Catholic Devotions

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Welcome to the world of Catholic devotions!

Woman with rosary and bible on wood table

As Catholics, we have a beautiful array of devotions that we can turn to in order to deepen our relationship with God and grow in holiness. From the Rosary to the Divine Mercy Chaplet, from Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament to novenas, there is truly something for everyone.

I thought it would be fun to take a closer look at some Catholic devotions, those prayers, novenas, litanies and meditations that help us on our spiritual journey to grow closer to God.

Wooden bead rosary with fish beads and bronze crucifix

The Rosary

The Rosary is a devotion that has been beloved by Catholics for centuries. It’s a simple yet powerful way to meditate on the life of Jesus and His mother, Mary. The Rosary is made up of a string of beads, and on each bead, we say a Hail Mary. In between each decade (a set of ten Hail Marys), we meditate on one of the mysteries of the Rosary. These mysteries include the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious mysteries.

Praying the Rosary has really brought a lot of peace to my life.  I find the repetition of the Hail Marys and the meditation on the mysteries really helps me to stay present and to enter into deeper reflection on God’s word. It’s also a great devotion to do with a friend, a spouse or an entire family or in a group setting. It’s such a beautiful experience to be united in prayer with other people.

Statues of Jesus carrying wooden cross and Veronica wiping his face at Shrine of Christ's Passion
Prayer Trail at the Shrine of Christ’s Passion

Stations of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross, also known as the Way of the Cross, is a Catholic devotion that commemorates the Passion of Jesus Christ, following the path of Christ from Pontius Pilate’s sentencing to Christ’s tomb. It consists of a series of 14 stations, each representing a different event from Jesus’ arrest to his crucifixion and burial. The devotion is typically conducted by walking around a church or other sacred space, stopping at each station to pray and reflect on the event depicted. The 14 stations are as follows:

  1. Jesus is condemned to death
  2. Jesus carries his cross
  3. Jesus falls the first time
  4. Jesus meets his mother, Mary
  5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry his cross
  6. Veronica wipes Jesus’ face
  7. Jesus falls the second time
  8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
  9. Jesus falls the third time
  10. Jesus is stripped of his garments
  11. Jesus is nailed to the cross
  12. Jesus dies on the cross
  13. Jesus’ body is taken down from the cross
  14. Jesus is buried in the tomb.

The Stations of the Cross is can be led by a priest, or you can walk and meditate on the stations yourself.  It is often done on Fridays during Lent, but also can be done on other days as well.

Statues of Jesus carrying wooden cross and Women at Shrine of Christ's Passion
Prayer Trail at the Shrine of Christ’s Passion

My husband and I love visiting Catholic churches when we travel and have seen so many beautiful stations of the cross.  Sometimes they are simple pieces of artwork on the walls of the church and you can slowly walk from one to the other reflecting on them.  

Some of the most beautiful stations of the cross are outdoors on paths where you can walk with Christ through his suffering.

The Divine Mercy Chaplet

The Divine Mercy Chaplet is another devotion that has become increasingly popular in recent years. This devotion was given to us by Jesus through St. Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun. It’s a simple devotion that consists of a set of prayers that are said on an ordinary five decade rosary.

Prayers include the sign of the cross, optional opening prayers, the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary and the Apostle’s Creed, and then a series of prayers to Jesus, asking for His mercy.

On each of the 10 beads of the decade you say, “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”  On the bead separating the decades you say the Eternal Father prayer : “Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.”

This gets repeated through all 5 decades.  Then the rosary is concluded with the Holy God prayer which is repeated three times: “Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.” And finally, some optional closing prayers.

I love the Divine Mercy Chaplet because it’s such a powerful way to remind ourselves of the love and mercy that God has for us. It’s also a great devotion to do when you’re feeling down or discouraged, as it reminds us that no matter how far we’ve strayed from God, His mercy is always there for us.

Eucharistic Adoration in a Catholic church.

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is a devotion where we spend time in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. During Adoration, we spend time in silent prayer and contemplation, allowing Jesus to speak to our hearts. Adoration can be done at a church that has a chapel dedicated to perpetual Adoration or during a scheduled time at your church where the Blessed Sacreament is exposed.

Sometimes its hard in a busy life to take quiet time with prayer.  But I truly love this moments of quiet time with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.  It’s such a powerful way to deepen my relationship with Jesus and to be still and listen to what He has to say to me. I find that after Adoration, I have a renewed sense of peace and purpose.


Novenas are a form of devotion that involves nine days of prayer for a specific intention, usually through the intercession of a saint. The word “novena” comes from the Latin word “novem” which means nine and often begin or end on a Saint’s feast day. These devotions are an effective way to cultivate purposeful, consistent and persistent daily prayer.

Many novenas are, in fact, nine days long, but it’s worth noting that some novenas may be longer or shorter than nine days. Some popular novenas include the Divine Mercy Novena, the Three Hail Marys Novena and the Little Flower Novena.

I especially love the Three Hail Marys Novena because I can always find time in my day to say three Hail Mary prayers.

Catholic Litanies

Catholic Litanies are another beautiful devotion that can be added to your spiritual practice. A litany is a form of prayer where a priest or deacon recites a series of ipetitions and the people respond with a fixed response. Litanies originated in the 4th century and have since been incorporated into the Mass and other forms of public worship. Five litanies are approved for public worship: the Sacred Heart, the Precious Blood, the Saints, the Blessed Virgin, and St. Joseph. Other litanies can be used in private devotion. Through these prayers we can strengthen our faith and petition God for whatever we need or wish to obtain from Him.

 Final Thoughts on Catholic Devotions

There are so many beautiful devotions that we as Catholics have at our disposal. Each devotion has its own unique way of helping us to grow in our relationship with God and to become more like Him.

Some people feel called to one particular devotion and others are like me and different devotions speak to them at different points in life.  It’s always good to explore these devotions and see which ones resonate with you. You never know when a simple devotion like the Rosary or time with the Blessed Sacrament may be just the thing that you need to deepen your relationship with God and to bring more peace and joy into your life.