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The Final Invocations of the Litany

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The final invocations of the Litany

This is the 18th article in a series on the Litany of Loreto. Every month, I will explain this popular prayer line by line, providing you with spiritual and theological insights.

By Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC

View the previous article in this series.

Queen of Families, pray for us.
Saint Pope John Paul II inserted this invocation into the Litany of Loreto on Dec. 31, 1995.

He only added one other invocation to the Litany, in 1980: "Mother of the Church." Of course, the family is considered the domestic church. So, it only makes sense that Mary would be the Mother of Families, too.

Parents are called to baptize their children and raise them in virtue, following the teachings of the Church. In a world filled with spiritual and physical threat, Satan wants nothing more than to attack families. Consider how many boys and girls in our society grow up in broken families. Look at the way the homosexual lifestyle has been celebrated by the culture over the past few decades.

Satan doesn't want us to experience the love and mercy of God. Not wasting any time, he attacks us at our very core — in our families. So all parents and all children need to turn to Our Lady to ask for protection. When families turn to her, the devil doesn't have a chance.

Queen of Peace, pray for us.
In a pastoral letter dated May 5, 1917, Pope Benedict XV added this invocation to the Litany of Loreto. He called for an end to the fighting as the First World War raged on. He said:

Our earnestly pleading voice, invoking the end of the vast conflict, the suicide of civilized Europe, was then and has remained ever since unheard. ... To Mary, then, who is the Mother of Mercy and omnipotent by grace, let loving and devout appeal go up from every corner of the earth — from noble temples and tiniest chapels, from royal palaces and mansions of the rich as from the poorest hut — from blood-drenched plains and seas. Let it bear to Her the anguished cry of mothers and wives, the wailing of innocent little ones, the sighs of every generous heart: that Her most tender and benign solicitude may be moved and the peace we ask for be obtained for our agitated world.

Just eight days after Pope Benedict XV asked Heaven for help, Our Lady answered by appearing to three shepherd children at Fatima. Throughout her appearances there, she told the children exactly what the world needed to do to obtain peace: Pray the Rosary daily and receive Communion on Five First Saturdays to make reparation to her Immaculate Heart. She also requested that the Holy Father consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart.

According to the Vatican, the Holy Father completed the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1984. Though it was done late, we can have hope for the future because Our Lady promised, "In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph ... and a period of peace will be granted to the world."

It's fitting that the Litany of Loreto should end with this invocation. As devotees of Our Lady of Fatima, let's renew our commitment to praying the Rosary daily and practicing the Five First Saturdays devotion. Our world desperately needs peace. Our Lady wants to intervene — she just needs our help. Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us!

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

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