Dear God, creator of women in your own image,
born of a woman in the midst of a world half women,
carried by women to mission fields around the globe,
made known by women to all the children of the earth,
give to the women of our time
the strength to persevere,
the courage to speak out,
the faith to believe in you beyond
all systems and institutions

so that your face on earth may be seen in all its beauty,
so that men and women become whole,
so that the church may be converted to your will
in everything and in all ways.

We call on the holy women
who went before us,
channels of your Word
in testaments old and new,
to intercede for us
so that we might be given the grace
to become what they have been
for the honor and glory of God.

Saint Esther, who pleaded against power
for the liberation of the people, pray for us.
Saint Judith, who routed the plans of men
and saved the community, pray for us.
Saint Deborah, laywoman and judge, who led
the people of God, pray for us.
Saint Elizabeth of Judea, who recognized the value
of another woman, pray for us.
Saint Mary Magdalene, minister of Jesus,
first evangelist of the Christ, pray for us.
Saint Scholastica, who taught her brother Benedict
to honor the spirit above the system, pray for us.
Saint Hildegard, who suffered interdict
for the doing of right, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, who put no law above the law of God, pray for us.
Saint Clare of Assisi, who confronted the pope
with the image of woman as equal, pray for us.
Saint Julian of Norwich, who proclaimed for all of us
the motherhood of God, pray for us.
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, who knew the call
to priesthood in herself, pray for us.
Saint Catherine of Siena, to whom the pope listened, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, who brought women’s gifts
to the reform of the church, pray for us.
Saint Edith Stein, who brought fearlessness to faith, pray for us.
Saint Elizabeth Seton, who broke down boundaries
between lay women and religious
by wedding motherhood and religious life, pray for us.
Saint Dorothy Day, who led the church
to a new sense of justice, pray for us.
* * *
Mary, mother of Jesus,
who heard the call of God and answered, pray for us.
Mary, mother of Jesus,
who drew strength from the woman Elizabeth, pray for us.
Mary, mother of Jesus,
who underwent hardship bearing Christ, pray for us.
Mary, mother of Jesus, who ministered at Cana, pray for us.
Mary, mother of Jesus, inspired at Pentecost, pray for us.
Mary, mother of Jesus, who turned the Spirit of God
into the body and blood of Christ, pray for us. Amen.

by Joan Chittister, OSB
Available at Monasteries of the Heart

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