prayers for purity
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Struggling with Chastity? Here Are 3 Powerful Prayers for Purity

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Why Do We Need Prayers for Purity?

These days, it is not so easy to get a black and white answer from our prelates on what is considered sins against purity (Please God,  send us many holy priests.)  Because of this, some of the faithful engage in sinful, unchaste behavior without realizing the enormity of their sins.

Maybe they delude themselves into thinking they are not sinning, when the Holy Spirit makes it quite clear.

You don’t hear a lot about prayers for purity. In fact, you don’t hear a lot from the pulpit on purity, period.

So this is why we need these prayers.

Is Masturbation a Sin Against Purity?

A perfect example of fuzzy teaching is the flagrant disregard of masturbation as a sin by many priests.   The Church’s official teaching on masturbation is this:

“The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.” For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of “the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved.”

As I’m sure many can attest, some priests in the confessional will ask the penitent, “Who told you that masturbation is a sin?”

In a Catholic Q&A, a priest responded to the question of the sinfulness of masturbation by implying that it is perfectly normal.  In fact, his comments are in direct opposition to Church teaching.

“Can masturbation be sinful? I think the only time masturbation could be considered seriously sinful is if someone is using this activity to avoid one’s obligations to one’s spouse. Modern moral theologians tell us that masturbation is a normal part of one’s psychosexual development. Most people go through phases of masturbation, during adolescence, for example, individuals separated from their spouses in war time, the elderly, and others in unique situations of life. It’s hoped that individuals not become fixed or stuck in only this form of sexual expression, but rather develop a relationship with another person with whom one can express one’s own sexuality in an appropriate loving and intimate way.” [note] Fr John Ruffo, “What is church’s stance on masturbation? Mortal sin in what circumstances?”


Most of us have struggled with not falling into sexual sin, especially those of us who are single and yearn for the embrace of a spouse. Fortunately, we have recourse to the traditional prayers of the saints, who left us a treasure of prayers for purity. These prayers help us to combat the wiles of the devil. They are particularly effective in causing  the devil to flee, when we find ourselves growing weak and weary.

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What Does Impurity Do to the Soul?

Regarding impurity, St Alphonsus says: ” It blinds the sinner, hardens the heart, and it leads to a multitude of other sins, such as anger, hatred, blasphemy, false oaths and perjury.  Demons delight in sins of impurity, because it is difficult for a person who indulges in impurity to be delivered from it.” Source.

He also says later on:

“Some heretics and servants of the devil teach, “Sins of impurity do not dishonor anyone.” Obstinate sinners often try to excuse themselves by saying, “sins of impurity are just little sins.” Or “because they are sins of habit, their gravity is diminished.” Ah what fools they are! They are so blinded, dearest soul, by their sins, that they do not see what terrible damage it does to themselves and to the body of Christ. You are a soul created in the image and likeness of God, a child of God, and an heir of heaven. Your body is a temple of the Holy Ghost, and you have been redeemed by the blood of Christ![vii] This is what impurity dishonors! The marital act is a sacramental privilege, reserved only for those united within the sacrament. Sins of impurity dishonor your soul because you lose God’s life of grace, they dishonor your body because you are a temple of the Holy Ghost, and they dishonor God because you are using the marital act, which the Almighty created as good, to commit evil.”Saint So now that we see how truly detrimental impurity is to the soul, let’s take a look at some prayers that are particularly effective.

Alphonsus Liguori, Complete Aesthetical works Volume XVI, treatise on the sixth commandment

The Imitation of St. Joseph

imitation of st joseph

Prayers for Purity of Thought

It’s a lot easier not to engage in sin that involves physical action, then it is to not fantasize or focus our mind on thoughts of sexual sin.

Remember that if a thought enters your head, it is not a sin.

However, it is a sin of you relish that thought.

For some, that is a greater struggle.

So now that we see how truly detrimental impurity is to the soul, let’s take a look at some prayers that are particularly efficacious.

