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A Litany For Florida in the Face of Hurricane Irma

It is easy to forget as we contemplate our growing mastery of the sciences and our technological prowess, but as Catholics, we believe that God governs the forces of nature through His ministers, the angels – specifically the choir of the Virtues:

Energy and strength are attributed to the Virtues. They have dominion over the elements; all nature is subjected to their control. Hence they can raise or appease the tempest. We may profitably invoke them in unforeseen accidents, sickness, etc.

In his book, Devotion to the Nine Choirs of Holy Angels, and Especially to the Angel-Guardiansthe Abbe Boudon reminds us:

We have already observed that there are angels who have the care of the heavens, of the sun, of fire, of air, of the waters, of the earth, and even of the other creatures in the world; and the Angelic Doctor is of opinion that God employs the ministry of these heavenly spirits in all that He ordinarily works here below. It is through their instrumentality that the scourges of His divine justice are averted ; that fires and conflagrations are extinguished; that inundations subside; that pestilence is abated; that the air is purified; that lands become fertile; in fine, that we receive all sorts of good things, and are preserved from a multitude of evils, and all this often without our perceiving it, without our knowing the obligations we are under to the holy angels. Let us, then, to-day form a good resolution to thank them sometimes for these services, and to invoke them, and cause them to be invoked, by public and private prayers, in time of famine, war, or pestilence, as well as in other sicknesses and necessities; for fair weather, and for rain, for the fruits of the earth, and in all our various needs. We have also said that they are the protectors to whom we must have recourse in all things, and the most mighty whom Heaven has given us to destroy all the power of our adversaries.

It is with this in mind, then that we turn to the power of intercessory prayer, imploring God, His angels and His saints to protect us from harmful weather and forces of nature. Over at his blog, Fr. Z has posted an urgent action item regarding the hurricane(s) now barreling toward Florida. Considering how devastating Irma has been on its way through the Caribbean, I wanted to make sure the message was posted far and wide, so I’m excerpting it at length:


BISHOPS OF FLORIDA: Stand on the steps of your respective cathedral churches, dressed in cope and miter and, surrounded by clergy, with crosiers in hand, pronounce from the traditional Rituale Romanum the Litany of Saints with the deprecatory prayers against storms.  [below]   Ring the cathedral bells.  You all talk to each other: perhaps coordinate your timing.

I know that in every chancery of Florida, at least one person reads this blog, probably more.  Readers, especially if you know your bishops personally, ask them to do this.

PRIESTS OF FLORIDA: Ditto.  Also, if you have blessed bells, ring the bells of your churches against the storm.  Bells are sacramentals.  They are “baptized” and given names.  They speak.  In valleys of mountainous countries, as storms approached, people would ring the bells and pray the Litany.

PEOPLE OF FLORIDA: Get on your priests about this.  The prayers of priests and bishop are powerful.  Also, ask your holy angels to protect you and to help you make prudent decisions.

Fathers, Bishops…

Use the old Roman Ritual – it’s the real deal – and pray the Litany with the deprecatory prayers against storms. A procession could be done around the grounds of the cathedral or even indoors… even with a very few.

You don’t have to be directly in the line of the storm to pray for others!

PROCESSION FOR AVERTING TEMPEST [Better in Latin, but here is the English from Sancta Missa.]

The church bells are rung, and all who can assemble in church. Then the Litany of the Saints is said, in which the following invocation is said twice:

From lightning and tempest, Lord, deliver us.

At the end of the litany the following is added:

P: Our Father (the rest inaudibly until:)
P: And lead us not into temptation.
All: But deliver us from evil.
Psalm 147
P: Glorify the Lord, O Jerusalem; * praise your God, O Sion.
All: For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; * He has blessed your children within you.
P: He has granted peace in your borders; * with the best of wheat He fills you.
All: He sends forth His command to the earth; * swiftly runs His word!
P: He spreads snow like wool; * He strews frost like ashes.
All: He scatters His hail like crumbs; * the waters freeze before His cold.
P: He sends His word and melts them; * He lets His breeze blow and the waters run.
All: He has proclaimed His word to Jacob, * His statutes and His ordinances to Israel.
P: He has not done thus for any other nation; * He has not made known His ordinances to them.
All: Glory be to the Father.
P: As it was in the beginning.
P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
P: Lord, show us your mercy.
All: And grant us your salvation.
P: Help us, O God, our Savior.
All: And deliver us, O Lord, for your name’s sake.
P: Let the enemy have no power over us.
All: And the son of iniquity be powerless to harm us.
P: May your mercy, Lord, remain with us always.
All: For we put our whole trust in you.
P: Save your faithful people, Lord.
All: Bless all who belong to you.
P: You withhold no good thing from those who walk in sincerity.
All: Lord of hosts, happy the men who trust in you.
P: Lord, heed my prayer.
All: And let my cry be heard by you.
P: The Lord be with you.
All: And with your spirit.

Let us pray.
God, who are offended by our sins but appeased by our penances, may it please you to hear the entreaties of your people and to turn away the stripes that our transgressions rightly deserve.

We beg you, Lord, to repel the wicked spirits from your family, and to ward off the destructive tempestuous winds.

