Vatican News reports that Pope Francis has added “Mater misericordiae”, the Latin for “Mother of mercy”; "Mater spei", or “Mother of hope”; and “Solacium migrantium", or “Solace of migrants” as new invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Litany of Loreto, a traditional prayer to Mary the mother of Jesus.
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, on Saturday, June 20 published a letter containing the new invocations (see below). Saturday was the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, June 20.
The letter was sent to the presidents of bishops’ conferences worldwide, Cardinal Robert Sarah, the Prefect of the Congregation, and its Secretary, Archbishop Arthur Roche, noted that through the course of centuries, Christians have been using innumerable invocations and titles to call upon the Virgin Mary, “as the privileged and sure way to an encounter with Christ”.
In an interview, Archbishop Roche explained that these invocations “respond to the realities of the time that we are living”.
The Litany of Loreto takes its name from the Marian shrine of Loreto in Italy, where it is believed to have been used as far back as 1531. It was officially approved in 1587 by Pope Sixtus V, who suppressed all other Marian litanies used publicly. The Litany of Loreto is the only approved Marian litany.
Through the centuries at least 7 new invocations to Mary were added. Saint Pope John Paul II added “Mother of the Church” in 1980, and “Queen of families” in 1995. Pope Francis has now added three more. (Edited from VaticanNews)
FULL TEXT Decree for the Addition of the 3 Invocations
Letter of the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to the Presidents of the Conferences of Bishops on the invocations “Mater misericordiæ”, “Mater spei”, and “Solacium migrantium”to be inserted into the Litany of Loreto, 20.06.2020
The following is the letter sent by His Eminence Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, to the presidents of the Conferences of Bishops on the invocations “Mater misericordiæ”, “Mater spei”, and “Solacium migrantium”to be inserted into the Litany of Loreto:
LETTER TO THE PRESIDENTS OF CONFERENCES OF BISHOPS
ON THE INVOCATIONS “MATER MISERICORDIÆ”, “MATER SPEI”,
AND “SOLACIUM MIGRANTIUM”
TO BE INSERTED INTO THE LITANY OF LORETO
Vatican City, 20 June 2020,
Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Church which walks along the pathways of history as a pilgrim towards the heavenly Jerusalem and enjoys inseparable communion with Christ her Spouse and Saviour, entrusts herself to her who believed in the word of the Lord.
We know from the Gospel that the disciples of Jesus had in fact learned from the very beginning to praise her as “blessed amongst women” and to count on her maternal intercession.
The titles and invocations which Christian piety has reserved for the Virgin Mary over the course of the centuries, as the privileged and sure way to an encounter with Christ, are innumerable. Even in this present moment which is marked by feelings of uncertainty and trepidation, devout recourse to her, which is full of affection and trust, is deeply felt by the People of God.
Discerning this sentiment and welcoming the desires expressed, the Supreme Pontiff, Pope Francis, wishes to provide that in the formulary of the litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, called “The Litany of Loreto”, the invocations “Mater misericordiæ”, “Mater spei” and “Solacium migrantium” should be inserted.
The first invocation shall be placed after “Mater Ecclesiæ”, the second after “Mater divinæ gratiæ”, while the third shall be placed after “Refugium peccatorum”.
With every good wish and kind regard, we wish to entrust this notification to you for your information and application.
Sincerely in the Lord,
Robert Card. Sarah