Evangelization prayer intention: To witness to the Gospel in Asia

That Christians in Asia, bearing witness to the Gospel in word and deed, may promote dialogue, peace, and mutual understanding, especially with those of other religions.

I am grateful for the opportunity to take part in this meeting which brings together, among others, the four largest religious communities integral to the life of Sri Lanka: Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. […]

Universal prayer intention: Rights of workers and the unemployed

That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.

Faced with current economic developments and the distress that employment is experiencing, it is necessary to reaffirm that work is essential for society, for families and for individuals. Work, in fact, directly concerns the human person, his life, his freedom and his happiness. The primary value of work is the good of the human person since it fulfills him as such, with his inner talents and his intellectual, creative and physical abilities.

Evangelization prayer intention: Parishes at the service of the mission

That our parishes, animated by a missionary spirit, may be places where faith is communicated and charity is seen.

27. I dream of a “missionary option”, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation. The renewal of structures demanded by pastoral conversion can only be understood in this light: as part of an effort to make them more mission-oriented, to make ordinary pastoral activity on every level more inclusive and open, to inspire in pastoral workers a constant desire to go forth and in this way to elicit a positive response from all those whom Jesus summons to friendship with himself. As John Paul IIonce said to the Bishops of Oceania: “All renewal in the Church must have mission as its goal if it is not to fall prey to a kind of ecclesial introversion”.[25]

Universal prayer intention: For artists

That artists of our time, through their ingenuity, may help everyone discover the beauty of creation.

To all who are passionately dedicated
to the search for new “epiphanies” of beauty
so that through their creative work as artists
they may offer these as gifts to the world

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Gn 1:31)

The artist, image of God the Creator

1. None can sense more deeply than you artists, ingenious creators of beauty that you are, something of the pathos with which God at the dawn of creation looked upon the work of his hands. A glimmer of that feeling has shone so often in your eyes when—like the artists of every age—captivated by the hidden power of sounds and words, colours and shapes, you have admired the work of your inspiration, sensing in it some echo of the mystery of creation with which God, the sole creator of all things, has wished in some way to associate you.

Evangelization prayer intention: Those distant from the Christian faith

That our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the merciful closeness of the Lord and the beauty of the Christian life.

God waits for us and never tires of forgiving us. This was the central theme of Pope Francis’ homily today at Casa Santa Marta.

The Holy Father reflected on the first reading from the prophet Hosea, which recalls God’s call to conversion and forgiveness for the people of Israel.

“Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God; you have collapsed through your guilt. Take with you words, and return to the LORD,” the reading states.

These words, the Pope said, are an exhortation from a Father to a son. “With these words alone, we can pass many hours of prayer.”

Universal prayer intention: Eliminate arms trade

That national leaders may firmly commit themselves to ending the arms trade, which victimizes so many innocent people.

[…] Peace. This word sums up every good to which every person and every human society aspires. Indeed, in the final analysis, the commitment with which we seek to foster diplomatic relations has no other scope than this: to foster the growth of peace in justice and development throughout the human family. This end has never been fully reached, it asks to be sought again and again by every generation, confronting the challenges that every epoch poses.

Evangelization prayer intention: Christians of Africa, witnesses for peace

That Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.

Today Bangui becomes the spiritual capital of the world. The Holy Year of Mercy starts early in this land of Africa. A land which has suffered for years from war and hatred, lack of understanding, lack of peace; in this land of sufferings there are many countries bearing the cross of war. Bangui now becomes the spiritual capital of prayer for the Father’s mercy. Let us all implore peace, mercy, reconciliation, forgiveness and love. For Bangui, for the entire Central African Republic, for the whole world, for those countries experiencing war, let us ask for peace! Now, all together, let us ask for love and peace. […]

Universal prayer intention: Youth

That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.

[…] In Christ you find fulfilled your every desire for goodness and happiness. He alone can satisfy your deepest longings, which are so often clouded by deceptive worldly promises. As Saint John Paul II said: “He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is he who provokes you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is he who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is he who reads in your hearts your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle. It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives” (cf. Discourse at the Prayer Vigil at Tor Vergata, 19 August 2000: Insegnamenti XXIII/2, [2000], 212). […]

Evangelization prayer intention: Help persecuted Christians

That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church.

“Where it is forbidden to pray”

There are more Christians being martyred and persecuted today than in the early days of the Church. In some countries it is even prohibited to pray together. Pope Francis made this dramatic reality the focus of his meditation on Friday morning, 4 April.

Universal prayer intention: Welcome the needy

That all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees, and marginalized, may find welcome and comfort in our communities.

Dear brothers and sisters,

I have wanted to be with you today. I want to tell you that you are not alone. In these weeks and months, you have endured much suffering in your search for a better life.