Prayer in Honor of St. Joseph for the Agonizing

Eternal Father, by Thy love for St. Joseph, whom Thou didst select from among all men to represent Thee upon earth, have mercy on us and on the dying.

One Our Father, one Hail Mary, one Glory be to the Father.


Eternal Divine Son, by Thy love for St. Joseph, who was Thy faithful guardian upon earth, have mercy upon us and upon the dying.

One Our Father, one Hail Mary, one Glory be to the Father.


Eternal Divine Spirit, by thy love for St. Joseph, who so carefully watched over Mary, Thy beloved spouse, have mercy on us and on the dying.

One Our Father, one Hail Mary, one Glory be to the Father.

(An Indulgence of 300 days, once a day)







Prayers and Devotions for the Dying
Litany of St. Joseph for the Dying

Prayer for the Holy Death

Another Prayer for a Holy Death

Our Last Hour

Offerings to the Most Holy Trinity for a Good Death

Prayer in the Death Agony

Indulgenced Prayers for the Dying

Pious Ejaculations Recommended for the Dying

Early English Commendatory Litany in View of Death

Litany for the Dying

Litany for a Happy Death

Bona Mors Litany

Prayer not to Die without the Holy Sacraments

The Best Dispositions for a Departing Soul

Prayer to the Holy Virgin, Mother of Sorrows

Prayer for a Happy Death

Prayer to Our Lady to Obtain Assistance in the Hour of Death

Litany of the Our Lady of Perpetual Succour

Prayer to Our Lady of Sorrows

Prayer for the Dying to St. Michael the Archangel

Prayer to the Angel who Strengthened Jesus
in His Agony in the Garden


Prayer to the Guardian Angels of the Dying



Other Related Links:
The Sacrament of Extreme Unction

Prayers for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

Prayers to St. Joseph I.

Prayers to St. Joseph II.

Prayers for the Sick

Spiritual Communion

Rosary of Our Lady: Joyful Mysteries

Rosary of Our Lady: Sorrowful Mysteries

Rosary of Our Lady: Glorious Mysteries








Litany of St. Joseph for the Dying


Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
Christ hear us.
Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, spouse of St . Joseph,
pray for the dying. *

St . Joseph, virgin spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, *
St. Joseph, perfect pattern of all virtue, *
St. Joseph, great model of faith and of confidence in God, *
St . Joseph, who didst adore the new-born Saviour in the manger, *
St. Joseph, who didst see the first drops of His Blood, shed in His Circumcision, *
St. Joseph, who with Mary didst offer the Lord in the Temple, for the salvation of the world, *
St . Joseph, who, obeying the voice of the Angel, didst save Him from Herod's fury, *
St. Joseph, who, full of sorrow, with Mary didst seek Jesus for three days, *
St . Joseph, by whose labour He was fed, *
St. Joseph, guardian of the childhood and youth of Jesus, *
St . Joseph, who didst die in the arms of Jesus and Mary, *
St. Joseph, help of Christians in their last agony, *
St. Joseph, our protector and advocate with Jesus and Mary, *


Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy upon us, O Lord.


V. Pray for us, holy Joseph,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:

Pray for us, great Saint, and by thy love for Jesus and Mary, and by Their love for thee, obtain for us the happiness of living and dying in the love of Jesus and Mary. Amen.



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Prayer for the Holy Death

O my adorable Creator, I ask of Thee the greatest of all Thy graces, that is to say, a holy death. No matter how greatly I have hitherto abused the life Thou gavest me, grant me the grace to end it in Thy holy love.

Let me die, like the holy Patriarchs, forsaking this valley of tears without sadness, to enter into the joy of eternal rest in my own true country.

Let me die, like the glorious Saint Joseph, in the arms of Jesus and Mary, repeating in turn each of these sweet Names which I hope to bless throughout eternity.

Let me die, like the immaculate and blessed Virgin, in the purest love, and desire to be reunited to the only object of my love.

Let me die, like Jesus on the Cross, with the most lively sentiments of hatred for sin, of charity toward Thee, O heavenly Father, and of perfect resignation in my agony. Holy Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit. Be merciful unto me.

Jesus, who didst die for me, grant me the grace of dying in an act of perfect love for Thee.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for me now and at the hour of my death.

My Guardian Angel, my holy Patron saints, forsake me not at the hour of my death.

Saint Joseph, obtain for me the grace of dying the death of the just. Amen.

