Tag Archives: Apostleship of Prayer

Pope Francis’ prayer intentions for February 2014

Francis at massPrayer is our recognizing the fact that we are in relationship with Another: God certainly takes the first step, but we respond in kind. Prayer is not talking to yourself but time spent before and with the Divine Mystery.

Pope Francis asked the other day: do we pray for AND with the Church, locally and universally?

I would recommend that you connect with the Apostleship of Prayer … they do good work.

The papal prayer intentions that we are asked to remember during the month of February:

The general intention

That the Church and society may respect the wisdom and experience of older people.

The missionary intention

That priests, religious, and lay people may work together with generosity.

Indulgences when there is no pope

emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Fr...

We Catholics have confidence in the proper use of indulgences for flourishing of the spiritual life on earth and in purgatory. Indulgences are often more known in concept but not always with the needed exactitude with regard to the high religious ideals of theology and sacramentality in following Jesus Christ more closely in His Resurrection.

Catholics know that one of the conditions of gaining the gift of indulgence is prayer for the Pope’s intentions. But when there is no pope, how does one fulfill the requirements of the indulgence? Are indulgences unavailable to the faithful during the papal vacancy?

The Apostolic Penitentiary answered this question in 2005 at the papal vacancy, stating that indulgences are still available to the faithful during the interregnum, since the “intentions of the Holy Father” perdure past the life of the same Holy Father, therefore prayer for those intentions made known by the Apostolic See remain necessary and efficacious for the purposes of indulgences.

I note the Pope’s Intentions on the first day of the month here on the Communio blog, but the Apostleship of Prayer, whose ministry it is in the USA, makes these intentions available online and in a nicely printed pamphlet. The papal intentions for February 2013 are noted here.

In the text, The Gift of the Indulgence (2000), the Apostolic Penitentiary writes,

1. This is how an indulgence is defined in the Code of Canon Law (can. 992) and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 1471): “An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints”.

2. In general, the gaining of indulgences requires certain prescribed conditions (below, nn. 3, 4), and the performance of certain prescribed works (nn. 8, 9, 10 indicate those specific to the Holy Year).

3. To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.

4. A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:

— have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin;

— have sacramentally confessed their sins;

— receive the Holy Eucharist (it is certainly better to receive it while participating in Holy Mass, but for the indulgence only Holy Communion is required);

— pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

5. It is appropriate, but not necessary, that the sacramental Confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope’s intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed; but it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act. Prayer for the Pope’s intentions is left to the choice of the faithful, but an “Our Father” and a “Hail Mary” are suggested. One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions are required for each plenary indulgence.

6. For the sake of those legitimately impeded, confessors can commute both the work prescribed and the conditions required (except, obviously, detachment from even venial sin).

7. Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.

The grants of indulgence are contained in the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum (4th ed., 1999). You will see special grants of the Holy See, such as for the Year of Faith, World Day of the Sick, World Youth Day or some special observance in dioceses or religious orders.

Re-creating the Apostleship of Prayer

I would hope that Catholics know and utilize the work of of the Apostleship of Prayer. You would know the Apostleship because of their publication of the Pope’s monthly prayer intentions, the advocacy of the Morning Offering and devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Well, there is good work being done to make the ministry of these faithful Jesuits more known so as to lead all to Christ. 

Cindy Wooden of CNS notes, 

“Membership in
the Apostleship of Prayer involves a commitment to beginning each day with a
prayer offering one’s life to God and praying for the needs of the universal
church and the intentions of the pope. Members promise to end each day
prayerfully reviewing their blessings and failings.

The morning offering and
prayers are the basic membership requirements, and in many countries the
apostleship has no registration, no groups, no fees, and no special meetings.
The Jesuits estimate that about 50 million people fulfill the membership
requirements in the apostleship and its youth wing, the Eucharistic Youth

The September 17th article is here.

Please join the Apostleship of Prayer (see the link above).

Invitation to send intentions to the Apostleship of Prayer

Father James
Kubicki, director of the Apostleship of Prayer, posted
a note on his website inviting pray-ers/readers to send him possible prayer

As he said, “People often ask us where the Pope’s prayer intentions
come from. That’s a great question with a great answer: they come
from the Pope. And they can even come from you. If you have a prayer
intention and would like more than 50 million people to pray for it, I invite
you to send it to us, keeping in mind that it should be something that concerns
the needs of the Church and the world. We forward intentions to our
international office in Rome, where a number of them are selected to present to
the Holy Father.”

This is important to do. As you know, on the first day of each month I post for our prayer the intentions given by Pope Benedict to this Apostleship of Prayer. Well, they come from somewhere, written and proposed by someone, coming from real experience and real need that are placed before God.

You may send Father Kubicki your proposed prayer intention by
reply e-mail or mail:

Apostleship of Prayer

3211 South Lake
Drive, Suite 216

Milwaukee, WI

(414) 486-1152


PS: Don’t forget to make your daily morning offering, today!

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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