Armed with these prayers for purity, we should all be ready to do battle with the devil, who will surely attempt to divert us from our goal to reach heaven..

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Three Prayers for Purity

Prayer to Jesus, Mary & Joseph

“Jesus, Lover of chastity, Mary, Mother most pure, and Joseph, chaste guardian of the Virgin, to you I come at this hour, begging you to plead with God for me. I earnestly wish to be pure in thought, word and deed in imitation of your own holy purity.

Obtain for me, then, a deep sense of modesty which will be reflected in my external conduct. Protect my eyes, the windows of my soul, from anything that might dim the luster of a heart that must mirror only Christlike purity.

And when the “Bread of Angels becomes the Bread of me” in my heart at Holy Communion, seal it forever against the suggestions of sinful pleasures.

Heart of Jesus, Fount of all purity, have mercy on us.”

Official Prayer to St Maria Goretti

“Oh Saint Maria Goretti who, strengthened by God’s grace, did not hesitate even at the age of twelve to shed your blood and sacrifice life itself to defend your virginal purity, look graciously on the unhappy human race which has strayed far from the path of eternal salvation. Teach us all, and especially youth, with what courage and promptitude we should flee for the love of Jesus anything that could offend Him or stain our souls with sin. Obtain for us from our Lord victory in temptation, comfort in the sorrows of life, and the grace which we earnestly beg of thee (here insert intention), and may we one day enjoy with thee the imperishable glory of Heaven. “Amen.

Prayer for Chastity by St Thomas Aquinas

“Dearest Jesus! I know well that every perfect gift, and above all others that of chastity, depends upon the most powerful assistance of Your Providence, and that without You a creature can do nothing. Therefore, I pray You to defend, with Your grace, chastity and purity in my soul as well as in my body. And if I have ever received through my senses any impression that could stain my chastity and purity, may You, Who are the Supreme Lord of all my powers, take it from me, that I may with an immaculate heart advance in Your love and service, offering myself chaste all the days of my life on the most pure altar of Your Divinity. Amen.”

You can also join the Angelic Warfare Confraternity, which has other prayers for sexual purity.

One More Catholic Prayer for Purity

One of our readers recommended this prayer, from the traditional Collect prayer for the feast of St. Lawrence.

Grant to us, O Lord, we beseech Thee, to extinguish within us the flames of vice, even as Thou didst strengthen blessed Laurence to overcome his fiery torments.”

Are there any other prayers you find helpful to maintain sexual purity?

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Here are 3 prayers for purity to help you in your struggles with chastity. The Church gives us amazing resources in our fight for holiness.


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The Saints on Chastity

St Maria Goretti

St Thomas Aquinas

St Alphonsus Liguori

Prayer for Purity

This post was first published in 2016 and updated in 2023.

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  1. Here’s another one…the traditional Collect prayer for the feast of St. Lawrence:

    “Grant to us, O Lord, we beseech Thee, to extinguish within us the flames of vice, even as Thou didst strengthen blessed Laurence to overcome his fiery torments.”

  2. Abba Father, please turn away your eyes of anger from me your ever-sinning unworthy son. Please spare me and my family. Have mercy on us Oh Lord God our Father. Abba, I love you with my whole heart and I just need you and only you. Please convert and transform my wife and her family at once like Paul’s Damascus experience and please allow and attract my wife to partake in a spiritual catholic retreat and go for confession and eucharistic celebration often. I ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns one God forever and ever. Lord give me a heart meek and humble. Please give me a good job, please urgently. Lord, please let me desireth only you and nothing else. Renew my life and cleanse me and mine of all impurities. Amen

  3. I lost my wife 3 years ago to cancer. I have 8 children and two grandchildren! I know that I need not to do things outside of marriage, but I have lived and did my vocation! What can I do now!

