Litany of St. Philip


Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary,             Pray for us.
Holy Mother of God,       "
Holy Virgin of Virgins,
St. Philip,
Vessel of the Holy Ghost,
Child of Mary,
Apostle of Rome, {250}
Counsellor of Popes,
Voice of Prophecy,
Man of primitive times,
Winning Saint,
Hidden hero,
Sweetest of Fathers,
Flower of purity,
Martyr of charity,
Heart of fire,
Discerner of spirits,
Choicest of priests,
Mirror of the divine life,
Pattern of humility,
Example of simplicity,
Light of holy joy,
Image of childhood,
Picture of old age,
Director of souls,
Gentle guide of youth,
Patron of thy own,
Who didst observe chastity in thy youth,
Who didst seek Rome by divine guidance,
Who didst bide so long in the Catacombs,
Who didst receive the Holy Ghost into thy heart,
Who didst experience such wonderful ecstasies,
Who didst so lovingly serve the little ones,
Who didst wash the feet of pilgrims,
Who didst ardently thirst after martyrdom,
Who didst distribute the daily word of God,
Who didst turn so many hearts to God,
Who didst converse so sweetly with Mary,
Who didst raise the dead,
Who didst set up thy houses in all lands, {251}

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,
Graciously 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.

V. Remember thy Congregation.
R. Which thou hast possessed from the beginning.

Let us Pray

O God, who hast exalted blessed Philip, Thy Confessor, in the glory of Thy saints, grant that, as we rejoice in his commemoration, so we may profit by the example of his virtues, through Christ our Lord.{252}

Litanię S. Philippo

Kyrie eleļson.
Christe eleļson.
Kyrie eleļson.
Christe, audi nos.
Christe, exaudi nos.
Pater de cœlis Deus,             Miserere nobis.
Fili, Redemptor mundi, Deus,         "
Spiritus Sancte, Deus,
Sancta Trinitas, Unus Deus,

Sancta Maria,           Ora pro nobis.
Sancta Dei Genitrix,          "
Sancta Virgo Virginum,
Sancte Philippe,
Vas Spiritūs Sancti,
Apostolus Romę,
Consiliarius Pontificius,
Vox fatidica,
Vir prisci temporis,
Sanctus amabilis,
Heros umbratilis,
Pater suavissimus,
Flos puritatis,
Martyr charitatis,
Cor flammigerum, {253}
Discretor spirituum,
Gemma sacerdotum,
Vitę divinę speculum,
Specimen humilitatis,
Exemplar simplicitatis,
Lux sanctę lętitię,
Imago pueritię,
Forma senectutis,
Rector animarum,
Piscator fluctuantium,
Manuductor pupillorum,
Patronus tuorum,
Hospes Anglorum,
Qui castitatem adolescens coluisti,
Qui Romam divinitus petiisti,
Qui multos annos in catacumbis delituisti,
Qui ipsum Spiritum in cor recepisti,
Qiu mirabiles ecstases sustinuisti,
Qui parvulis amanter serviisti,
Qui peregrinantium pedes lavisti,
Qui martyrium ardentissime sitiisti,
Qui verbum Dei quotidianum distribuisti,
Qui tot corda ad Deum allexisti,
Qui sermones dulces cum Mariā contulisti,
Qui emortuum ab inferis reduxisti,
Qui domos tuas in omni regione constituisti,

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
Parce nobis, Domine.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
Exaudi nos, Domine.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
Miserere nobis. {254}

Ora pro nobis, Sancte Philippe,
Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.


Deus, qui beatum Philippum, Confessorem tuum, sanctorum tuorum gloriā sublimasti, concede propitius, ut cujus commemoratione lętamur, ejus virtutum proficiamus exemplo: per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

“Anima Christi”


{256} [Note 1]

SOUL of Christ, be my sanctification;
Body of Christ, be my salvation;
Blood of Christ, fill all my veins;
Water of Christ’s side, wash out my stains;
Passion of Christ, my comfort be;
O good Jesu, listen to me;
In thy wounds I fain would hide,
Ne’er to be parted from Thy side;
Guard me, should the foe assail me;
Call me when my life shall fail me;
Bid me come to Thee above,
With Thy saints to sing Thy love,
       World without end. Amen.

The Heart of Mary

{258} Written to place under a picture of the Heart of Mary

HOLY the womb that bare Him,
Holy the breasts that fed,
But holier still the royal heart
       That in His passion bled.

