This litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus brings to mind the words of St. Paul: “whatever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Col 3:17). This tribute of supplication to our Lord is thought to have been composed by two 15th century champions of devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, St. Bernardine of Siena and his student St. John of Capistrano. It gives us a good opportunity to meditate on both our Lord’s attributes and His life, while asking Him for heavenly guidance and assistance.

The litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus received the Church’s approval for private use by Pope Sixtus V in 1585, and public recitation by Pope Leo XIII in 1886. (It is one of only six litanies approved for public use.) The Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus on January 3rd.

When this litany is prayed publicly, the congregation’s responses to a leader appear in italics below.

Lord, have mercy on us. 
Christ, have mercy on us. 
Lord, have mercy on us. Jesus, hear us. 
Jesus, graciously hear us. 
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us (after each line) 
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, 
God the Holy Ghost, 
Holy Trinity, one God, 
Jesus, Son of the living God, 
Jesus, splendor of the Father, 
Jesus, brightness of eternal light, 
Jesus, King of glory, 
Jesus, sun of justice, 
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary, 
Jesus, most amiable, 
Jesus, most admirable, 
Jesus, the mighty God, 
Jesus, father of the world to come, 
Jesus, Angel of great counsel, 
Jesus, most powerful, 
Jesus, most patient, 
Jesus, most obedient, 
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, 
Jesus, lover of chastity, 
Jesus, lover of us, 
Jesus, God of peace, 
Jesus, author of life, 
Jesus, example of virtues, 
Jesus, zealous lover of souls, 
Jesus, our God, 
Jesus, our refuge, 
Jesus, father of the poor, 
Jesus, treasure of the faithful, 
Jesus, good Shepherd, 
Jesus, true light, 
Jesus, eternal wisdom, 
Jesus, infinite goodness, 
Jesus, our way and our life, 
Jesus, joy of Angels, 
Jesus, King of Patriarchs, 
Jesus, Master of the Apostles, 
Jesus, Teacher of the Evangelists, 
Jesus, strength of Martyrs, 
Jesus, light of Confessors, 
Jesus, purity of Virgins, 
Jesus, crown of all Saints, 
Be merciful, spare us, O Jesus. 
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Jesus. 
From all evil, deliver us, O Jesus. (after each line) 
From all sin, 
From Thy wrath, 
From the snares of the devil, 
From the spirit of fornication, 
From everlasting death, 
From the neglect of Thine inspirations, 
By the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation, 
By Thy Nativity, 
By Thine Infancy, 
By Thy most divine Life, 
By Thy labors, 
By Thine agony and Passion, 
By Thy Cross and dereliction, 
By Thy sufferings, 
By Thy Resurrection, 
By Thine Ascension, 
By Thine institution of the most Holy Eucharist, 
By Thy joys, 
By Thy glory, 
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, 
Spare us, O Jesus. 
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, 
Hear us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, 
Have mercy on us, O Jesus. 
Jesus, hear us. 
Jesus, graciously hear us. 

Let us pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, who hast said: Ask and ye shall receive, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you; mercifully attend to our supplications, and grant us the gift of Thy divine charity, that we may ever love Thee with our whole heart and with all our words and deeds, and may never cease from praising Thee.

Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy Name, for Thou never failest to help and govern those whom Thou dost bring up in Thy steadfast fear and love; who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.

It is important to point out that the fear that that the Holy Name of Jesus should inspire in us is not a cringing, loathing kind of fear, but rather one of reverence and respect, as children should have for their parents.

Speaking of parents, the words our Blessed Mother said of the God the Father in the Magnificat can apply to her Son as well: “His mercy is from generation to generation on those who fear him.” (Luke 1:50)

We should fear God’s justice and trust in His mercy as well by asking Him for pardon for our sins in prayers such as this litany, in the Sacrament of the Eucharist (Mass), and, most importantly, in the Sacrament of Penance (Confession).


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