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Anonymous John wrote:

Hi, guys —

I want to say indulgenced prayers for the Holy Souls in Purgatory during the first week of November, but I am confused about one of the conditions required for an indulgence.

  • I've read that one of the requirements is to pray for the intentions of the Holy Father, but what exactly does that mean?
  • Is it praying specifically for him or praying for the monthly intentions he has requested,
  • Or, something else?

Anonymous John

  { Can you clarify this so I can obtain an indulgence for the Holy Souls in Purgatory during November? }

Eric replied:


It means praying for what he is praying for. This may be satisfied by praying one Our Father and one Hail Mary.

Indulgentiarum Doctrina 12.10

n. 10 —The condition of praying for the Supreme Pontiff's intentions is fully satisfied by reciting one Our Father and one Hail Mary; nevertheless the individual faithful are free to recite any other prayer according to their own piety and devotion toward the Supreme Pontiff.

Pope St. Paul VI, Indulgentiarum Doctrina (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1967)

[Related website.]

Bob replied:

Dear John,

Thanks for the question.

There are published intentions that the Holy Father has for each month, which the whole Church can pray for. These are usually not controversial.

See here:

I understand many feel a hesitancy about praying for anything that Pope Francis has on his personal agenda, because much of it seems to be at odds with our Catholic faith, i.e., the green agenda, sustainable development, etc.

So, this is the essential deal: God would never fulfill any prayer that is against His Will, nor would He allow our sincere prayers to be wasted. So even if you were to pray for the Intentions of the Holy Father, meaning anything and everything that Pope Francis wants, God would sift through that and apply the prayer to the things that were according to His Will.

I pray for the Pope, and the official intentions, everyday when I offer my Rosary. I completely get the disconnect you are probably experiencing, but I trust God above all things. So don't worry and just let your good prayers go to the Poor Souls who need our help, especially at this time.


Bob Kirby

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