    1. Ask the Lord what comes next! Pray in thanks for what you’ve had, in Question for what He Desires, and in Listening and Openness to what He offers. Only then will you know what you can do now. Trust me, this Chastity stuff is HARD. You WILL fall. But you have to fall to get back up. I know that darn well, because God is way too patient with me. I’m praying for you tonight. Your vocation is not over!

  4. My body is the temple of the HolySpirit redeemed, cleansed and sactify by the blood of Jesus the part of my body are instrument of righteousness needed to God for his service and glory the devil have no place in me,no power over me,no claims against me for all have been settled by the blood of the Jesus Christ I do not love my life even unto death for the preservation of it for the Lord,the Lord is for my body my body is for the Lord this is my prayers and petition through Christ our Lord Amen.

  5. I was married to a Japanese/Korean woman with no faith born in Korea but met her in Scranton, Pa where I live. She was a hair stylist and we came together so she can give me a hair cut. We met and started dating. We soon fell in love and she asked me to marry her but she had to know that I am Catholic and a daily mass Catholic at that so we did marry but attended Pre-Cana first and married in Honolulu Hawaii at Our Lady of Peace Cathedral on 8/27/88 and began a great life with our fist son born in 1990 then a second son on 12/10/92 and a third son born on 3/15/96 and were baptized and confirmed Catholic and continued a great life with some problems with our first born son who needed open heart surgery for Tetrology of Fallot at 11 months old and now a great honest man of 28 years. Over the years I co-owned a radio station in Binghamton New York from 1989-1997 but selling that station made me sad and for some reason all my hair fell out of all my body parts in 1997 but still I was happy and faithful then in 1996 I was struck with double vision and after testing was found to have Multiple Sclerosis which I still have but taking injections three times a week helps the exacerbation. These malady’s are okay with help and prayers and in 2001 was asked to fly to DC for work at XM Satellite Radio and on 5/5/2001 was hired as one of the original Program Directors on XM Satellite Radio. The worst nightmare arrive on 12/10/2010 when my wife asked for a no fault divorce. I could not believe that would happen after all the bouts in life she wanted half of my 401K and left she divorced me but I tried counseling that failed so got an annulment on 6/15/2015 but never wanted a divorce or annulment. There are bouts of loneliness and sometimes I masturbate but rarely but know it is a mortal sin and offer reconciliation and need to begin covenant eyes because I do not like pornography at all and do not to be caught in trap because I am strong willed and rarely have masturbation if ever. I just need help but not a new wife I love the woman I married and offer blessing and praise to God to help me in distress, I am on SSDI (Social Security Disability Income) Thank you for the payers for chastity, I am a Catechist, Knight of Columbus and Latin Mass Communicant and love Christ more than anything.

  6. Sorry for your misfortune but how did you manage to secure an annulment when you had had three children????

  7. I’ve heard of a Prayer for Purity by St. Leo the Great. Do you know where I can find it?

  8. I am suffering in my marriage because my wife is going to leave me. I honestly believe that God put her in my path for good reason. I have never cheated on her, but because I’m a sorry poor excuse of man she cheated on me. That doesn’t bother me because I love her with all my heart and soul. She was sent to me from God.

  9. This is SIrach (Ecclisasticus) 22:33-23:6

    Who will set a guard before my mouth, and a sure seal upon my lips, that I fall not by them, and that my tongue destroy me not? O Lord, father, and sovereign ruler of my life, leave me not to their counsel: nor suffer me to fall by them. Who will set scourges over my thoughts, and the discipline of wisdom over my heart, that they spare me not in their ignorances, and that their sins may not appear: Lest my ignorance increase, and my offences be multiplied, and my sins abound, and I fall before my adversaries, and my enemy rejoice over me? O Lord, father, and God of my life, leave me not to their devices. Give me not haughtiness of my eyes, and turn away from me all coveting. Take from me the greediness of the belly, and let not the lusts of the flesh take hold of me, and give me not over to a shameless and foolish mind.

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