The Litany of Saints is one of the oldest prayers in continuous use in the Catholic Church. Forms of it can be dated back to the third century, and the current form of the prayer was pretty much established by the time of Pope St. Gregory the Great (540–604). The Litany of Saints has been used by the Church especially at those times during which we need special guidance or graces. For instance, the Cardinals recite the Litany of Saints when they are going into Conclave to elect the next Pope.
While a surprising number of the saints mentioned in the Litany are believed to have been in the LGBTQ+ community, it's not surprising that the prayer does not include many recent lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals who truly deserve canonization. To remedy that, DignityUSA commissioned A Dignity Litany of Saints by Dr. Rachel Waltz in 2013.
DignityHouston has continued the development of that prayer, adding individuals who we believe should be included as well as links to further information on the saints. We find that in many cases folks are not familiar with all the saints, canonized or otherwise, that our community has produced over the years. What better way to learn about the history of our religious leaders than in the context of a growing Litany of Saints. We hope you'll join us in praying this living and growing prayer.
The links in this prayer are taken from two sources:
- Jesus in Love, LGBT Saints (Kittredge Cherry)
- Calendar of Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, and Transgender Saints (Paul Halsall)
Lord have Mercy
Christ have Mercy
Lord have Mercy
Mary, Mother of God; Pray for us
Harvey Milk, martyred gay rights pioneer; Pray for us
Matthew Shepard, modern gay martyr and hate-crime victim; Pray for us
Saints of Stonewall who inspire LGBTQ justice and art; Pray for us
Our brothers and sisters who died at the hands of strangers; Pray for us
Our sisters and brothers who died in concentration camps; Pray for us
St. Anselm of Canterbury, who called another man “Beloved”; Pray for us
St. Aelred of Rievaulx, gay saint of friendship; Pray for us.
Saints Bernard of Clairvaux and Malachy, honey-tongued abbot and the archbishop he loved; Pray for us.
Saints Boris and George, Russian saints united in love and death; Pray for us.
Blessed John Henry Newman and Ambrose St. John; gay saint and his earthly light who shared a romantic friendship; Pray for us
Saints Polyeuct and Nearchus, brothers by affection; Pray for us
Saints Sergius and Bacchus, male couple who were martyred in ancient Rome; Pray for us
Symeon of Emesa and John, monks and hermits joined in a same-sex union; Pray for us
All those who died not knowing their worth; Pray for us
St. George, the androgynous warrior; Pray for us
St. Joan of Arc, cross-dressing warrior-saint; Pray for us
Mychal Judge, gay saint of 9/11 and chaplain to New York firefighters; Pray for us
Our sisters and brothers who died at the hands of loved ones; Pray for us
Mary, Mother of us all; Pray for us.
Saint Brigid and Darlughdach, Celtic saint who loved her female soulmate; Pray for us.
Hildegard of Bingen and Richardis, medieval mystic and the woman she loved; Pray for us
Sor Juana de la Cruz, nun who loved a countess in 17th-century Mexico City; Pray for us
Saints Perpetua and Felicity, who bestowed the kiss of peace on each other before being martyred; Pray for us
All Ye Holy Men and Women; Pray for us
Advertanus, Romeo, Barolo and Vivaldo, patrons of the AIDS pandemic; Pray for us
Venerable Madre Juana de la Cruz, queer saint of 16th-century Spain; Pray for us
Julian of Norwich, female medieval English mystic with genderbending visions of Jesus and God; Pray for us
Saint Sebastian, history’s first gay icon; Pray for us
St. Valentine, marriage equality role mdel who defied law to bless same-sex marriages; Pray for us
Those taken from us by AIDS; Pray for us
Blessed Barnardo de Hoyos, mystical same-sex marriage with Jesus; Pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, author of the homoerotic Dark Night of the Soul; Pray for us
St. John the Evangelist, who loved Christ fiercely; Pray for us
Blessed John of la Verna, kissed by Jesus; Pray for us
All Ye Holy Women and Men; Pray for us
Adapted from DignityUSA, A Dignity Litany of the Saints