Great Catholic Prayers

Looking for Catholic prayers? Here's a collection of outstanding ones, plus...

...a user's manual, too!

This page collects together some great prayer resources, perfect for the beginning Catholic:

  • The most common Catholic prayers, with ones specifically to help you grow in the interior life.
  • Specific guidance for developing a prayer life. Ordinary people like me often struggle with prayer. It doesn't have to be that way! See "How to pray", below.

Why use written Catholic prayers?

Written, or formulaic prayers, are an outstanding school of prayer. In following them, we learn how to pray.

The Our Father is the best example, the "most perfect of prayers" (Catechism, 2773). Christ himself gave it to us, saying "Pray then like this: Our Father..." (Mt 6:9)

Jesus gave us much more than a simple formula to repeat mechanically. "As in every vocal prayer, it is through the Word of God that the Holy Spirit teaches the children of God to pray to their Father." (Catechism, 2766)

  • St. Paul: "...The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought...." (Rom 8:26)
  • The Psalms themselves are beautiful written prayers. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, they are "the book in which The Word of God becomes man's prayer.... The Psalms both nourished and expressed the prayer of the People of God." (Catechism, 2586)

And that is why we use written prayers: they nourish and express our individual prayers.

Get a good book containing lots of standard Catholic prayers. I use the Handbook of Prayers, edited by James Socias. It contains hundreds of prayers in English and Latin, as well as a terrific section called "How to Be a Better Catholic." It's small enough to slip in your pocket.

How to pray

A prayer life is essential to the Christian life — it is "a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God." (Catechism, 2558)

Christ promises to give you "living water" if you simply come to him and ask (John 4:10). Sounds good!

But how?

  • You do not need a lot of time
  • It's simple to begin
  • You can start right now

The keys to a solid life of prayer are very simple things.

So dig in and start your new prayer life today!

Basic Roman Catholic prayers

Traditional, written prayers will form the backbone of your prayer life.

These basic Catholic prayers are the five most fundamental ones:

Catholic prayers throughout the day

Be sure to see the article daily Catholic prayer for good daily prayers, and suggestions on using these prayers. Make these prayers the foundation of a strong prayer life!

Catholic prayers about Mary
(Marian prayers)

The article prayers to Virgin Mary contains these wonderful prayers about or to the Blessed Mother:

And of course, no section on prayers & Mary would be complete without mentioning the Holy Rosary! There's a whole article just about how to pray the Rosary. The Rosary is one of the most outstanding Catholic prayers; check it out!

The Web site also has a many wonderful Catholic prayers (opens a new browser window). is a major Catholic site, and has many outstanding resources.

See our home page for more articles for the beginning Catholic.