Basic Catholic Prayers

Sign of the Cross

IN nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen. IN the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Sign of the Cross is not only an action, but a statement of faith itself. In this simple gesture one is not only making a sign of our redemption, the Cross, but is also expressing faith in the Blessed Trinity. It was with this simple action that the faithful of the early Church fortified themselves despite difficult times. Tertullian, writing in the third century, tells us that Christians made the Sign of the Cross upon rising, as they were dressing, upon entering or leaving their houses, on going to the bath, on sitting down at the table, on lighting their lamps, in fact, at the beginning of every action. St. Augustine tells us that "It is by the sign of the Cross that the Body of the Lord is consecrated, that baptismal fonts are sanctified, that priests and other ranks in the Church are admitted to their respective orders, and everything that is to be made holy is consecrated by the sign of our Lord's cross, with the invocation of the name of Christ." (Serm. LXXXI).

The original Sign of the Cross was a "mini-cross" made by tracing a cross on the forehead. lips, or breast with the thumb, as is the custom today of doing so before the Gospel is read. It is difficult to determine exactly when the current custom of blessing oneself with a large cross going forehead to breast and then from shoulder to shoulder came about. Historical records in this regard are open to multiple interpretations and Church historians have divergent views on the subject. That the written record is unclear on the subject is to be expected, since such a custom would more likely be taught by example than by written instruction. It is likely that this large cross was first used in formal blessings by the clergy starting sometime during the Arian controversy of the fourth century and then eventually adopted by the laity. Clearly written instructions for using the large cross form to bless oneself appear by the 12/13th century, by which time it is also clear that the custom had been in use in some form or another for a long time, possibly since the 8th century.

As noted by various Medieval authors, this large Sign of the Cross is rich in symbolism. When Christ came to redeem the world, He descended from the Father, was born of the Virgin Mary, died, was buried, and descended to the dead. He then rose from the dead and ascended into heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father. Thus when making the Sign of the Cross, one uses the right hand, which symbolizes Christ who sits at the right hand of the Father. Starting at the forehead, which symbolizes the Father, the Creator and source of all things, one then descends to the lower chest. This symbolizes the Incarnation, for Christ came down from heaven from the Father and became flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit.

In the West, one then proceeds from the left shoulder to the right shoulder to finish the Sign of the Cross. The left in this case is usually associated with death and darkness, while the right symbolizes truth and light. Thus the action represents the transition from misery to glory, from death to life, and from hell to paradise. As Christ passed from death to life and sits at the right hand of the Father (left to right), so too may we pass from death to life in Christ through the sanctification of the Holy Spirit. In Eastern Christian traditions, the opposite direction is taken. One proceeds from the right to the left, so the symbolism is somewhat different.

"Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." (Matt. 28:19)

(A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who devoutly make a sign of the cross.)

Glory Be

GLORIA Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

A short expression of praise to the Trinity from the very early Church. Authors such as Hippolytus (d. 235) and Origen (ca 231) use very similar phrases in praise of the Trinity. The form became fixed to what we have today by the time of the Arian controversies of the 4th century. It is used extensively in the Divine Office and also many other devotions such as the Rosary.

Our Father

PATER noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen. OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

This prayer was given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself when the apostles asked Him to teach them how to pray (Mt 6:9-13) and thus the prayer has been a part of the Church since the very beginning. The Didache (1st-2nd century) commends the prayer to be recited by the faithful three times during the day. In the latter part of the 4th century it became an official part of the Mass and was recited after the breaking of the bread. Later, Pope St. Gregory the Great, influenced by St. Augustine, moved it to just before the breaking of the bread where it has been ever since.

Prior to the Protestant Reformation, the Our Father was universally recited in Latin in the West by clergy and laity alike. The rather curious English translation we have today is due to Henry VIII's efforts to impose a standard English version across his realm.

Hail Mary

AVE Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen. HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen.

The Ave Maria is perhaps the most popular of all the Marian prayers. It is composed of two distinct parts, a Scriptural part and an intercessory part. The first part, the Scriptural part, is taken from the Gospel of St. Luke and joins together the words of the Angel Gabriel at the Annunciation (Lk 1:28) together with Elizabeth's greeting to Mary at the Visitation (Luke 1:42). The joining of these two passages can be found as early as the fifth, and perhaps even the fourth, century in the eastern liturgies of St. James of Antioch and St. Mark of Alexandria. It is also recorded in the ritual of St. Severus (538 AD). In the west it was in use in Rome by the 7th century for it is prescribed as an offertory antiphon for the feast of the Annunciation. The great popularity of the phrase by the 11th century is attested to in the writings of St. Peter Damian (1007-1072) and Hermann of Tournai (d.c. 1147). Later, by Pope Urban IV around the year 1262, Jesus' name was inserted at the end of the two passages.

The second half of the prayer (Holy Mary..) can be traced back to the 15th century where two endings are found. One ending, Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, is found in the writings of St. Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444 AD) and the Carthusians. A second ending, Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis nunc et in hora mortis nostrae, can be found in the writings of the Servites, in a Roman Breviary, and in some German Dioceses. The current form of the prayer became the standard form sometime in the 16th century and was included in the reformed Breviary promulgated by Pope St. Pius V in 1568.

