The 8 Prayers Every Catholic Should Know in Latin

Domine Iesu, dimitte nobis debita nostra, salva nos ab igne inferiori, perduc in caelum omnes animas, praesertim eas, quae misericordiae tuae maxime indigent.

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Listers in 1978 Bl. Pope John Paul II said, “We exhort you all to lift up high the torch of Latin which is even today a bond of unity among peoples of all nations.” Even Vatican II and Pope John XXIII lauded Latin and asked that it remain the universal language of the Church; however, today the Roman Church has turned its back on Latin and blamed it on the ever-shifting spectre or “spirit” of Vatican II. SPL collected 14 quotes on the importance of Latin in the Church and drew many from the actual Vatican II documents and from post-Vatican II popes. Continuing in this proper understanding of Sacred Tradition, it is only fitting that the listers have a list to help them develop their use of Latin. The following prayers are all the prayers one would need to pray the Holy Rosary in Latin. Enjoy.1


1. Sign of the Cross

In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen


2. Apostles’ Creed

Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae. Et in Iesum Christum, Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, descendit ad infernos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis, inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos. Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem, vitam aeternam. Amen.


3. The Lord’s Prayer

PATER NOSTER, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

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4. The Hail Mary

AVE MARIA, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.


5. Glory Be

GLORIA PATRI, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.


6. Oratio Fatimae (The Fatima Prayer)

Domine Iesu, dimitte nobis debita nostra, salva nos ab igne inferiori, perduc in caelum omnes animas, praesertim eas, quae misericordiae tuae maxime indigent.


7. Hail, Holy Queen

SALVE REGINA, Mater misericordiae. Vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve. Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae. Ad te Suspiramus, gementes et flentes in hac lacrimarum valle. Eia ergo, Advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte. Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exsilium ostende. O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria.

V. Ora pro nobis, Sancta Dei Genitrix.
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.


[Update 11-3-12]

8. The Angelus

V. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae.
R. Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.

Ave Maria, gratia plena; Dominus tecum: benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus. * Sancta Maria, Mater Dei ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

V. Ecce ancilla Domini,
R. Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.

Ave Maria, gratia plena; Dominus tecum: benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus. * Sancta Maria, Mater Dei ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

V. Et Verbum caro factum est,
R. Et habitavit in nobis.

Ave Maria, gratia plena; Dominus tecum: benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus.* Sancta Maria, Mater Dei ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

V. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genetrix,
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

Oremus. Gratiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde; ut qui, Angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus, per passionem eius et crucem ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.


SPL has produced a few lists categorizing Latin themes. The most popular amongst them are 5 Latin Hymns Every Catholic Should Know and the aforementioned list 14 Quotes on the Importance of Latin.

  1. This list of Latin prayers is a selection from a more exhaustive list courtesy of EWTN’s database on Catholic prayers. []
  • May I suggest the Anima Christi, my personal favorite? Definitely more evocative in Latin than in English.

    • Oh Anima Christi, one of my favourite prayers!

  • Ryan Ellis

    I think the Fatima prayer is an outlier here. The other ones are fine, but the Fatima prayer is originally in Portugese! It started out as a vernacular prayer, and has never had a place outside of popular devotions.

    If I were to sub in another, I would think a version of the Confiteor or Act of Contrition would be a good candidate. Maybe the Te Deum. The Angelus/Rorate Coeli.

    • sonny

      i vote the Angelus & Regina Coeli.

    • Neal

      I think it’s included so you can say a Rosary in Latin, check the list, they are the most nessisary prayers for the MHR of the BVM.

  • I would agree with you for all of the prayers stated above except the Fatima prayer. The original version of the Fatima prayer is in Portugese, not Latin. More than one Latin translation of the Fatima player exists, and there is no official Latin translation of the Fatima prayer.

  • Raul

    There’s still no ‘official’ Fatima prayer in Latin. There are a multitude of them, take your pick.

  • Greg

    I really have a difficult time praying in a foreign language (or, in Latin’s case, a ‘dead’ language) when the meaning of the words and my heart derive from my own native language. Otherwise, it merely becomes an empty ritual. There is no ‘sacred’ language except that of the angels in Heaven.

    • Taylor

      Yet we have how many saints who undoubtedly knew these prayers by heart in Latin?

