Saturday, April 13, 2013

LGBT litany of the saints: Harvey Milk, pray for us; Joan of Arc, pray for us...

A Dignity Litany of the Saints
By Dr. Rachel Waltz, 2013

Lord have Mercy
Christ have Mercy
Lord have Mercy

Mary, Mother of God; Pray for us

Harvey Milk; Pray for us

St. Joan of Arc; Pray for us

Our brothers and sisters who died at the hands of strangers; Pray for us

Matthew Shepard; Pray for us

Our sisters and brothers who died in concentration camps; Pray for us

St. Anselm, who called another man “Beloved”; Pray for us

All those who died not knowing their worth; Pray for us

St. George, the androgynous warrior; Pray for us

Our sisters and brothers who died at the hands of loved ones; Pray for us

Mary, Mother of us all; Pray for us

Saints Perpetua and Felicity, who bestowed the kiss of peace on each other before being martyred; Pray for us

All Ye Holy Men and Women; Pray for us

Those taken from us by AIDS; Pray for us

St. John the Evangelist, who loved Christ fiercely; Pray for us

All Ye Holy Women and Men; Pray for us

Notes from Kittredge Cherry:
This prayer stunned me with its direct approach: Let’s just ask the queer saints to pray for us!

I have been blogging about LGBT saints since 2009, but I never thought of putting them into a traditional prayer format like this.

I was so moved by this prayer that I asked Dr. Rachel Waltz to let me share it on the Jesus in Love Blog. She wrote the prayer for Dignity, an organization supporting LGBT rights in the Roman Catholic Church. Thank you, Rachel, for permission to post your prayer here!

The standard Litany of the Saints is a formal prayer used in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox and Lutheran traditions. The usual version does address a few queer saints, including the same Perpetua and Felicity who are named in the Dignity version.

Visit the LGBT Saints page at for more info on saints of special interest to queer people and our allies. It provides easy access to my profiles of 55 LGBT saints: 31 traditional Christian saints and 24 alternative figures. Along with the official saints, there are martyrs, prophets, mystics, witnesses, holy people, deities and religious figures of special interest to LGBTQ people and our allies.

Image credits:

Most of the icons shown can be purchased as cards, plaques, T-shirts, mugs, candles, and framed prints from

"Harvey Milk of San Francisco" by Brother Robert Lentz, OFM,

"St. Joan of Arc" by Brother Robert Lentz, OFM,

"Saints Perpetua and Felicity" by Brother Robert Lentz, OFM,

“The Passion of Matthew Shepard” by William Hart McNichols ©

"Christ the Bridegroom" (John the Evangelist with Jesus) by Brother Robert Lentz, OFM,

Related links:

Why we need LGBT saints (A queer theology of sainthood by Kittredge Cherry)

Rainbow Christ prayer (by Kittredge Cherry and Patrick Cheng)


Trudie said...

A new book? A full-scale "Gay Saints" Hagiography?

Kittredge Cherry said...

Yes, a future “Gay Saints” book is possible… but now I’m busy trying to find the right publisher for my next book: the gay Passion of Christ art book.

I am also thinking of writing my own version of the Litany of the Saints, maybe for All Saints Day. I would like to include some not mentioned here, such as Rita Hester, Sergius & Bacchus, Bayard Rustin…

CJ Barker said...

I second your comment- my total first reaction was, "OMG- why didn't *I* think of that!!! Just pray to them- how absurdly simple!!!"

Let me know if you get that litany done by All Saints, and I'll suggest we use it at New Spirit! :)

Kittredge Cherry said...

Will do, CJ! Thanks for your confidence in my ability to write prayers... and best wishes for your presentation tomorrow at New Spirit!