Rosaries inspired by the
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
and the
Holy House of Loreto

"God enriched her so wonderfully from the treasury of His divinity, far beyond all angels and saints with the abundance of all heavenly gifts, that she . . .should show forth such fullness of innocence and holiness, than which a greater under God is unthinkable and which, beside God,
no one can even conceive in thought."
Pius IX

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Below are examples of previous designs.
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Mystical Rose
Seat of Wisdom
Cause of Our Joy (Litany of Loreto) rosary  rosaries
Cause of Our Joy

~ Gallery ~

Spiritual Vessel (Litany of Loreto) rosary rosaries
Spiritual Vessel (Shrine of the Spirit)
House of Gold
Gate of Heaven (Litany of Loreto) rosary rosaries
Gate of Heaven
 Tower of Ivory (Litany of Loreto) rosary rosaries
Tower of Ivory

Tower of David
Ark of the Covenant
Mirror of Justice (Litany of Loreto) rosary rosaries
Mirror Of Justice
Vessel of Honor (Litany of Loreto) rosary rosaries
Vessel of Honor (Glory of Israel)

Morning Star (Litany of Loreto) rosary rosaries
Morning Star
This collection of rosaries and chaplets was inspired by the
symbolic titles of Our Lady in the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
(also known as the Litany of Loreto)

Available again by special order; please inquire


Coming soon:
Singular Vessel of Devotion


Litany of Loreto

This litany to the Blessed Virgin Mary was composed during the Middle Ages. The place of honor it now holds in the life of the Church is due to its faithful use at the shrine of the Holy House at Loreto. It was definitely approved by Sixtus V in 1587, and all other Marian litanies were suppressed, at least for public use. Its titles and invocations set before us Mary's exalted privileges, her holiness of life, her amiability and power, her motherly spirit and queenly majesty. 

The principle that has been followed in their interpretation is the one enunciated by the same Pius IX: "God enriched her so wonderfully from the treasury of His divinity, far beyond all angels and saints with the abundance of all heavenly gifts, that she . . .should show forth such fullness of innocence and holiness, than which a greater under God is unthinkable and which, beside God, no one can even conceive in thought." 

Hence, whatever virtue and holiness is found in angels and saints must be present in Mary in an immeasurably higher degree.  Reflection on the titles of the litany will unfold before us the grand picture of our heavenly Mother, even though we know only little about her life. We will also come to see why Mary's example, guidance, and help is the need of the hour.

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, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.
Mother of Christ, pray for us.
Mother of the Church, pray for us.

Mother of divine grace, pray for us.
Mother most pure, pray for us.
Mother most chaste, pray for us.
Mother inviolate, pray for us.
Mother undefiled, pray for us.
Mother most amiable, pray for us.
Mother most admirable, pray for us.
Mother of good counsel, pray for us.
Mother of our Creator, pray for us.
Mother of our Savior, pray for us.
Virgin most prudent, pray for us.
Virgin most venerable, pray for us.
Virgin most renowned, pray for us.
Virgin most powerful, pray for us.
Virgin most merciful, pray for us.
Virgin most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of justice , pray for us.
Seat of wisdom , pray for us.
Cause of our joy , pray for us.
Spiritual vessel , pray for us.
Vessel of honor , pray for us.
Singular vessel of devotion , pray for us.
Mystical rose , pray for us.
Tower of David , pray for us.
Tower of ivory , pray for us.
House of gold , pray for us.
Ark of the covenant , pray for us.
Gate of heaven , pray for us.
Morning star , pray for us.

Health of the sick, pray for us.
Refuge of sinners, pray for us.
Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us.
Help of Christians, pray for us.
Queen of Angels, pray for us.
Queen of Patriarchs, pray for us.
Queen of Prophets, pray for us.
Queen of Apostles, pray for us.
Queen of Martyrs, pray for us.
Queen of Confessors, pray for us.
Queen of Virgins, pray for us.
Queen of all Saints, pray for us.
Queen conceived without original sin, pray for us.
Queen assumed into heaven, pray for us.
Queen of the most holy Rosary, pray for us.
Queen of the Family, pray for us.
Queen of Peace, pray for us.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us O Lord

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, unto us Thy servants, that we may rejoice in continual health of mind and body; and, by the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary ever Virgin, may be delivered from present sadness, and enter into the joy of Thy eternal gladness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

These  pages were taken from the book, Our Lady's Titles, by Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik, S.V.D.