Almighty everlasting God, spare us in our anxiety and take pity on us in our abasement, so that after the lightning in the skies and the force of the storm have calmed, even the very threat of tempest may be an occasion for us to offer you praise.

Lord Jesus, who uttered a word of command to the raging tempest of wind and sea and there came a great calm; hear the prayers of your family, and grant that by this sign of the holy cross all ferocity of the elements may abate.

Almighty and merciful God, who heal us by your chastisement and save us by your forgiveness; grant that we, your suppliants, may be heartened and consoled by the tranquil weather we desire, and so may ever profit from your gracious favors; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
He sprinkles the surroundings with holy water.

Please pray for those who have already lost home, property, and life by these storms, and all those who are about to face the same. May God grant poor sinners in the path of this storm the grace of conversion, and should any more perish, a happy death.

16 thoughts on “A Litany For Florida in the Face of Hurricane Irma”

  1. This isn’t just a good idea, it’s a wonderful idea and in fact the job of priests, bishops and cardinals to conceive of it and organize it on behalf of the faithful.

    Possibly some are already doing it?

    I guess we can hope.

    • Father Dupré in Sarasota (the FSSP apostolate) has been adding the votive collects to avert storms to his Masses this week. So he is doing his part.

      Father announced this morning, for those who either do not watch LiveMass or have not yet done so today, that today, Friday, is the last day the Sacrifice of the Mass will be offered in Sarasota for the foreseeable future. Saturday’s and Sunday’s Masses have been cancelled, and Mass will not be offered again until after the hurricane passes and Christ the King is assessed for possible damage. This breaks my heart, as this parish has been my only lifeline to the classical rite for the past two and a half years, and they just finally paid off their building debt a few months ago. They need our prayers down there desperately.

          • Mom and I are in southeastern PA and we lost power for 1 week after Hurricane Sandy. That was HORRIBLE.

            Btw, did you see the story of the man in FL who bought the last generator? He gave it to a lady whose husband was on dialysis. And after the store got a new supply of generators, the store gave the man a generator gratis. Isn’t that awesome?

        • I don’t know him personally, but I love his sermons and the way he is running Christ the King when I watch them online. His installation of a sung Mass almost every Sunday has also borne much fruit.

  2. Yeah, really important, great article bringing to us a way to pray for the poor souls who have suffered and about to suffer.

  3. Thank you, but I will look for the correct translation of this beautiful prayer.This prayer is written in the New Church profane English language. Not the translation of the Roman Latin Ritual.
    First person singular (Never when addressing ) God, Thou, Thee, Thy, etc. VERY Important, and I’m sure you did not mean to
    misrepresent the Roman Ritual.
    We are the New Jerusalem, The Old Testament fulfilled in Christ. That does not mean that we Disrespect the Most Sacred Name of GOD. That is the major problem with the New Church. God is their buddy, one of the guys their pal. The whole of society is suffering desolation because we have Forgotten the Reverence of the Sacred language when addressing God AlMIGHTY. Bowing our heads when speaking or hearing the Sacred Name of Jesus.
    The prayer is most beautiful. And I sure pleasing to God ALMIGHTY but we MUST remember to have to work our salvation in FEAR and TREMBLING.
    Please forgive any offence that might be taken by my wish to clear this matter up.

    Your Sincerely in Christ
    And for all the souls who are in the (EYE OF THE STORM) actual and spiritual


    My parents live in southeast Georgia (about an hour away from Jacksonville, Florida) and are currently evacuated to my brother’s place in Birmingham, Alabama thanks to Irma. I really hope (and pray of course) that they will have a house to which they can return.

  5. You learn something new every day. That ritual has the Communion verse for the Sunday of St. Thomas (Glorify the Lord…) the Tone 1 Prokimenon and the Tone 6 Prokimenon (different translations for the Prokimena, but recognizable). That’s why I love Catholic websites like the Remnant, CT and 1P5.

    Deacon/Priest: For those who travel by sea, air and land; for the sick, the suffering and the captive, and for their safety and salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

    Response: Lord, have mercy.

    Divine Liturgy, Ektenia of Peace

    Archbishop Stefan also ordered the clergy to put 3 special petitions in the liturgy last weekend for those affected by Hurricane Harvey and also for those involved in the relief effort.

  6. Deo gratias! From Father Fryar, the FSSP priest who runs and is now stationed in LA, on Twitter:

    Thanks to everyone for your prayers, etc. for Christ the King in Sarasota. It is truly a miracle no damage no flooding.

  7. A number of natural disasters befell the Aztec Empire before the arrival of Cortez and ultimately before the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Those events included but were not limited to a strange tsunami in Lake Texcoco that caused great damage, earthquakes, three comets in one year (one of them was Halley’s Comet) epidemics, and one apparent resurrection in which one of the sisters of Emperor Moctezuma experienced a vision in which she saw one angel holding a Christian Cross — she did not know what it was but she described it — She also saw the men that were preparing to conquer Mexico in Spain. As I was researching the subject I was struck by the apparent parallelism between the days before the conquest of Mexico and our days. There seem to be thickening of natural events and also man made disasters and wars ever since 2000 or so. I wonder … Link to a recent book on the subject, please forgive the shameless self promotion 🙂 I finance my modest ministry writing Catholic books.

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