Each month, Pope Francis prays for a specific intention and asks us to join him.
Pope Francis’ Prayer Intention for February 2017:
Comfort for the Afflicted: That all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees, and marginalized, may find welcome and comfort in our communities.
There are many ways to pray for this intention, including throwing up a few Hail Marys or Our Fathers “for the comfort of the afflicted…” or for “Pope Francis’ intentions,” the latter of which is handy when you can’t remember this month’s intention. You can pray with Pope Francis however you like, but we put a few ideas together to help get you started:
- Prayer to Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted
- Litany for the Sick and Afflicted
- Pope Saint John Paul II’s Prayer to St. Padre Pio
- Prayer of Trust and Confidence in God’s Mercy
- Prayer for Migrants and Refugees
- A Prayer for Refugees
- Lectio Divina
Praying is the best and most effective way to bring about supernatural change in the world. If you’d like to get your hands dirty with other actions in addition to prayer, here are some things you might like to try:
- Volunteer with an organization that helps the homeless.
- Visit a nursing home or hospice.
- Participate in a blood drive.
- Donate to charities that help prisoner’s families.
- Use this interactive map at PovertyUSA to find local organizations you can work with to help those in need.
- Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People – Dig into TONS of documents, addresses, and prayers from the Vatican’s department tasked with helping the faithful understand how we can care for migrants and itinerant people.
Prayer to Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted
Immaculate Virgin Mary,
Mother of God and our most compassionate Mother,
we present ourselves in thy sight in all humility,
and with full confidence
we implore thee for thy maternal patronage.
Thou hast been proclaimed by Holy Church
the Comforter of the Afflicted,
and to thee constant recourse is had
by the sorrowful in their afflictions,
the sick in their maladies,
the dying in their agony,
the poor in their straitened circumstances,
those who stand in all manner of need
in both public and private calamities;
and from thee they all receive consolation and strength.
Our dearest Mother,
turn upon us also,
wretched sinners that we are,
thy merciful eyes,
and graciously accept our humble and confident prayers.
Aid us in all our spiritual and temporal necessities,
deliver us from all evil
and especially from sin,
which is the greatest evil,
and from all danger of falling into it;
obtain for us from thy Son Jesus
every blessing of which thou seest we stand in need
both in soul and body,
and especially the greatest blessing of all,
which is Divine grace.
Comfort our spirits,
troubled and afflicted in the midst of the many dangers that threaten us,
and the countless miseries and misfortunes that beset us on every side.
This we ask through that immense joy
which filled thy pure soul
in the glorious Resurrection of thy Divine Son.
Obtain tranquillity for Holy Church,
help and comfort for her visible Head,
the Sovereign Pontiff,
peace for Christian princes,
refreshment in their pains for the Holy Souls in Purgatory;
for sinners, the forgiveness of their sins,
and for the just, perseverance in well-doing.
Receive us all, our most tender Mother,
under thy loving and mighty protection,
that we may be enabled to live virtuously,
die holily and attain to everlasting happiness in Heaven.
Litany for the Sick and Afflicted
We found a SWEET Litany that matches up particular conditions and their patron saints. Here’s a sample:
From blindness and diseases of the eyes: St. Lucy, St. Menas, St. Vedast, St. Magnus, St. Lambert, St. Clare, St. Ottilie, St. Herveus, St. Genevieve, St. Emmeram, Pray for them.
From deafness: St. Cadoc, St. Owen, St. Aurelian of Limoges, St. Antiolus, Pray for them.From toothache and diseases of the mouth : St. Apollonia, St. Petronilla, St. Christopher, Bl. Dalmatius Moner, Pray for them.
From afflictions of the throat : St. Blase of Sebaste, St. Swidbert of Kaiserwerth, Pray for them.
From bronchitis : St. Arnulph of Cysoing, Pray for them.
Check out the whole thing over at Catholic Culture.
