Prayers to & by Saint John Berchmans


Litany to Saint John Berchmans

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
Response: pray for us.
St. John Berchmans, whom the Lord preserved from evil,
St. John Berchmans, who did all things well,
St. John Berchmans, faithful in little things,
St. John Berchmans, devoted server at Holy Mass,
St. John Berchmans, obedient to your parents,
St. John Berchmans, submissive to your teachers,
St. John Berchmans, model for your companions,
St. John Berchmans, who from the earliest childhood chose the Blessed Virgin as guardian of your chastity,
St. John Berchmans, who so tenderly called Mary ‘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 your 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. …

Grant, we beseech You, O Lord God, that we Your servants may follow the example of innocence and fidelity by which the angelic St. John Berchmans consecrated his life and service to You, through Christ Our Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
Pray for us, Saint John Berchmans,
That we may be worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray Grant, we beseech You, O Lord God, that we Your servants may follow, in Your service, the example of innocence and fidelity by which the angelic St. John Berchmans consecrated to You the flower of his youth, through Christ Our Lord.

R. Amen.


So many miracles were attributed to him after his death at the age of 22, that his cultus soon spread to his native Belgium, where 24,000 copies of his portrait were published within a few years of his death. He was known for his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to Our Lady, to whom he composed a Chaplet in honor of her Immaculate Conception. Our true worth does not consist in what human beings think of us. What we really are consists in what God knows us to be. To merit the protection of Mary, the smallest act of veneration would be enough, provided that it is performed with constancy. If I do not become a Saint when I am young, I shall never become one. [In fact, he died at the early age of twenty-two and he had, without any doubt,reached his goal of sanctity.] As he was dying, he pressed to his heart his Crucifix, his Rosary, and the Book of Rules, saying: These are my three treasures; with these I shall gladly die.


To be Christ’s page at the altar, To serve Him freely there.
Where even the Angels falter, Bowed low in reverent prayer.
To touch the throne most holy, To hand the gifts for the feast,
To see Him meekly, lowly, Descend at the word of the priest.
To hear man’s poor petition, To sound the silver bell,
When He in sweet submission, Comes down with us to dwell.
No grander mission surely Could Saints or men enjoy;
No heart should love more purely, Than yours my altar boy.
God bless you, lad, forever, And keep you in His care,
And Guard you that you never Belie the robes you wear.
For white bespeaks untainted A heart both tried and true;
And red tolls love the sainted The holy martyrs knew.
Throughout life, then, endeavor God’s graces to employ;
And be in heart forever A holy altar boy. ——
by St. John Berchmans

St. John Berchmans, be my patron!


Saint John, angelic youth, sweet-scented flower of innocence, stalwart soldier of the Company of Jesus, ardent defender of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, whom the all-wise Providence of God hath set forth as a light and pattern, in order that He might reveal in thee the treasures of that holiness which consisteth in the devoted and holy fulfillment of the common duties of life, I earnestly beseech thee to make me ever constant and faithful in observing the duties of my state of life, pure in heart, fearless and strong against the enemies of my eternal salvation, and cheerfully obedient to the promptings of God’s holy will. By thy singular devotion to the loving Mother of Jesus Christ, who looked upon thee also as her dear son, obtain for me the grace of a fervent love for Jesus and Mary, together with the power of drawing many others to love them in like manner. Wherefore, dear Saint John, I choose thee as my special patron, humbly beseeching thee to make me zealous in the things that pertain to the praise of God, and to assist me by thy mighty help, to lead a life filled with good works. Finally, when the hour of death cometh, do thou, of thy loving kindness, cherish in me those motions of humble confidence, which at the moment of thy departure from this world to thy mansion in the skies, as thou didst lovingly clasp to thy breast the Image of Jesus Crucified, together with Mary’s Rosary and thy Book of Rules, impelled thee to utter these sweet words: “these three things are my dearest possessions; with these I am content to die.” Pray for us, Saint John, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Grant, we beseech Thee O Lord God, unto Thy faithful servants, to copy the pattern of innocence and faithfulness in Thy service, wherewith the angelic youth, John, did consecrate to Thee the very flower of his years. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Most innocent St. John, I beseech thee, by thy wonderful purity of heart, to obtain for me the grace of imitating thee in so excellent a virtue. Oh, never allow me to lose it, but inspire me with a hatred for those faults which may in any way stain it. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory.

Most modest St. John, by that most diligent guard which thou didst keep over thy senses, and which rendered thee so conspicuous in the eyes of the world, I beseech thee to obtain for me the grace of restraining my senses so that the poison of the accursed sin of impurity may never enter by them into my heart. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory.

Most obedient St. John, by thine assiduous care in keeping the rules of thy Institute, I beseech thee to obtain for me the grace to keep the commandments of God, and at least to hold in high esteem and reverence the evangelical counsels. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory.

Most devout St. John, by that love which thou didst have for the most blessed Virgin Mary as thy mother, and for St. Aloysius Gonzaga, as thy brother, I beg thee to obtain for me a special devotion to St. Aloysius, my protector and model, and such a tender affection for the Blessed Virgin, that I may always exclaim with thee: “I will never rest until I shall have obtained a tender love for my Mother Mary.” Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory.

Most fervent St. John, by thy marvelous devotion to the adorable mystery of the altar and to Christ crucified, I beg thee to obtain for me so to reverence our Blessed Redeemer, that I shall be nowhere wanting, least of all in church, in due reverence to His Sacrament of Love, and that I may ever and everywhere glory in His Cross; that, having thus followed Him like a faithful disciple on earth I may deserve to enjoy Him forever with thee in Heaven Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory.

PRAYER FOR GRACE. Prevent, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our actions by Thy inspiration, and further them with Thy continual help; that every prayer and work of ours may always begin from Thee, and through Thee be likewise ended. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


By B. B., in the Irish Messenger, 1888.
Sing our gentle hero’s greatness, Sing aloud his glorious praise,
To his throne in Heaven’s mansions Let us hearts and hands upraise.
He will aid us, midst the dangers Which beset our path through life,
His example will sustain us In the ceaseless weary strife.
Youth angelic, deign to help us, E’er to tread thy footsteps sure,
Keep our minds and hearts unsullied, And our souls and bodies pure.
Teach us steadfast, true devotion, To our peerless Heavenly Queen,
May we to this Virgin Mother Ever be what thou hast been!
Bright exemplar of perfection, With thine aid we’ll imitate
Thy unswerving love of duty, Of each rule and grace of state.
Like thee, faithful to the promptings Of God’s spirit in our soul,
We shall strive with courage burning, To attain the Heavenly goal.


Lord our God, you invite us always to give you our love and you are pleased with a cheerful giver. Give us a youthful spirit, to be like St. John, always eager to seek you and to do your will. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Lord, fill our hearts with joy through the sacrifice of your Son. May we never lose our first fervor but hear and obey what the Spirit is saying to the Church. We ask this through Christ our Lord.


Lord God, in this Eucharistic meal you deepen our love for each other. Help us to imitate St. John, and bear witness to your goodness by being to one another friends in the Lord, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.


A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Philippians (4:4-9)

Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all,
but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers,
whatever is true,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is just,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received
and heard and seen in me.
Then the God of peace will be with you.

The Word of the Lord

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke (9:57-62)

As they were proceeding on their journey
someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus answered him,
“Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”

And to another Jesus said, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
But He answered him,
“Let the dead bury their dead.
But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

And another said, “I will follow you, Lord,
but first let me say farewell to my family at home.”

To him Jesus said,
“No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind
is fit for the kingdom of God.”

The Gospel of the Lord.