      • Richard A

        Problem is, Latin is one of the three holy languages, having been one of the three in which the first written proclamation of the gospel was produced: “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”. This inscription, in Hebrew, Latin and Greek, was placed above Jesus’ head on the cross. So, Latin cannot be a ‘dead’ language. Oddly, neither are Greek and Hebrew, even today.

        • Greg

          Well, the Greek used back then was actually not the same as the Greek spoken and written today, although there are great similarities. Hebrew is spoken only in Israel. Neither are they international in scope. Latin? Not spoken anywhere except in ritual.
          There are no ‘holy’ languages except in the eye of the beholder.

          • Hegessipus

            Latin is only dead to those who want it dead. To many others it is being resurrected from the position it was placed in recent decades.

          • Peter

            It lives in half the words of english, italian, most spanish, portuguese, french, and romanian. All are merely dialects of latin, and are more similar than most chinese dialects.

            The Church, being universal, must have a universal language. Your understanding of its meaning bears no impact on its validity, or its sanctity.

          • Brian

            If you really want to identify a language as “holy”, then why not Aramaic? That’s the first I’d choose as it’s the language of our Lord. The reason Latin is found in many prayers is they come from the Vulgate, which is St Jerome’s translation of the Bible in Latin (e.g. the first half of the Ave Maria prayer from Luke’s gospel). Most scholarly writings and books until recent history were written in Latin or Greek. The Church evolved a modernised version of Latin known as Ecclesiastical Latin (“modern” Latin !!). There are many, many musical settings of the mass in Latin that would lose their beauty and appeal if translated into a variety of vernacular languages. It would also be disrespectful of the composer’s intentions as well as our tradition to attempt anything like this. The inscriptions on statues and ecclesiastical architecture are there for posterity and it is for us to learn what they mean. I remember visiting the Natural History Museum years ago when an exhibit would simply have a label below it in Latin. It was up to the visitor to be sufficiently educated to understand it. Visitors to Kew Gardens will also notice Latin labels on trees. Horticulturalists, arboriculturalists also refer to Latin as an international language. I watched Pope Francis celebrating mass in the Philippines yesterday and understood every word, because it was the same Novus Ordo mass that I attend here in England. And no-one is saying “and also with you” . . . lol

        • Yochanah

          Yes I can agree to this :)!!

        • Yochanah

          Yes I can agree to this :)!!
          So learn all 3 :D !!!

        • Latin is dead, which to linguists is an honor and a privilege: no new words can be added, no meanings will change as the culture changes. Latin is unchangeable.
          Hebrew was also dead,and was lost because nobody SPOKE Hebrew for centuries, either. Now, having been restored and modified to include vowels to aid pronunciation, Hebrew is alive: it is NOT the same language it used to be.
          The Greek of the beginning of the Common Era is barely recognizable to modern speakers of the same language. Consider how much trouble we have understanding Shakespearean English, or the Old English of Beowulf! Biblical Greek is older than those two examples.

  • TeaPot562

    I do well to recall the “Agnus Dei” and the “Domine, non sum dignus”. And I had 2 years of Latin in high school and served for several years! (More than 60 years ago, however.)
    Better that all our youths being confirmed would memorize a dozen prayers, including Acts of Faith, Hope, Love and Contrition in English.

    • Raymond

      Stretching the mind a bit hurts no one. The use of Latin prayers would certainly not exclude the use of English, or whatever the native tongue may be. I think more Catholics should embrace this.

  • Voluteer Catechist

    Nice, but I have a hard enough time getting my second grade pre-First Communion/Reconciliation class in religious education on Sunday to learn their basic prayers in EITHER English or Espanol. I don’t even ask for both.

    • Melinda Loustalot

      I am a catechist of young children as well, and am amazed at what they can learn. . the grammar stage is prime time for memorization and languages, so don’t let past failures hold you back. . if all they learn are prayers it will be enough. .don’t give up!

    • Jerry

      @Voluteer Catechist: If you teach the students in Latin, they can all pray in the same language. It is my understanding that Latin and Spanish are fairly similar, so the Hispanic children shouldn’t have much problem with it.

  • Raymond

    I think this is a good idea. I plan to post these prayers in my prayer closet and use them in my daily recitation of the Rosary. Thank you for this list.

  • Adele

    I think it is a wonderful goal..but for most not achievable unless
    being taught in Catholic school…or CCD. I agree that better one
    learn these prayers in English, not only better comprehension but
    also likely to pray more often if learned in English..first. Later
    when older and possibly when being confirmed one could have the option
    of learning the Latin prayers. I agree very important to memorize the
    Acts of Faith, Hope, and Charity as well as the Act of Contrition.I
    believe very few are learning how to say the Rosary as well as the
    names of the Mysteries involved.