Pope Saint John Paul II’s Prayer to St. Padre Pio
St. John Paul II prayed this at St. Padre Pio’s canonization in 2002. A prayer to a saint, written by a saint! Hard to go wrong with something like that! Check it out:
Teach us, we pray, humility of heart,
so that we may be counted
among the little ones of the Gospel
to whom the Father promised to reveal
the mysteries of His Kingdom.
Help us to pray without ceasing,
certain that God knows what we need
even before we ask Him.
Obtain for us the eyes of faith that will help us recognize
in the poor and suffering, the very face of Jesus.
Sustain us in the hour of trouble and trial and, if we fall,
let us experience the joy of the sacrament of forgiveness.
Grant us your tender devotion to Mary,
mother of Jesus and our Mother.
Accompany us on our earthly pilgrimage
toward the blessed Homeland,
where we too, hope to arrive to contemplate forever
the Glory of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Padre Pio’s Prayer of Trust and Confidence in God’s Mercy
St. John Paul II’s prayer to Padre Pio wasn’t enough for you? Here’s one from the Capuchin himself:
we ask for a boundless confidence
and trust in Your divine mercy,
and the courage to accept
the crosses and sufferings
which bring immense goodness
to our souls and that of Your Church.
Help us to love You
with a pure and contrite heart,
and to humble ourselves beneath Your cross,
as we climb the mountain of holiness,
carrying our cross that leads to heavenly glory.
May we receive You
with great faith and love in Holy Communion,
and allow You to act in us as You desire
for your greater glory.
O Jesus, most adorable Heart
and eternal fountain of Divine Love,
may our prayer find favor before
the Divine Majesty of Your heavenly Father.
Prayer for Migrants and Refugees
Lord Jesus, when you multiplied the loaves and fishes, you provided more than food for the body, you offered us the gift of yourself, the gift which satisfies every hunger and quenches every thirst! Your disciples were filled with fear and doubt, but you poured out your love and compassion on the migrant crowd, welcoming them as brothers and sisters.
Lord Jesus, today you call us to welcome the members of God’s family who come to our land to escape oppression, poverty, persecution, violence, and war. Like your disciples, we too are filled with fear and doubt and even suspicion. We build barriers in our hearts and in our minds.
Lord Jesus, help us by your grace,
- To banish fear from our hearts, that we may embrace each of your children as our own brother and sister;
- To welcome migrants and refugees with joy and generosity, while responding to their many needs;
- To realize that you call all people to your holy mountain to learn the ways of peace and justice;
- To share of our abundance as you spread a banquet before us;
- To give witness to your love for all people, as we celebrate the many gifts they bring.
We praise you and give you thanks for the family you have called together from so many people. We see in this human family a reflection of the divine unity of the one Most Holy Trinity in whom we make our prayer: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
A Prayer for Refugees
God of our Wandering Ancestors,
Long have we known
That your heart is with the refugee:
That you were born into time
In a family of refugees
Fleeing violence in their homeland,
Who then gathered up their hungry child
And fled into alien country.
Their cry, your cry, resounds through the ages:
“Will you let me in?”
Give us hearts that break open
When our brothers and sisters turn to us
with that same cry.
Then surely all these things will follow:
Ears will no longer turn deaf to their voices.
Eyes will see a moment for grace instead of a threat.
Tongues will not be silenced but will instead advocate.
And hands will reach out—
working for peace in their homeland,
working for justice in the lands where they seek safe haven.
Lord, protect all refugees in their travels.
May they find a friend in me
And so make me worthy
Of the refuge I have found in you.
2017 Intentions | Apostleship of Prayer
Prayer to Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted | Catholic Doors
Litany for the Sick and Afflicted | Catholic Culture
Pope Saint John Paul II’s Prayer to Saint Padre Pio | Diocese of Lexington
Prayer of Trust and Confidence in God’s Mercy | Diocese of Lexington
Prayer for Migrants and Refugees | USCCB
A Prayer for Refugees | Catholic Relief Services