Thursday, June 1, 2023

A New Litany of Humility

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.

From all pride and its effects, deliver me, Jesus.
From coveting greatness for its own sake or to excess, etc.
From contempt of You and Your law,
From a puffed-up self-image,
From claiming to be a self-made man,
From ingratitude for Your gifts,
From thinking that I have earned Your gifts by my effort alone,
From boasting of having what I do not have,
From excusing my faults while judging others,
From wishing to be the sole possessor of the skills I have,
From setting myself before others,

From all vainglory,
From craving praise for its own sake,
From looking for flattery,
From withholding glory from You,
From showing off to the harm of my neighbor,
From presumption and false self-confidence,
From boastfulness,
From hypocrisy,
From the excessive need to be fashionable,
From obstinacy and contention,
From disobedience,

From all false humility,
From forfeiting my dignity as a child of God,
From burying the talents that You gave me,
From an unreasonable fear of failure,
From avoiding my true vocation,
From despair at my weakness,

In the ways of humility, teach me, Jesus.
To know my limits and my strengths, etc.
To acknowledge the depravity of my past sins,
To acclaim You as the author of all the good I do,
To put my confidence in You,
To be subject to You and Your Church,
To be subject to others for Your sake,
To revere Your presence in others,
To rejoice in Your gifts in others, even the gifts unseen,

To do great things by Your help and for Your glory, strengthen me, Jesus.
To seek greatness in heavenly things and lasting virtue, etc.
To do my best even when unnoticed,
To put my share of Your gifts at Your service,
To be neither puffed up by honor nor downcast by shame,
To do penance for my sins and those of others,
Above all, to strive to love You with all my being,
And to love my neighbor as myself,

In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Father Joseph Hagan, O.P.


Plinthos Commentary

Father Hagan proposes this litany as an alternative to the popular Litany of Humility attributed to Cardinal Merry del Val. However, the problem might be in translation. The Spanish version of the del Val Litany is slightly but significantly different in the. What is more, the del Val version is apparently based on an earlier French version. It is instructive to look at the French version in popular use today, which is quite different in very important ways.

par le Cardinal Merry del Val

V. Ô Jésus, doux et humble de cœur,
R. Rendez mon cœur semblable au Vôtre.

De ma volonté propre, délivrez-moi Seigneur,
Du désir d’être estimé,
Du désir d’être affectionné,
Du désir d’être recherché,
Du désir d’être honoré,
Du désir d’être loué,
Du désir d’être préféré,
Du désir d’être consulté,
Du désir d’être approuvé,
Du désir d’être compris,
Du désir d’être visité,
De la crainte d’être humilié,
De la crainte d’être méprisé,
De la crainte d’être rebuté,
De la crainte d’être calomnié,
De la crainte d’être oublié,
De la crainte d’être raillé,
De la crainte d’être soupçonné,
De la crainte d’être injurié,
De la crainte d’être abandonné,
De la crainte d’être refusé,

Que d’autres soient plus aimés que moi, accordez-moi, Seigneur, de le désirer,
Que d’autres soient plus estimés que moi,
Que d’autres grandissent dans l’opinion et que je diminue,
Que d’autres soient loués et que je sois oublié,
Que d’autres soient employés et que je sois mis de côté,
Que d’autres soient préférés en tout,
Que d’autres soient plus saints que moi, pourvu que je le soit autant que je puis l’être,

D’être inconnu et pauvre, Seigneur, je veux me réjouir,
D’être dépourvu des perfections naturelles du corps et de l’esprit,
Qu’on ne pense pas à moi,
Qu’on m’occupe aux emplois les plus bas,
Qu’on ne daigne même pas se servir de moi,
Qu’on ne me demande jamais mon avis,
Qu’on me laisse à la dernière place,
Qu’on ne me fasse jamais de compliment,
Qu’on me blâme à temps et à contretemps,

V. Bienheureux ceux qui souffrent persécution pour la justice,
R. Car le Royaume des Cieux est à eux.

Dieu, qui résistez aux orgueilleux et donnez votre grâce aux humbles, accordez-nous la vraie humilité, celle dont Votre Fils unique a donné l’exemple à Ses fidèles, pour que jamais l’orgueil en nous ne provoque Votre colère, mais qu’au contraire notre soumission attire sur nous les dons de Votre grâce. Par le même Jésus-Christ, Votre Fils.

Compare that to the 1867 version (Wikipedia), a translation from the French. It would be important to establish the original French source.

Litany to Obtain Holy Humility (1867)

Lord have mercy, etc,
Jesus meek and humble of Heart, listen to my prayers, etc.
From the desire of being esteemed, O Jesus, deliver me.
From the desire of being known, O Jesus, deliver me.
From the desire of being praised, O Jesus, deliver me.
From the desire of being honoured, O Jesus, deliver me.
From the desire of being preferred, O Jesus, deliver me.
From the desire of being consulted, O Jesus, deliver me.
From the desire of being approved, O Jesus, deliver me.
From the desire of being spared, O Jesus, deliver me.
From the fear of being humbled, O Jesus, deliver me.
From the fear of being despised, O Jesus, deliver me.
From the fear of being rebuked, O Jesus, deliver me.
From the fear of being calumniated, O Jesus, deliver me.
From the fear of being forgotten, O Jesus, deliver me.
From the fear of being reviled, O Jesus, deliver me.
From the fear of being ill-treated, O Jesus, deliver me.
From the fear of being injured, O Jesus, deliver me.
O Mary, Mother of the humble, pray for me.
St. Joseph, patron of the humble, pray for me.
St. Michael, who first crushed pride, pray for me.
St. Francis, imitator of a master meek and humble, pray for me.
All ye holy spirits sanctified by humility, pray for me.


O sweet Jesus! meek and humble of Heart, make my heart like unto Thine, and give me the grace of final perseverance.
— The Fervent Adorer: Or, Practice Of Perpetual Adoration Of The Sacred Heart Of Jesus, As Recommended by Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque
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