8 May: Indulgence – Supplication to O.L. of Pompeii

There is a beautiful tradition for this day (often right at 1200 noon).  Once upon a time one could obtain this day a plenary indulgence by reciting the Supplication to the Madonna of Pompeii.  The other day for this is the first Sunday of October.

With the changes to the concessions for indulgences, according to the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, there is no longer any plenary indulgence for this prayer, notwithstanding anything you might see in some old book or on a website.  For example, if you see something about Pope Leo XIII granting an indulgence, etc., that is null and void now.

However, the new Enchiridion says with concession #17, §3 that Marian prayers obtain a partial indulgence under the condition that the prayer is approved by competent authority and that it is recited with fervor in the state of grace (you don’t need confession and Communion within 8 days, nor must you recite the prayers for the Roman Pontiffs intentions for a partial indulgence). You can receive a partial indulgence, by maintaining this beautiful custom of the Supplication today. 

The text of the prayer to recite is below (in English).  The language may seem florid to 21st century ears and tongues but it is vigorous, serious, and super Catholic.  We need more unabashedly fervent prayers like this, friends.

If you have a hard time reciting this, you can listen.  I attached an audio file of the prayer to this entry.

Brief background:

This devotion was started by Bl. Bartolo Longo, who had once been a Satanist “priest”.  He converted, did penance, and became a lay Dominican. In 1872, Longo, a lawyer, went to Pompeii see to the affairs of Countess Marianna Farnararo De Fusco. He started there a Confraternity of the Rosary.  They obtained a picture of the Blessed Virgin from a monastery, which before that was in a second hand store, before which they could recite the Rosary every day.  It showed Mary with Sts. Dominic and Catherine of Siena.  In 1875 Longo received permission to build a church.  Miracles were reported and pilgrimages began.  The picture has been restored several times since then.  Longo also saw tot he building of complex for works of mercy with orphans and prisoners.  Pope John Paul II beatified Bartolo Longo in 1980.  Some of his writings form the basis of the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary.

You reach the sanctuary easily by walking just a few minutes out the back gate of the ancient ruins of Pompeii, famously destroyed  by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79.

Here is the prayer to be recited (twice during the year).  It obtains, under the usual conditions, a partial indulgence. 


In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O august Queen of victories, Virgin who reignest in paradise, whose mighty name causes heaven to rejoice and hell to tremble, o glorious Queen of the most holy Rosary, we, thy happy children chosen by thy goodness in this century to build thee a temple at Pompeii, kneeling at thy feet on this solemn day to commemorate thy latest triumphs on the spot where idols and demons were formerly worshipped, we pour out with tears the feelings of our hearts and with a filial confidence lay before thee our miseries.

From that throne of mercy where thou sittest as Queen, o Mary, turn down thy pitiful eyes on us, on our families, on Italy, on Europe, and the whole Church; take into pity the afflictions which overwhelm us and the cares which embitter our life. Thou seest, o Mother, how many dangers of soul and body, how many calamities and afflictions press upon us.

O Mother, keep back the arm of justice of thy indignant Son, and conquer by thy mercy the hearts of sinners, since they are our brethren and thy children, redeemed through the blood of our sweet Jesus and through the wounds of thy most tender heart pierced with the sword. Show thyself to all in this day, as thou art, the Queen of peace and mercy.

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy,…
–    Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, o sacred Virgin.
–    Give me strength against thy enemies.
–    Pray for us, Queen of the most holy Rosary,
–    That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

It is but too true that we, although thy children, are the first who crucify Jesus in our hearts and wound anew thy heart by our sins. We confess it, we deserve the severest chastisements; yet remember how thou didst receive, on the top of Golgotha, the last drops of that divine blood, and the testament of our dying Redeemer. And this testament of a God, sealed with the blood of a Man-God, appointed thee our Mother, the Mother of sinners. Thus, as our Mother, thou art our Advocate and our Hope. To thee, amidst sighs,  do we lift up our hands, crying for mercy!

Have pity, good mother, have pity on us, on our souls, on our families, on our relations, on our friends, on our departed brethren, above all, on our enemies, and on so many who claim the name of Christians, yet wound the loving heart of thy Son. Pity, o Mother, we now implore thee for pity on the erring nations, on all Europe, on the whole world, that they may repair repentant to thy heart. Be merciful to all, o Mother of mercy.

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy,…
–    Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, o sacred Virgin.
–    Give me strength against thy enemies.
–    Pray for us, Queen of the most holy Rosary,
–    That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

What does it cost thee, o Mary, to hear us? What does it cost thee to save us? Did not Jesus entrust to thy hands all the treasures of his graces and mercies? Thou sittest as Queen at the right hand of thy Son, crowned with immortal glory, above all the choirs of angels. Thou extendest thy dominion as far as the heavens expand, the earth and all the creatures that people it are subject to thee. Thy power even reaches hell; and thou alone,  o Mary, canst rescue us from the devil’s grasp. Thou art almighty by grace, and therefore thou canst save us. Now if you sayest thou wilIest not help us because we are ungrateful children and unworthy of thy protection, tell us at least to whom shall we have recourse in order to be released from so many evils? Oh! No, thy maternal heart will never bear to see the ruin of thy children. The divine Child we behold on thy knees, the mystical crown we admire in thy hand, both inspire us with hope that we will be heard. And full of confidence in thee, we throw ourselves at thy feet, we trust ourselves as feeble children into the arms of the tenderest amongst mothers and today, this very day, we expect from thee the graces we are longing for.

