Prayer for those in the
Armed Services


O God, we implore Thee, watch over those exposed to the horrors of war and to the spiritual dangers of a soldier's, a sailor's or airman's life. Give them such a strong faith that no human respect may ever lead them to deny it, or fear to practice it. Do Thou by Thy grace, fortify them against the contagion of bad example, that, being preserved from vice, and serving Thee faithfully, they may be ready to meet death whenever it may happen, through Christ our Lord.

O Sacred Heart, inspire them with sorrow for sin, and grant them pardon. Mother of God, be with them in battle, and, if they should be called to make the supreme sacrifice, obtain for them that they may die in the grace of thy Divine Son. May their guardian angels protect them. Amen.





For Our Deceased Servicemen

Thou art all-powerful, O God, and livest forever in light and joy. Look with pity and love, we beseech Thee, upon those men who have bravely fought and gallantly died for our country. By laying down their lives, they have showed supreme love for others. We implore Thee to accept their sacrifice and their belief in the justice of the cause for which they died. May their offering not be in vain. Deign to forgive any sins or misdeeds they may have committed. Bring them quickly, we implore Thee, into Thine august presence, where fear, sadness, mourning and death no longer exist. Have pity, in Thy loving kindness, on those they leave behind. In Thine own inscrutable ways, make good their absence, and lavishly bestow Thy love and consolations upon those deprived of their presence. This we ask of Thee in the name of Jesus Christ, Our King. Amen



Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Divine Power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who wander throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.




The Protection of Angels Against the Devils
by M. L' Abbe A. Richard

Prelude: The devils declare war against us, but the angels fight for us, and support us.

Meditation: God has far more desire to save us, than hell has rage to damn us; and as He knows perfectly our impotence in the excess of His divine mercy, He gives us help proportioned to our weakness; and whilst hell seeks continually our ruin, His eyes are always watching mercifully over our protection, and by a Providence which the Church admirably calls ineffable, He sends us the blessed angels of His heavenly court to help us in the struggles which we must have against those powers, whose force would assuredly crush us without a special and particular protection.

"The soul," says St. Bernard, "is sometimes in such trouble, the spirit feels so weary, the heart is in such fearful anguish, the body so violently afflicted, and temptations so dreadful, that without great help we should fall. And then," adds the Father, "the soul requires to be assisted by the angels; she needs the consolation of these holy spirits, for fainting, she cannot walk, and the angels must carry her in their arms."

Yes, in this state the angels support our soul, and make it cross so gently the dangers which it even dreads the most, that it hardly sees or notices them. We must walk over aspics and basilisks, we must trample under foot lions and dragons, so that it is most necessary to have angels for masters and guides, and most necessary that they should carry us, for we shall easily pass those dangerous roads if we are carried by their hands. So what can we fear? Angels are faithful, wise, and powerful, and it is sufficient for us to follow, and not to separate ourselves from them.

Resolution: Renew our confidence in the holy angels. Aspiration: "He hath sent an angel who has brought us out of Egypt." (Numbers, xx. 16.)




Prayer for Peace and Unity
by Pope Leo XIII

Thou seest, Lord, how on every side the storms have broken loose and the seas rage with wildly tossing waves; O do thou, we beseech Thee, who alone canst command the winds and the sea, give back to mankind the true peace which the world cannot give--the tranquillity of order. Let all men, by Thy gift and guidance, return to that just order, subjecting their passions to reason, establishing the reign of piety towards God, of justice and charity towards their neighbor, of temperance within themselves. May Thy kingdom come! May those also, who, far away from Thee, vainly seek for truth and salvation, learn to understand the need of serving and obeying Thee. For Thy laws are wholly just and full of fatherly mildness; and to observe them Thou freely givest us power in Thy own strength. Man's life on earth is a warfare; but Thou dost look upon the conflict and help each one to overcome; Thou dost raise him up when he falls and crown him when he conquers.



Prayer in Time of War

O God, who bringest wars to naught, and shieldest by Thy power all those who hope in Thee, overthrowing those that assail them, help Thy servants who implore Thy mercy, that the fierce might of their enemies may be brought low, and that we may never cease from praising Thee.

