The Litany of Mary is a powerful prayer written in the Middle Ages, which is also known as the “Litany of Loreto.” There are twenty names of Mary which are called in the Litany, some of which are well known, and others that are not but just as powerful. The last six are additional names and devotions to our holy Mother.
- Mary, Holy Mother of God
Genetically, Mary contributed half of Jesus’ genetic matter by participating in His human creation and carrying His human body. She is not divine, but her Son is. Therefore, she is Theotokos, literally meaning “God-bearer”. We celebrate her feast day on January
- Holy Virgin of Virgins
In order to carry the Son of God, Mary needed to be a virgin for many reasons, which are listed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Jesus needed to never be estranged from the Father, so there would be no doubt that He came from the Father and not another human man (CCC 503). This keeps his divinity. Mary’s virginity is also a sign of her faith and an undivided gift of herself to God’s will (CCC 506). And Mary is the symbol and perfect realization of the Church, “who keeps in its entirety and purity the faith she pledged to her spouse” (CCC 507).
- Mother of the Church
When Mary was called during the Annunciation, she gave her consent to the coming messianic kingdom, which would ultimately be the formation of the Church. She was also present with the apostles praying in the upper room when the Holy Spirit descended on them, giving birth to the new Church here on Earth. Each member of the Body of Christ is a part of her Son, and she wraps us in her mantle and protects us from evil.
- Mother of Divine Grace
Mary received distinctive blessings so that she could be the most fitted mother for Christ, this includes her Immaculate Conception, her spiritual motherhood of all Christians, and Assumption into heaven. She is Full of Grace because she was saved before birth, whereas we are saved after we are baptized with the Holy Spirit.
- Mother of Good Counsel
Mary was given this name after this painting was said to be miraculous. According to tradition, the townfolk heard suddenly “exquisite music” and a mysterious cloud descended and obliterated an unfinished wall of the parish. The cloud dissipated and revealed the beautiful fresco of the Virgin Mary and Christ Child.
- Virgin Most Merciful
Mary is full of grace, mercy and compassion, she is not only able but willing to supply mercy to all who invoke her sweet name. Mercy is “a heart for the miserable” and Mary has a particular sympathy and compassion for those suffering souls in Purgatory. She presents our prayers, along with hers, to her Son to release the souls from Purgatory.
- Mirror of Justice
Just as a mirror reflects your image, Mary was the reflection of Jesus, the one who came to justify us all. Justice is the perfect state of the soul, the completion of all virtues. And just as a clean, flawless mirror reflects a perfect image, she reflected the virtues of Jesus perfectly.
- Seat of Wisdom
Mary is the Seat of Wisdom because wisdom became incarnate in her son Jesus whom she carried. She also possessed and practised true wisdom, not the wisdom of this world.
- Mystical Rose
Mary has shown us that the rose is her favourite flower, through the mysterious roses that Juan Diego picked before giving him her image, to the garland of roses she wore during her apparitions at La Salette, to the beautiful roses she brought at Lourdes, Pontmain, Pellevoisin, Beauaing and Banneaux. It is said, for every Hail Mary we say, is like placing a rose at her feet.
- Tower of David
The Tower of David was one of great strength and beauty and was used for the defense of the city of Jerusalem during King David’s reign. Mary is a symbol of the tower because of the virtues which she presented in beauty and strength. She also defended and protected her Son, and continues to defend and protect us, His brothers and sisters.
- Tower of Ivory
Ivory has long been a symbol of peace, wealth and joyous feasting. It is through the wealth of grace that we are brought into a union of God through Mary.
- Ark of the Covenant
She was the precious vessel that carried the promise or covenant of God to Abraham. Just as God dwelt inside the Ark of the Covenant that was carried by the Levites, just as Jesus was carried by the new Ark, the womb of Mary.
- Gate of Heaven
Jesus told us that we can only get to the Father through the Son, but Jesus had to get to us through his Mother, Mary. Therefore, she is called the “Gate of Heaven” because she delivered Jesus to us.
- Morning Star
As the “morning star” shines brightly before the sun rises, so Mary as Mother of Jesus, who is the Light of the World (the Sun) preceded his coming.
- Conceived Without Original Sin
Mary is referred to as the Immaculate Conception because when she was conceived by her parents, she was given the grace of being saved by Christ before she was born. She was redeemed and remained sinless from the moment of her conception throughout her life.
- Comforter of the Afflicted
During our time of sorrow and pain, we need to ask Mary to wrap us in her mantle just as she did to protect Jesus when she and Joseph fled to Egypt. She, in watching her Son be sacrificed before her on the Cross, knows what true sorrow, heartbreak, and sadness are. She understands our pain and can comfort us in our sorrow and trials. Click here to learn more.
- Queen of Angels
When the mother of God is seated on her throne beside her Divine Son, it is the angels who are often envisioned as placing her crown upon her head. The name is also tied to the Assumption of Mary into Heaven and described in Revelation as “a woman clothed with the sun, the head a crown of twelve stars.” (Rev. 12:1)
- Queen of all Saints
None of the saints became saints without a devotion to the one whom Jesus came to us through. She was the one who carried and cared for our Lord throughout His life, and was a perfect example of saintly life, here on earth and in Heaven.
- Queen Assumed into Heaven
The kings of Judah could have multiple wives, but they only had one mother – the queen mother. She was the most important and influential woman in the royal court. A king would always listen to his mother! Jesus’ bride is the Universal Church. He is the King of kings, which would make Mary, the Queen of Heaven.
- Queen of the Holy Rosary
The use of “prayer beads” and repeated prayers have been a long-time practice from the earliest of days in the Church. The Rosary as we know it is credited to a vision given to St.Dominic. In 1571, Pope Pius V asked the faithful to pray the rosary in preparation for battle and ask the Lord for victory for the Christians against the Moslems. Although outnumbered, the Christians won and thanks were given to the Lord and the powerful intercession of our Blessed Mother.
- Undoer of Knots
Eve, by her disobedience tied the human race into the knots of sin, conversely, Mary, through her obedience to the will of the Father unties these knots.
- Star of the Sea
The title of Mary as Star of the Sea can be traced back to St. Jerome who referred to Mary as Stella Maris. Referring to Mary as Star of the Sea shows how she is both a guiding star and a beacon of hope for Christians. Our Lady Star of the sea is the patroness of seafarers.
- Mother Most Sorrowful
The title of Mother Most Sorrowful comes from the ancient devotion to Our Lady’s seven sorrows. Mary Most Sorrowfulis traditionally depicted with seven swords in her heart or the image of the pieta as is seen above.
- Mother Thrice Admirable
Perhaps the most popular Marian devotion in Germany, Mary as Mother Thrice Admirable is the patroness of the theSchonstatt community. According to Fr. Kenntenich, founder of Schonstattt, Mary is thrice admirable because she is the Mother of God, the Mother of Christ, and the Mother of all human beings.
- Mother of Perpetual Help
This title for Mary takes its name from the icon pictured above, purportedly painted by St. Luke whilst Mary was still living on Earth. According to tradition, Mary is said to have stated that her grace will always accompany this icon.
- Refuge of Sinners
Just as Mary sheltered the Christ Child within her womb, so dodoes she offers a safe haven for all of us sinners who seek her intercession. Although Jesus Christ remains our only mediator and advocates with the Father, Mary is the intermediary between a sinful world and her most beloved Son.