Comfort of Migrants and Mother of Mercy will take their place among the other titles of devotion given to Jesus’ mother.
The ancient Litany of Loreto, featuring a list of devotional titles of the Virgin Mary, will now have three new invocations, as Pope Francis has decided to include: “Mother of Mercy,” “Mother of Hope,” and “Comfort of Migrants.”While some spiritual writers claim that the litany can be traced back to St. Gregory the Great or even to the Apostles, most historians believe that the Litany of Loreto was composed in the late 15th to early 16th century.
The new titles were announced in a letter June 20 from Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, to the bishops’ conferences around the world.
The letter includes the placement in the litany for the three new titles:
“Mater misericordiae” (Mother of mercy) should be placed after “Mater Ecclesiae” (Mother of the Church)
“Mater spei” (Mother of hope) should follow “Mater divinae gratiae” (Mother of divine grace)
“Solacium migrantium” (Comfort of migrants) should follow “Refugium peccatorum” (Refuge of sinners)
It is believed that the litany was initially adopted at the miraculous shrine in Loreto, Italy, where tradition claims the original house of the Virgin Mary was transported. And from there, it spread around the world.