Blog Post

What's the Five-Finger Prayer?

AM asks: “Have you ever heard of the Five-Finger Prayer? Is this New Age?”

No it is not. In fact, it comes from Pope Francis himself.

According to Catholic Online, this prayer is said to have been devised by Pope Francis which he was still serving as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

It made its way into the Universal Church shortly after he become pope when he included it in a prayer book, published by Libreria Editrice Vaticana, and titled, simply, “Prayers.” The book was handed out to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square during the Angelus on December 14, 2014.

“The prayer book is a collection of the most important, popular and easily memorizable prayers of the Christian tradition,” the Vatican Insider describes. “It can be used for day-to-day prayer, but also helps remind faithful to pray for special situations and needs, ensuring that no one is forgotten. Pages 32 and 33 contain a drawing of a hand outlining some prayer intentions suggested by Francis and how to pray for various individuals using our five fingers as an aid.”

These intentions are as follows:

1.) The thumb is the closest finger to you. So start praying for those who are closest to you. They are the persons easiest to remember. To pray for our dear ones is a "Sweet Obligation."

2.) The next finger is the index. Pray for those who teach you, instruct you and heal you. They need the support and wisdom to show direction to others. Always keep them in your prayers.

3.) The following finger is the tallest. It reminds us of our leaders, the governors and those who have authority. They need God's guidance.

4.) The fourth finger is the ring finger. Even though it may surprise you, it is our weakest finger. It should remind us to pray for the weakest, the sick or those plagued by problems. They need your prayers.

5.) And finally we have our smallest finger, the smallest of all. Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. When you are done praying for the other four groups, you will be able to see your own needs but in the proper perspective, and also you will be able to pray for your own needs in a better way.

This technique is a quick and easy way to remind us all how to pray like a Christian!

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