At the beginning of 2024, the Love Our Pope Movement (LOPM) will launch a global campaign of spiritual bouquets for the Holy Father. The campaign will run until March 2024, in time for the eleventh anniversary of the election of Pope Francis as Vicar of Christ and Bishop of Rome.
The offering of a spiritual bouquet of prayers and sacrifices for someone is a beautiful Catholic tradition. It is a devotional gift for someone, made more special if the recipient is the Pope. All we want is to give our Santo Padre joy and comfort, say prayers for his good health and long life, and give him warm spiritual hugs.
According to Most Rev. Edgar Gacutan, CICM, Bishop of Sendai, Japan, and LOPM Bishop Advisor, “Pope Francis faces many challenges, including opposition to his way of leading our dear Church. Through prayers and other means, let us support Pope Francis. Let us walk the synodal path.”
Lex orandi est lex credendi, “the law of prayer is the law of believing.” As Christians everywhere offer spiritual bouquets, ultimately as acts of love for God and always yearning to do all things for His greater glory, they will do this for the good health of the Holy Father and his intentions. Such is the goal of this massive campaign.
“Through prayers, sacrifice, and acts of mercy,” as Sr. Nathalie Becquart, XMCJ, Undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops and LOPM Honorary Convenor, explains, “the Love Our Pope Movement is a spiritual network that serves as a leaven, mobilizing people for the renewal that the Holy Spirit is bringing about here and now.”
LOPM believes that the prayerful encounter with Jesus in our prayers and sacrifice can become a real source of strength and fortitude for the Vicar of Christ on Earth. And every LOPM activity will be a prayerful experience for the silent majority who dearly love and respect our Holy Father, “our wounded shepherd.”
A spiritual bouquet of four flowers
One complete spiritual bouquet may consist of four flowers: one reception of Holy Communion; one act of going to confession or any personal sacrifice; one vocal or mental prayer; and one performance of any corporal acts of mercy.
1] Active participation in the Holy Mass and the worthy reception of Holy Communion are the summits of our Catholic faith. Belief in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is its center; thus, a one-hour vigil before our Eucharistic Lord is encouraged.
2] The Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession, together with sincere acts of contrition and satisfaction, make up a beautiful offering to God. The ascetical dimension of the spiritual bouquet includes acts of mortification, fasting, forgiving one’s enemies, or giving up a vice to be closer to Jesus, etc. (Romans 8:13, Matthew 16:24).
3] The fervent recitation of the Holy Rosary, Perpetual Help Novena, or Divine Mercy 3’clock Prayers is advisable. We shall incorporate our devotion to Jesus and Mary with our devotion to the Holy Father. We also urge you to go back to scriptural reading and meditation, which could be a rediscovery of the essentials to know, love, and serve Jesus more.
4] Corporal acts of mercy (Matthew 25:31–40) are veritable means of grace, good deeds, and works of justice pleasing to God.
How are the global and local campaigns done?
Diocesan, parish, school, community, and other levels can all conduct campaigns.
One single phone call, text, or message can inspire one or two to love, support, and offer prayers and sacrifice for the Pope. One group chat or one online meeting can do the same for a dozen or two. One announcement in a general gathering, parish Mass, or school assembly can inspire a hundred or two, or even a thousand.
For this spiritual endeavor, LOPM has partnered with several dioceses in the Philippines and across the globe, as well as with the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network (PWPN, Apostleship of Prayer), the De La Salle Brothers of Christian Schools (FSC Global), the Conference of Major Superiors in the Philippines (CMSP), and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission for Social Communication (CBCP-ECSC).
“On behalf of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and the global Lasallian Family,” as Br. Armin A. Luistro, FSC Superiore Generale and LOPM Honorary Convenor, states, “I join the universal Church and all women and men of goodwill as we launch the Love Our Pope Movement’s global campaign of spiritual bouquets for the Holy Father.”
Means of delivery
Deliver your spiritual bouquet cards and very brief messages of endearment addressed to His Holiness, Pope Francis, through the following means:
Spiritual bouquet cards (diocesan, university, community, or parish level) and very brief messages directly sent to: His Holiness Pope Francis. Casa Santa Marta, 00120, Vatican City.
Spiritual bouquet cards or e-cards (diocesan, university, community level) sent through the office or residence of the Apostolic Nuncio of a particular nation;
Spiritual bouquet cards or e-cards (diocesan, university, community level) sent through the Office of the Diocesan Bishop or Chancellor; e-cards of spiritual bouquets (diocesan, university, community level) sent through the LOPM General Secretariat email to: [email protected].
As Sr. Nathalie Becquart, XMCJ, says, “The Love Our Pope Movement is a strong support for the synodal journey of our Church and our Holy Father, Pope Francis.”
LOPM blossoms from the ground. His Holiness Pope Francis started the synodal process in 2021, and LOPM is a significant fruit that has come from it. Volunteerism is its strong physical arm, synodality is its process, prayers with sacrifice are its spiritual weapon, and the new evangelization is its focus, always under the guidance of the Pope, bishop, and parish priest.
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