Thursday, 4 May 2023

'The Litany of Intercession for England' - Bishop Challoner


                                Our Lady of Walsingham 

                        Quidenham Carmelite Monastery, UK.

We are now in the month of May, traditionally regarded in the Catholic Church as the month especially devoted to the honour of Mary, Our Lady, the Blessed Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.

Prior to the Reformation, England was known as the Dowry of Mary, with many shrines, monasteries and convents, spread throughout the land, many of which were dedicated to Our Lady and many of which were subject to pilgrimages from far and wide.

Sadly in England today the scene has changed, with relatively few active monasteries and convents, and just a few centres of Catholic pilgrimage, among which Walsingham, Launceston, and Aylesford, come immediately to mind.  Nevertheless, there is still great devotion to Our Lady, evidenced by the widespread devotion to the recitation of the rosary.

This post reproduces a litany of which I was totally ignorant, and which is taken from ‘The Garden of the Soul’ prayer book, originally written by Bishop Challoner, revised by Rev Edward Price, with Imprimatur ‘N. Card Wiseman’, and signed and dated by donor, Isabella -----, 17th July 1860.

As the Coronation of King Charles 3rd will be taking place in a few days, it seems particularly appropriate in these anxious and uncertain days, to offer this ‘Litany of Intercession for England', that Almighty God will hear our prayers, and that England will return to God and to the one, true  Church founded by Christ, the Roman Catholic Church. 

‘The Litany of Intercession for England’

'Remember not, O Lord, our offences, nor those of our parents; and take not revenge of our sins.'

Lord, have mercy on us.                  Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.               Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.                 Lord, have mercy on us.


Jesus, receive our prayers.             Lord Jesus, receive our petitions.


O God the Father, Creator of the world,        Have mercy on England.

O God the Son, Redeemer of mankind,                                   

O God the Holy Ghost, Perfector of the elect,                         

O Sacred Trinity, three Persons and one God,                             


Holy Mary, Mother of God,                                Pray for England

Holy Mary, Queen of Angels, whose powerful

                         intercession destroyeth all heresies,              

Holy Mary, Virgin of virgins, whose eminent sanctity            "                                 

                    Our Lord has honoured with so many miracles.

St Michael, Prince of the Church,                                            

St Gabriel, glorious messenger of our Saviour’s incarnation,  "

St Raphael, faithful guide of those who have lost their way,   

Holy Angel, to whose custody this province is committed,      "

All ye holy angels and blessed spirits of heaven who

                   celebrate with joy the conversion of sinners,         

St John, Baptist, precursor of the Messias,                               "

                   and great example of penance,

All ye holy patriarchs and prophets, friends of God,                

                  and advancers of His truth,

St Peter, prince of the apostles, and supreme pastor

                  of Christ’s sheep,                                                     "    

St Paul, doctor of the Gentiles, who, of a persecutor,

                 became a preacher,                                                    "

St Andrew, first disciple of Christ, and constant                                             

                 lover of the cross,                                                      "   

All ye holy apostles and evangelists, chief planters

                of the Christian faith, and zealous maintainers             

                of Catholic union,

St George, our principal patron,                                                  "

St Alban, our first Martyr,                                                          

St Thomas of Canterbury, who, as a faithful shepherd,

                laidst down thy life in defence of the Church,            

All ye holy martyrs of this nation, who voluntarily

               lost your lives here to find them in a joyful eternity,    

St Gregory, most vigilant bishop of the universal church,

              whose pious zeal sent missioners from Rome              

              for the conversion of our ancestors,

St Augustin, apostle of this nation, by whom our

         forefathers were reclaimed from paganism and infidelity, 

St Bede, most venerable confessor, by whose religious life

and learned writings the Catholic faith was                     "

eminently propagated amongst us,

All ye holy bishops and confessors, by whose wisdom and        

            sanctity this island was once a flourishing

           seminary of religion,

St Helen, most holy queen and mother of the first                       

          Christian emperor,

St Ursula, most blessed martyr, who diedst in the glorious

          defence of faith and chastity,                                              

St Winifride, most admirable virgin, even in this unbelieving

         generation still miraculous,                                                  "

All ye holy saints of this nation, who, amidst the                                            

         innumerable joys of heaven, still retain a particular           "

         charity for the salvation of your country,

All ye holy saints of all places, who, though divided here in

         several regions, were yet united in the same faith,              

         and now enjoy one common felicity,

Be merciful, O Lord, and spare us,     Be merciful, O Lord, and hear us.


From the dangers most justly threatening our sins,    Deliver England.

From the spirit of pride, rebellion, and apostasy,                     "

From the spirit of hypocrisy, profaneness, and sacrilege,        

From presuming on their own private opinions, and

         contemning the authority of thy church,                         "                                   

From schism, heresy, and all blindness of heart,                     "                 

From gluttony, drunkenness, and the false liberty                   

         of an undisciplined life,

We sinners,                                               We beseech thee hear us.


That it may please thee to hasten the conversion

           of this our miserable country, and reunite it to

           the ancient faith and communion of thy church,         

That it may please thee to have mercy particularly

           on our relations, friends, and benefactors,

           and open their eyes to see the beauty of thy truth,

           and embrace it,                                                           

That it may please thee to comfort and strengthen

          thy servants, who suffer for the Catholic faith,

          and not to permit the weakest of us, by any

          temptation whatsoever, to fall away from thee

          and thy truth,                                                                

That it may please thee to assist with thy special grace

          those good pastors who venture their lives for

          their flock, and daily augment in them the fire of thy 

            love and the zeal of gaining souls.

That it may please thee to preserve the Catholics of this     "

            land from all sin and scandal, and so adorn their

            lives with solid piety, that others seeing their 

        good works,  may glorify thee our heavenly Father,

That it may please thee to enlighten the hearts of all           "

    schismatics, who live out of the church, 

    seriously to apprehend  the danger of their state,

     and the great importance of eternal salvation,

That it may please thee mercifully to look down from       "

    heaven on the tears of the afflicted, and the blood

         of so many martyrs, who have spent their lives,                                 

           and suffered death to convert us to thee,

Son of God.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,              

                                                                Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,              

                                                                Hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,              

                                                                Have mercy on us.

Christ hear us,               Christ graciously hear us.


                                                Let us Pray.

Almighty and Everlasting God, whose judgments are righteous, and counsels unsearchable; who visited the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and the fourth generation, and yet at length rememberest mercy; forgive we beseech thee, the sins of our forefathers, and turn away thy wrath from their posterity, deliver the ignorant from being seduced by false teachers, and the learned from being abused by their passions, and the whole nation from the spirit of contradiction, licentiousness, and discord; that instead of so many divisions and changes in religion, under which they labour, they may be again restored to that unity of mind, steadiness of faith, and tranquillity of conscience, which is nowhere to be sought but in the communion of thy Church, nor possible to be found but by the conduct of thy grace.

Through Our Lord Jesus Christ.        AMEN.

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