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THE DAYS OF ROGATION

The Days of Rogation are honored in the Liturgy with the Greater and Minor Litanies–religious processions of reparation and supplication. The Greater Litanies are held on April 25th, and the Minor Litanies on the three days preceding Ascension Thursday. The antiquity of these processions may be judged by the fact that the day for the Greater Litanies, April 25th, was fixed even before the feast of St. Mark the Evangelist was assigned to that date. For this reason the Greater Litanies take place on April 25th, even if the feast of St. Mark is transferred. Pope St. Gregory the Great expressed in his writings that the Greater Litanies had already been an ancient custom in Rome. During his reign in the latter part of the sixth century, he chose April 25th for the date of the Greater Litanies, and St. Peter's Basilica as the Stational Church. This was to commemorate the day on which St. Peter began reigning as the Pope in Rome. Special Masses of Rogation were celebrated on these days, but that of April 25th was subsequently replaced by the Mass of St. Mark. Fasting and abstinence were formerly observed on the days of the Minor Litanies; but that of the Greater Litanies was considered too close to Easter to be a day of fast. In modern times, only the Vigil of the Ascension is sometimes kept as a day of fast and partial abstinence. All those who are bound to the Divine Office are also bound to recite the Litanies on these days.

The Greater Litanies are called Greater because of their greater importance and solemnity as compared with the Minor Litanies. The concourse of the faithful at Rome was also greater on that day than on the other three.

The purpose of the Rogation Days is obvious from their name. Rogation (rogare) implies supplication, as does the word Litany (litaneo - to repeatedly supplicate). The Church considers humility to be so important a disposition in the offering of these prayers that, despite the Paschal Season, She clothes Her priests in purple, and urges the faithful to join the clergy in invoking the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints to obtain the health of their bodies and the preservation of the fruits of the earth, to offer atonement to Divine Justice for their own and the world's pride, sinful indulgences, and insubordination. Let us on these days, as faithful members of the Church, enter into ourselves, and humbly confess that our own share in provoking God's indignation is great; and our poor prayers, united with those of our Holy Mother the Church, will obtain mercy for the guilty, and for ourselves who are of their number.

It is greatly to be grieved that in times past the attendance of the faithful at the Processions became increasingly poor. In the mind of the Church, though, the people's presence at the Litanies is taken for granted - they are processions of public reparation. What an insult to God it would be, if only a few of the faithful should attend! When St. Charles Borromeo first took possession of his See of Milan, he found this negligence among his people, and that they left the clergy to go through the Greater Litanies by themselves. He assisted at them himself, and walked barefooted in the procession. The people soon followed the saintly pastor's example!

Processions of this kind have always been utilized by the Church in times of plague and natural disaster. This is one of the factors which contributed in making the Rogation Days a universal observance. One of the most famous Processions of this type, as related by St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori, occurred in the year 589 during the Greater Litanies on April 25th, over which St. Gregory the Great was presiding. At the time, Rome was being chastised by an unusual and unique plague. Many men were seized by sudden fits of sneezing and fell down dead. St. Gregory the Great was carrying a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary through the city in procession and came to the spot now called the Castel Sant'Angelo. Suddenly he saw an angel in the air placing a sword dripping with blood into its scabbard. Then he heard the angels singing: "Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia; because He whom thou didst merit to bear, alleluia; hath risen as He said, alleluia." Thereupon St. Gregory completed the antiphon, singing: "Pray for us to God, alleluia." The plague ceased at once, but the Greater Litanies have continued to be celebrated on April 25th every year.

In our modern age, when the need for reparation and the supplication of God's mercy is perhaps the greatest in the history of mankind, the truly Catholic faithful will consider no sacrifice too great to participate in these processions, calling down the much needed blessings of God's grace and mercy upon the Church and the remnant faithful.

ROGATION PRAYERS

(a) The faithful who, on the Feast of St. Mark or during the Rogation Days, participate in the sacred functions celebrated in a church or public oratory, may gain an indulgence of ten years; a plenary indulgence, with the addition of Confession, Communion, and prayers for the intention of the Holy Mother Church and our Bishop.

(b) If there is no sacred function on the aforesaid days, the faithful may gain an indulgence of seven years by devoutly reciting the Litany of the Saints.

