ROME – In his prayer video for the month of April, Pope Francis requested prayers for those who have a large responsibility when it comes to economic affairs, that they will always value what is good for the human person over profit.
The economy, the pope said in the video, “must follow the path marked out by business leaders, politicians, thinkers, and leaders in society who place the human person in first place, and do everything possible to ensure that there are opportunities of dignified work.”
The video for the pope’s April 2018 prayer intention, “for those who have responsibility in economic matters,” was released April 6, and shows a large number of dominoes set up in a long, winding line.
Shown on the dominoes are photos of men and women of different ages, races, and ethnicities, and images related to the economy.
A hand pushes the first domino, starting the “domino effect” of falling tiles, as Francis says that “the economy cannot attempt to increase profits by reducing the workforce, and thereby adding to the ranks of the excluded.”
Halfway through the tiles falling, however, a man disrupts them, allowing the remaining dominoes to continue to stand. “Let us raise our voices together, asking that economists may have the courage to reject an economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths,” the pope said.
An initiative of the Jesuit-run global prayer network Apostleship of Prayer, the pope’s prayer videos are filmed in collaboration with the Vatican Television Center and mark the first time the Roman Pontiff’s monthly prayer intentions have been featured on video.
The Apostleship of Prayer, which produces the monthly videos on the pope’s intentions, was founded by Jesuit seminarians in France in 1884 to encourage Christians to serve God and others through prayer, particularly for the needs of the Church.
Since the late 1800s, the organization has received a monthly, universal intention from the pope. In 1929, an additional missionary intention was added by the Holy Father, aimed at the faithful in particular.
However, as of last year, rather than including a missionary intention, Francis opted to have only one prepared prayer intention – the universal intention featured in the prayer video – and will add a second intention for an urgent or immediate need should one arise.