O my God, sovereign Lord of life and of death, who, by an immutable decree for the punishment of sin, hast determined that all men must die, behold me humbly kneeling before Thy dread Majesty, resigned and submissive to this law of Thy justice. With all my heart I detest my past sins, by which I have deserved death a thousand times; and for this cause I accept death in reparation for my sins and in obedience to Thy holy will. Yes, great God, send death upon me where Thou wilt, when Thou wilt, and in what manner Thou wilt. Meantime I shall avail myself of the days which it shall please Thee to bestow upon me, to detach myself from this world and to break every tie that holds me in bondage to this place of exile, and to prepare myself to appear with sure confidence before Thy judgment seat. Wherefore I surrender myself without reserve into the hands of Thy fatherly Providence. May Thy divine will be done now and for evermore! Amen.

(Indulgence of 500 days once a day)


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Another Prayer for a Holy Death

Divine Jesus, Incarnate Son of God, Who for our salvation didst vouchsafe to be born in a stable, to pass Thy life in poverty, trials, and misery, and to die amid the sufferings of the Cross, I entreat Thee in the hour of my death, say to Thy divine Father: "Father, forgive him"; say to Thy beloved Mother: "Behold thy son"; say to my soul: "This day thou shalt be with Me in paradise." My God, my God, forsake me not in that hour. "I thirst": truly, my God, my soul thirsts after Thee, Who art the fountain of living waters. My life passes like a shadow; yet a little while and all will be consummated. Wherefore, O my adorable Saviour, from this moment, for all eternity, "Into Thy hands I commend my spirit." Lord Jesus, receive my soul. Amen.

(Indulgence of 300 days, every time.--Pius IX, June 10, 1836)


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Our Last Hour

The faithful who at any time in their lives, from a sincere spirit of love of God and with at least a contrite heart, express their intention of accepting calmly and gladly form the hand of God whatsoever manner of death it may please Him to send them, together with all its pain, anguish and suffering, may gain:

[An indulgence of 7 years; A plenary indulgence at the hour of death, if they have devoutly made such an act at least once in their lifetime, after having fulfilled the usual conditions. (638)]

Prayer: My Lord God, even now, resignedly and willingly, I accept at Your hand, with all its anxieties, pains and sufferings, whatever kind of death it shall please You to be mine. Amen

Dearly Beloved, do not hesitate to fulfill these easy conditions by which you insure for yourself in the days of your health the great grace of a plenary indulgence in the hour of death, provided you die in the state of sanctifying grace.



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Offerings to the Most Holy Trinity
for a Good Death


We offer unto the Most Holy Trinity the merits of Jesus Christ, in thanksgiving for the most precious blood which he shed in the garden for us; and by his merits we beseech the Divine Majesty for the pardon of our sins.


Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory.

We offer unto the Most Holy Trinity the merits of Jesus Christ, in thanksgiving for his most dolorous death, endured upon the cross for us; and by his merits we beseech the Divine Majesty for the remission of the pains due to our sins.


Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory.

We offer unto the Most Holy Trinity the merits of Jesus Christ, in thanksgiving for his unspakable charity, whereby he descended from heaven to earth, to take human flesh, and to suffer and die upon the cross for us; and by his merits we beseech the Divine Majesty to conduct our souls to heavenly glory after our death.


Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory.
Prayer in the Death Agony

Come to his [her] assistance, ye saints of God! Come to meet him [her], ye angels of the Lord! Receive his [her] soul, and bring it into the presence of the Most High! May Jesus Christ, Who has called thee, receive thee, and may the angels bear thee into Abraham's bosom.

Lord, have mercy on him [her].
Christ, have mercy on him [her].
Lord, have mercy on him [her].
Our Father, etc.

V. And lead us not into temptation.
R. But deliver us from evil.
V. Eternal rest give unto him [her], O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon him [her].
V. From the gates of hell,
R. Deliver him [her], O Lord.
V. May he [she] rest in peace.
R. Amen.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Prayer:

To Thee, O Lord, we commend the soul of Thy servant, N. N, (handmaid, N. N.), that being dead to this world, he [she] may live to Thee, and whatever sins he [she] has committed in this life through human frailty, do Thou, in Thy most merciful goodness, forgive. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.