The Composition and Meaning of the Litany of Loreto
The only thus approved Marian litany is that of Loreto.  The Litanies of Loreto, so called because of their use in the sanctuary of Loreto since at least as far back as 1531, were officially approved in 1587 by Pope Sixtus V.  Its origin is believed to be a medieval rimed litany (see Paris manuscript Nat. lat. 5267, fol., 80r) influenced by Eastern Marian devotion, in particular by the famous Hymnos Akasthistos.  Contrasting with the older Litany of All Saints, the Loreto Litanies are purely ad- or invocational litanies.  However, as can be observed, for example, in the so called Officia Mariana, many more Marian Litanies were and are in use but destined for private devotion.

Modern Advocations

The 1587 version of the litany of Loreto was subsequently enriched with new advocations.


Queen of the most Holy Rosary (for the confraternities of the Holy Rosary).
Queen conceived without original sin (Leo XIII for the whole church)
Mother of Good Council (Leo XIII)
Queen of Peace (Benedict XV)
Queen assumed into Heaven (Pius XII)
Mother of the Church (John Paul II)
Queen of Families (John Paul II)

The Composition and Meaning of the Litany of Loreto

The Litanies of Loreto are structured as follows:

1.   Mary's Holiness -Three introductory advocations highlighting Mary's sanctity as person (Sancta Maria), her role as mother of Jesus Christ (Sancta Dei Genitrix), and her vocation as virgin (Sancta Virgo Virginum).  Mary's sanctity is stressed.

2.  Mary, the Mother -Twelve advocations referring to Mary as Mother.  The purpose of this series of advocations is to highlight the various facets of Mary's role as mother.  Some of these advocations, especially at the beginning and at the end of the series, are referring explicitly to her maternal activity and the addressees (Christ, the  Church. . .) of this activity  Mary is:
      (1) Mother of Christ (Mater Christi)
      (2) Mother of the Church (Mater Ecclesiae)
      (3) Mother of Divine Grace (Mater Divinae Gratiae)

And again, at the end of the series: 
     (11) Mother of our Creator (Mater Creatoris)
     (12) Mother of our Savior (Mater Salvatoris)   

The intermediate advocations (4-10) qualify or characterize the person of Mary as mother, with adjectives mainly:
     (4) Mother most pure (Mater purissima)
     (5) Mother most chaste (Mater castissima)
     (6) Mother inviolate (Mater inviolata)  
     (7) Mother undefiled (Mater intemerata)
     (8) Mother most amiable (Mater amabilis)
     (9) Mother most admirable (Mater admirabilis)
     (10) Mother of good counsel (Mater boni consilii)
           [Mother of fair love (Mater pulchrae dilectionis)]
Mary attracts love and admiration, and she is of good counsel, but most of the characteristics mentioned (4-7) refer to the miraculous and virginal birth of Jesus. 

3.   Mary, the Virgin - The advocations of Mary Mother are followed by six titles extolling her as Virgin.  They not only stress the merit of her virginity: Virgin most prudent (Virgo prudentissima), virgin most venerable (Virgo veneranda), Virgin most renowned (Virgo praedicanda), but also the "efficacy" of virginity.  Mary is Virgin most powerful (Virgo potens), Virgin most merciful (Virgo clemens), and Virgin most faithful (Virgo fidelis).

4.   Symbols of Mary - We then have 13 symbolic advocations, mostly taken from the Old Testament and applied to Mary to highlight her virtues and her eminent role in salvation history:
    (1) Mirror of Justice (Speculum justitiať)
    (2) Seat of wisdom (Sedes sapientiae)
    (3) Cause of our joy (Causa nostrae laetitiae)  
    (4) Spiritual vessel (Vas spirituale)
    (5) Vessel of Honor (Vas honorabile)
    (6) Singular vessel of devotion (Vas insigne devotionis)
    (7) Mystical rose (Rosa mystica) 
    (8) Tower of David (Turris davidica)
    (9) Tower of Ivory (Turris eburnea) 
    (10) House of Gold (Domus aurea)
    (11) Ark of the Covenant (Foederis arca)
    (12) Gate of Heaven (Janua coeli)
    (13) Morning Star (Stella matutina)


5.   Mary, the Helper -The group of four advocations that follows extol Mary's role as advocate for spiritual and corporal works of mercy. She is:  
     (1) Health of the sick (Salus infirmorum)
     (2) Refuge of sinners (Refugium peccatorum)
     (3) Comforter of the afflicted (Consolatrix afflictorum)
     (4) Help of Christians (Auxilium christianorum)

6.   Mary, the Queen -The last part of the Marian advocations is composed of a series of 13 titles referring to Mary as Queen. 
Mary is Queen of Saints and inhabitants of heaven:
      (1) Queen of Angels (Regina Angelorum)
      (2) Queen of Patriarchs (Regina Patriarcharum)
      (3) Queen of Prophets (Regina Prophetarum)
      (4) Queen of Apostles (Regina Apostolorum)
      (5) Queen of Martyrs (Regina Martyrum)
      (6) Queen of Confessors (Regina Confessorum)
      (7) Queen of Virgins (Regina Virginum)
      (8) Queen of all Saints (Regina Sanctorum omnium)

