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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Tuesday, January 15, 2008
What are the Pope’s Intentions?
Those who say the Rosary usually start with an Our Father, three Hail Marys and a Glory Be for the “Pope’s Intentions”. Similarly in activities and prayers associated with indulgences it is a requirement to pray for the Pope’s intentions. But do you know what the Pope’s intentions are? Or how this practice of praying for the Pope’s intentions started?

It all started in 1844 when a group of young enthusiastic Jesuit seminarians, keen to go out and start working in the missions, were feeling frustrated by their lengthy studies and were wondering how their detailed study would make them better missionaries. Their Spiritual Director reminded them that salvation of souls was a supernatural goal and the best way of achieving a supernatural goal was by supernatural means. He told them that for the moment they had to be apostles of prayer and offer each day to God. By offering up their work, suffering and joy, in union with Christ, they would advance the work of the missions just as much as their being directly there. And so was founded the Apostleship of Prayer. This offering was soon formalised into the Daily Morning Offering and it rapidly spread outside the seminary; today many people start the day with a simple Morning Offering, offering their day to God – it is highly recommended.

In the 1880’s Pope Leo XIII saw how this simple yet profound way of life was spreading and so he announced his prayer intentions for every month, to go with the Daily Morning Offering; in this way these prayers would unite the whole Church. All popes since then have continued this tradition of announcing the intentions for prayer for each month. In 1985 Pope John Paul II reminded us of how the early Church prayed for St Peter when he was arrested (Act 12:5) and how he was joyous of knowing that people were praying for the concrete problems that troubled the Church.

The monthly prayer intentions of the Pope can be found through the Internet at We shall be including the monthly intentions in our bidding prayers.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:30 am