Grace before and after Meals

Blessing Before Meals

BLESS us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Add for midday:
May the King of everlasting glory make us partakers of the heavenly table. Amen.

 

Add for evening:
May the King of ever-lasting glory lead us to the banquet of life eternal. Amen.

 

Blessing After Meals

WE give Thee thanks, almighty God, for all Thy benefits, who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.

V. May the Lord grant us His peace.
R. And life everlasting.
Amen

 

Apostles' Creed

CREDO in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae. Et in Iesum Christum, Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, descendit ad inferos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis, inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos. Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem, vitam aeternam. Amen. I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

The present form of the Apostles' Creed first appears in the 6th century in the writings of Caesarius of Arles (d 542). However, it can be traced back in one form or another back to Apostolic times.

(A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite the Apostles Creed)

Prayer to your Guardian Angel

(Angel of God)

 

ANGELE Dei,
qui custos es mei,
Me tibi commissum pietate superna;
(Hodie, Hac nocte) illumina, custodi, rege, et guberna.
Amen.
ANGEL of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom his love commits me here;
Ever this (day, night) be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide.
Amen.

Angele Dei, also know as the Prayer to One's Guardian Angel, was in the past attributed to St. Anselm (c1033-1109), for it appears in medieval collections of St. Anselm's works. However, it is clear that this prayer was added to Anselm's works sometime after his death.

As best can be determined, this prayer is an 11th/12th century interpolation of a prayer composed by Reginald of Canterbury, who died sometime after 1109. This prayer is from Reginald's Life of St. Malchus (d. c 390), a famous hermit who was a friend of St. Jerome (c 341-420). The popular English translation given below is from the later half of the 19th century and appears in the Baltimore Manual of Prayers (1888).

Guardian Angels protect their charges against the assaults of demons to preserve them from sin. Several passages in Scripture mention them in passing. (Dn 10: 13,20-21, Tob 12:12, Mt 18:10, Acts 12:11,15). October 2 is the memorial to the Guardian Angels. This prayer carries a partial indulgence

I Confess

CONFITEOR Deo omnipotenti, beatae Mariae semper Virgini, beato Michaeli Archangelo, beato Ioanni Baptistae, sanctis Apostolis Petro et Paulo, et omnibus Sanctis, quia peccavi nimis cogitatione, verbo et opere: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Ideo precor beatam Mariam semper Virginem, beatum Michaelem Archangelum, beatum Ioannem Baptistam, sanctos Apostolos Petrum et Paulum, et omnes Sanctos, orare pro me ad Dominum Deum nostrum. Amen. I CONFESS to almighty God, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and to all the saints that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore, I beseech blessed Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints, to pray for me to the Lord our God. Amen.

A Confiteor is a penitential prayer where we acknowledge our sinfulness and seek God's mercy and forgiveness. Confiteors have been part of Christianity from the beginning. St. Augustine notes that it was traditionally recited while striking the breast as a sign of humility, such as is the custom we have today of doing so during Mass when it is recited. The prayer below is the traditional form of the prayer. It was partially composed in the 8th century and then added to the Mass in the 11th Century.

Above prayers and notations courtesy of  Thesaurus Precum Latinarum

Morning Offering

Lord, I pray that I may live in the light of Your providential will, and enjoin all that happens, to a moment of Your redeeming life. I offer all my work, and deeds in union with Your holy work and miraculous deeds. I offer all mortifications and disciplines in union with Your obedience to Your parents both in heaven and, on the earth. I offer all of my prayers with Your prayers for the holy ones, that I too may receive the same blessings. Lord Jesus, I pray to endure all sufferings so to be united with Your Most Holy Passion, for the redemption of souls, and the redemption of poor sinners. I pray for the protection of Saint Joseph, that I too may live this day with all of his holy virtues I make this prayer through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of Heaven. Amen.            

The Fatima Prayer

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins,

save us from the fires of hell,

 lead all souls to heaven,

especially those in most need of thy mercy. 


The Hail Holy Queen    

Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope!  To Thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve, to Thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.  Turn, then, most gracious Advocate, Thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of Thy womb, Jesus.  O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!

