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Prayers and Devotions


The raising of one's mind and heart to God in thanksgiving and in praise of his glory. It can also include the requesting of good things from God. It is an act by which one enters into awareness of a loving communion with God. "Prayer is the response of faith to the free promise of salvation and also a response of love to the thirst of the only Son of God" (CCC, no. 2561).
—From the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults

Descriptions of prayer are abundant throughout Christian history. "True prayer," wrote St. Augustine, "is nothing but love." Prayer should arise from the heart. "Prayer," said St. John Vianney, "is the inner bath of love into which the soul plunges itself.""Everyone of us needs half an hour of prayer each day," remarked St. Francis de Sales, "except when we are busy—then we need an hour." Definitions of prayer are important, but insufficient. There is a huge difference between knowing about prayer and praying. On this issue, the Rule of St. Benedict is clear, "If a man wants to pray, let him go and pray."

What is Prayer?

St. John Damascene gave a classic definition of prayer: "Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God" (CCC, no. 2559, citing St. John Damascene, De Fide Orth. 3, 24).

The Catechism clearly defines prayer as a "vital and personal relationship with the living and true God" (CCC, no. 2558). Prayer is Christian "insofar as it is communion with Christ" (CCC, no. 2565), and a "covenant relationship between God and man in Christ" (CCC, no. 2564).


Popular devotions are expressions of love and fidelity that arise from the intersection of one’s own faith, culture and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As Blessed John Paul II said in 2001:

"Genuine forms of popular piety, expressed in a multitude of different ways, derives from the faith and, therefore, must be valued and promoted. Such authentic expressions of popular piety are not at odds with the centrality of the Sacred Liturgy. Rather, in promoting the faith of the people, who regard popular piety as a natural religious expression, they predispose the people for the celebration of the Sacred Mysteries.

"The correct relationship between these two expressions of faith must be based on certain firm principles, the first of which recognizes that the Liturgy is the center of the Church's life and cannot be substituted by, or placed on a par with, any other form of religious expression. Moreover, it is important to reaffirm that popular religiosity, even if not always evident, naturally culminates in the celebration of the Liturgy towards which it should ideally be oriented. This should be made clear through suitable catechesis" (Address to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, September 21, 2001).

Join with the Church as she expresses her praise and devotion to God through many popular devotional practices.

Here is a list of Prayers AND INFORMATION ON DEVOTIONS:

¿Qué es la Oración?
A Novena to Three American Saints for Life
A Prayer for Life
A Prayer for the People of Syria
A Prayer to our Lady of Guadalupe
Ad Limina Visit Prayer Card
Anima Christi
Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers
Family Prayer for the Year of Faith
How to Plan a Vigil
Intercesiones del Rosario pro Vida
Intercessions for Life: Children - Born and Unborn
Justice Prayer for Immigrants
Life Promise Prayer
Morning Offering
National Day of Prayer for Peace
New Evangelization Prayer
Novena for Faithful Citizenship
O Sacrum Convivium
Oración de la familia en el Año de la Fe
Oracion para Discernir una Vocacion
Oracion Para Sanar Victimas de Abuso
Oración Por La Paz
Oraciones Para las Vocaciones
Peticiones Por Las Tropas Que Parten
Popular Devotional Practices: Basic Questions and Answers
Prayer After an Election
Prayer Before an Election
Prayer During Difficult Economic Times
prayer for a victim of accident or violence
Prayer for an End to the Death Penalty
Prayer for Charity in Truth
Prayer for Civic Leaders
Prayer for Families
Prayer for Healing Victims of Abuse
Prayer for Migrants and Refugees
Prayer for Protection of Conscience Rights in Health Care
Prayer for the ad limina visits
Prayer for the New Year
Prayer for Troops
Prayer for Vocations 2010
Prayer for Work
Prayer From a Canticle by Saint John of the Cross
Prayer in Defense of Marriage
Prayer on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Prayer Service
Prayer to Discern a Vocation
Prayer to end the use of the death penalty
Prayer To Know One's Vocation
Prayer to Saint Juan Diego
Prayer to St. Juan Diego on his Canonization
Prayers at the Death of a Baptized Child
Prayers for Mourners
Prayers for Peace
Prayers for Vocations
Prayers to Care for Creation
Praying Like a Faithful Citizen
Pro-Life Novenas
Pro-Life Prayers
Pro-Life Rosary Prayer Intentions
Tantum Ergo
Thanksgiving Day Prayer
The "O Antiphons" of Advent
What is Prayer

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