A litany is a well known and much appreciated form of responsive petition, used in public liturgical service,s and in private devotions, for common necessities of the Church, or in calamities - to implore God's aid or to appease His just wrath. This form of prayer finds its model in Psalm cxxxv: 'Praise the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever. Praise ye the god of gods...the Lord of lords... Who alone doth great wonders... Who made the heavens', etc., with the concluding words in each verse, "for His mercy endureth forever."..
... Litanies appeared in honour of God the Father, of God the Son, of God the Holy Ghost, of the Precious Blood, of the Blessed Virgin, of the Immaculate Conception, of each of the saints honoured in different countries, for the souls in Purgatory, etc. In 1601 Baronius wrote that about eighty forms were in circulation. To prevent abust, Pope Clement VIII, by decree of the Inquisition of 6 Sept., 1601, forbade the publication of any litany, except that of the saints as found in the liturgical books and that of Loreto.
today the litanies approved for public recitation are of: All Saints, of Loreto, of the Holy Name, of the Sacred Heart, of St. Joseph [Ed. and, approved in 1960, of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ].
Many, many other litanies exist, and all of them may be prayed privately, but only these six are approved for public prayer.
Please click on the Litany titles below to download