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Indulgenced Prayers for the Dying
from the Raccolta


O Jesu. whilst I adore Thy dying breath, I beseech Thee to receive mine. Being uncertain whether I shall have command of my senses when I depart from this world, I offer Thee even now my last agony and all the sorrows of my passing. Since Thou art my Father and my Saviour, I give back my soul into Thy hands. Grant that the last beat of my heart may be an act of pure love toward Thee. Amen

(Indulgence of 500 days once a day 1902)



O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee; O refuge of sinners, Mother of the dying, forsake us not at the hour of our death; obtain for us the grace of perfect sorrow, sincere contrition, the pardon and remission of our sins, a worthy receiving of the holy Viaticum, and the comfort of the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, in order that we may appear with greater security before the throne of the just but merciful Judge, our God and our Redeemer. Amen

(Indulgence of 500 days 1856)



O most merciful Lord Jesus, by Thine agony and and sweat of Blood, by Thy precious death, deliver us, we beseech Thee, from a sudden and unprovided death. O most kind Lord Jesus, by Thy most sharp and ignominious scourging and crowning with thorns, by Thy holy Cross and bitter passion, by Thy loving kindness, we humbly pray that Thou wouldst not suffer us to die unprovided with Thy holy Sacraments, O dearly beloved Lord Jesus, by all Thy labors and sorrows, by Thy Precious Blood and Sacred Wounds by those Thy last words on the Cross: "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" and those others: "Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit," we most earnestly beseech Thee to deliver us from a sudden death. Grant us, we pray, room far repentance; grant us a happy passing in Thy grace, that so we may be able to love Thee, praise Thee and bless Thee forever. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.



Grant unto us, Lord Jesus, ever to follow the example of Thy holy Family, that in the hour of our death Thy glorious Virgin Mother together with blessed Josheph may come to meet us and we may be worthily received by Thee into everlasting dwelling. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen

(Indulgence of 3 years Raccolta 1943)



Lord Jesus, I unit myself to Thy perpetual, unceasing, universal sacrifice. I offer myself to Thee every day of my life and every moment of every day, according to Thy most holy and adorable will. Thou hast been the victim of my salvation, I wish to be the victim of Thy love. Accept my desire, take my offering, graciously hear my prayer. Let me live for love of Thee, let me die for love of Thee; let my last heartbeat be an act of perfect love. Amen

(Indulgence of 300 days once a day)


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Pious Ejaculations Recommended for the Dying

Keep me, O Lord, as the apple of Thine eye; beneath the shadow of Thy wings protect me (Psalm 16, 8).

(Indulgence of 500 days)


Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit (Psalm 30, 6).

(Indulgence of 500 days)


O God, come unto my assitance: O Lord, make haste to help me (Psalm 69, 2).

(Indulgence of 500 days)


Vouchsafe, O Lord, this day (or this night) to keep us without sin. (Ambrosian Hymn).

(Indulgence of 500 days)


Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies (Psalm 58, 2).

(Indulgence of 500 days)


O Lord, reward us not according to our sins which we have done, neither according to our initiquities (Psalm 102, 10).

(Indulgence of 500 days)


Sacred Heart of Jesus, I believe in Thy love for me.

(Indulgence of 300 days)


Glory, love and thankgiving be to the Sacred Heart of Jesus!

(Indulgence of 300 days)


O Heart of love, I put all my trust in Thee; for I fear all things from my own weakness, but I hope for all things from Thy goodness--by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

(Indulgence of 300 days)


All for Thee, Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

(Indulgence of 300 days)


Sacred heart of Jesus, mayest Thou be known, loved and imitated!

(Indulgence of 300 days)


Sacred heart of Jesus, protect our families.

(Indulgence of 300 days)


Sweet heart of Jesus, be my love.

(Indulgence of 300 days)


Sacred Heart of Jesus, I give myselft to Thee through Mary.

(Indulgence of 300 days)


Sacred Heart of Jesus, strengthened in Thine agony by an Angel, strenthen us in our agony.

(Indulgence of 300 days)


Heart of Jesus, let me love Thee and make Thee loved.

(Indulgence of 300 days)


Jesu, Mary and Jospeh most kind, Bless us now and in death's agony.

(Indulgence of 300 days)


Holy Mary, deliver us from the pains of hell.

(Indulgence of 300 days)


My Mother, my hope.

(Indulgence of 300 days)


O Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, make us saints.

(Indulgence of 300 days)


O Mary, Virgin Mother of God, pray to Jesus for me.

(Indulgence of 300 days)


O Mary, make me to live in God, with God, and for God.

(Indulgence of 300 days)


O Mary, Mother of grace and Mother of mercy, do thou protect us from our enemy, and receive us at the hour of our death.

(Indulgence of 300 days)


Remember, O Virgin Mother of God, when thou shalt stand before the face of the Lord, that thou speak favorable things in our behalf and that He may turn away His indignation from us.

(Indulgence of 300 days)


Bless us, Mary Maiden mild, bless us too, her tender Child.

(Indulgence of 300 days)


Thou art my Mother, O Virgin Mary: keep me safe lest I ever offend thy dear Son, and get me the grace to please Him always in all things.

(Indulgence of 300 days)


Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, assist me in my last agony.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, let me breathe forth my spirit in peace with you.

