On this International Women’s Day, I am praying this litany from Joan Chittister, OSB. An excerpt:
We call on the holy women who went before us, channels of Your Word
in testaments old and new, to intercede for us so that we might be given the grace to become what they have been for the honor and glory of God.
Saint Esther, who pleaded against power for the liberation of the people, pray for us.
Saint Judith, who routed the plans of men and saved the community, pray for us.
Saint Deborah, laywoman and judge, who led the people of God, pray for us.
Saint Elizabeth of Judea, who recognized the value of another woman, pray for us.
Saint Mary Magdalene, minister of Jesus, the first evangelist of the Christ, pray for us.
Saint Scholastica, who taught her brother Benedict to honor the spirit above the system, pray for us.
Saint Hildegard, who suffered interdict for the doing of right, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, who put no law above the law of God, pray for us.
Saint Clare of Assisi, who confronted the pope with the image of woman as equal, pray for us.
Saint Julian of Norwich, who proclaimed for all of us the motherhood of God, pray for us.
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, who knew the call to priesthood in herself, pray for us.
Saint Catherine of Siena, to whom the pope listened, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Ávila, who brought women’s gifts to the reform of the church, pray for us.
Saint Edith Stein, who brought fearlessness to faith, pray for us.
Saint Elizabeth Seton, who broke down boundaries between lay women and religious by wedding motherhood and religious life, pray for us.
Saint Dorothy Day, who led the church in a new sense of justice, pray for us.
I’d like to add some prayers of my own. Please add yours, too.
St. Catherine of Alexandria, philosopher and preacher, who won many souls for the kingdom of God, pray for us.
St. Josephine Bakhita, who had a profound understanding of freedom and gave hers so selflessly to God, pray for us.
St. Katharine Drexel, foundress and radical, who gave her possessions to the poor and laid up treasure in heaven, pray for us.
Bl. Anuarite Nengapeta, woman of courage, whose martyrdom was made possible by years of humble strength, pray for us.
St. Kateri Tekakwitha, who gathered a community of Native Christian women around herself and died in a friend’s loving arms, pray for us.
St. Mary MacKillop, who bravely stood up for the abused and the downtrodden, pray for us.