Litany of Saint Berchmans

Lord, have mercy on us.
    Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
    Christ, graciously hear us.

Holy Mary,
    Pray for us.
Saint John Berchmans, whom the Lord preserved from evil,
    Pray for us.
St. John Berchmans, who did all things well, etc.
St. John Berchmans, faithful in little things,
St. John Berchmans, devoted server at Holy Mass,
St. John Berchmans, obedient to thy parents,
St. John Berchmans, submissive to thy teachers,
St. John Berchmans, model for thy companions,
St. John Berchmans, who from earliest childhood chose the Blessed
    Virgin as guardian of thy chastity,
St. John Berchmans, who so tenderly called Mary thy Mother,
St. John Berchmans, zealous promoter of devotion to Mary,
St. John Berchmans, mirror of the religious life,
St. John Berchmans, lover of the Blessed Sacrament,
St. John Berchmans, lover of the missions,
St. John Berchmans, lover of mortification,
St. John Berchmans, faithful to thy holy Rule,
St. John Berchmans, faithful imitator of St. Aloysius,
St. John Berchmans, ornament of the Society of Jesus,
St. John Berchmans, model of students,
St. John Berchmans, patron of youth,

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 on us.

Christ, hear us.
    Christ, graciously hear us.

V.    Pray for us, Saint John Berchmans,
R.    That we may be worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray

        Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, that we Thy servants may follow, in Thy service, the example of innocence and fidelity by which the angelic St. John Berchmans consecrated to Thee the flower of his youth, through Christ Our Lord. R. Amen.


        St. John Berchmans, Patron of Altar Boys: St. John Berchmans was born in 1599 in Diest, Brabant, in Flanders.  As a youth, he declared, “If I do not become a saint when I am young, I shall never become one.” In 1616 he became a Jesuit novice.  As a Jesuit, he practiced perfection in little things; he said, “My penance is to live the common life,” and he let himself be ruled “like a baby a day old,” as he himself wrote.  He served Mass with such total devotion that he sometimes distracted the celebrant.  He walked to Rome to study at the Roman College; at the college his talent, enthusiasm and application to study had rarely been equalled and never surpassed.  His biographer says that there was always a smile playing about his mouth.  In 1621 St. John Berchmans fell ill from prolonged study, from the strain of preparation for a public disputation, and from the summer heat.  After four days he was asked if he had anything on his conscience; he answered, “Nothing at all.” Two days later he died peacefully.  Numerous miracles followed his death.  St. John Berchmans is one of the three illustrious young saints of the Society of Jesus, the other two being St. Aloysius Gonzaga and St. Stanislaus Kostka.