Litany of All Saints of Ireland (1921)

Below are the official texts for the Litany of the Irish Saints as published in The Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Volume 18 (1921). The Latin text was issued first, followed by the authorized translations into Irish and English. The Irish text was printed in the old script which I cannot easily reproduce, so I have given only the Latin and English texts.


(March 9, 1921)



Kyrie, eleison.
Christe, eleison.
Kyrie, eleison.

Christe, audi nos.
Christe, exaudi nos.

Pater de coelis 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 Joseph,

Sancte Kiliane,
Sancte Rumolde,
Sancte Livine,
Beate Oliveri,
Omnes Sancti Martyres,  Orate pro nobis.

Sancte Caelestine, Ora pro nobis.
Sancte Patrici,
Sancte Malachia,
Sancte Machanisi,
Sancte Finiane,
Sancte Mele,
Sancte Macartine,
Sancte Eugeni,
Sancte Colmane,
Sancte Fedlimine,
Sancte Eunane,
Sancte Laurenti,
Sancte Conlethe,
Sancte Laseriane,
Sancte Edane,
Sancte Kirane,
Sancte Alberte,
Sancte Albee,
Sancte Colmane,
Sancte Finbarre,
Sancte Flannane,
Sancte Munchine,
Sancte Fachanane,
Sancte Otterane,
Sancte Carthage,
Sancte Jarlathe,
Sancte Nathaee,
Sancte Asice,
Sancte Nicolae,
Sancte Colmane,
Sancte Muredache,
Sancte Declane,
Sancte Virgili,
Sancte Senane,
Sancte Frigidiane,
Sancte Cuthberte,
Sancte Ruperte,
Sancte Celse,
Sancte Catalde,
Sancte Donate,
Beate Thaddaee,
Omnes Sancti Pontifices et Confessores, Orate pro nobis.

Sancte Columba,  Ora pro nobis.
Sancte Coemgene,
Sancte Brendane,
Sancte Canici,
Sancte Kirane,
Sancte Columbane,
Sancte Galle,
Sancte Fursee,
Sancte Fintane,
Sancte Comgalle,
Sancte Fiacri,
Omnes Sancti Monachi et Eremitae, Orate pro nobis.

Sancta Brigida, Ora pro nobis.
Sancta Ita,
Sancta Attracta,
Sancta Dympna,
Sancta Lelia,
Omnes Sanctae Virgines, Orate pro nobis.
Omnes Sancti et Sanctae Dei, Intercedite pro nobis.

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.

V. Orate pro nobis omnes Sancti Hiberniae.
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.


Gratiam tuam, Domine, multiplica super nos, commemorationem celebrantes omnium Insulae nostrae Sanctorum ; ut quorum esse cives gratulamur in terris, cum his mancipatum habere mereamur in coelis.
Per Dominum.


Emus et Rmus Dominus Cardinalis Michael Logue, Archiepiscopus Armacanus et Primas Hiberniae a Sanctissimo Domino nostro Benedicto Papa XV supplex petivit, ut Litanias Omnium Sanctorum Hiberniae humiliter exhibitas approbare dignaretur in usum omnium Hiberniae Ecclesiarum. Sanctitas porro Sua, referente infrascripto Cardinali Sacrae Rituum Congregationi Praefecto, suprascriptas Litanias de Sanctis Hiberniae ab eodem Sacro Concilio revisas ac dispositas, approbavit, earumque usum in Ecclesiis totius Hiberniae, de speciali gratia, benigne concedere dignata est. Contrariis non obstantibus quibuscumque. Die 9 Martii 1921.

A. Card. Vico, Ep. Portuen., Praef.
Alexander Verde, S. R. C. Secretarius.


WE give in this issue the authorized translations into Irish and English of the Litany of the Saints of Ireland, the original of which, with the accompanying decree of the Congregation of Rites, appeared in the October issue (pp. 433-35). According to the decree the new Litany may be recited not only as a private devotion, but also publicly in all the churches of Ireland, the net result of the Roman approval being that as a liturgical devotion this Litany throughout the Irish Church is placed on an equality with the other five Litanies of the Ritual officially sanctioned for public recitation. The approval of a national Litany is a very great privilege, in fact, with one possible exception, a privilege, as far as we know, without precedent in the history of the Roman Congregations. It is a special favour of the Holy See granted to the Irish Church which, we are sure, the Irish people throughout the world will duly appreciate and be grateful for.

The Irish Bishops have ordered the recitation of the Litany as part of the Novena for Peace in preparation for the celebration of the special Feast of the Irish Saints on November 6, and arrangements have been made that copies of the translations herein given be circulated in every diocese, without delay. In all future editions of prayer-books for use in Ireland, the Litany of the Irish Saints will be expected to appear, and thus, it is to be hoped, our people will become in time as familiar with the names of those Irish Saints as they are with the several invocations of Mary's Litany. It was a happy thought to have the official English and Irish translations sanctioned by all the Bishops, for we have therein the guarantee of uniformity, so important for a national Litany from a liturgical point of view, and so much to be desired in the promulgation of it.

