Pope Francis is all about prayer. I will never forget the prayer-filled, electrifying silence in St. Peter's Square on the night of his election, when he bowed his head and asked us all to pray for him. On his one-year anniversary a couple of weeks ago, he echoed that moment: "Pray for me."
Each month Pope Francis entrusts to the Apostleship of Prayer two prayer intentions close to his heart. Since the 1800s, this is what popes do! Started in 1844 in France, the Apostleship of Prayer is a grass-roots international prayer group. You can read all about our history here
, but in a nutshell, the AoP started by promoting the Morning Offering
. That simple prayer--a conscious offering of the day's thoughts, words, and deeds for the good of others--spread like wildfire throughout the world. Every pope since then has asked to be a part of the prayer movement by submitting prayer requests to us.
We are the "Pope's Prayer Group."
Earlier this year Pope Francis submitted his prayer intentions for 2015 to the AoP. Our international headquarters in Rome sent them to us in the original Italian. I was thrilled to be a part of the team in our USA office who translated them into English, checked in with the national offices of France and Rome to compare translations, and then submitted them back to Rome for approval. Once approved each year, the international AoP distributes our translation to AoP offices in every English-speaking country in the world.
I get to adapt the Pope's prayers into simple language children will absorb. I also write reflections for children and design related activities for children to share with their families. I post these reflections and activities on our website
and on this blog
, and we also bind a whole year's worth into workbooks available on our online catalog
I keep meeting people who have never heard about any of this exciting stuff, so I thought I'd share it with you all today. And just so you don't have to click on the "Universal Intention
" tab above, I'm attaching this month's universal intention reflection and activity (on "Ecology and Justice") right here. Pope Francis' evangelization intention
for this month, for "Hope for the Sick," is worth the click if you have the time. Enjoy!