Celebrate Pope Francis’ 10th anniversary with prayer

By Chicago Catholic staff
Thursday, February 16, 2023

Pope Francis greets the crowd as he leads the Angelus from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Jan. 22, 2023. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Tin might be the traditional gift for a 10th anniversary, but Pope Francis really has no use for metal knickknacks.

At least, that seems to be the thinking behind a push to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Pope Francis’ pontificate with the one thing he always asks for: prayer.

The pope surprised people when he stepped out onto the loggia on March 13, 2013, and asked the people gathered in St. Peter’s Square and those watching around the world to pray for him. Since then, he has made it a practice to ask those who come to his audiences or other encounters to pray for him.

“From the first day of his papacy, when Pope Francis speaks to the faithful he asks that we remember to pray for him,” said Cardinal Cupich, encouraging Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago to join the effort. “He has spent the 10 years of his pontificate preaching the Gospel of love and mercy in a world deeply in need of both. Let us respond as he has asked, with prayers.”

According to Vatican News, a group of Catholic “digital missionaries,” or online influencers who solicited input from their audiences into the first phase of the ongoing synodal process, now known as the Digital Synod, set a plan in motion for people around the world to pray the Hail Mary for Pope Francis on March 13.

Participants can go online ahead of time at and pledge to pray one or more Hail Marys for the pope on his anniversary. If they choose, a small candle will be added to their location on a world map that will be presented to Pope Francis.

The initiative was launched Feb. 13; as of Feb. 28, more than 97,000 Hail Marys had been promised.


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