It will be observed that the composition of this Irish Litany follows closely the model of the Litany of the Saints, and can be sung in the Gregorian tunes prescribed for the latter. It is something to be grateful for that the several Saints' names are mentioned without accompanying appendages or designations; it is so much simpler and more dignified to have merely the Saint's name, and so much easier to have a musical setting for the Litany in this simple form. We notice also that the liturgical order of dignity, characteristic of the Litany of the Saints, is here preserved, viz., Martyrs, Confessors-Pontiff, Confessors non-Pontiff, Virgins. So strictly is this order adhered to that St. Killian comes before St. Patrick and Saints Columba, Kevin, Brendan, Canice, and Kieran, though principal Patron Saints, are not included in the section wherein all the other diocesan Patrons occur. Within the section of Confessors-Pontiff the order is provincial, the Patrons and Saints of the Armagh Province coming first, then those of Dublin, next those of Cashel, and lastly those of Tuam. St. Celestine, who sent St. Patrick to Ireland, fittingly heads the list, next St. Patrick himself, the Apostle and Patron of all Ireland, and then, in their due order, the Patrons of the four archdioceses with those of their suffragan dioceses. Thus we find the name St. Colman occurring in three distinct places: first, the Patron of Dromore, second, the Patron of Cloyne, and third, the Patron of Kilmacduagh. St. Nicholas also, though not an Irish Saint, secures a place in the list as Patron of Galway diocese. Many will regret the omission of the great St. Enda of Aran the omission being due, of course, to the fact that his name does not appear with a Mass and Office assigned to his feast in the Irish Proper of the Missal and Breviary. Some rule had to be adopted if the invocations of the Litany were not to outstep all reasonable limits the number of Irish Saints being almost countless and the rule adopted of including only those already approved in the Irish Proper was, after all, perhaps the one fraught with least difficulty. The only thing wanting to stimulate the devotion of this beautiful Litany amongst the faithful will be the concession of an Indulgence a favour which we may hope will soon be granted by the same authority which has so benignly conferred this signal honour upon the Irish Church.



The Litany of Irish Saints

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,
Holy Virgin of virgins,
St. Joseph, pray for us.

St. Killian, pray for us
St. Rumold,
St. Livinus,
Blessed Oliver,
All ye Holy Martyrs, pray for us.

St. Celestine, pray for us.
St. Patrick,
St. Malachy,
St. Macnise,
St. Finnian,
St. Mel
St. Macartan,
St. Eugene,
St. Colman,
St. Felim,
St. Eunan,
St. Laurence,
St. Conleth,
St. Laserian,
St. Aidan,
St. Kieran,
St. Albert,
St. Ailbe,
St. Colman,
St. Finnbarr,
St. Flannan,
St. Munchin,
St. Fachtna,
St. Otteran,
St. Carthage,
St. Jarlath,
St. Nathy,
St. Asicus,
St. Nicholas,
St. Colman,
St. Muredach,
St. Declan,
St. Virgilius,
St. Senan,
St. Frigidian,
St. Cuthbert,
St. Rupert,
St. Celsus,
St. Cataldus,
St. Donatus,
Blessed Thaddaeus,
All ye Holy Pontiffs and Confessors, pray for us.

St. Columba, pray for us.
St. Kevin,
St. Brendan,
St. Canice,
St. Kieran,
St. Columbanus,
St. Gall,
St. Fursey,
St. Fintan,
St. Comgall,
St. Fiacre,
All ye Holy Monks and Hermits, pray for us.

St. Brigid, pray for us.
St. Ita,
St. Attracta,
St. Dympna,
St. Lelia,
All ye Holy Virgins, pray for us.

All ye Holy Saints of God, Intercede for 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.

V. Pray for us, all you Saints of Ireland.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray

Grant, O Lord, an increase of Thy Grace to us who celebrate the memory of all the Saints of our Island; that as, on earth, we rejoice to be one with them in race, so, in Heaven, we may deserve to share with them an inheritance of bliss. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Irish Ecclesiastical Record Vol 18 (1921), 433-435; 532-536.

Content Copyright © Omnium Sanctorum Hiberniae 2012-2015. All rights reserved.


Anonymous said...

My daughter has chosen St.Cera as her confirmation name.If you have any information on her it would be greatly appreciated,she has to do a report on her and we cannot find enough information.Also I would like to get her a medal of St.Cera,do you know if they make them? My email address you for your time,Connie

Marcella said...

You will find a post on St Cera at her feast day, January 5. Look in the index page Irish Saints of January for a direct link, call up the January archive or use this:

St Cera is one of the many relatively obscure Irish female saints, for some reason she has become popular with young Americans as a choice of confirmation name. I'm not sure I fully understand why. You would probably be more likely to find a medal of her in the US, I have never seen one here.

Anonymous said...

I found a text of this Litany here:

Marcella said...

Yes, the litany appeared in a number of prayerbooks, that's a fine reproduction you have flagged up for us. Thank you.

Unknown said...

I read the old script and would like to see that version of the Litany. Where can I access it, please? Ba bhraith liom an Liodáin a léamh sa sean-litriú, an bhfuil mé in ann ar an idirlín nó b'fhéidir go mbeifeá abálta á roinnt?

Marcella said...

I have hyperlinked to the original text at both the beginning and the end of the post. If you pass your mouse over the blue highlighted reference to the Irish Ecclesiastical Record you should be able to go straight to the link at the Internet Archive. Bain sult as!