World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Leonine prayers

Article Id: WHEBN0014923674
Reproduction Date:

Title: Leonine prayers  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Versus populum, Canon of the Mass, Tridentine Mass, Ecclesia Dei, Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Leonine prayers

The Leonine Prayers are a set of prayers that from 1884 to early 1965 were prescribed for recitation by the priest and the people after Low Mass, but not as part of Mass itself. Hence they were commonly called Prayers after Mass.[1][2] The name "Leonine" derived from the fact that they were initially introduced by Pope Leo XIII. They were slightly modified under Pope Pius X.

The intention for which the prayers were offered changed over time. Originally they were offered for the defence of the temporal sovereignty of the Holy See. After this problem was settled with the Lateran Treaty of 1929, Pope Pius XI ordered them to be said for the restoration to the people of Russia of tranquillity and freedom to profess the Catholic faith. This gave rise to the unofficial use of the name "Prayers for the Conversion of Russia" for the prayers.[3][4]

The final form of the Leonine Prayers consisted of three Ave Marias, a Salve Regina followed by a versicle and response, a prayer for the conversion of sinners and the liberty and exaltation of the Catholic Church, and a prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel. Pope Pius X permitted the addition of the invocation "Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us", repeated three times.

The Holy See's 26 September 1964 Inter OecumeniciInstruction , which came into force on 7 March 1965, simply declared: "The Leonine Prayers are suppressed." However, many celebrations of Mass in the 1962 form are still followed by the same prayers with some discussion surrounding the the intention for which they are offered.


In 1859, Papal States be followed by three Ave Marias, a Salve Regina, a versicle and response, and a collect. He did not make these prayers obligatory in other countries, but did ask Catholics everywhere to pray for the defeat of those bent on destroying the Holy See's temporal sovereignty.[5]

On 6 January 1884, in the context of anti-clerical political and social developments in the new Kingdom of Italy, Pope Leo XIII ordered that the prayers be recited throughout the world.[6] In 1886, the prayer that follows the Salve Regina was modified to make it a prayer for the conversion of sinners and "the freedom and exaltation of Holy Mother Church". The prayer to Saint Michael was added at the same time.[7]

Two slight changes were made later to the prayer after the Salve Regina, and in 1904, Pope Pius X granted permission to add at the conclusion of the Leonine Prayers a threefold invocation, "Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us", a permission that was universally availed of.

In 1929, the state of Vatican City was created, resolving the troubled relationship between the Holy See and the Italian state, which had been the object of the Leonine Prayers, and thus removing their raison d'être. But the following year, Pope Pius XI ordered that the Leonine Prayers should be offered "to permit tranquillity and freedom to profess the faith to be restored to the afflicted people of Russia",[8] not, as is sometimes said, "for the conversion of Russia".[9]

The 26 September 1964 Instruction Inter Oecumenici on implementing the Constitution on Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council decreed: "The Leonine Prayers are suppressed".[10]


According to the original decree of 6 January 1884 that imposed the Leonine Prayers, they were to be said after every Low Mass, but later decrees, whose interpretation was not always clear, spoke rather of "private Masses", what in present-day legislation are called Masses without the people. According to one influential rubricist, the Leonine Prayers could be omitted after a Low Mass that was celebrated with special solemnity, such as an ordination or funeral Mass, a First Friday Votive Mass of the Sacred Heart, a Nuptial Mass, or the Mass after distribution of the ashes on Ash Wednesday, or if the Mass was followed immediately by function such as Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament or a Novena.[11]

They were customarily said kneeling.[12]

Continued use

The Leonine Prayers were never included in the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal or in any other edition but remained obligatory nonetheless. The fact that they were suppressed only after the 1962 Missal was issued is considered by many to mean that they are obligatory when Mass is celebrated in accordance with that Missal. Accordingly, they are still recited publicly after many celebrations of the Tridentine Mass. This is not the practice in the Ecône seminary of the Society of St. Pius X,[7] and it has been argued by some that, since freedom to profess the faith has been restored in Russia, the purpose for which the Leonine Prayers were prescribed in 1930 has been achieved, leading to cessation of the law concerning them.[7]


  1. ^ ["Prayers after Mass" in The Tablet, 26 November 1904]
  2. ^ Our Sunday Visitor, "Prayers after Mass"
  3. ^ Handbook for Altar Servers
  4. ^ Parts of the Traditional Latin Mass
  5. ^ of 18 June 1859Qui nuperEncyclical
  6. ^ This instruction was published by a decree Iam inde ab anno of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, published in Acta Sanctae Sedis 16 (1884), pages 249–250.
  7. ^ a b c Russia and the Leonine Prayers
  8. ^ Allocution Indictam ante of 30 June 1930, in Acta Apostolicae Sedis 22 (1930), page 301
  9. ^ Leonine Prayers after Low Mass
  10. ^ , 48 jInter oecumenici
  11. ^ J. O’Connell, The Celebration of Mass: A Study of the Rubrics of the Roman Missal, (Milwaukee: Bruce 1941), vol. 1, pages 210–211
  12. ^ A Guide to the Celebration of Low Mass

External links

  • Leonine Prayers after Low Mass
  • Anthony Cekada: Russia and the Leonine Prayers
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.