the Cross was made ready, have mercy upon us. By thy tender tears and weeping, have mercy upon us.

By the heaviness of thy heart and all the strength of thy soul, save me, defend me, and have mercy upon us.

By the reproaches and words full of confusion that thou heard hanging on the cross, have mercy upon us.

By the care thou hadst of thy Mother in thy torment, commending her to thy beloved disciple, have mercy upon us.

By the inclining of thy holy head upon thy breast, incline, sweet Jesus, unto us, and have mercy upon us.

By the precious blood and water that ran out of thy holy heart, wash and make us clean in the same holy water and blood from all our sins and have mercy upon us.

By thy glorious and virtuous resurrection in body and soul, have mercy upon us.

By thy marvellous and glorious ascension, comfort us Lord in all our needs, and have mercy upon us.

By thy divine consolation and sending of the Holy Ghost unto thy disciples, gladden us, sanctify us, and strengthen us in faith, hope and charity: have mercy upon us.

By the merits and prayers of all thy holy chosen saints that are, were and be for to come, in heaven and earth, have mercy upon us.

Aid us, sweet Jesu, in the trembling and strait day of judgement, and grant us, in this exile and transitory life, those things that be necessary to the health of our body and soul, and after this life to live in joy with thee everlastingly without end. Amen.

Lord, give to the living grace, to the departed, rest, and to the Church holiness, peace and concord. And that thou wilt vouchsafe to take this prayer to the honour and glory of thy holy Name, and that thou wilt vouchsafe to have mercy upon us, and forgive us all our sins; and grant everlastingly that we may persevere in all goodness, and that we may serve thee. And after this life, we may reign with thee, in everlasting glory and life without end. Amen.

(This edition is from Eamon Duffy (ed.), The Heart in Pilgrimage: A Prayerbook for Catholic Christians (London: Bloomsbury, 2014), pp. 310-312.