    • Melinda Loustalot

      I ditto my response to Volunteer Catechist. . the grammar stage (K-5) is prime time for languages and memorization. Wait until they are older and enter the rhetoric stage (sometimes called the “pert” stage for good reason. .) and there’s every chance they will argue you out of it. .

  • TJ

    There are 8 Rosary prayers, not 7. Missing on this list is the Closing Prayer after the Salve Regina (O God, Whose only begotten Son…etc).

    • Jerry

      Good catch, TJ. Also, many pray the St. Michael prayer at the end of the rosary.

      Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in praelio. Contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.

      Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur. Tuque princeps militiae caelestis, Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo divina virtute in infernum detrude.


    • marianus

      DEUS, cuius Unigenitus
      per vitam, mortem et resurrectionem suam
      nobis salutis aeternae praemia comparavit,
      concede, quaesumus:
      ut haec mysteria sacratissimo beatae Mariae Virginis Rosario recolentes,
      et imitemur quod continent,
      et quod promittunt assequamur.
      Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

      …the devil hates Latin.

  • TJ

    Another short common prayer which could easily be learned in Latin is the Grace Before Meals (Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts…etc.).

  • Reciting the Holy Rosary in Latin is a great way to get very familiar with these prayers. It is also a very devotional practice.
    Nos cum Prole Pia benedicat Virgo Maria!

  • I think if you took Latin in school these prayers would be great if they were in Latin ,however: the majority of Catholics today do not take Latin in school and therefore to impose that they learn the prayers in Latin is too “didactic”and could turn the student OFF to anything else as being ARCAIC.
    I took Latin in high school and never have regretted it..It even helps with learning words from the dictionary. It helped also with all my English courses.

    Let the subject rest with the individual person and perhaps some Catholic colleges would offer Latin as a night course and state in its explanation that it is one way to be able to say some of the prayers of the Catholic Church. And to learn the source of many words (as shown in the dictionary) that are not
    “church” centered.

    Flo B. Oct.15,2012

    • Hegessipus

      Learning is allowed out of school also…

      To claim otherwise id very…didactic…and archaic…

  • Monique

    How will going back to Latin bring the young people back into our Church? How will prayer when it is an empty ritual for those born after Vatican II and never learned Latin be meaningful and helpful to gain a personal relationship with our Creator. Isn’t it time we live the Gospel and help the poor and marginalised instead of expecting them to know prayers in Latin.

    • c matt

      Frankly, I am tired of trying to find gimmicks to “bring the young people” back into our Church. They are far too smart for that and can smell patronization a mile away.

      Want to get them back? Show them the Church and the Faith are as serious as a heart attack. In fact, more serious. One way to do that is to DEMAND using a serious language (Latin) to show that this stands separate and above the daily things they deal with – in short, use a sacred language to show this is sacred. If we do not take the sacred seriously, why should they? If the Mass and praying are just regular things in regular language, why so special?

      • Peter

        Young people(I speak this as being one of them) like things that not everyone is doing, they like things that are serious.

        In the extreme, this would happen.

      • Jennifer

        Thank you, C MATT, for saying what many of us have been thinking for a long time. Young people will respond to the Truth. Tell them.

  • Mbonyiwe Grace Phiri

    I shall recite the Hail Mary and Our Father in English and my language Chichewa (from Zambia) thank you. No point in reciting in a dead language which no one will understand. Let us move on please. God will not punish us for reciting the prayers in the language that we know. Why did we have the Pentecost?

    • Hegessipus

      Only a dead language to those who want it dead.

  • A few helpful distinctions. There is a legitimate difference of opinion of whether you like Latin or whether you believe it helps you in prayer; however, those who admonish Latin as a dead ritual or spiritually bankrupt practice should know that they kick out against both Vatican II and the popes post-Vatican II. What has happened to Latin after Vatican II was not what was articulated by the Council Fathers.

    SPL has collected a list of quotes on the importance of Latin in the Church (mentioned in the opening paragraph) and we think those quotes are worth some serious consideration.

    “The Latin language is assuredly worthy of being defended with great care instead of being scorned; for the Latin Church it is the most abundant source of Christian civilization and the richest treasury of piety…. We must not hold in low esteem these traditions of your fathers, which were your glory for centuries.”

