A Litany for Sept. 26: “A Sunday Without Women”

by Peter Wm. Gray, SS

Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB, and the community of Benedictines in Erie, Pennsylvania, worked with artist Peter Wm. Gray, SS, to created a wonderful litany of women for the church. (Purchase prayer cards in English and Spanish.) Seventeen holy women are called upon to intercede for us so that we might be given the courage and grace to transform our self, our society, and our church. This litany is a perfect prayer to use on Sept. 26: “A Sunday Without Women” in support of justice for Catholic women.

A Litany of Women for the Church by Joan Chittister, OSB

Dear God,
creator of women in your own image,
born of a woman in the midst of a world half women,
carried by women to mission fields around the globe,
made known by women to all the children of the earth,

give to the women of our time
the strength to persevere,
the courage to speak out,
the faith t o believe in you beyond all systems and institutions

so that your face on earth may be seen in all its beauty,
so that men and women become whole,
so that the church may be converted to your will
in everything and in all ways.

We call on the holy women
who went before us,
channels of Your Word
in testaments old and new,
to intercede for us
so that we might be given the grace
to become what they have been
for the honor and glory of God.

Saint Esther, who pleaded against power for the liberation of the people, Pray for us.
Saint Judith, who routed the plans of men and saved the community, Pray for us.
Saint Deborah, laywoman and judge, who led the people of God, Pray for us.
Saint Elizabeth of Judea, who recognized the value of another woman, Pray for us.
Saint Mary Magdalene, minister of Jesus, first evangelist of the Christ, Pray for us.
Saint Scholastica, who taught her brother Benedict to honor the spirit above the system, Pray for us.
Saint Hildegard, who suffered interdict for the doing of right, Pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, who put no law above the law of God, Pray for us.
Saint Clare of Assisi, who confronted the pope with the image of woman as equal, Pray for us.
Saint Julian of Norwich, who proclaimed for all of us the motherhood of God, Pray for us.
Saint Therese of Lisieux, who knew the call to priesthood in herself, Pray for us.
Saint Catherine of Siena, to whom the pope listened,Pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, who brought women’s gifts to the reform of the church, Pray for us.
Saint Edith Stein, who brought fearlessness to faith, Pray for us.
Saint Elizabeth Seton, who broke down boundaries between lay women and religious
by wedding motherhood and religious life, Pray for us.
Saint Dorothy Day, who led the church to a new sense of justice, Pray for us.
Mary, mother of Jesus, who heard the call of God and answered, Pray for us.
Mary, mother of Jesus, who drew strength from the woman Elizabeth, Pray for us.
Mary, mother of Jesus, who underwent hardship, bearing Christ, Pray for us.
Mary, mother of Jesus, who ministered at Cana, Pray for us.
Mary, mother of Jesus, inspirited at Pentecost,  Pray for us.
Mary, mother of Jesus, who turned the Spirit of God into the body and blood of Christ, Pray for us.

2 responses to “A Litany for Sept. 26: “A Sunday Without Women””

  1. Thanks for this. I’ve decided I don’t want to skip mass this weekend if I can help it, but I will pray to these amazing holy women.

  2. Joan Chittister’s stirring words of blessing and affirmation give me hope in the strength and dedication of women and men who continue to advocate for justice in all aspects of the Catholic Church and other institutions. God’s vision is NOT one that excludes 50% of the population!

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