Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary

English-language translations of
Litaniae lauretanae (Litany of Loreto)

LITANIÆ LAURETANÆ (Litany of Loreto). A solemn Litany, sung in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

"Litaniæ Lauretanæ," by William Smyth Rockstro in A Dictionary of Music and Musicians, (ed.) by George Grove, London: MacMillan & Co., Ltd. (1900)

Despite the fact that, from the seventeenth century onwards, the Litany of Loreto has been the subject of endless panegyrics and ascetical writings, there is a great lack of documentary evidence concerning its origin [...]. Some writers declare that they know nothing of its origin and history; others, on the contrary, trace it back to the translation of the Holy House (1294); others, to Pope Sergius I (687); others, again, to St. Gregory the Great or to the fifth century; while others go as far back as the earliest ages of the Church, and even Apostolic times. Historical criticism, however, proves it to be of more recent origin, and shows that it was composed during the early years of the sixteenth century or the closing years of the fifteenth. The most ancient printed copy hitherto discovered is that of Dillingen in Germany, dating from 1558; it is fairly certain that this is a copy of an earlier Italian one, but so far, in spite of much careful research, the oldest Italian copy that the writer has been able to discover dates from 1576.

"Litany of Loreto," by Angelo de Santi in Catholic Encyclopedia, (ed.) by Charles G. Herbermann and others, New York: The Encyclopaedia Press (1913)
English-language translations of Litaniae lauretanae include:
Broadside with 48 scenes from the Litany of Loreto, by José María Marés.

This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.