You probably pray for the “intentions of the Holy Father” often—at the end of the Rosary, while praying the Morning Offering, even during Mass. Praying for these intentions is one of the requirements for gaining a plenary indulgence. But what are these intentions? Are they something specific?
The “intentions of the Holy Father” that we pray for as a part of various devotions are not only his personal or monthly intentions—though we include these too. But we also pray for specific, objective intentions directly related to the well-being of the Church and her faithful. In fact, the Church has established six traditional intentions of the Holy Father (some sources you may read list four or five):
1. The Exaltation of the Church
2. The Propagation of the Faith
3. The Extirpation of Heresy
4. The Conversion of Sinners
5. The Concord between Christian Princes
6. The Further Welfare of the Christian People
The Church is under attack, both from external and internal forces, and it is of the utmost importance that we continue to steadfastly pray for her and our Church leaders. Since the Pope is our leader here on earth, his intentions are intertwined with the intentions of the whole Church. Let us not abandon our Church! May we be renewed in our urgency to pray for our Holy Father and his intentions!
A powerful resource for praying for the Church and the Holy Father is the traditional compilation of prayers, the Raccolta, which beautifully articulates the Pope’s six intentions. Revised under Pope Pius XII, this official collection (or “raccolta” in Italian) of the Church’s prayers and devotions was published in English in 1957. The 800+ prayers of the Raccolta touch practically every spiritual and physical need, and every personal and societal hope. Perfect for every Catholic household, this book will unite your family with the entire Church through time and space! Get yours today at The Catholic Company!