The following is a pro-life litany written by Father Joseph Esper in 2001. All are encouraged to pray this during their next vigil or prayer group meeting.
One Catholic form of prayer is a litany, in which one phrase is repeated over and over again so that those praying it are caught up in the prayer itself. This Pro-Life Litany we’re about to pray combines both general ideas and specific intentions appropriate for us here today.
Please repeat after me:
Lord, have mercy . . .
Christ, have mercy . . .
Lord, have mercy . . .
Now the response is “Have mercy on us.”
God the Father in heaven . . .
God the Son, Redeemer of the world . . .
God the Holy Spirit . . .
Holy Trinity, one God . . .
The response now will be “We turn to You, O Lord.”
On behalf of unborn children everywhere . . .
On behalf of abused or neglected infants and children . . .
On behalf of children who’ve been made to feel unloved or unwanted . . .
On behalf of children who are trapped in poverty . . .
On behalf of children whose lives are scarred by violence . . .
On behalf of children who suffer from poor health or disease . . .
On behalf of children who lack adequate food, shelter, clothing, or education . . .
On behalf of mothers and fathers who are struggling to care for their children . . .
On behalf of parents who have no one to help them . . .
On behalf of parents who have lost a child to violence . . .
On behalf of parents who feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities . . .
On behalf of parents who grieve over their children’s sufferings . . .
On behalf of unwed mothers trying to do the right thing . . .
On behalf of women who feel pressured into having an abortion . . .
On behalf of fathers who are given no say in whether their unborn children live or die . . .
On behalf of women who now regret having had an abortion . . .
On behalf of men who now regret having arranged an abortion for their wives,
girlfriends, or daughters . . .
On behalf of medical personnel who now regret their involvement in any form of
abortion . . .
On behalf of all survivors of abortion . . .
On behalf of politicians who’ve opposed abortion at the risk of their own political
careers . . .
On behalf of those leaders in our society who are trying to respect the gift of life . . .
On behalf of our president, that he may lead our nation with wisdom and integrity . . .
On behalf of the unsung heroes of the pro-life movement . . .
On behalf of our pro-life comrades who’ve gone before us into the new life of
Your Kingdom . . .
On behalf of all Americans who seek to cherish and defend Your gift of life . . .
Now the response will be “Forgive us, O Lord.”
For the times we’ve not appreciated Your gift of life . . .
For our failures to respect and acknowledge the dignity of others . . .
For the ways we’ve not done our part to defend human life . . .
For the times we’ve been lazy or complacent in opposing euthanasia and abortion . . .
For failing to take seriously our responsibilities as citizens . . .
For the ways we’ve relied only on ourselves, and not on Your grace . . .
For the times we’ve been silent instead of speaking out in defense of life . . .
For failing to love our political opponents as much as we should . . .
For the ways we’ve not shown enough compassion for all the victims of abortion . . .
On behalf of our society and its efforts to devalue human life and dignity . . .
On behalf of our nation and its failures to extend legal protection to the unborn . . .
On behalf of our world and the constant violence it allows against innocent men,
women, and children . . .
The response is “Deliver us, O Lord.”
From population planners who seek to control others in their greed or lust for power . . .
From politicians who claim to be personally opposed to abortion but who do nothing
to restrict it . . .
From those who argue for choice but refuse to give all children the choice of whether
or not to be born . . .
From those who claim to favor equal rights but who would deny these rights to
the unborn . . .
From those who justify the use of violence on behalf of their cause . . .
From religious leaders who excuse or defend attacks upon Your gift of life . . .
From slanted media coverage that goes to any length to hide or distort the truth . . .
From legislators and judges who place their rulings and opinions above Your
eternal Law . . .
From pressure to be politically correct even if it means denying Your truth . . .
From a spirit of indifference and apathy that afflicts so many of our fellow citizens . . .
From a blasphemous misuse of religion which tries to justify killing the innocent
in Your Name . . .
From an unwillingness on the part of so many Christians to be active in defending
all human life . . .
From a spirit of despair which might make us forget that Your Kingdom will come . . .
Lastly, the response is “We praise You, O Lord.”
For the millions of Americans who are willing to march, demonstrate, and pray
on behalf of the unborn . . .
For our brothers and sisters willing to gather peacefully and pray and give witness
outside abortion clinics . . .
For dedicated volunteers serving in right-to-life offices and crisis pregnancy centers,
and on community agencies, church committees, and national organizations . . .
For doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel who remain true to their consciences
by serving human life rather than assaulting it . . .
For elected leaders, politicians, judges, and other officials who have the courage and
integrity to act upon their pro-life beliefs . . .
For media consultants, authors, lawyers, businesspeople, and other professionals who
donate their time and expertise to the pro-life cause . . .
For religious leaders willing to speak out and provide moral guidance to their people . . .
For reporters and members of the media who try to report the news honestly and fairly. . .
For all who support the right-to-life movement with their money, time, or prayers . . .
For those citizens of our country who are willing to hear the truth and act upon it . . .
For mothers and fathers who cherish the gift of their children . . .
For pediatricians, principals, teachers, school bus drivers, photographers, day care
personnel, religious education catechists and Sunday school teachers,
youth ministers, guidance counselors, social workers, and all who work
with the young . . .
For families who love, nourish, and respect one another . . .
For the gifts of wonder, innocence, and love each new child brings into the world . . .
For the gifts of wisdom, experience, and perspective each older person offers
to our society . . .
For the talents, abilities, and potential present in each person on earth . . .
For making each one of us in Your own image and likeness . . .
For giving us the opportunity and duty to shape and influence the world around us . . .
For every sunrise and every sunset, for every new day and every peaceful night,
for the beauty of nature and the joy of life . . .
For the seasons of nature and the seasons of life, for the present moment and for
the passing of years . . .
For our faith in You and our unity with one another . . .
For allowing us to unite and pray together in Your Name . . .
For calling us to work together in the grace and power of Your Spirit . . .
And for offering us the gift of eternal life in Your Kingdom . . .
Let us pray,
Lord Jesus Christ, You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Show our nation the way to peace—a peace which can only come
by proclaiming Your truth and by cherishing Your gift of life.
May Your Kingdom come, and may Your Name be praised
forever and ever. Amen.