(Indulgence 7 years for each invocation)


From a sudden and unprovided death, deliver us, O Lord.

(Indulgence of 300 days)


O Mary, Mother of Grace, Mother of Mercy, protect us from the enemy, and receive us in the hour of death. Amen

(An Indulgence of 300 days)



O Jesus, eternal Truth, I believe in Thee, and in this faith I desire to live and die.

O Jesus, most faithful, I hope in Thee, and in this hope I will live and die.

O Jesus, supreme Good, I love Thee above all things; in this love I desire to live and die.

O Jesus, be gracious unto me! O Jesus, be merciful unto me!

O Jesus, pardon me my sins!

O Jesus, I resign myself to Thee; I accept death, because Thou wilt have it so! O Lord, receive my spirit!

O Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!

O Jesus, be to me a Jesus, a Savior.

Most bountiful Jesus, unto Thy sacred wounds I commend my soul.

O Jesus, in Whom I believe, have mercy upon me.

O Jesus, in Whom I hope, have mercy upon me.

O Jesus, Whom I love above all things, have mercy upon me.

O Jesus, behold Thy precious blood, which Thou didst shed for me; let it not be lost on my poor soul!

Be, O Jesus, my salvation in death and after it my sure reward!

Jesus, I believe in Thee; Jesus, I hope in Thee; Jesus, I love Thee.

Jesus, for Thee I live! Jesus, for Thee I die! Jesus, I am Thine whether living or dead!

Jesus, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Thine I am!

Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of mercy, obtain from thy divine Son the pardon of my sins.

O Mary, hold out thy saving hand to me and lead me soon to Jesus, thy divine Son.

O Mary, my dear Mother, I fly to thy patronage!

My holy angel guardian, stand by me and protect me in this hour; do not let the enemy of my soul have any power over me.

O my holy angel guardian, take charge of my soul and lead it into the presence of God! St. Joseph, help me, that Jesus may save me from danger.

Saints of God, come to my help; my holy patrons, pray for me; my holy angel guardian, assist me! St. Michael, the archangel, fight for me! O holy Mother of God, protect me!



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Early English Commendatory Litany
in View of Death


O glorious Jesu! O meekest Jesu! O most sweet Jesu!

Jesu, Mercy; Lady, help. *

I pray Thee that I may have true confession, contrition and satisfaction ere I die, *

And that I may see and receive Thy holy Body, God and Man, Saviour of all mankind, Christ Jesu without sin, *

And that Thou wilt, my Lord God, forgive me all my sins for Thy glorious Wounds and Passion, *

And that I may end my life in the true faith of Holy Church, and in perfect love and charity with my fellow-Christians, since they are Thy creatures, *

And I commend my soul into Thy holy hands, through the glorious help of Thy Blessed Mother of mercy, Our Lady Saint Mary, and all the holy company of heaven, *

The holy Body of Christ Jesu be my salvation of body and soul. Amen. *

The glorious Blood of Christ Jesu bring my soul and body into the everlasting bliss. Amen. *

I cry God mercy! I cry God mercy! I cry God mercy! *

Welcome, my Maker! Welcome, my Redeemer! Welcome, my Saviour! *

I cry Thee mercy with heart contrite for my great wickedness that I have had to Thee. Amen. *


[This very old English litany, from The Processional of the Nuns of Chester, is from the late Monsignor Benson's exquisite compilation, A Book of the Love of Jesus: A Collection of Ancient English Devotions in Prose and Verse (Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, London, 1905).]



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Litany for the Dying

Receive, O Lord, Thy servant into the place of salvation, of which he hath no hope but in Thy mercy. R. Amen.

Deliver, O Lord, the soul of Thy servant, from all the dangers of hell, from the snares of torment, and from all tribulations. R. Amen.

Deliver, O Lord, the soul of Thy servant, as Thou didst deliver Enoch and Elias from the common death of the world. R. Amen.

Deliver, O Lord, the soul of Thy servant, as Thou didst deliver Noe from the flood. R. Amen.

Deliver, O Lord, the soul of Thy servant, as Thou didst deliver Abraham from Ur of the Chaldeans. R. Amen.

Deliver, O Lord, the soul of Thy servant, as Thou didst deliver Job from all his sufferings. R. Amen.

Deliver, O Lord, the soul of Thy servant, as Thou didst deliver Isaac from being sacrificed by the hand of his father, Abraham. R. Amen.

Deliver, O Lord, the soul of Thy servant, as Thou didst deliver Lot from Sodom and from the flames of fire. R. Amen.

Deliver, O Lord, the soul of Thy servant, as Thou didst deliver Moses from the hands of Pharaoh, King of the Egyptians. R. Amen.