(c) The faithful who recite this same Litany on any of the remaining days of the year, may gain an indulgence of five years; a plenary indulgence once a month under the usual conditions, when this Litany is recited daily for a month.>

Antiphon -- (stand) Psalm 43:26. Arise, O Lord, help us and deliver us for Thy Name's sake. Ps. 43:2. We have heard, O God, with our ears; our fathers have told us. Gloria Patri... Arise, etc.

The Litany of the Saints

All kneel as the Litany is begun. On the day of the Rogation procession, each invocation is "doubled", i.e., repeated by the Choir. After the invocation "Sancta Dei Genitrix - Holy Mother of God", all stand, and the procession begins.

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

Lord, have mercy on us.  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, pray for us.

Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.

St. Michael, pray for us.

St. Gabriel, pray for us.

St. Raphael, pray for us.

All ye holy Angels and Archangels, pray for us.

All ye holy orders of blessed Spirits, pray for us.

St. John the Baptist, pray for us.

St. Joseph, pray for us.

All ye holy Patriarchs and Prophets, pray for us.

St. Peter, pray for us.

St. Paul, pray for us.

St. Andrew, pray for us.

St. James, pray for us.

St. John, pray for us.

St. Thomas, pray for us.

St. James, pray for us.

St. Philip, pray for us.

St. Bartholomew, pray for us.

St. Matthew, pray for us.

St. Simon, pray for us.

St. Thaddeus, pray for us.

St. Matthias, pray for us.

St. Barnabas, pray for us.

St. Luke, pray for us.

St. Mark, pray for us.

All ye holy Apostles and Evangelists, pray for us.

All ye holy Disciples of our Lord, pray for us.

All ye holy Innocents, pray for us.

St. Stephen, pray for us.

St. Lawrence, pray for us.

St. Vincent, pray for us.

Sts. Fabian and Sebastian, pray for us.

Sts. John and Paul, pray for us.

Sts. Cosmas and Damian, pray for us.

Sts. Gervase and Protase, pray for us.

All ye holy Martyrs, pray for us.

St. Sylvester, pray for us.

St. Gregory, pray for us.

St. Ambrose, pray for us.

St. Augustine, pray for us.

St. Jerome, pray for us.

St. Martin, pray for us.

St. Nicholas, pray for us.

All ye holy Bishops and Confessors, pray for us.

All ye holy Doctors, pray for us.

St. Anthony, pray for us.

St. Benedict, pray for us.

St. Bernard, pray for us.

St. Dominic, pray for us.

St. Francis, pray for us.

All ye holy Priests and Levites, pray for us.

All ye holy monks and hermits, pray for us.

St. Mary Magdalen, pray for us.

St. Agatha, pray for us.

St. Lucy, pray for us.

St. Agnes, pray for us.

St. Cecilia, pray for us.

St. Catherine, pray for us.

St. Anastasia, pray for us.

All ye holy virgins and widows, pray for us.

All ye holy men and women, saints of God, make intercession for us.

Be merciful, spare us, O Lord.

Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Lord.

From all evil, O Lord, deliver us.

From all sin, O Lord, deliver us.

From Thy wrath, O Lord, deliver us.

From threatening dangers, O Lord, deliver us.

From sudden and unprovided death, O Lord, deliver us.

From the snares of the Devil, O Lord, deliver us.

From anger, and hatred, and ill-will, O Lord, deliver us.

From the spirit of fornication, O Lord, deliver us.

From lightning and tempest, O Lord, deliver us.

From the scourge of earthquake and disaster, O Lord, deliver us.

From plague, famine, and war, O Lord, deliver us.

From everlasting death, O Lord, deliver us.

Through the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation, O Lord, deliver us.

Through Thy Advent, O Lord, deliver us.

Through Thy Nativity, O Lord, deliver us.

Through Thy Baptism and holy fasting, O Lord, deliver us.

Through Thy Cross and Passion, O Lord, deliver us.

Through Thy death and burial, O Lord, deliver us.

Through Thy holy Resurrection, O Lord, deliver us.

Through Thy admirable Ascension, O Lord, deliver us.

Through the coming of the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, O Lord, deliver us.

In the day of judgment, O Lord, deliver us.

