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The Litany of Loreto, so called because of its use in the sanctuary of Loreto (Italy) since at least as far back as 1531, was officially approved in 1587 by Pope Sixtus V. Its origin is believed to be a medieval rhymed litany influenced by Eastern Marian devotion, in particular by the famous Hymnos Akathistos. Contrasting with the older Litany of All Saints, the components of the Loreto Litany are purely ad- or invocational prayers. It is the only approved Marian litany. As can be observed, for example, in the so-called Officia Mariana, many more Marian litanies were and are in use but designated for private devotion.

The Marian Library has rare books of the 18th century with engravings by the renowned Augsburg artist Joseph Sebastian Klauber (ca. 1700-1768). It is from these books that the engravings in this exhibit were taken. The highly symbolic and illustrative reproductions are typical of the Baroque period. Their message is of great spiritual richness. Mary’s profile is that of the exalted Mother, Virgin and Queen, as suits the period. We have limited ourselves to the illustrations of the Marian titles. The reader needs to keep in mind that the titles introduced in the 19th and 20th centuries, obviously, are not included in Klauber’s illustrations.

Exhibit dates: Jan. 24–March 10, 2017

Curator: Father Johann G. Roten, S.M.

Graphic designer: Ann Zlotnik

Publication Date



Dayton, OH


Marian Library, Marian art, gallery guide, Litany of Loreto, Marian devotion, engraving, Joseph Sebastian Klauber, Baroque


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Litany of Loreto in Images



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