A Short Service for Rosary Sunday


Hymn—Litany in the “Crown of Jesus,” p. 410. Hymn.

IN Jesus Christ is the fulness of the Godhead with all its infinite sanctity. In Mary is reflected the sanctity of Jesus, as by His grace it could be found in a creature.

Mary, as the pattern both of maidenhood and maternity, has exalted woman’s state and nature, and made the Christian virgin and the Christian mother understand the sacredness of their duties in the sight of God.

Her very image is as a book in which we may read at a glance the mystery of the Incarnation, and the mercy of the Redemption; and withal her own gracious perfections also, who was made by her Divine Son the very type of humility, gentleness, fortitude, purity, patience, love.

What Christian mother can look upon her image and not be moved to pray for gentleness, watchfulness, and obedience like Mary’s? What Christian maiden can look upon her without praying for the gifts of simplicity, modesty, purity, recollection, gentleness such as hers?

Who can repeat her very name without finding in {262} it a music which goes to the heart, and brings before him thoughts of God and Jesus Christ, and heaven above, and fills him with the desire of those graces by which heaven is gained?

Hail then, great Mother of God, Queen of Saints, Royal Lady clothed with the sun and crowned with the stars of heaven, whom all generations have called and shall call blessed. We will take our part in praising thee in our own time and place with all the redeemed of our Lord, and will exalt thee in the full assembly of the saints and glorify thee in the Heavenly Jerusalem.

Three Hail Mary’s.
Prayers in the “Crown of Jesus,” p. 508.

Ave Maris Stella

{265} Hail, Star of the Sea

TRULY art thou a star, O Mary! Our Lord indeed Himself, Jesus Christ, He is the truest and chiefest Star, the bright and morning Star, as St. John calls Him; that Star which was foretold from the beginning as destined to rise out of Israel, and which was displayed in figure by the star which appeared to the wise men in the East. But if the wise and learned and they who teach men in justice shall shine as stars for ever and ever; if the angels of the Churches are called stars in the Hand of Christ; if He honoured the apostles even in the days of their flesh by a title, calling them lights of the world; if even those angels who fell from heaven are called by the beloved disciple stars; if lastly all the saints in bliss are called stars, in that they are like stars differing from stars in glory; therefore most assuredly, without any derogation from the honour of our Lord, is Mary His mother called the Star of the Sea, and the more so because even on her head she wears a crown of twelve stars. Jesus is the Light of the world, illuminating every man who cometh into it, opening our eyes with the gift of faith, making souls luminous by His Almighty grace; and Mary is the Star, shining with the light of Jesus, fair as the {266} moon, and special [Note 2] as the sun, the star of the heavens, which it is good to look upon, the star of the sea, which is welcome to the tempest-tossed, at whose smile the evil spirit flies, the passions are hushed, and peace is poured upon the soul.

Hail then, Star of the Sea, we joy in the recollection of thee. Pray for us ever at the throne of Grace; plead our cause, pray with us, present our prayers to thy Son and Lord—now and in the hour of death, Mary be thou our help.

A Triduo to St. Joseph


First Day
Consider the Glorious Titles of St. Joseph

HE was the true and worthy Spouse of Mary, supplying in a visible manner the place of Mary’s Invisible Spouse, the Holy Ghost. He was a virgin, and his virginity was the faithful mirror of the virginity of Mary. He was the Cherub, placed to guard the new terrestrial Paradise from the intrusion of every foe.

V. Blessed be the name of Joseph.
R. Henceforth and forever. Amen.


God, who in Thine ineffable Providence didst vouchsafe to choose Blessed Joseph to be the husband of Thy most holy Mother, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be made worthy to receive him for our intercessor in heaven, whom on earth we venerate as our holy Protector: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
(Vide “The Raccolta.”) {270}

Second Day
Consider the Glorious Titles of St. Joseph

HIS was the title of father of the Son of God, because he was the Spouse of Mary, ever Virgin. He was our Lord’s father, because Jesus ever yielded to him the obedience of a son. He was our Lord’s father, because to him were entrusted, and by him were faithfully fulfilled, the duties of a father, in protecting Him, giving Him a home, sustaining and rearing Him, and providing Him with a trade.