We sinners, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wouldst spare us,  we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wouldst pardon us, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wouldst bring us to true penance, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to govern and preserve Thy holy Church, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to preserve our Apostolic Prelate, and all orders of the Church in holy religion, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to chasten the enemies of Holy Church, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to give peace and true concord to Christian kings and princes, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to grant peace and unity to all Christian people, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wouldst restore to the unity of the Church all who have strayed from the truth, and lead all unbelievers to the light of the Gospel, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to confirm and preserve us in Thy holy service, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wouldst lift up our minds to heavenly desires, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wouldst render eternal blessings to all our benefactors, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wouldst deliver our souls and the souls of our brethren, relations and benefactors, from eternal damnation, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouch safe to give and preserve the fruits of the earth, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouch safe to grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouch safe graciously to hear us, we beseech Thee, hear us.

Son of God, we beseech Thee, hear us.

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.

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

Our Father...etc. (inaudibly).

And let us not be led into temptation; But deliver us from evil. Amen.

Psalm 69

O God, come to my assistance; O Lord make haste to help me.

Let them be confounded and ashamed that seek after my soul.

May they who wish me evil, fall back and be covered with shame.

May they immediately fall back covered with confusion who mock me.

Let all who seek Thee rejoice and be glad in Thee; and let such as desire Thy salvation say always: "The Lord be magnified."

But I am needy and poor, O God, help me! Thou art my helper and my deliverer: O Lord, delay not.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, forever, unto ages of ages. Amen.

V. Save Thy servants;  R. Who hope in Thee, O my God.

V. Be unto us, O Lord, a tower of strength;  R. Against the face of the enemy.

V. Let not the enemy prevail against us;  R. Nor the son of iniquity have power to harm us.

V. O Lord, deal not with us according to our sins;  R. Neither requite us according to our iniquities.

V. Let us pray for our Sovereign Pontiff (Bishop) N.  R. The Lord preserve Him, and give Him life, and make Him blessed upon the earth, and deliver Him not up to the will of His enemies.

V. Let us pray for our benefactors.  R. Vouchsafe, O Lord, for Thy name's sake, to reward with eternal life all those who do us good. Amen.

V. Let us pray for the faithful departed.  R. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

V. May they rest in peace.  R. Amen.

V. For our absent brethren;  R. Save Thy servants, who hope in Thee, O my God.

V. Send them help, O Lord, from Thy holy place;  R. And from Sion protect them.

V. O Lord, hear my prayer.  R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

V. The Lord be with thee;  R. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray:

O God, Whose property is always to have mercy and to spare, receive our petition: that we, and all thy servants who are bound by the chains of sin, may, by the compassion of Thy goodness, be mercifully absolved.

Graciously hear, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the prayers of Thy suppliants, and pardon the sins of those who confess to Thee: that in Thy bounty, Thou mayest grant us both pardon and peace.

In Thy clemency, O Lord, show unto us Thy unspeakable mercy: that Thou mayest both loose us from all our sins and deliver us from the punishments which we deserve for them.

O God, Who by sin art offended and by penance pacified, mercifully regard the prayers of Thy suppliant people, and turn away the scourges of Thy anger, which we deserve for our sins.

Almighty, everlasting God, have mercy upon Thy servant N., our Sovereign Pontiff, and direct Him according to Thy clemency into the way of everlasting salvation; that by Thy grace He may desire those things that are pleasing to Thee, and perform them with all His strength.

O God, from Whom are holy desires, good counsels, and just works, give to Thy servants that peace which the world cannot give: that our hearts be set to keep Thy commandments, and that being removed from the fear of our enemies, we may pass our time in peace under Thy protection.

Inflame, O Lord, our desire and heart with the fire of the Holy Ghost: that we may serve Thee with a chaste body, and please Thee with a clean heart.

O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, give to the souls of Thy servants departed the remission of all their sins: that, through pious supplication, they may obtain the pardon which they have always desired.

Direct, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our actions by Thy holy inspirations, and carry them on by Thy gracious assistance, that every prayer and work of ours may begin always from Thee, and through Thee be happily ended.

Almighty and everlasting God, Who hast dominion over the living and the dead, and art merciful to all Who Thou foreknowest will be Thine by faith and good works, we humbly beseech Thee, that those for whom we intend to pour forth our prayers, whether this present world still detain them in the flesh, or the world to come has already received them out of their bodies, may, through the intercession of all Thy Saints, by the clemency of Thy goodness, obtain the remission of all their sins. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, One God, forever, unto ages of ages.  R. Amen.

