VATICAN CITY, APRIL 19, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican has approved the election of St. Thérèse of Lisieux as second patron of the Apostleship of Prayer.
In a decree dated March 6, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments approved the election of the Carmelite and doctor of the Church.
The director general of the Apostleship of Prayer is the superior general of the Jesuits, currently Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach. St. Francis Xavier is the other patron of the Apostleship of Prayer.
In a letter to the superior general of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, Father Kolvenbach wrote: “St. Thérèse, who wanted ‘to be a daughter of the Church and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father, knowing that his intentions embrace the universe,’ and now as heavenly patroness, will intercede so that this communion of prayer will contribute effectively to the building of the Church and the coming of the Kingdom of God.”
“In the name of the Apostleship of Prayer and my own I renew the gratitude expressed for the kind collaboration offered by the Order of Discalced Carmelites,” says the letter, published by the General Curia of the Discalced Carmelites (www.ocd.pcn.net).
The Apostleship of Prayer (APOR) is responsible for communicating the intentions the Pope assumes every month to offer his prayers and sacrifices together with those of hundreds of thousands of the faithful. Every month, it publishes two intentions: one general and the other specifically missionary.
According to its statutes, APOR is a public association of faithful “that, through the daily offering of themselves, unite themselves to the Eucharistic Sacrifice in which the work of our Redemption is continually renewed.” It is compatible with all types of Church associations and movements
APOR was the result of an intuition and proposal made for Jesuit students by Father Francis Xavier Gautrelet in Vals, France, in 1844. Today it has some 40 million members worldwide.
The Holy See has entrusted the spiritual leadership of this work to the Society of Jesus.