V. Blessed be the name of Joseph.
R. Henceforth and for ever. Amen.


God, who in Thine ineffable Providence didst vouchsafe, &c. {271}

Third Day
Consider the Glorious Titles of St. Joseph

HE is Holy Joseph, because according to the opinion of a great number of doctors, he, as well as St. John Baptist, was sanctified even before he was born. He is Holy Joseph, because his office, of being spouse and protector of Mary, specially demanded sanctity. He is Holy Joseph, because no other Saint but he lived in such and so long intimacy and familiarity with the source of all holiness, Jesus, God incarnate, and Mary, the holiest of creatures.

V. Blessed be the name of Joseph.
R. Henceforth and for ever. Amen.


God, who in Thine ineffable Providence didst vouchsafe, &c.

Four Prayers to St. Philip

Being part of an unfinished Novena to St. Philip

{275} [Note 3]

Prayer I

O MY dear and holy Patron, Philip, I put myself into thy hands, and for the love of Jesus, for that love’s sake which chose thee and made thee a saint, I implore thee to pray for me, that, as He has brought thee to heaven, so in due time He may take me to heaven too.

Thou hast had experience of the trials and troubles of this life; thou knowest well what it is to bear the assaults of the devil, the mockery of the world, and the temptations of flesh and blood. Thou knowest how weak is human nature, and how treacherous the human heart, and thou art so full of sympathy and compassion, that, amidst all thy present ineffable glory and blessedness, thou canst, I know, give a thought to me.

Think of me then, my dear St. Philip, be sure to think of me, even though I am at times so unmindful of thee. Gain for me all things necessary for my perseverance in the grace of God, and my eternal salvation. Gain for me, by thy powerful intercession, {276} the strength to fight a good fight, to witness boldly for God and religion in the midst of sinners, to be brave when Satan would frighten or force me to what is wrong, to overcome myself, to do my whole duty, and thus to be acquitted in the judgment.

Vessel of the Holy Ghost, Apostle of Rome, Saint of primitive times, pray for me. {277}

Prayer II

O MY dear and holy Patron, Philip, I put myself into thy hands, and for the love of Jesus, for that love’s sake, which chose thee and made thee a saint, I implore thee to pray for me, that, as He has brought thee to heaven, so in due time He may take me to heaven also.

And I ask of thee especially to gain for me a true devotion such as thou hadst to the Holy Ghost, the Third Person in the Ever-blessed Trinity; that, as He at Pentecost so miraculously filled thy heart with his grace, I too may in my measure have the gifts necessary for my salvation.

Therefore I ask thee to gain for me those His seven great gifts, to dispose and excite my heart towards faith and virtue.

Beg for me the gift of Wisdom, that I may prefer heaven to earth, and know truth from falsehood:

The gift of Understanding, by which I may have imprinted upon my mind the mysteries of His Word:

The gift of Counsel, that I may see my way in all perplexities:

The gift of Fortitude, that with bravery and stubbornness I may battle with my foe:

The gift of Knowledge, to enable me to direct all {278} my doings with a pure intention to the glory of God:

The gift of Religion, to make me devout and conscientious:

And the gift of Holy Fear, to make me feel awe, reverence and sobriety amid all my spiritual blessings.

Sweetest Father, Flower of Purity, Martyr of Charity, pray for me. {279}

Prayer III

O MY dear and holy Patron, Philip, I put myself into thy hands, and for the love of Jesus, for that love’s sake which chose and made thee a saint, I implore thee to pray for me, that, as He has brought thee to heaven, so in due time He may take me to heaven also.

And I beg of thee to gain for me a true devotion to the Holy Ghost, by means of that grace which He Himself, the Third Person of the glorious Trinity, bestows. Gain for me a portion of that overflowing devotion which thou hadst towards Him when thou wast on earth; for that, O my dear father, was one of thy special distinctions from other saints, that, though they all adored supremely and solely the Holy Ghost as their one God, yet thou, like Pope St. Gregory, the Apostle of England, didst adore Him not only in the unity of the Godhead, but also as proceeding from the Father and the Son, the gift of the Most High and the Giver of life.

Gain for me, O holy Philip, such a measure of thy devotion towards Him, that, as He did deign to come into thy heart miraculously and set it on fire with love, He may reward us too with some special and corresponding gift of grace. O Philip, let us not {280} be the cold sons of so fervent a Father. It will be a great reproach to thee, if thou dost not make us in some measure like thyself. Gain for us the grace of prayer and meditation, power to command our thoughts and keep from distractions, and the gift of conversing with God without being wearied.

