Little Prayers

Very Short Prayers and Aspirations 


An Old Lady Lighting a Candle in a Church


Saint Benedict (480-547) advised his monks "Our prayer, therefore, should be short and pure, unless by some inspiration of divine grace it be prolonged" (The Rule of Saint Benedict, Chapter XX). Very short prayers or aspirations can be weaved into our daily lives.


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'Lord, save me!'

Domine, salvum me fac. 

Domine, salvum me fac. 

The Words of St. Peter in Matthew 14:30: '[29] And he said: Come. And Peter going down out of the boat, walked upon the water to come to Jesus. [30] But seeing the wind strong, he was afraid: and when he began to sink, he cried out, saying: Lord, save me. [31] And immediately Jesus stretching forth his hand took hold of him, and said to him: O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt? (At ipse ait: Veni. Et descendens Petrus de navicula, ambulabat super aquam ut veniret ad Jesum. Videns vero ventum validum, timuit : et cum coepisset mergi, clamavit dicens: Domine, salvum me fac. Et continuo Jesus extendens manum, apprehendit eum : et ait illi : Modicae fidei, quare dubitasti?)


Walking on Water, Ivan Aivazovsky, 1888

Walking on Water, Ivan Aivazovsky, 1888

Parable - The Pharisee and the Publican, Sir John Everett Millais, c. 1860

Parable - The Pharisee and the Publican, Sir John Everett Millais, c. 1860



'Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.'

Domine Iesu Christe, Fili Dei, miserere mei, peccatoris. 


This is known as 'The Jesus Prayer', the prayer of the publican in Luke 18.10-14. A webpage devoted to this prayer is here.


'Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine'.

Or: 

'Jesus meek and humble of heart, make our hearts like unto Thine'.


In Matthew 11.28-29 Christ says '[28] Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. [29] Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls'. (Venite ad me omnes qui laboratis, et onerati estis, et ego reficiam vos. Tollite jugum meum super vos, et discite a me, quia mitis sum, et humilis corde : et invenietis requiem animabus vestris.) In Christ's sermon on the mount, the first two beatitudes speak of humility. Matthew 5:3-4: '[3] Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. [4] Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. (Beati pauperes spiritu : quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum. Beati mites : quoniam ipsi possidebunt terram.) 


The Sermon on the Mount, Carl Bloch, 1877

The Sermon on the Mount, Carl Bloch, 1877

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Wilhelm Ebbinghause, 1895

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Wilhelm Ebbinghause, 1895



'Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in You.'



There are many short prayers to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. This prayer is included in the Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus composed by Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) and promoted by of Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968). This Novena is on this website here.


'Admirable is the Name of God'. 

In reparation for blasphemy.


Our Lord in a vision to to Sister Mary of St. Peter (1816-1848): 

"Oh, if you only knew what great merit you acquire by saying even once, 'Admirable is the Name of God' in the spirit of reparation for blasphemy".

Triumph of the Name of Jesus, Giovanni Battista Gaulli, 1674

Triumph of the Name of Jesus (Detail), Giovanni Battista Gaulli, 1674


Sacred Heart of Jesus, Etched in the wall of cell 21, Auschwitz, by Stefan Jasienski, died in Auschwitz 1944

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Etched in the wall of cell 21, Auschwitz, by Stefan Jasienski, died in Auschwitz 1944


'Heart of Jesus, help me'.


Taken from a short prayer to the most holy Heart of Jesus: 'O most holy heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore you, I love you, and with lively sorrow for my sins, I offer you this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient  to your will.   Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in you and for you. Protect me in the midst of danger.  Comfort me in my afflictions. Give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, your blessings on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Within your heart I place my every care. In every need let me come to you with humble trust saying, Heart of Jesus, help me. Amen.'




'Jesus, I trust in You'.

In Te Confido Iesu.


On the night of February 22, 1931, while Saint Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938) was in her cell in her convent at Płock, Poland, Jesus appeared before her in a wondrous apparition. He was wearing a plain white garment with red and white rays emanating from His chest. 

St. Faustina recounts in her diary that she received the following message from Jesus: “Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: ‘Jesus, I trust in You.’ I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and then throughout the world. I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish.


