SPIRITUAL WEAPONRY ALERT! PDF of traditional Prayer In Time of Epidemics – UPDATED

UPDATE: 17 March 2020

The PDF has been updated, improved, and slightly corrected.

Feel free to download, print, and give it your your priests.

___ Originally Published on: Mar 16, 2020

I saw that the FSSP put out a PDF with some prayers extracted from the traditional Rituale Romanum against pestilence.

It concludes, if possible, with a blessing using a relic of the True Cross.

Here at the Tridentine Mass Society of the Diocese of Madison, we took that PDF and improved it a little, adding red for rubrics.


I did this yesterday after Holy Mass, with a relic of the Cross.   We will continue to do so.  Also, the pastor at the parish I’m at on Sundays will do so after daily Masses (in English).

Technically, this should be done in Latin, according to the legislation in effect in 1962.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Rev. Father Z., I am trying to compile prayers in the PDF format similar to this one (right now for Perfect Contrition & Spiritual Communion), for my (Eastern Catholic)Parish here in Canada, using the same software (LaTeX/TeX).

    I would love to use the ‘V.’ and the ‘R.’ as well as the ‘+’ (for the Sign of the Cross) as used in this pdf, as well as to get the translations (where applicable) lined up across the two columns, the way it perfectly does in this one. If its ok, would it be possible to share the LaTeX/TeX source code?

    Thank you!

  2. OneSeminarian says:

    Hi Fr. Z – a question. Could you confirm whether or not my seminarian friends and I might use this prayer privately (minus, of course, the blessing at the end)? I know that some prayers are reserved for priests, and from the context, it seems that this one is expected to be led by a priest.

  3. HyacinthClare says:

    We prayed this at our Phoenix FSSP parish Sunday morning. We just heard this afternoon that everything is cancelled now… St. Patrick tomorrow, St. Joseph on Thursday, and all our other daily and Sunday masses, “until further notice.” I’m glad we got that one in before the doors shut.

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  5. Imrahil says:

    As to what the dear OneSeminarian said… I cannot, of course, give him the confirmation he wants, but I can only say what I would do personally. If that is of any interest, here’s what it is: I’d read before praying, so as to find anything I should not say as a laymam before, which is in this case the blessing and also the two verses Dominus vobiscum / et cum spiritu tou; but I would decide that I very much can pray all the rest of it.

    As I layman, I am of course not bound to the Latin, and I might purposely use the vernacular so as to leave in no doubt what I am not and what I am.

  6. mschu528 says:


    I am the one who typeset this. The simplest option for the versicle and response is to use LuaLaTeX rather than plain LaTeX to compile. This way you can use the “fontspec” package for access to Unicode symbols. Then I simply add macros in my preamble:

    \newcommand{\versicle}{\textcolor{red}{\textjuni{\char”2123}. }}
    \newcommand{\response}{\textcolor{red}{\textjuni{\char”211F}. }}
    \newcommand{\bless}{\textcolor{red}{\maltese \,}}

    then in your document you can simply use `\versicle` or `\response` to add the slashed “V. ” or “R. ” (with space after the period), and `\bless` to add the Maltese Cross, and `\rubric{This is a rubric}` for red, italicized rubrics.

    For lining up the translations, I simply use a tabular environment (or longtable, if it will span multiple pages). There is a package “parcolumns” intended for parallel translations which may perhaps work better, but since I learned LaTeX through typing lab reports rather than the humanities, I usually stick to the tabular option.

  7. Jim says:

    That is a beautifully typset document!

    Thank you for the code.
    It has been very helpful. I was able to get it working in my document with LuaLaTeX.

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