Each month, Pope Benedict XVI announces his special prayer intentions—particular things that he wishes all Catholics to pray for that month. (When, for instance, we pray the rosary and say the prayers at the end for the intentions of the Holy Father, these are the intentions for which we're praying.)
Pope Benedict offers two intentions every month, one general, and one for a particular Catholic missionary activity. Pope Benedict's prayer intentions for each month in 2011 are listed below.
Pope Benedict began 2011 with prayer intentions regarding social media and Christian unity.
In February 2011, Pope Benedict's prayer intentions turned to the family and to those suffering from disease in mission areas.
Pope Benedict's prayer intentions for March 2011 focused on the nations of Latin America and those places in the world where Christians are persecuted and discriminated against for their belief in Christ.
Pope Benedict XVI's prayer intentions for April 2011 focused on the central mission of the Church: the spreading of the Gospel to all nations.
Pope Benedict XVI's prayer intentions for May 2011 share a common theme: that truth is the foundation of human respect and unity.
Pope Benedict XVI's prayer intentions for July 2011 remind us that the Catholic Church is often the leading provider of healthcare services in the developing world, and Catholic religious women are on the front lines of the battle against the physical and spiritual effects of disease.
Pope Benedict XVI's prayer intentions for August 2011 focus on the need to bring young people more fully into the life of the Church, and for Christians, especially in the West, to become more fully open to the actions of the Holy Spirit.
As students go back to school, Pope Benedict XVI's prayer intentions for September 2011 remind us that the fullness of truth is found only in Jesus Christ, and that by spreading the Gospel, we not only bring people to the beauty of the Christian Faith, but to its truth as well.
"Feed the poor." "Visit the sick." "Spread the Gospel to all nations." In October 2011, Pope Benedict XVI's prayer intentions call us back to the very essence of our Catholic Faith, which cannot be mere words but must be lived as well.
While we (not surprisingly) often look at the universal Church through the lens of our own parish, Pope Benedict's prayer intentions for November 2011 remind us that there are great spiritual riches to be found in parts of the Church with which we are not familiar—and there are fellow members of the Church who suffer in ways that we do not, and need our prayers.