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Prayers - Catholic Prayers for Every Occasion


Along with the sacraments, prayer is at the heart of our life as Catholics. Find prayers for every occasion, from daily prayers to novenas for special needs. Learn how to pray the rosary, and find prayers to various saints and for different times of the year. Enrich your prayer life by learning the traditional prayers of the Catholic Church.
  1. The Basics of Prayer
  2. Essential Catholic Prayers
  3. Advent Prayers
  4. To the Virgin Mary
  5. To the Sacred Heart
  6. Novenas
  1. Litanies
  2. Prayers for the Dead
  3. Prayers to the Holy Spirit
  4. To the Blessed Sacrament
  5. Catholic Prayers for Each Month
  6. Pope Benedict's Prayer Intentions

The Basics of Prayer

Saint Paul tells us that we should "pray without ceasing," yet in the modern world, it sometimes seems that prayer takes a back seat not only to our work but to entertainment. As a result, many of us have fallen out of the habit of daily prayer that characterized the lives of Christians in centuries past. Yet an active prayer life is essential to our growth in grace. Learn more about prayer and about how to integrate prayer into every aspect of your daily life.

Essential Catholic Prayers

Every Catholic should know certain prayers by heart. Memorizing these prayers means that you will always have them close to hand, to recite as morning and evening prayer, and at appropriate times throughout the day.

Advent Prayers

Find popular Catholic prayers for Advent, the season of preparation for Christmas, including prayers for the Advent wreath and the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena.

To the Virgin Mary

Statue of Mary, Queen of May, at Saint Mary's Oratory, Rockford, IL. (Photo © Scott P. Richert)

Through the selfless "yes" of the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, our Savior, was brought into the world. It is appropriate, therefore, that we offer prayers of petition and praise to the Mother of God.

To the Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart of Jesus statue next to right side altar in St. Mary's Oratory, Rockford, Illinois.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which represents Christ's love for mankind, is very widespread in the Roman Catholic Church. These prayers are especially appropriate for the Feast of the Sacred Heart and for the month of June, which is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.


The novena, or nine-day prayer, is a powerful tool in our prayer life. This collection of novenas for every season of the liturgical calendar and to an assortment of saints is a good place to start to integrate novenas into your daily prayers.


A litany is a special prayer, usually intended to be recited communally, with a priest or other leader reciting the verses, while the faithful respond. Many litanies, however, can be recited privately as well.

Prayers for the Dead

Richert gravestone, Saint Peter's Lutheran Church, Corydon, IN. (Photo © Scott P. Richert)

Prayer for the dead is one of the greatest acts of charity we can perform. Our prayers help them during their time in Purgatory, so that they can enter more quickly into the fullness of heaven. These prayers are especially suited for offering a novena on behalf of the dead, or for praying during those seasons of the year (November, in the Western Church; Lent, in the Eastern Church) designated by the Church as times of fervent prayer for the faithful departed.

Prayers to the Holy Spirit

A dove in a wall by the Basilica of St. Agnes Outside the Walls, Rome. (Photo © Scott P. Richert)

Prayer to the Holy Spirit is less common for many Catholics than prayer to God the Father and to Jesus Christ. These prayers to the Holy Spirit are appropriate for both daily use and for special intentions.

To the Blessed Sacrament

Pope Benedict XVI offers benediction, October 15, 2005. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Eucharistic adoration is central to Catholic spirituality. These prayers to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament are appropriate as post-Communion prayers and for visits to the Blessed Sacrament.

Catholic Prayers for Each Month

The Catholic Church dedicates each month of the year to a specific devotion. Find the devotions and prayers for each month here.

Pope Benedict's Prayer Intentions

Pope Benedict XVI Elevates the Host at Mass in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Each month, Pope Benedict XVI's offers his special prayer intentions. Find Pope Benedict's prayer intentions for each month.

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