Statue of Saint Faustina Kowalska, with the Divine Mercy Image, Nave of the Chapel of Divine Mercy, Auburn, Kentucky, USA

Statue of Saint Faustina Kowalska, with the Divine Mercy Image, Nave of the Chapel of Divine Mercy, Auburn, Kentucky, USA

Holy Face of Jesus from Shroud of Turin, photograph 1909

Holy Face of Jesus from Shroud of Turin, photograph 1909



'May, O Lord, the light of Thy Countenance shine upon us'. 

Illumina, Domine, vultum tuum super nos.

Based upon Psalm 66.2: 'May God have mercy on us, and bless us: may he cause the light of his countenance to shine upon us, and may he have mercy on us'. (Deus misereatur nostri, et benedicat nobis; illuminet vultum suum super nos, et misereatur nostri). Also inscription on the front of the Holy Face Medal.


'Stay with us, O Lord'.

Mane nobiscum, Domine.


Inscription on the reverse of the Holy Face Medal.

Holy Face Medal

Holy Face Medal


Image of Christ, Version from Christ Tempted by Satan, George Cornicelius, 1888 (Colourisation by R. Michael Wahlquist)

Image of Christ, Version from Christ Tempted by Satan, George Cornicelius, 1888 (Colourisation by R. Michael Wahlquist)


'Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and let them that hate Him flee from before His Face!' 

Exsugat Deus, et dissipéntur inimíci ejus: et fúgiant, qui odérunt eum, a fácie ejus! 

The words of Psalm 67.2.


'O God come to my assistance, O Lord make haste to help me'.

Deus, in adjutorium meum intende, Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina.


The words of Psalm 69.2, and these words form the introductory prayer to every Hour of the Roman, monastic, and Ambrosian Breviaries, except during the last three days of Holy Week, and in the Office of the Dead. While they are said, or sung, all present sign themselves with the sign of the cross. 

Tradition says that St. Benedict (480-547) introduced this custom into the monastic Office and that St. Gregory the Great (c. 540 - 604) extended it to all the Roman churches. St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) prayed these words as an  aspiration. 

Saint Catherine of Siena Receiving the Stigmata, Giovanni di Paolo, c. 1447-1465

Saint Catherine of Siena Receiving the Stigmata, Giovanni di Paolo, c. 1447-1465



Christ Pantocrator, Mosaic, Apse of the Cathedral of Cefalu, Sicily, Italy, c. 1145-1160

Christ Pantocrator, Mosaic, Apse of the Cathedral of Cefalu, Sicily, Italy, c. 1145-1160


'Christ conquers! Christ reigns! Christ commands!'

Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat!


Christ is King. Christ has the victory. Nothing can ever change this.

An inscription engraved in the obelisk in St Peter's Square in the Vatican. And used in the great hymn to Christ the King - Laudes RegiaeChrist conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands. O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise ye Him, all ye people. Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands. For His mercy is confirmed upon us: and the truth of the Lord remaineth forever. Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands. Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands. As in the beginning, is now and always and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands.




'Jesus, Mary, I love You! Save souls!'

A prayer given to Venerable Sister Consolata Betrone (1903-1946) in an inner locution from Jesus. Concerning this prayer, Our Lord told Sister Consolata "Tell me, what more beautiful prayer do you want to offer me? ---'Jesus, Mary, I love you! Save souls!'--- Love and souls! What more beautiful prayer could you desire?"

In another revelation given to Sister Consolata by Jesus: “‘Jesus, Mary, I love You. Save souls’ encompasses everything, the souls in Purgatory and the souls in the Militant Church; the innocent soul and the guilty soul; the dying, the atheist, etc… Do not lose time; remember that every act of love is a soul. Of all the gifts, the best gift you can offer me is a day full of love". 


Venerable Sister Consolata Betrone (1903-1946)

Venerable Sister Consolata Betrone (1903-1946)

Mother Angelica of EWTN has said: “There is a beautiful supplication, a quick prayer that our Lord gave to Sister Maria [Consolata] Betrone. It says- ‘Jesus and Mary, I love You. Save souls.’ It is very simple, but oh it carries a lot of weight".