(Roman Missal)







The Evils of War
by Fr. Franz Hunolt, 1889

And so it is, my dear brethren; the most terrible of all public calamities is war. Pestilence and contagious diseases are a severe punishment, and so is famine and. hunger; but if war once breaks out in a country, you have all those other plagues with it; for, as experience teaches, they follow in its train, as matters of necessity. All trials and contradictions, no matter what their name may be, are, indeed, punishments, but they are salutary punishments, which serve to bring men to a sense of the wickedness of their ways, and to lead them to God; but, as the old song has it, "there is no good in war;" instead of amending abuses, it only increases them; instead of hindering, it only encourages injustice, theft, rapine, adultery and all kinds of impurity, murder, despair, and other vices. Alas, that we should have such bitter experience of the truth of this! And consequently war is not merely a temporal punishment, as far as our mortal bodies are concerned, but it also brings with it, as a general rule, the perversion and damnation of our immortal souls. Well didst thou choose, O holy David, when God left it free to thee to select war, famine, or pestilence as a punishment! That wise king did not take long to consider, my dear brethren. If I and my people have to be chastised, he said, it is better for me to fall into the hands of God, and to choose pestilence, than to fall into the hands of men by bringing the evils of war on the land. And therefore, when the Catholic Church prays in the Litanies to be delivered from temporal evils, she mentions war last of all, as the summary of every calamity; "from pestilence, famine, and war, deliver us O Lord."

Sinners, "for Christ we beseech you, be reconciled to God." Renounce what is displeasing to Him! And if your hearts are captivated by the attachment to some sin, which has hitherto kept you from doing penance, ah! then, let the lamentable destruction of so many, who have lost either their lives or their property in war, influence you to give up for Godís sake what has been the obstacle to your making peace with Him. We beseech you for the sake of the whole Christian world, "be reconciled to God!" Make peace with Him!






Litany in Time of War

V. The Lord give you peace.
R. Peace and good will.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst say to Thy Apostles, Peace I leave with you,
My peace I give unto you; look not upon my sins, but upon the faith of Thy Church,
and vouchsafe to Her that peace and unity which is agreeable to Thy will.
Who livest and reignest God forever and ever. Amen.


Lord have mercy!
Christ have mercy!
Lord have mercy!
Jesus hear us!
Jesus graciously hear us!


By the hymn of the angels at Thy birth, Give us peace! *

By Thy salutation to the Apostles, *
By Thy voice to the waves of Galilee, *
By Thy blessing to the sinner, *
By Thy prayers for unity among Thy disciples, *
By the love that was to mark Thy followers, *
By the great peace offering of the Cross, *
By Thy parting promise, My peace I leave you, *


From the ambition of empire,
Deliver us, O Lord. **

From the greed for territory, **
From the blindness that is injustice, **
From the selfishness that is theft, **
From the liberty which is license, **
From the love of money which is idolatry, **
From the hate that is murder, **
From the hardness that will not pardon, **
From the pride that will not ask pardon, **


By the helpless cry of orphans,
We beseech Thee, hear us! ***


By the anguished tears of widows, ***
By the groans of the dying, ***
By the dead in unblessed graves, ***
That Thou wouldst make all nations to dwell as one, ***
That the hearts of rulers may be as wax in Thy hands, ***
That having learned in affliction, we may turn to Thee, ***
That wars may cease from the earth, ***
By Thy title, Prince of Peace, ***
Lord God of Armies, ***


Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Grant us peace!

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Grant us peace!

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Grant us peace!


V. I am the Salvation of the people, saith the Lord.
R. In whatever tribulation they shall cry to me, I will hear them.

Let us pray.


Jesus, meek and humble of heart, teach us, who have sinned against heaven and before Thee, the saving grace of a true humility; that we and all the peoples of this world may acknowledge and bewail that spirit of materialism, and self-seeking, and lust for power, and vengeance, which has plunged the family of nations into war until in Thy just wrath the world suffers that punishment which by turning from Thee it has brought upon itself. In humility and penance may we lessen the guilt and hasten true peace without victory save the victory of union with Thee.


Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
Have mercy on us!
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
Have mercy on us!
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
Have mercy on us!


Antiphon: Give peace, O Lord, in our days; for there is none other
that fighteth for us, but only Thou, our God.

V. Let there be peace in Thy strength, O Lord.
R. And plenty in Thy strong places.


Let us pray:


O God, from Whom proceed all holy desires, all right counsels and just works: grant unto us, Thy servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be devoted to Thy service, and that, being delivered from the fear of our enemies, we may pass our time in peace under Thy protection. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. Immaculate Queen of Peace: Pray for us.





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