This Month in Seminary Year I: Catholicism – Litany of Mary of Nazareth

Lead us in the way of peace and justice.
Glory to you, healing Spirit...
Transform us to empower others.

~Litany of Mary of Nazareth

A litany is a repetitive form of communal prayer consisting of a series of petitions and responses. The Litany of Mary of Nazareth was shared by presenter Dr. Mary Beth Walsh during the presentation on Catholicism in first year Seminary. Students gathered in a circle and spoke aloud the words of this prayer.

This contemporary version of the prayer was first distributed by Pax Christi USA in 1987. It offers a representation of Mary as a powerful woman and, according to feminine liturgist Diann Neu, a focus on “a renewed Mary, a woman who waited, was a liberator and was wise as we are”. It invites us into a renewed relationship with Mary and to reflect on how we may offer the same beautiful qualities of Mary to a world in need.

Root peace firmly in our hearts and in our world.
~Litany of Mary of Nazareth

Litany of Mary of Nazareth:

It begins with the prayer, "Glory to you, God our creator...Breathe into us new life, new meaning. Glory to you, God our savior...Lead us in the way of peace and justice. Glory to you, healing spirit...Transform us to empower others."

After each of the following titles, the response is, "Be our guide":
Mary, wellspring of peace...
Model of strength...
Model of gentleness...
Model of trust...
Model of courage...
Model of patience...
Model of risk...
Model of openness...
Model of perseverance...

The response to the following is "Pray for us":
Mother of the liberator...
Mother of the homeless...
Mother of the dying...
Mother of the nonviolent...
Widowed mother...
Mother of the political prisoner...
Mother of the condemned...
Mother of the executed criminal...

The next response is "Lead us to life":
Oppressed women...
Liberator of the oppressed...
Marginalized woman...
Comforter of the afflicted...
Cause of our joy...
Sign of contradiction...
Breaker of bondage...
Political refugee...
Seeker of sanctuary...
First disciple...
Sharer in Christ's ministry...
Participant in Christ's passion...
Seeker of God's will...
Witness to Christ's resurrection...

The next response is "Empower us":
Woman of mercy...
Woman of faith...
Woman of contemplation...
Woman of vision...
Woman of wisdom and understanding...
Woman of grace and truth...
Women, pregnant with hope...
Woman, centered in God…

The closing prayer is: "Mary, Queen of Peace, we entrust our lives to you. Shelter us from war, hatred, oppression. Teach us to live in peace. Inspire us to act justly, to revere all God has made. Root peace firmly in our hearts and in the world. Amen."