THE APOSTLESHIP OF PRAYER - A JESUIT MOVEMENT
The Apostleship of Prayer was started by the Society of Jesus in France in 1844. At that time Fr. Francis X. Gautrelet told a group of Jesuit seminarians who were eager to work on the missions: "Be apostles now, apostles of prayer! Offer everything you are doing each day in union with the Heart of our Lord for what He wishes, the spread of the Kingdom for the salvation of souls."
The Apostleship of Prayer has the special aim of promoting devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 1861 the first Messenger of the Sacred Heart was published.
By the year 2000, the Apostleship of Prayer had over 40 million members, 50 different Messengers of the Sacred Heart, and 40 other periodicals.
At the center of the Apostleship of Prayer is the Morning or Daily Offering. In this simple prayer, we offer every moment of our day to God. We strive to take seriously the call we received in baptism to be "a royal priesthood" (see 1 Peter 2: 9).
Pope John Paul II said that the practice of praying the Morning Offering is "of fundamental importance in the life of each and every one of the faithful." It is a daily reminder to make our entire day, our whole life "a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God" (Romans 12: 1).
On its 100th anniversary in 1944, Pope Pius XII gave thanks to God for the Apostleship of Prayer, calling it "one of the most efficacious means for the salvation of souls, since it concerns prayer and prayer in common." He commended the organization for its goal: " to pray assiduously for the needs of the Church and to try to satisfy them through daily offering."
The Pope selects two intentions for the worldwide Church to pray for. Members of the Apostleship of Prayer particularly pray daily for these intentions.