The Immaculate Conception, Bartolome Esteban Murillo, c. 1665

The Immaculate Conception, Bartolome Esteban Murillo, c. 1665




'O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee'.

O Maria, sine labe concepta, ora pro nobis, qui ad Te recurrimus.

Alternatively:

O Maria sine labe concépta, ora pro nobis, qui confúgimus ad te.


On 27 November 1830, The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Catherine Laboure (1806-1876) and asked that a medal be struck with the inscription "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee". This is the Miraculous Medal. On 25 March 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879) at Lourdes and said: "I am the Immaculate Conception". 

Download Militia Immaculatae Brochure about the Miraculous Medal




'Virgin Mary, Mother of God, pray to Jesus for me.'

Virgo Dei Génitrix, María, deprecáre Iesum pro me.


A prayer recommended by Saint Philip Neri (1515-1595) and incorporated in his Philippine Rosary


The Vision of St. Philip Neri, Marco Benefial, 1721

The Vision of St. Philip Neri, Marco Benefial, 1721


Saint Ephrem the Syrian, Mosaic in the Monastery of Nea Moni, Island of Chios, Greece, 11th Century

Saint Ephrem the Syrian, Mosaic in the Monastery of Nea Moni, Island of Chios, Greece, 11th Century



'O Lady, grant that Jesus may never cast me aside.'



A Marian aspiration from Saint Ephrem (c. 306 - c. 379).



'My Mother, my Confidence!'

The portrait of Our Lady of Confidence by Carlo Maratta (1625-1713) came into the possession of Sister Chiara Isabella Fornari (1697–1744), a young nun of the Poor Clare Convent at Todi, Italy. It is believed that the artist himself presented the portrait to the young nun.

Our Lady indicated her liking for the portrait by appearing to Sister Chiara Isabella. During this apparition, the Blessed Virgin promised the nun that she would grant a particular tenderness and devotion toward herself to everyone who venerates her image in the picture of Our Lady of Confidence. Combined with the aspiration, “My Mother, my Confidence,” this devotion has proven especially efficacious.



Our Lady of Confidence, Carlo Maratta (1625-1713)

Our Lady of Confidence, Carlo Maratta (1625-1713)

Our Lady of Confidence is also known as 'Madonna della Fiducia' (Mother of Trust).

A Polish Soldier Praying with a Rosary, 1942

A Polish Soldier Praying with a Rosary, 1942


'Hail Mary, Full of Grace'. 

Ave Maria, gratia plena.

The Hail Mary is itself a short prayer. The first five words of this prayer can be used as an aspiration. 

On 20 September 1944 Major Julian Cook (1916-1990), a devout Catholic, led a wave of 26 flimsy boats across the Waal river towards the Nijmegen Bridge in Operation Market Garden. He prayed out loud 'Hail Mary - Full of Grace' repeatedly as he paddled with his rifle butt. This true event was immortalised in the 1977 movie 'A Bridge Too Far' where major Cook was played by Robert Redford.




'Mary, Mother of Jesus, please be a Mother to me now!'



Saint Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997) said: "If you ever feel distressed during your day, call upon Our Lady. Just say this simple prayer: 'Mary, Mother of Jesus, please be a Mother to me now!' I must admit, this prayer has never failed me".


Saint Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997)

Saint Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997)


Portrait of St. Francis Xavier, Artist Unknown, Kobe City Museum, Japan, 17th Century

Portrait of St. Francis Xavier, Artist Unknown, Kobe City Museum, Japan, 17th Century



'Mother of God, remember me'.


Aspiration of Saint Francis Xavier (1506-1552).


'Holy Family of Nazareth, keep our family safe from all dangers and evil'.


The first sentence from the prayer: Holy Family of Nazareth,
keep our family safe from all dangers and evil. May Jesus always be the center of our life and of our home. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, to you we entrust our parents, siblings and grandparents, may we live in love, harmony and peace in our homes like yours in Nazareth, so that after our earthly journey, 
we may all find eternal joy in heaven with you, and the Most Holy Trinity. Amen


The Holy Night (The Nativity), Carlo Maratta, 1655

The Holy Night (The Nativity), Carlo Maratta, 1655


Saint Michael the Archangel, Peruvian, Artist Unknown, 18th Century

Saint Michael the Archangel, Peruvian, Artist Unknown, 18th Century



'Saint Michael, standard-bearer of the Most Holy Trinity,
pray for us!'

