Monday, April 03, 2006

A litany for bishops

We need serious prayer for our shepherds. In my family, after we pray the Rosary we have a litany of saints invoking those who are our patrons and others to whom we are particularly close. One of them is St. John Fisher, whom we invoke for bishops. After reading about the extraordinary life of St. Hugh of Grenoble (see my previous post), my wife thought that perhaps we should invoke him for bishops. "Someone should devise a litany of bishops for bishops," I replied. And my wife logically said, “Why don’t you do it?” Thank God for wives, right?

I pretend no claim to greater holiness for composing this. I pretend no claim to efficacy for this prayer. It is merely an effort to provide some sort of ordered prayer for our shepherds who are in desperate need of it, based on a tried and true formula. The saintly bishops invoked here are those on the General Roman Calendar as well as a couple who are not listed there. Permission is granted to use this freely and without attribution, but if anyone has or knows of anything better, please let me know.

Litany for Bishops

Lord, have mercy on us Christ, have mercy on us
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us Christ, graciously hear us.
God our Father,
who promised us shepherds after your own heart, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Good Shepherd of the world...
God the Holy Spirit, poured out upon the Apostles.....
Holy Trinity, one God....
St. Peter and St. Paul pray for us
St. Andrew
St. James the Greater
St. John
St. Philip
St. Bartholomew
St. Thomas
St. Matthew
St. James the Less
St. Jude
St. Simon
St. Matthias
St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory of Nanzianzus
St. Francis de Sales
St. Timothy and St. Titus
St. Methodius
St. Patrick
St. Athanasius
St. Boniface
St. Irenaeus
St. Bonaventure
St. Alphonsus Ligouri
St. Augustine
St. John Chrysostom
St. Cyprian
St. Ignatius of Antioch
St. Martin of Tours
St. Josaphat
St. Ambrose
St. John Neumann
St. Hilary
St. Blase
St. Ansgar
St. Peter Damian
St. Polycarp
St. Cyril of Jerusalem
St. Turibius de Mongrovejo
St. Isidore
St. Anselm
St. Adalbert
St. Augustine of Canterbury
St. Norbert
St. Paulinus of Nola
St. John Fisher
St. Cyril of Alexandria
St. Apollinarius
St. Peter Chrysologus
St. Eusebius of Vercelli
St. Robert Bellarmine
St. Januarius
St. Anthony Claret
St. Charles Borromeo
St. Albert the Great
St. Nicholas
St. Thomas Becket
St. Hugh of Grenoble
St. William of Bourges
St. Cuthbert
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world Spare us, O Lord
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world Graciously hear us, O Lord
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world Have mercy on us.

V. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, leading us to new and everlasting life,
R. Help our bishops to be holy and faithful to you.

Let us pray.

Merciful Father,
You have promised to give us shepherds after your own heart (Jer. 3:15). Help our bishops, whom you have anointed with the Holy Spirit to be successors of the Apostles, to teach the truth of your Son, Jesus Christ, in charity and fidelity to all entrusted to their care. May they always put the care of their flock before their own needs, even to the point of shedding their blood, in order that we may learn and live the truth that leads to eternal life. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen

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