Date of Exhibit February 1 - March 22, 2007
|Marian Litanies of the East|
In the Eastern church litanies are always a part of the official
liturgy, and they have at least three different forms: Synaptae (Collect),
Ektenie ("intense" prayer of intercession and pardon
based in part on Psalm 50)and Aitaesis (intercessory prayer for
peace, pardon and protection).
Litany (from the Greek
|Litanies in the West|
In the liturgy of the Western Church the word litany is derived from litania, meaning prayer of invocation or intercession. It also meant, up to the twelfth century, a procession with intercessory character, also known under the designation of rogation. Speaking of litanies in the classical sense, the Church has approved for official use the following ones: The Litanies of All Saints, probably the oldest, the Litanies of the Names of Jesus (1886), the Litanies of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (1899), those in honor of Saint Joseph (1909) and the Precious Blood (1960) as well as the Litanies of Loreto.
These works were scanned and prepared by Mary Pop of the Society for
the Preservation of Roman Catholic Heritage (SPORCH), Dayton, Ohio.
|The Litany of Loreto|
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 Akathistos.
Contrasting with the older Litany of All Saints, the Loreto Litanies are
purely ad- or invocational litanies. 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
|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 Assumed into Heaven (Pius XII)
Queen Conceived without Original Sin (Leo XIII for the whole church)
Mother of the Church (John Paul II)
Mother of Good Council (Leo XIII)
Queen of Families (John Paul II)
Queen of Peace (Benedict XV)
|The Composition and Meaning of the Litany of Loreto|
|The Litanies of Loreto
are structured as follows:
1. Mary's Holiness - Three introductory advocations highlight 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 refer 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 (1-3) and at the end (11-12) of the series, are referring explicitly to her maternal activity and the addressees (Christ, the Church. . .) of this activity. Mary is:
And again, at the end of the series:
The intermediate advocations (4-10) qualify or characterize the person of Mary as mother, with adjectives mainly:
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: IVirgin Most Prudent (Virgo prudentissima), Virgin Most Venerable (Virgo veneranda), Virgin Most Renowned (Virgo praedicanda), Ibut also the "efficacy" of virginity. Mary is : IVirgin 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 which highlight her virtues and her eminent role in salvation history:
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:
6. Mary, the Queen - The last part of the Marian advocations is composed of a series of thirteen titles referring to Mary as Queen. Mary is Queen of Saints and inhabitants of heaven:
There are five advocations which emphasize the personal holiness, distinction, and role of Mary’s queenship:
|Illustrations and Explanations of the Litany of Loreto|
The Marian Library has in its possession rare books of the eighteenth century with engravings by the renowned Augsburg artist, Josef Sebastian Klauber (ca. 1700-1768). 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 Mother, Virgin, and Queen, 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 nineteenth and twentieth centuries, obviously, are not included in Klauber's illustrations.
|Illustrated and Commented Titles|
|You will find
on the following pages the illustrations and commentaries of the various
invocation beginning with Holy
Mary and ending with Mirror of Justice, Speculum Justitiae.
Each one of these images and commentaries leads to more illustrations (see: additional illustrations) of the same title. These additional illustrations are part of an extensive collections of mainly French Holy Cards from the late 1900's and the first part of the twentieth century. The collection was compiled by Ms. Simone Mathieu, Bordeaux, France, and Ms. Marie Joly. The whole collection comprises twenty-seven binders of holy cards and was donated to The Marian Library in May 2002.
Illustrated and Commented Titles
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