    Pope Paul VI, Sacrificium Laudis, August 15, 1966, Epistle to Superiors General of Clerical Religious Institutes Bound to Choir, on the Celebration of the Divine Office in Latin

  • siobhàn

    Latin IS the language of the Church.

  • Jo Faraj

    I agree the Fatima prayer is not part of the necessaries but yes the Angelus and the Regina Coeli

  • Kathy McMillan

    I am dedicated to the Rosary as our Mother asked us to be at Fatima and knowing the prayers of the Rosary in Latin is very good. However, the prayers of the most holy Sacrifice of the Mass are much more important. The mass is the highest prayer on earth. We should know the Gloria, the Credo, the Sanctus, the Pater Noster, the Agnes Dei, and, my personal favorite prayer, the Domine non sum dignus.

    Pax, k.

  • c matt

    The importance of Latin is precisely because it is a “dead” language – i.e., it undergoes little, if any, change. That is why the learned professions (law, sciences, philosophy) utilize it, and why it is considered part of any classical education. Just recall how much English has changed from only 40-50 years ago. What will it be like 100 years from now? The Church, on the other hand, has to abide for centuries, if not millenia.

    None of these prayers are particularly long (they are not the Aeneid), and reciting in a classical language forces the mind to concentrate and reflect on the words and their meaning (once to memorize, once to translate, and again to contemplate). For this reason (forcing the mind to struggle with “foreign” words) is a superior mental “workout” than simply reciting in a familiar language (learning Latin and Greek actually does boost mental ability). It is the epitomy of laziness (an unfortunate all too present feature of our culture) to refuse to learn a few simple prayers. Everyone wants things far too easy and is unwilling to put in even minimal effort. Seriously, we expect high-schoolers to know calculus, but a little Latin is too hard for the rest of us?!?

    Latin is 1) fixed, 2) contemplative and 3) universal (over geography and time).

    As for dead ritual/empty recitation, that applies just as much to native language, if not more so as explained above.

  • ApparnetlyOppressed

    “How will prayers, or Latin bring young people back to the Church?”

    Well, it was the whining and attitude of people who thought it best to “help” (or just patronize, since Progressives do that quite well) the poor and marginalized that made it easy to reject the Church and go on a wild stupid journey where I learned that yes, Virginia, there is a devil. And he’s not a figment of the imagination, or the bad thoughts we have- he’s an ugly, monstrous, wily creature who fell from Heaven.

    It was orthodoxy, traditional prayers, and Tradition that made it irresistable to return to. It is liturgy, reasonableness of doctrine and a wonderful pastor that doesn’t talk down to me that makes it wonderful to stay.

    Well, that and the fact the Church has been promised that thebgates of hell would never prevail, and that was a promose direct from God.

    You can bet my kids will be learning Latin right along with their English and Spanish (and possibly Japanese) for those that complain that this is too hard boo flippity hoo hoo.

    Come tell me how hard Latin is after you’ve learned hiragana, katakana, and the first 500 kanji along with the grammar.

  • 5 down, 2 to go! And all that just from a Latin I course

  • V. Rommel

    How about the “Salve, Regina” or “Memorarie”.
    I taught this chant to Catholic school children where my own children were studying. They learned it, in Latin, very quickly. One parent relayed how her twins would swing on the swing set and sing it together! My father was a choir and my sister and I would sing some Requiem chants we had picked up, while being with him in the loft. Yep, we sang on the swingset in our backyard, too.

  • Roy Schoepf

    I am perplexed by this list of prayers. Please let me explain so maybe some kind soul will help me understand. If this list of prayers is intended for those fluent in Latin then I am OK with it and no more help is needed. If the list is for everyone then where is the word for word translation. I thought that prayer was conversation with God. How can I converse in a language I do not comprehend? A few years ago we spent three months in Italy. Each day I attended Mass in the local church and each morning a lot of ladies and two of us men said the Rosary – they in Italian and I in English. My use of English disturbed me because it broke the sense of community. So I went on line and obtained the Italian words. Fortunately Italian and Spanish are quite similar and I understand a bit of Spanish. Using my computer I was able to write the English words under the Italian words – which made for some unusual English syntex! Each morning I took my “Rosetta paper” with me and soon enough came to understand all of the Italian words and then to truly pray the prayers in Italian. It worked – I felt a part of the community and it was evident that the community appreciated my efforts and accepted me as well. Is there a person fluent in Latin who would do this for those of us not so blessed? Would love it if the same thing could be done for the Mass parts we frequently recite in Latin – not to mention some of the great hymns we always sing in Latin.

