The Blessed Mother is invoked in the Litany of Loreto under fifty-three titles many of which were commemorated during the multitudes of 9-Day Novenas prayed across the world leading up to the Feast of the Nativity of Mary on September 8th. The Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Litany of Loreto) is the only approved Marian Litany and originated as a litany in the Greek Church. The invocation was translated to Latin and evolved into the prayer used in the church in Loreto, Italy as far back as 1531. Ten titles have been added to the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary since its official approval in 1587 by Pope Sixtus V, including that of Mary as Queen of Families by Saint John Paul II in 1995.
St. John Paul II (Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1978 – 2005) was known to have a special relationship to the Blessed Mother and placed his pontificate under her protection. In 1995, he added “Queen of Families” to the Litany of Loreto as part of his devotion.
The title “Queen of Families” flows from Mary’s role as wife and mother of the Holy Family which she accepted as the closing declaration at The Annunciation, “Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.’” (Luke 1:38). This first family of Christianity (Jesus, Mary and Joseph) forms a model for all families whom St. John Paul II thought of as the “domestic church”. It is the smallest unit of the church whereby virtues and values are transmitted from the parents and caregivers to the children. These teachers and caregivers rely on the intercession of Mary, Queen of Families to guide their children to holiness. It is through her help and mediation that the heads of these small units of shared love eventually reach salvation together with their children.
St. John Paul II composed several prayers to the Blessed Mother including this one to pray for her assistance, support and intercession in the homes of families.
Prayer to Mary, Queen of Families
May the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, be also mother of the domestic church.
Through her maternal help, may every Christian family
truly become a little church
which reflects and relives the mystery of the Church of Christ.
May you who are the servant of the Lord, be our example
of a humble and generous welcome of the will of God!
You who are the mother of sorrows at the foot of the cross,
be there to lighten our loads,
and wipe away the tears of those afflicted by family difficulties.
May Christ the Lord, King of the Universe, King of families,
be present, as at Cana, in every Christian home,
to communicate his light, joy, serenity, and strength.
May every family generously add its share
to the coming of his kingdom on earth.
To Christ and to you, Mary, we entrust our families.
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Aleteia.com – Prayer for Families by St. John Paul II – https://aleteia.org/cp1/2020/05/18/a-beautiful-prayer-to-mary-left-by-st-john-paul-ii-as-a-legacy-to-families/
Churchwonders.com – Litany of Loreto – https://churchwonders.com/devotions/litanies/the-litany-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary/
Encyclopedia Britannica – St. John Paul II – https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-John-Paul-II
International Marian Research Institute – Litany of Loreto in Context – https://udayton.edu/imri/mary/l/litany-of-loreto-in-context.php and – Mary, Queen of Families – https://udayton.edu/imri/mary/q/queen-of-families.php