Sancte Michael, Trinitatis sanctissimae signifer,
ora pro nobis.


'Saint Michael, guide and consoler of the People of God, pray for us!'

Sancte Michael, dux et consolator populi Dei, ora pro nobis.


Two prayers using two of the titles of the Archangel Saint Michael in the Litany of Saint Michael. Each of the titles of Saint Michael in the litany make excellent short prayers, as do the titles of Saint Gabriel and Saint Raphael in the litanies of those Archangels.


'Saint Gabriel, ambassador of the Most High, pray for us!'


'Saint Gabriel, peace and light of souls, pray for us!'



Two prayers using two of the titles of the Archangel Saint Gabriel in the Litany of Saint Gabriel.


The Archangel Gabriel (From the Annunciation), Vladimir Borovikovsky, c. 1804-1809

The Archangel Gabriel (From the Annunciation), Vladimir Borovikovsky, c. 1804-1809


The Archangel Raphael and Tobias, Giorgione, c. 1512-1514

The Archangel Raphael and Tobias, Giorgione, c. 1512-1514





'Saint Raphael, terror of demons, pray for us!'  


'Saint Raphael, whose name means God heals, pray for us!'



Two prayers using two of the titles of the Archangel Saint Raphael in the Litany of Saint Raphael.

Robert Redford in 'A Bridge Too Far' (1977), Major Julian Cook (1916-1990)

Operation Market Garden was an Allied military operation during the Second World War fought in the German occupied Netherlands from 17 to 25 September 1944. The Allied plan was to send 35,000 airborne troops on an all-out raid to capture the bridge at Arnhem, then 65 miles behind German lines, with land forces to follow and pivot into the industrial Ruhr Valley and end the war by Christmas. This was the biggest paratroop drop in history. The 1977 movie 'A Bridge Too Far'* provided a good account of this operation.

A key town on the narrow 65 mile corridor was the Dutch city of Nijmegen where the Germans were about to blow the bridge to prevent the tank forces from crossing to rescue British paratroopers at Arnhem. The Nijmegen Bridge spanned the fast-flowing Waal River, a Rhine tributary 400 yards wide. The movie 'A Bridge Too Far' immortalises a true event. In the movie Major Julian Cook (played by Robert Redford), the 27 year old battalion commander of the 504th Regiment, is ordered to capture the north end of the bride in a daring afternoon raid by canvas boats to the far shore, all the while under murderous shelling from the Nazi defenders on the opposite embankment.

Major Cook was in the first wave of 26 flimsy boats bearing 260 men, half of whom drowned or succumbed to enemy fire while paddling furiously with their rifle butts because not enough paddles had arrived.  Major Cook prays out loud with every two strokes of his rifle, “Hail Mary—full of Grace—Hail Mary—full of Grace—Hail Mary—full of Grace.” 

Major Cook, a devout Catholic, reported later that “The Lord is with Thee” was too long and the double-beat of "Hail Mary-full of Grace" fitted the cadence of the desperate rowing more accurately. The 504th took the bridge and their sacrifice ultimately made it possible for remnants of General Roy Urquhart’s battered 1st Airborne Division to escape from the hornet’s nest in which they had landed north of Nijmegen. 

Major Cook was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his heroism and leadership at Nijmegen. He was ultimately promoted to Colonel. He died in 1990.


* 'A Bridge Too Far', movie released 15 June 1977, Directed by Richard Attenborough, Based on 'A Bridge Too Far' by Cornelius Ryan (Published 1974), Screenplay by William Goldman, Cinematography by Geoffrey Unsworth, Produced by Joseph E. Levine & Richard P. Levine, Distributed by United Artists.


50 Short prayers and aspirations to Almighty God are on this website here.


Immaculate Queen of Peace, pray for us.

Immaculata Regina Pacis, ora pro nobis.