Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

Apostleship of Prayer - April Intentions

by Pope Saint John Paul II


The Holy Father's intentions for the month of April 1997 from the Apostleship of Prayer.

Publisher & Date

Apostleship of Prayer, 04/01/1997


April 1997 General Intention

That participation in the Eucharist may
awaken in the faithful the sense of true
Christian freedom according to the message of
the 46th International Eucharistic Congress

The proclamation of the Eucharist as the source of freedom is very relevant today.... In this century, as during the first ages of the Church, the Eucharist has been the Bread of Freedom, the viaticum for courage and martyrdom. In the catacombs of the 20th century, its celebration has aroused faith and hope and strengthened the new martyrs who, by the witness of their lives and often at the price of death, have upheld the dignity of conscience and the value of obedience to God's law.

The liturgy of the Church reminds us of Jesus' gesture of freedom in certain Eucharistic prayers from both the Western and Oriental traditions: Before he was given up to death, a death he freely accepted, he took bread.... This liturgical proclamation reminds us daily of the free act of love by which Christ offered himself to the Father for us, and, day after day, surrenders himself to the Church, so that in turn she may be for the faithful a source of true freedom in self-giving.

Christians, enlightened by the Eucharist, should be the promoters of true reconciliation between persons, families and nations. They should play a positive part in fostering liberation and in bringing into our world the power of truth, goodness, beauty, and justice. In considering the value of human activity in the light of the paschal mystery, the Second Vatican Council emphasized the meaning of that freedom which will only be complete when all humanity will be presented to the Father as an acceptable offering. While we are on our way towards the future, the Church gives us this assurance: A pledge of this hope, sustenance for this journey, our Lord left us in that sacrament of faith in which natural elements cultivated by men are turned into his glorious Body and Blood, the supper of fraternal communion, the foretaste of the heavenly banquet.

-- The Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, The Eucharist and Freedom


Almighty and eternal God, you have freed us from the slavery of sin.... Grant that we may celebrate, adore and live the Eucharist in truth so that, filled with the Holy Spirit, we may responsibly use the gift of our freedom. (Part of the prayer of the 46th International Eucharist Congress)

Catechism of the Catholic Church:
1322-44, 1363-68, 1391-95, 1404-5

Scriptures for reflection:
John 6: He who eats this bread will live for ever.
1 Corinthians 10:16-17: one bread, one body

Communion of saints:
For this intention we can ask the intercession of Saint Thomas Aquinas, whose beautiful hymns of Eucharistic devotion are still sung today.

April Mission Intention

That the Christian community of Hong Kong may continue bearing witness to faith and unity to proclamation and dialogue with the entire Chinese people

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