V. The Lord be with thee;  R. And with thy spirit.

V. May the almighty and merciful Lord graciously hear us.  R. Amen.

V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, and the intercession of Mary, rest in peace.  R. Amen.

The Solemn Invocations

V. On this day of Rogation, we beg of Thee, O Lord, in Thy mercy, to hear and answer our fervent petitions.

1.  V. Do Thou, O Lord, defend Thy Holy Church and all Its members against the snares of the enemy, the powers of evil, and all temporal misfortunes.

RESPOND: Deliver us, O Lord.

2.  V. From all false doctrine and loss of faith.  R. Deliver us, O Lord.

3.  V. From famine, disease, and plague.  R. Deliver us, O Lord.

4.  V. From all captivity by our enemies.  R. Deliver us, O Lord.

5.  V. From the snares of the legions of Hell.  R. Deliver us, O Lord.

6.  V. From the spirit of the world and the flesh.  R. Deliver us, O Lord.

7.  V. From the spirit of pride and disobedience.  R. Deliver us, O Lord.

8.  V. That God's Holy Church may dwell in peace and unity.

RESPOND: O Lord, we beseech Thee, hear us.

9.  V. That Thy True Catholic Church may spread throughout all nations.  R. O Lord, we beseech Thee, hear us.

10.  V. That Thou wouldst preserve, bless, and defend the Bishop Thou hast chosen to govern Thy flock.   R. O Lord, we beseech Thee, hear us.

11.  V. That Thou wouldst grant to the members of Thy Church the grace to live in humility and obedience.  R. O Lord, we beseech Thee, hear us.

12.  V. That all the members of Thy Holy Church be preserved from all spiritual and physical harm.   R. O Lord, we beseech Thee, hear us.

13.  V. That Thou wouldst sustain all the members of Thy One, True, Church in holiness, physical well-being, and material necessity.  R. O Lord, we beseech Thee, hear us.

14.  V. That Thou wouldst convert all peoples to Thy One, True, Holy, Catholic Church. R. O Lord, we beseech Thee, hear us.

15.  V. That Thou wouldst preserve Thy Church and our community from all division, dissension, and disunity. R. O Lord, we beseech Thee, hear us.

16.  V. That Thou wouldst preserve Thy Church from all those who have fallen into heresy and schism.   R. O Lord, we beseech Thee, hear us.

17.  V. That Thou wouldst inspire in the hearts of the faithful a greater spirit of charity.  R. O Lord, we beseech Thee, hear us.

18.  V. That Thou wouldst grant the blessings of wisdom and holiness to our Clerics in preparing for the Priesthood. R. O Lord, we beseech Thee, hear us.

19.  V. That Thou wouldst preserve our Priests and Religious in the spirit of charity, piety, holiness, and fervent zeal for souls.  R. O Lord, we beseech Thee, hear us.

20.  V. Thou wouldst bless all of our missionary and apostolic labors and grant abundant conversion of souls. R. O Lord, we beseech Thee, hear us.

21.  V. That Thou wouldst grant abundant laborers to work in the harvest of souls, and grant to all of our Religious perseverance in their holy Vocation.  R. O Lord, we beseech Thee, hear us.

22.  V. That Thou wouldst imbue our youth with the spirit of piety and love of their Holy Faith.  R. O Lord, we beseech Thee, hear us.

23.  V. That Thou wouldst grant to Thy Church a favorable outcome in all our court cases, legal actions, and attacks of the media and all of our enemies.  R. O Lord, we beseech Thee, hear us.

24.  V. That Thou wouldst bless our Priory, our Friary, our Seminary, our Convent, our schools, and all our apostolic undertakings.  R. O Lord, we beseech Thee, hear us.

Oremus

Almighty and Everlasting God, we commend unto Thee Thy Holy Catholic Church: that Thou wouldst grant unto Her peace, unity, and Thy protection, while shielding Her against the attacks of Her enemies and subjecting to Her the powers of evil. We thank Thee, O Lord, for the many blessings Thou hast bestowed upon us, and we beseech Thee to assist us to live peaceful and tranquil lives; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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