Deliver, O Lord, the soul of Thy servant, as Thou didst deliver Daniel from the den of lions. R. Amen.

Deliver, O Lord, the soul of Thy servant, as Thou didst deliver the three children from the burning fiery furnace, and from the hands of the wicked king. R. Amen.

Deliver, O Lord, the soul of Thy servant, as Thou didst deliver Susanna from false accusation. R. Amen.

Deliver, O Lord, the soul of Thy servant, as Thou didst, deliver David from the hand of King Saul and from the hand of Goliath. R. Amen.

Deliver, O Lord, the soul of Thy servant, as Thou didst deliver Peter and Paul out of prison. R. Amen.

And like as Thou didst deliver Thy most blessed virgin martyr Thecla from three most cruel torments, so vouchsafe to deliver the soul of Thy servant, and make it to rejoice with Thee in the delights of Heaven. R. Amen.

We commend to Thee, O Lord, the soul of Thy servant, N., and we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world, that Thou wouldst not refuse to receive into the bosom of the Patriarchs, a soul for whose sake Thou didst mercifully come down upon earth. Acknowledge, O Lord, Thy creature, not made by strange gods, but by Thee, the only living and true God, for there is no other God besides Thee, and none that doeth according to Thy works. Rejoice his soul, O Lord, with Thy presence, and remember not the iniquities and excesses which, through the violence of anger, or the heat of evil passion, he hath at any time committed. For although he hath sinned, he hath not denied the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, but hath believed, and hath had a zeal for God, and hath faithfully adored the Creator of all things. Remember not, Lord, we beseech Thee, the sins of his youth, and his ignorance; but, according to Thy great mercy, be mindful of him in the brightness of Thy glory.

Let the heavens be opened to him, let the angels rejoice with him. Receive Thy servant, O Lord, into Thy kingdom. Let Saint Michael, the Archangel of God, prince of the armies of Heaven, receive him. Let the holy Angels of God come forth to meet him, and conduct him to the city of the heavenly Jerusalem. Let blessed Peter the Apostle, to whom God gave the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, receive him. Let Saint Paul, the Apostle, who was counted worthy to be a vessel of election, assist him. Let Saint John, the chosen Apostle of God, to whom were revealed the secrets of Heaven, intercede for him. Let the holy Apostles, to whom the Lord gave the power of binding and loosing, pray for him. Let all the Saints and Elect of God, who, in this world, have suffered torments for the name of Christ, intercede for him, that, loosed from the bonds of the flesh, he may attain unto the glory of the heavenly kingdom, through the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth for ever and ever. R. Amen.



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Litany for a Happy Death

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Holy Mary,
Pray for him (or her) *
All ye holy Angels and Archangels, *
All ye choirs of the Just, *
Holy Abel, *
Holy Abraham, *
Saint John Baptist, *
Saint Joseph, *
All ye holy Patriarchs and Prophets, *
Saint Peter, *
Saint Paul, *
Saint Andrew, *
Saint John, *
Saint Jude, *
All ye holy Apostles and Evangelists, *
All ye holy Disciples of Our Lord, *
All ye holy Innocents, *
Saint Stephen, *
Saint Lawrence, *
All ye holy Martyrs, *
Saint Sylvester, *
Saint Gregory, *
Saint Augustine, *
Saint Basil, *
Saint Ambrose, *
Saint Francis of Sales, *
Saint Bonaventure, *
All ye holy Bishops and Confessors, *
Saint Benedict, *
Saint Francis of Assisi, *
Saint Dominic, *
Saint Ignatius, *
Saint Philip Neri, *
Saint Camillus de Lellis, *
Saint John of God, *
All ye holy Monks and Hermits, *
All ye holy founders of Religious Orders, *
Saint Mary Magdalene, *
Saint Lucy, *
Saint Scholastica, *
Saint Teresa, *
Saint Clare, *
Saint Angela Merici, *
Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, *
All ye holy Virgins and Widows, *


All ye men and women, Saints of God;
Intercede for him (or her).

Be merciful:
Spare him (or her), O Lord.

Be merciful:
Graciously hear us, O Lord.


From Thy wrath,
Deliver him (or her), O Lord. **

From the peril of death, **
From an evil death, **
From the pains of hell, **
From all evil, **


From the power of the devil,
O Lord, deliver him (or her). ***

Through Thy Nativity, ***
Through Thy Cross and Passion, ***
Through Thy Death and Burial, ***
Through Thy glorious Resurrection, ***
Through Thine admirable Ascension, ***
Through the graces of the Holy Ghost the Paraclete, ***
In the day of Judgment, ***


We sinners:

Beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou spare him (or her) :
We beseech Thee, hear us.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.


