FROM A READER: “I was praying this litany of the English Martyrs today….”

I received a note from a reader.

I was praying this litany of the English Martyrs today. Please note we implore them to always preserve the Latin Mass, something they died for in many cases.

Perhaps in these remarkable times this litany would afford comfort.

I love the English martyrs! Let devotion to them prosper!


The Litany of the English Martyrs is perfectly sound and usable, but note that it is not one of the Litanies approved for public recitation.

A site with the Litany, which can be used privately. HERE

The Litany to the Forty English Martyrs
To Obtain a Wide and Generous Availability of the Immemorial Roman Mass

For Private Use Only

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.

Our Lady of the Precious Blood, pray for us.
Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs, pray for us.

Saint John Haughton, intercede for us.
Saint Robert Lawrence, intercede for us.
Saint Augustine Webster, intercede for us.
Saint Richard Reynolds, intercede for us.
Saint John Stone, intercede for us.
Saint Cuthbert Mayne, intercede for us.
Saint Edmund Campion, intercede for us.
Saint Ralph Sherwin, intercede for us.
Saint Alexander Briant, intercede for us.
Saint John Payne, intercede for us.
Saint Luke Kirby, intercede for us.
Saint Richard Gwyn, intercede for us.
Saint Margaret Clitherow, intercede for us.
Saint Margaret Ward, intercede for us.
Saint Edmund Gennings, intercede for us.
Saint Swithun Wells, intercede for us.
Saint Eustace White, intercede for us.
Saint Polydore Plasden, intercede for us.
Saint John Boste, intercede for us.
Saint Robert Southwell, intercede for us.
Saint Henry Walpole, intercede for us.
Saint Philip Howard, intercede for us.
Saint John Jones, intercede for us.
Saint John Rigby, intercede for us.
Saint Anne Line, intercede for us.
Saint Nicholas Owen, intercede for us.
Saint Thomas Garnet, intercede for us.
Saint John Roberts, intercede for us.
Saint John Almond, intercede for us.
Saint Edmund Arrowsmith, intercede for us.
Saint Ambrose Bartlow, intercede for us.
Saint Alban Roe, intercede for us.
Saint Henry Morse, intercede for us.
Saint John Southworth, intercede for us.
Saint John Plessington, intercede for us.
Saint Philip Evans, intercede for us.
Saint John Lloyd, intercede for us.
Saint John Wall, intercede for us.
Saint John Kemble, intercede for us.
Saint David Lewis, intercede for us.

V. I shall go unto the altar of God.
R. Unto God. Who giveth joy to my youth.

Let us Pray.

O God, in Whom there is no change or shadow of alteration, Thou didst guve courage to Thy holy Martyrs through the unfathomable graces of the immemorial Mass. Grant unto us. we beg Thee, through their intercession, the wider estoration of this sacred rite of Mass, that we may rejoice in the consolation of its graces and be strengthened to serve Thee in imitation of the courage and fidelity of these holy Martyrs. Through our Lod Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who being God, liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Thank you for that Fr and dear Reader. I am into a GreatCourses on the Celtic World and the prof told of the people of Cornwall and how they reacted to the English propagating the missal in English and not Latin. Yes, they suffered to preserve the Latin. Interesting.

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  3. JPCahill says:

    An excellent prayer. But may I suggest English “and Welsh” Martyrs? Welsh Catholics are pretty proud of their martyred countrymen. The ones I recognize are Ss Richard Gwyn, John Lloyd, and Philip Evans. At first glance I think there may be a couple more, but of those three I’m sure.

  4. hilltop says:

    Father, there may be an interesting reason why Thomas More is not enrolled in this litany?

  5. summorumpontificum777 says:

    The English martyrs were very rigid people, their minds utterly closed to Tudor and Cranmerian innovation. Such rigidity. It always hides something. Dig, dig, dig. Underneath every type of rigidity, there is always rot. Thank goodness we have Church leaders who make it their priority to drive the rigid out of the Church and extirpate every sort of rigid ideological position, except for, well, the position that Catholics owe obedience and obeisance to such leaders. Rigid adherence to *that* principle is, of course, fine.

  6. Philliesgirl says:

    hilltop the list in the litany is of the forty martyrs of England and Wales canonised by Pope Paul VI on 25th October 1970. St Thomas More (and St John Fisher) had already been canonised in 1935. Originally the feast day was 25th October, but now we celebrate the martyrs of England on 4th May and the martyrs of Wales on 25th October. The Welsh martyrs are Sts Philip Evans, John Lloyd, John Jones, David Lewis, John Roberts (all priests) and Richard Gwyn (layman).

  7. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    It is worth noting the various groups of martyrs with distinct lists at

    Carthusian Martyrs on 4 May;
    the Forty Martyrs (arranged by Order, Secular Clergy, Laity);
    Martyrs of Oxford University on 1 December;
    Martyrs of England, Scotland, and Wales (85 of them, in 22 November);
    and English Martyrs (a general alphabetic list, many with links to separate articles, with an introductory note saying, “There are over 600”).

  8. philosophicallyfrank says:

    I’m puzzled. I had never heard that there were prayers restricted from group use. Why would that be the case? Thank you to whoever answers.

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  10. ex seaxe says:

    Of course St Thomas More and St John Fisher would not have known the 1570 Mass. The Sarum Mass had a few interesting differences, such as passing the Pax round the congregation, and at the beginning of the Canon : Orate fratres et sorores …, and on Sundays in parish churches probably vernacular biddings (possibly during the entrance procession) to tell the congregation who and what to pray for. Salisbury Cathedral had stational altar pauses during the entrance to address the congregation.

  11. Akita says:

    Thank you, Philliesgirl for the the info. Yes, let’s give due credit to the Welsh saints!

    Dear Blessed Mother Mary, gather up all Christians in the British Isles. Enfold them in your mantle. May Britain once again become your dowry. May convents and monasteries dot the landscape as before the time of the Henrian and Elizabethan Terror.

    We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen

  12. hilltop says:

    Phillies Girl!
    Thank you for that.
    I asked because I knew the answer would reward.
    And It Did!

  13. FrSteveHartley says:

    Where is Blessed William Hartley? Just wondering. I’m a little biased. But, seriously enquiring. :)

  14. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    He is in the alphabetical list of English Martyrs, though sadly without a link to an article about him.

    ex seaxe,

    It would be good to know all the forms of Masses and Hours known to the English, Welsh, and Scottish martyrs before and after 1570 in all the uses and rites of which St. Pius V then said in Quo primum “Nequaquam auferimus”, better still to know them by attending them under the encouragement of diocesan Bishops and their Archbishops – such as the Sarum Candlemas Vespers in 2020 in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Philadelphia, a recording of which can be found on YouTube (as can a Mass at Candlemas, 1997, celebrated in the Chapel of Merton College, Oxford).

    In Edmund Campion (1935), Evelyn Waugh has some interesting discussion of the various forms of the Mass celebrated among the faithful in England after 1570.

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