Prayer Suggestion for Lent: Pray the”Universal Prayer”in Slow Motion

030914I have often thought that the second greatest prayer ever written is the Universal Prayer attributed to Pope Clement XI. Most people have never heard of it. But it is magnificent. Its sweeping themes cascade like a fountain and it is comprehensive without being too detailed so that it loses its poetry.

So many themes are covered in its short verses: faith, trust, beginnings and ends, wisdom, justice, mercy, mindfulness, purity, repentance, journey, judgment, authority, greed, gentleness, generosity, apathy, fervor, prudence, courage, justice, temperance, fortitude, vigilance, and our last end, just to mention some.

If you are among the many who have never heard of this prayer, click here to see it:


And yet as I pray it, the prayer is so sweeping that I often feel overwhelmed by its sheer volume. It’s as though I am standing before an open fire hydrant with a little Dixie cup trying to capture the water. Most of it rushes past me.

So for Lent I have thought to pray this prayer every day but also to take one line and meditate on it in particular. Here is a version of the Prayer that I have numbered so as to focus on a particular line for each of the forty days:

THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER for Each of the Forty Days

I hope the Universal prayer will bless you as much as it has blessed me. Consider this practice. Print out the PDF files and use them when you can. I think you’ll find that the prayer provides a lot on which to meditate.

In case you would like the Latin original with a literal and poetic translation it is here:

UNIVERSAL PRAYER in Latin and English


2 Replies to “Prayer Suggestion for Lent: Pray the”Universal Prayer”in Slow Motion”

  1. Yes, I agree with you, Monsignor. This is a magnificent prayer. I discovered a month ago on and immediately saved it to my favorites. I try to pray it each morning.

    God bless you!

  2. Thank you much Msgr !

    Yes, worth repeating often !

    If I may share one thing picked up from Charismatic ministry teams as well as the mention in diary of St.Faustina and the general biblical theme too is how our Lord loves it when we ask for great favors trusting in Him, such as for many many persons ; thus , our prayers can be more comprehensive for lots more, even for millions more ; true ,when the Holy Father prays as the Head of The Church and priests too, those prayers likley get accepted as that of a father, for the households that they represent ; for others, it might be good to keep that aspect more in our hearts so that those in our lives who need conversions also get prayed for ardently , for the purpose of mutual peace !

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