Let us pray:

We beseech Thy clemency, O Lord, that Thou wouldst vouchsafe so to strengthen Thy servants in Thy grace, that, at the hour of death, the enemy may not prevail over them, and that they may deserve to pass with Thy angels into everlasting life. Amen.



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Bona Mors Litany

Lord Jesus, God of goodness and Father of mercies, I draw nigh to Thee with a contrite and humble heart; to Thee I recommend my last hour on earth, and that judgment which awaits me thereafter.

When my feet, benumbed with death, shall warn me that my mortal course is drawing to a close,

Merciful Jesus, Have mercy on me.


When my hands, cold and trembling, shall no longer be able to clasp the Crucifix, and against my will I am forced to let it fall upon my bed of suffering,

Merciful Jesus, Have mercy on me.


When my eyes, dim with trouble at the approach of death, shall fix on Thee, my last and only support,

Merciful Jesus, Have mercy on me.


When my lips, cold and quivering, shall for the last time utter Thy adorable Name,

Merciful Jesus, Have mercy on me.


When my face, pale and livid, shall inspire the bystanders with compassion and awe; when my hair, bathed in the sweat of death and stiffening on my head, shall forebode my approaching end,

Merciful Jesus, Have mercy on me.


When my ears, soon to be forever shut to the words of men, shall be opened to hear the irrevocable decree which is to fix my sentence for all eternity,

Merciful Jesus, Have mercy on me.


When my imagination, agitated by dreadful spectres shall be steeped in the abyss of anguish; when my soul, affrighted at the sight of my iniquities and the fear of Thy justice, shall wrestle with the angel of darkness, who will endeavor to conceal from my eyes Thy mercies and to plunge me into the pit of despair,

Merciful Jesus, Have mercy on me.


When my weak heart, weighed down with the pain of my illness, shall be overtaken by the horror of death, and be exhausted by the efforts it has made against the enemies of my salvation,

Merciful Jesus, Have mercy on me.


When I shall shed my last tear, the sign of my dissolution, do Thou receive it as a sacrifice of expiation, so that I may expire a victim of penance; then, in that dreadful moment,

Merciful Jesus, Have mercy on me.


When those present, encircling my bed, shall be moved with compassion for me, and invoke Thy clemency in my behalf,

Merciful Jesus, Have mercy on me.


When I shall have lost the use of my senses; when the world shall have vanished from my sight; when my agonizing soul shall feel the sorrows of death,

Merciful Jesus, Have mercy on me.


When my last sigh shall summon my soul from my body, accept it as a sign of a holy impatience to come to Thee, and do Thou,

Merciful Jesus, Have mercy on me.


When my soul, trembling on my lips, shall quit this world forever, and leave my body lifeless, pale and cold, receive this separation as a homage which I pay willingly to Thy Divine Majesty, and in that supreme moment of my life,

Merciful Jesus, Have mercy on me.


When at long last my soul, admitted to Thy Presence, shall first behold the immortal splendor of Thy Majesty, reject it not, but receive me into the loving bosom of Thy mercy, where I may for ever sing Thy praises.

Merciful Jesus, Have mercy on me.


Let us pray:

O God, Who hast decreed that all men shall die, but hast concealed from all the hour of their death, grant that I may spend my days in justice and holiness, that I may deserve to quit this world in Thy holy love. Through the merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, for ever and ever. R. Amen.



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Prayer not to Die without the Holy Sacraments

O most merciful Lord Jesus, by Thine agony and sweat of Blood, by Thy precious death, deliver us, we beseech Thee, from a sudden and unprovided death. O most kind Lord Jesus, by Thy most sharp and ignominious scourging and crowning with thorns, by Thy holy Cross and bitter passion, by Thy loving kindness, we humbly pray that Thou wouldst not suffer us to die unprovided with Thy holy Sacraments.

O dearly beloved Lord Jesus, by all Thy labors and sorrows, by Thy Precious Blood and sacred Wounds, by those Thy last words on the Cross: "My God, my God, why hast This forsaken me?" and those others: "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit," we most earnestly beseech Thee to deliver us from a sudden death. Grant us, we pray, room for repentance; grant us a happy passing Thy grace, that so we may be able to love Thee, praise Thee and bless Thee forever. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

(Indulgence 500 days. A Plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, when this prayer has been devoutly said every day for a month. March 2, 1816.)