The Holy Rosary

  1. Make the sign of the cross

2.      Say the Apostles Creed

3.      Say the Our Father

4.      Say three Hail Mary's

5.      Say the Glory Be

6.      Announce the first Mystery and say the Our Father

7.      Say ten Hail Mary's while meditating on the Mystery

8.      Say the Glory Be

9.      Say the Fatima Prayer

10.  Announce the second Mystery and say the Our Father

11.  Say ten Hail Mary's while meditating on the Mystery

12.  Say the Glory Be

13.  Say the Fatima Prayer

14.  Announce the third Mystery and say the Our Father

15.  Say ten Hail Mary's while meditating on the Mystery

16.  Say the Glory Be

17.  Say the Fatima Prayer

18.  Announce the fourth Mystery and say the Our Father

19.  Say ten Hail Mary's while meditating on the Mystery

20.  Say the Glory Be

21.  Say the Fatima Prayer

22.  Announce the fifth Mystery and say the Our Father

23.  Say ten Hail Mary's while meditating on the Mystery

24.  Say the Glory Be

25.  Say the Fatima Prayer

26.  Say the Hail Holy Queen

 

The Rosary Prayers

- The Apostles' Creed -
    I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.  He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.  I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.  Amen

- The Lord's Prayer -
    Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name; thy Kingdom come; thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

-
The Hail Mary -
    Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

-
The Glory Be -
    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

-
The Fatima Prayer -
    O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.

- The Hail Holy Queen -
    Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope!  To Thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve, to Thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.  Turn, then, most gracious Advocate, Thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of Thy womb, Jesus.  O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
[Verse]
  Queen of the most holy Rosary, pray for us;
[Response]  That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

- The Rosary Prayer -
    O God, whose Only-Begotten Son, by His life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Closing Prayers to the Rosary:
V:  Queen of the most holy Rosary, pray for us;
R: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

   

The Joyful Mysteries

  1. Annunciation - The Angel Gabriel brings God's message to Mary
  2. Visitation - Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth
  3. Nativity - Jesus is born in Bethlehem
  4. Presentation - Jesus is presented in the temple
  5. Finding in the Temple - Jesus is found in the temple

The Sorrowful Mysteries

  1. Agony in the Garden - Jesus sweats blood.
  2. Scourging at the Pillar
  3. Crowning with Thorns
  4. Carrying of the Cross
  5. Crucifixion - Jesus dies on the cross.

The Glorious Mysteries

  1. The Resurrection - Jesus rises from the dead.
  2. The Ascension - Jesus ascends into Heaven.
  3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles.
  4. The Assumption - The Virgin Mary is taken up to Heaven.
  5. The Coronation - Mary is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth.

When is each mystery prayed?

bullet The Joyful Mysteries are said on Mondays and Thursdays and the Sundays from the First Sunday of Advent until Lent.
bullet The Sorrowful Mysteries are said on Tuesdays and Fridays and the Sundays of Lent
bullet The Glorious Mysteries are said on Wednesdays and Saturdays and the Sundays from Easter until Advent.

Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, 
be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil; 
may God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou O Prince of the heavenly hosts, 
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits 
who prowl about the world 
seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen.

Pope Leo XIII’s Original Exorcism

 Prayer to St. Michael

Pope Leo XIII’s original Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel is prophetic. Composed over 100 years ago, and then suppressed due to its startling content, Pope Leo XIII’s original Prayer to St. Michael is one of the most interesting and controversial prayers relating to the present situation in which the true Catholic Church finds itself. On September 25, 1888, following his morning Mass, Pope Leo XIII became traumatized to the point that he collapsed. Those in attendance thought that he was dead. After coming to consciousness, the Pope described a frightful conversation that he had heard coming from near the tabernacle. The conversation consisted of two voices – voices which Pope Leo XIII clearly understood to be the voices of Jesus Christ and the devil. The devil boasted that he could destroy the Church, if he were granted 100 years to carry out his plan. The devil also asked permission for “a greater influence over those who will give themselves to my service.” To the devil’s requests, Our Lord reportedly replied: “you will be given the time and the power.” Shaken deeply by what he had heard, Pope Leo XIII composed the following original Prayer to St. Michael (which is also a prophecy) and ordered it to be recited after all Low Masses as a protection for the Church against the attacks from Hell. The Original Prayer was taken from The Raccolta, 1930, Benzinger Bros., pp. 314-315. The Raccolta is an imprimatured collection of the official and indulgenced prayers of the Catholic Church.

 

O Glorious Archangel St. Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and Powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil.  Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in his own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. 

     Fight this day the battle of the Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in Heaven.

     That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan, who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels.  Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage.  Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of his Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory.  This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity.

     These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions.  In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.

     Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory.  They venerate thee as their protector and Patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious power of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude.  Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church.  Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations.  Amen

V. Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.

R. The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered, the root of David.

V. Let thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.

R. As we have hoped in thee.

V. O Lord, hear my prayer.

R. And let my cry come unto thee.

Let us pray.

O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon thy holy name, and as suppliants we implore thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel St. Michael, thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of souls.  Amen.

 

Angelus

V: The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary

R: And she conceived by the Holy Ghost.

 

Hail Mary, full of grace: The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

 Holy Mary, Mother of God: Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

 

V: Behold, the handmaid of the Lord.

R: Be it done unto me according to thy word.

Hail Mary ...

 

V: And the Word was made flesh (kneel)

R: And dwelt among us.

Hail Mary ...

 

V: Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,

R: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

 

V: Let us pray.

 

All: Pour forth, we beseech the, O Lord, thy grace unto our hearts, that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ, thy Son, was made known by the message of an Angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ, our Lord, Amen.