There are five advocations which emphasize the personal distinction and holiness of Mary:
      (9) Queen conceived without original sin (Regina sine macula originali          concepta)         
      (10) Queen assumed into Heaven (Regina in caelum assumpta)
      (11) Queen of the Most Holy Rosary (Regina sacratissimi rosarii) 
      (12) Queen of the Family (Regina familiarum)
      (13) Queen of Peace (Regina pacis)


Illustrations and Explanations of the Litany of Loreto

Beginning (advocation of the Trinity) and end (triple advocation of Christ's mercy under the title of "Lamb of God") follow the usual structure of the litanies. 
     The Marian Library has in its possession illustrations of these Marian titles.  Some of the illustrations are found in old and rare books.  We would like to present one such series of illustrations taken from Josef Sebastian Klauber, Engravings, Augsburg 176?.
     Of course, these engravings do not carry the titles that were added in the 19th and 20th centuries.  The highly symbolic and illustrative reproductions are typical of the Baroque period.  Their message is of great spiritual riches.  Mary's profile is that of the exalted Queen, mother and virgin, as suits the period.  We limited ourselves to the illustrations of the Marian titles.  The reader needs to keep in mind that the titles introduced in the 19th and 20th centuries, evidently, are not illustrated in Klauber's book.

History of the Holy House of Loreto

The story of the Holy House is a tale of unequaled wonder written in the stars. 700 years ago, after two prior angelic relocations, the tiny 3-sided structure was carried to its final resting place in Loreto, Italy by God's Holy Angels. As incredulous as this may sound to unbelievers, Anconan shepherds tending their flocks in coastal fields and a local monsignor were privileged eyewitnesses to this holy event.

The angelic flight of the Holy House from Nazareth across the Mediterranean via Yugoslavia to the Adriatic sea town of Loreto is known as "The Translation". It mirrors the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt and fulfills God's Will, that this heavenly sanctuary be preserved from Saracen invaders.

Beneath a narrow roof and within the hallowed walls of this humble stone abode, Jesus, Mary and Joseph once ate, confided and prayed.

Throughout the centuries, innumerable nobility, dignitaries, saints and popes have pilgrimaged to the Holy House. Tradition claims that Saint Francis of Assisi foresaw its arrival, and indicated the hilltop where it would come to rest to some of his friars. The King of Austria, ruler of the Holy League that defeated the Turks in the battle of Lepanto in 1517, brought his troops to Loreto before their history-changing victory. Upon her journey to the Holy Shrine, Saint Therese of Lisieux wrote, that if she were to live in Loreto she would surely die of joy.

The sick and infirmed from throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East come to the Holy House to pay homage to the childhood tabernacle of Christ, the place where the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Ever-Virgin Mary and our exalted Blessed Mother proclaimed her, "Yes!" to God and accepted the profound mystery of the Incarnation. "And the Word became flesh" within her womb, within this tiny chamber.

During the Renaissance, many renowned artists came to Loreto. Mozart wrote his "Litany of Loreto" inspired by the beauty of the shrine and the faithful attending its presence. Long used as a chapel to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, today the Holy House is encased within marble statuary the envy of Rome, perfectly positioned in the Basilica's center formed at the holy crossing of apse and naves, beneath a dome vaulting hearts and spirits to thoughts of the Fatherland. Within its present adornment, the Holy House of Loreto represents over 100 years of loving artistic, intellectual and spiritual achievement. It is considered a principal wonder of the Golden Era of mankind.

But far more important than all the surrounding architectural and artistic glory is the sense of "DIVINE PRESENCE" that imbues the hardest of hearts the instant they pass through its portals. Inside the Holy House, on any given day, many a soul can be found deep in contemplation and prayer. Apart from Holy Mass and the privacy of silent meditation on and with God, the only sound one hears is the gentle pressing of Rosary beads between thumbs and forefingers and the cadence of pilgrims softly rubbing and kissing rough walls hewn smooth as glass from centuries of devotion.

The first place Pope john Paul II pilgrimaged after becoming our Shepherd was Loreto. Wise to and moved by its irresistible graces, he has called Loreto, the place in which God became man, the "holiest place on earth."

May every blessing of the Holy Family be upon all who discover these pages. May the Holy Angels of Loreto carry you far from harm as they did our holy role models.


Miracle of the Holy House of Loreto

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
Italian, about 1744
Oil on canvas

Getty Art Collection


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