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The Best Dispositions for a Departing Soul

Several of the Fathers of the desert, having assembled together, conferred on the best manner of preparing for the last passage. The last that spoke, said, that he believed an humble and loving conformity to the divine will was most conformable to the spirit of our dying Savior. And in truth this disposition includes every other: it perfects contrition, disposes the soul to receive the sacraments worthily; it tends to strengthen our faith, support our hope, and perfect our charity. This disposition is comprised in our dying Savior's own words, which we should appropriate: Father--a title of love--into Thy hands I commend--an act of resignation--my spirit--that is my soul, my life, and all that I am. I commend my spirit into those divine hands, which, I know by faith, are filled with mercies and which are ever ready to apply the merits of my Jesus to my soul.

After we have received the Viaticum and Extreme Unction, the securest and best disposition is that of an entire abandonment of ourselves to God, both for the time of death, and after death; for time and eternity, with only one desire--that God may glorify Himself in us, in whatever way He pleases.



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Prayer to the Holy Virgin, Mother of Sorrows

Holy Mother of Sorrows, by that intense martyrdom which Thou didst suffer at the foot of the cross during the three hours of the agony of Jesus, deign to aid us all, who are the children of thy sorrows, in our last agony, that by thy prayers we may pass from our bed of death to adorn thy crown in paradise.

Gloria Patri, &c, three times.

Mother of mercy, Mother of grace, Mother, help a fallen race: Shield us when the foe is nigh, And receive us when we die.


V. From sudden and unprovided death,
R. Deliver us, O Lord.
V. From the snares of the devil,
R. Deliver us, O Lord.
V. From everlasting death,
R. Deliver us, O Lord.


Let us pray:


God, who for the salvation of the human race hast, in the most bitter death of thy Son, made for us both an example and a refuge, grant, we beseech Thee, that in the last peril, at the hour of our death, we may be made worthy to experience the effect of this great charity, and so to be associated in the glory of the Redeemer Himself: through the same Jesus Christ thy Son.



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Prayer for a Happy Death

"O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee; O refuge of sinners, Mother of the dying, forsake us not at the hour of our death; obtain for us the grace of perfect sorrow, sincere contrition, the pardon and remission of our sins, a worthy receiving of the holy Viaticum, and the comfort of the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, in order that we may appear with greater security before the thone of the just but merciful Judge, our God and our Redeemer. Amen.

(An indulgence of 500 days march 11, 1856.)



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Prayer to Our Lady to Obtain Assistance
in the Hour of Death

(by St. Mechtilde.*)

O My sovereign, holy Mary, Mother of God, as God the Father in the greatness of His omnipotence hath exalted thee and given thee power above all creatures, be with me, I beseech thee, in the hour of my death, and drive far from me all the snares and craft of my enemies. Amen.

Hail Mary, etc


O my sovereign, holy Mary, Mother of God, as God the Son in the excellence of His unsearchable wisdom hath endowed thee with such great knowledge, and filled thee with such great light that thou knowest the Most Holy Trinity more truly and intimately than all the saints, do thou so enlighten my soul in the hour of my death with the knowledge of the faith, that no error or ignorance may lead it astray. Amen.

Hail Mary, etc


O my sovereign, holy Mary, Mother of God, as the Holy Spirit hath poured into thee the sweetness of His love with such abundance, that thou art after God the sweetest and most benign of beings, do thou pour into my soul at the hour of my death the sweetness of divine love, that all its bitterness may be rendered sweet to me. Amen.

Hail Mary, etc


(* We read in the book on spiritual graces, written by St. Mechtilde (in., 33): "A person who thus recommends her faith to God, will at the end of her life obtain the grace to remain free from every temptation against the true faith.")


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Litany of the Our Lady of Perpetual Succour

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us,
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin, conceived without sin, pray for us.
Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, pray for us.
We sinners call to thee, pray for us.

O Mary, ever help us.
That we may love God with our whole hearts,
O Mary, ever help us. *


That we may be conformable in all things to Divine Son Jesus, *
That we may have a tender and heartfelt devotion to thee, most holy Virgin, *
That we may hate with all our strength, sin, the only evil, *
That we may frequently remember our last end, *
That we may often and worthily receive the most Holy Sacrament, *
That we may avoid with all our strength, proximate occasions of sin, *
That we may not neglect prayer a single day of our lives, *
That we may have recourse to prayer in the hour of temptation, *
That we may generously forgive our enemies, and wish well to all men,*
That we may not defer our conversion from day to day, *
That we may zealously labour to overcome our bad habits, *
That we may live and die in the grace of God, *
In all concerns of soul and body, *
In sickness and pain, *
In persecution and dereliction, *
In sorrow and affliction of all kinds, *
In time of unholy war, and infectious diseases, *
In struggles against the inclinations of corrupt nature, *
In assaults of evil spirits, *
In temptations against the holy virtue of purity, *
In all danger of sinning, *
When we have reached the end of our earthly course, *
When lying on our death-bed, *
When the thought of our approaching dissolution shall fill us with fear and horror, *
When in the hour of final separation from all, evil spirits shall try to drive us to despair, *
When the priest of the Lord shall have given us the last absolution and blessing. *
When our relations and friends surround our bed, weeping and praying for us, *
When our eyes have grown dim, and our hearts have ceased to beat, *
When we have breathed forth our spirits into the hands of our Creator, *
When our poor souls appear before our Divine Judge, *
When the terrible judgment is about to be passed, *
When suffering in the flames of purgatory, and pining for the vision of God, *