    • Hegessipus

      If you have some Spanish, you should easily work out the Latin. Perhaps a little help from an online dictionary?

    • What an excellent story, Roy! What a great effort you put forth. It’s too bad those Italian natives didn’t feel the need to pray in Latin. Then you could have all prayed the universal language of the Church. Latin is the language that should bind the Church together, so no matter where you are in the world, you can feel at home in the local Catholic Church and part of the community.

    • Seminarian Karl P. Tolentino

      Dear Roy,
      thank you for sharing your stories! I love it and can resonate with you. Truly, language is not a barrier, to those people who are in love and to those people who commits themselves to learn and be a part of a community that binds by learning and LOVING! Through your humble experience, you are touching lives across the miles, be on our native languages, you are a living proof of God’s Love to all of us!

  • Tom McMahon

    You have piqued my interest. Where can I hear these prayers to I can learn them properly?

  • rina

    Prayers. Whichever language it is spoken does not matter to God. It is what our heart says that matter to HIM.

    • jason bender

      True, but it is cool to pray in Latin none-the-less!

  • princess joanne taganas

    …tamahhhh!…rina nice one.

  • Like it

  • Joseph

    If the Our Lord was raised from the dead, then it shouldn’t concern us that a language is or is not classified as “dead”. All things done in the glory of God will touch Him. What should concern us is to venerate Him in as many ways as imaginable. Encourage one another to continue prayer in general. Our Lady requests that we pray and spread the Word of God to ALL OF HUMANITY. Peace be with you.

  • Fr. Joseph Hearty

    May I suggest grace before and after meals?

  • Seminarian Karl P. Tolentino

    Today is 538am here in the Philippines, being on my feet after a good and relaxed sleep, I am being reminded to say a prayer( Pater Noster), a prayer which I have learned in 1997 when I was still in my Pre-Philosophy Department studying as a seminarian and being formed as future humble servant of God, as a seminarian. Latin prayers are all still part of my daily spiritual prayers. It is embedded already in my daily routine. Before, I remember when we were being taught of Latin Prayers, its always like everyday a punishment because before learning or while at the same time learning to speak the prayers We must conjugate all the verbs, tenses, adjectives and identify all nouns.. But honestly, being on that learning process even how difficult it was, It Really Pays a Lot! Its very REWARDING! Up to now, even in simple prayers like of the prayer to guardian Angel, And ” De Profundis”, latin is always there… It is part of my system and part of my personhood… To God Be the Glory, AMEN.

  • Yochanah

    Learn hebrew free ‘ ‘

    The True Language of God!

  • Yochanah

    Learn hebrew free ‘ ‘

    The True Language of God!
    Lots of Love fellow believers of Christ :D

  • Margaret Gomes

    I still prefer English

  • Jose B. Caceres

    By all means, Latin! I am a Peruvian in Peru so I have a headstart with my native Spanish – at least we, Spaniards, Italians, Brazilians – can pronounce a beautiful Latin. English speakers – particularly USA, have a very nasal pronunciation which spoils the beauty of Latin. I am 79 now and I have been praying the 1955 3-nocturn breviary for more than half a century. I wanted to shift to Liturgy of the Hours, but the Latin edition uses the New Vulgate, which is just the Gallican patched up with Pius XII psalter. So, although I bought the Latin LoftheH 40 years ago, I hardly use it, as I don’t want to spoil my beautiful Latin Psalms in the Pius XII version which I always use. I have had to copy the LotH with the psalter in Pius XII Latin Psalms and now I am using the LotH, though now and then I go back to my old breviary. The idea of Vatican II was that people ought to pray in the language they use. Well, my daily use languages are Spanish and English, my literary language is French, and my praying language is Latin. I feel better when I pray in Latin, so I use Latin.

  • Brian

    It would be nice to have an audio example with each written example so we can get the pronunciation down.

  • Shannon Marie Federoff

    I love Latin. My kids know 4 of these prayers in Latin, ALL of them in English, and the Hail Mary in French, Russian, German, and Spanish. But, lets face it, most Catholics in the pews don’t know ANY LAtin, and probably not even the Angelus, the Fatima Prayer, and the Hail Holy Queen in ENGLISH.