Heart of fire, Light of holy joy, Victim of love, pray for me. {281}

Prayer IV

O MY dear and holy Patron, Philip, I put myself into thy hands, and for the love of Jesus, for that love’s sake which chose thee and made thee a saint, I implore thee to pray for me, that, as He has brought thee to heaven, so in due time He may take me to heaven also.

Thou art my glorious protector, and, after Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, canst do most for me in life and death. In thy labours thou didst follow thy Lord and Saviour, and in thy hidden life and hidden virtues, in thy purity, humility, and fervour, art nearest to Mary and Joseph of all saints. I have long dedicated myself to thee, but I have done nothing worthy of thee, and I am ashamed to call myself thine, because thou hast a right to have followers of great innocence, great honesty of purpose, and great resolution, and these virtues I have not.

Thou, Philip, hast no anxiety about thyself, for thou art already in heaven, therefore thou canst afford to have a care for me. Watch over me, keep me from lagging behind, gain for me the grace necessary to keep me up to my duty, so that I may make progress in all virtues, in the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity; in the four cardinal {282} virtues of prudence, fortitude, justice, temperance; moreover in humility, in chastity, in liberality, in meekness, and in truthfulness.

Director of souls, Patron of thine own, who didst turn so many hearts to God, pray for me.

A Short Road to Perfection

September 27, 1856

{285} IT is the saying of holy men that, if we wish to be perfect, we have nothing more to do than to perform the ordinary duties of the day well. A short road to perfection—short, not because easy, but because pertinent and intelligible. There are no short ways to perfection, but there are sure ones.

I think this is an instruction which may be of great practical use to persons like ourselves. It is easy to have vague ideas what perfection is, which serve well enough to talk about, when we do not intend to aim at it; but as soon as a person really desires and sets about seeking it himself, he is dissatisfied with anything but what is tangible and clear, and constitutes some sort of direction towards the practice of it.

We must bear in mind what is meant by perfection. It does not mean any extraordinary service, anything out of the way, or especially heroic—not all have the opportunity of heroic acts, of sufferings—but it means what the word perfection ordinarily means. By perfect we mean that which has no flaw in it, that which is complete, that which is consistent, that which is sound—we mean the opposite to imperfect. As we know well what imperfection in {286} religious service means, we know by the contrast what is meant by perfection.

He, then, is perfect who does the work of the day perfectly, and we need not go beyond this to seek for perfection. You need not go out of the round of the day.

I insist on this because I think it will simplify our views, and fix our exertions on a definite aim. If you ask me what you are to do in order to be perfect, I say, first—Do not lie in bed beyond the due time of rising; give your first thoughts to God; make a good visit to the Blessed Sacrament; say the Angelus devoutly; eat and drink to God’s glory; say the Rosary well; be recollected; keep out bad thoughts; make your evening meditation well; examine yourself daily; go to bed in good time, and you are already perfect.

Prayer for the Light of Truth

{288} I should like an enquirer to say continually:

O MY God, I confess that Thou canst enlighten my darkness. I confess that Thou alone canst. I wish my darkness to be enlightened. I do not know whether Thou wilt: but that Thou canst and that I wish, are sufficient reasons for me to ask, what Thou at least hast not forbidden my asking. I hereby promise that by Thy grace which I am asking, I will embrace whatever I at length feel certain is the truth, if ever I come to be certain. And by Thy grace I will guard against all self-deceit which may lead me to take what nature would have, rather than what reason approves.

Prayer for a Happy Death


OH, my Lord and Saviour, support me in that hour in the strong arms of Thy Sacraments, and by the fresh fragrance of Thy consolations. Let the absolving words be said over me, and the holy oil sign and seal me, and Thy own Body be my food, and Thy Blood my sprinkling; and let my sweet Mother, Mary, breathe on me, and my Angel whisper peace to me, and my glorious Saints ... smile upon me; that in them all, and through them all, I may receive the gift of perseverance, and die, as I desire to live, in Thy faith, in Thy Church, in Thy service, and in Thy love. Amen.

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1. Translated about 1854.
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2. The Cardinal’s MS. has “special” as being translation of the Latin “electa.”
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3. These four Prayers to St. Philip form “Part of a Novena to St. Philip,” which ends abruptly at the end of the fourth day’s prayer, to which for the sake of uniformity the Invocations at the conclusion have been added. [W. N.]
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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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