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world:
Have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world:
Have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world:
Have mercy on us.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


Let us pray:

O God, who hast willed that the Mother of thy only-begotten Son should be the Perpetual Succour of Christians on earth, grant us grace to call on her with confidence in all our necessities of soul and body, so that, saved through her protection and assistance, we may be brought to the everlasting vision of thy glory in heaven: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



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Prayer to Our Lady of Sorrows

Holy Mother of Sorrows, by that intense martyrdom which Thou didst suffer at the foot of the cross during the three hours of the agony of Jesus, deign to aid us all, who are the children of thy sorrows, in our last agony, that by thy prayers we may pass from our bed of death to adorn thy crown in paradise. Gloria Patri, &c, three times.


Mother of mercy, Mother of grace, Mother, help a fallen race: Shield us when the foe is nigh, And receive us when we die.


V. From sudden and unprovided death,
R. Deliver us, O Lord.
V. From the snares of the devil,
R. Deliver us, O Lord.
V. From everlasting death,
R. Deliver us, O Lord.


Let us pray:


God, who for the salvation of the human race hast, in the most bitter death of thy Son, made for us both an example and a refuge, grant, we beseech Thee, that in the last peril, at the hour of our death, we may be made worthy to experience the effect of this great charity, and so to be associated in the glory of the Redeemer Himself: through the same Jesus Christ thy Son.



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Prayer for the Dying
to St. Michael the Archangel


Hail, most glorious Saint Michael! hail most merciful leader of the Heavenly host! hail, honor and glory of the Angelic hierarchy! O most illustrious Prince, O sublime hero, ornament of Paradise, brilliant jewel of the Celestial Palace ; full of wisdom, perfect in beauty, thou art the impress of the Divine likeness; gold and precious stones increase thy splendor; thou dost walk in the fulness of joy through Paradise; thou dost proceed to the mount of God, through the midst of shining fires; thou hast been appointed by God, the Prince of souls, thou dost raise them up, and bring them into the duelling of eternal joy. I venture, blessed Prince, to remind thee of all the graces, which the infinite bounty of God has bestowed upon thee, above all orders of Angels; and I pray thee, by the mutual love of the three Divine Persons, deign to receive my soul at my last hour, and to gain favor for me from the Divine Judge, by the power of thy intercession. Grant the same protection to all the dying, for whom I now intercede, and obtain for them the grace of a holy death. Amen.



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Prayer to the Angel who Strengthened Jesus
in His Agony in the Garden


O holy Angel, who didst strengthen Jesus, during His Agony in the Garden of Olives, deign to strengthen those who are now in their agony, for whom I intercede. Make intercession for them. Obtain for them courage to resist the assaults of the devil, to bear their sufferings with patience, to make the sacrifice of their life to God with love. Beg their angel-guardians, their holy Patrons, and all the Heavenly host, to ask these graces for them, and to come to their aid. Above all, entreat the Queen of Angels, the august Mother of God, to surround them with her powerful protection, to be their advocate with her Divine Son Jesus, to gain mercy for them, and the grace of a holy death. Amen.



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Prayer to the Guardian Angels of the Dying

Holy Angels, guardians of those in their agony, now about to appear at God's tribunal, kindly watch over them with the greatest care. Do not let these souls committed to you, be lost for ever. Beseech Jesus, their most merciful Savior, that the merits of His Agony and death, may not he in vain for them. Entreat Mary, their tender Mother, to remember that her beloved Son Jesus, sweated blood in the Garden of Olives, and endured death on Calvary to save them. Ask their holy Patrons, and all the inhabitants of the Heavenly courts, to pray for them, to the Agonizing Heart of Jesus, and. O holy guardian-angels, until their last breath is drawn, let your prayers and entreaties urge the loving Savior, in His infinite mercy to pardon them, and bring them into His Eternal Kingdom. Amen.



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Music: Tomas Luis de Victoria - O vos omnes
(The Tudor Consort) / CC BY 3.0
















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