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy,…
–    Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, o sacred Virgin.
–    Give me strength against thy enemies.
–    Pray for us, Queen of the most holy Rosary,
–    That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us ask Mary for her blessing

We now ask of thee, o Queen, a last favor which thou canst not refuse on this solemn day. Grant to all of us thy constant love and in a special manner thy maternal blessing. No, we will not leave thy feet today nor cease clasping thy knees till thou hast blessed us. Bless now, o Mary, the sovereign Pontiff: to the first laurels of thy crown, to the ancient trophies of the Rosary, whence thou art called Queen of victories, add also this one, o Mother, grant triumph to religion and peace to mankind. Bless our bishop, the priests and particularly those who promote the honor of thy Sanctuary; bless finally all those who are associated to thy new temple of Pompeii and who practice and spread devotion to thy most holy rosary .

O blessed rosary of Mary, sweet chain which unites us to God, bond of love, which connects us with the angels, tower of safety against the assaults of hell, sure harbor in the universal shipwreck, never more shall we part with thee; thou shall be our comfort in the hour of agony: to thee the last kiss of our life; and the last word of our dying lips shall be thy sweet name, o Queen of the Rosary of Valle di Pompei. Mother dear, only refuge of sinners, supreme comforter of the afflicted, blessed be thy name, now and forever, on earth and in heaven. Amen.

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy,…
–    Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, o sacred Virgin.
–    Give me strength against thy enemies.
–    Pray for us, Queen of the most holy Rosary,
–    That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Dismas says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen the PETITION TO OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY OF POMPEII until now. How deeply comforting and satisfying this prayer is and what a great novena it would make. Thanks for this!

  2. Dismas: Glad to be of help.

    The treasury of our faith is very rich, indeed.

  3. Kathleen10 says:

    Thank you, it’s wonderful.

  4. Kathleen10 says:

    You are such a well-read crowd. I associate that print with Pearl S. Buck. She must have written a book and that was the cover, because I remember it as a child. It made an impression on me even then. There is something so unique about that image.

    I’m taking an informal poll, if anyone would care to offer an opinion. At my great-nephew’s day of First Holy Communion (Sunday), the Communion Hymn was “Taste and See”. I have no idea what others will say about it, but I seriously hate that hymn. It sounds disrespectful to the Holy Banquet. And “tasting” has nothing to do with “seeing”, etc.
    Just asking.
    Thank you!

  5. SegoLily says:


    You are not alone. During my communion with My Lord, this insipid song bewilders me. I am sad, and pray ever more mightily for the repair of His Bride, the Church. It’s simply awful to my ears.

  6. JKnott says:

    Thank you for bringing (and reading) this beautiful prayer to our attention Father. When I first read about it some time ago the thought occurred to me that May 8th, 1945 was VE Day . That could not have been a coincidence, if the Faithful prayed this every May 8th.
    One time I printed it out as a reminder to pray it because it is my birthday, but keep forgetting. So seeing it here today is a special treat.

  7. pm125 says:

    Happy Birthday to JKnott

    -sure harbor in the universal shipwreck –
    Wonder how Bartolo Longo would term today.

  8. Centristian says:

    I began to read the prayer skeptically because of your caution with respect to it’s floridity, because I really…loathe…sticky sweet Marian devotions. But as I read the prayer I saw that by “florid” you certainly didn’t also mean “saccharin”. It’s pretty intense. It’s also wordy the way I get when I pray alot of the time, covering all the bases…and it’s a little impertinent the way I get when I pray alot of the time, too: “what does it cost you to listen to us and to save us?” “Now if you say you won’t help us because we’re ungrateful children and unworthy of your protection, tell us at least who we oughta go to, instead, huh?”

    Oh my gazpacho. That’s…exactly the way I pray! All the time. It reminds me of my, “you know what, God…you’re God…and I’m just a little nothing you made out of dust; what do you want from me? I can’t do this; you’re gonna have to do the lifting, here. And by the way, Lord, subtlety I’m no good with, either…just tell me what you want!!! Does it always have to be this game we play???”

    Yeah…this Longo is a Catholic after my own heart (I can’t believe he was beatified). I love this prayer! I’m going to have to turn all the “thees” and “thous” into contemporary language, but this…this is a Marian prayer I could grow to love.

    I go to Mass from time to time at an Italian church called St. Anthony’s where there’s a big statue of this Madonna above the side altar on the Epistle Side. I’m so going to pray this next time I go there; I don’t care what day it is. This is, to borrow Mother Angelica’s favorite word, “awesome”.

  9. NoraLee9 says:

    This entry was a great comfort for me. I was deep in remorse for the sins of my past life yesterday, to the point where I started weeping behind the wheel of my car. If you knew me, you’d be shocked; I am a pretty tough old bird. This bird, however, is chronically ill with rheumatoid arthritis and I have done something awful to my knee, most likely -get this- by kneeling in church! I’m in pain almost all the time, even with the high class stuff that makes the pharmacist look at me funny. I have been driving by the local cemeteries, looking in as someone who is looking at a piece of real estate that they soon want to purchase…. I digress.
    If a guy who was a Satanic Priest and repented can be beatified, how much does a now devout but formerly wild child of the 70’s really have to worry? G-d’s mercy is deep and wide, just like that song my now 15-year old used to sing as a first grader.
    We have an “Our Lady of Pompeii” Church right in the old Italian section of lower West Greenwich Village here in beautiful New York City. I have to go in to town today. Maybe I’ll swing by for a visit. The place is stunning. And it’s open all day.
    Thanks again, Father, for enriching our lives.

  10. Father K says:


    ‘Taste and see’ is actually a line from one of the psalms.

  11. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Noralee your post helped me a lot. Thank you. And I settled my “real estate” last year and feel a lot better about it!

    “Taste and See” is one of those praise song type hymns based on the psalms. Most praise songs are based on psalms.

  12. lmo1968 says:

    “Taste and see” is from Psalm 34. It’s a beautiful psalm and very appropriate for First Holy Communion.

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