Pope Francis releases his prayer intention for the month of August, urging special prayers for small businesses.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov (vaticannews)

As August kicks off, Pope Francis is calling on Catholics to pray for small and medium-sized businesses, so that “in the midst of economic and social crisis, they find ways to continue operating, and serving their communities.”

The Pope released his monthly prayer intention on Tuesday in a video prepared by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network. (NB: video ahs English subtitles)

In the message, he recognizes the “courage, effort and sacrifice” of small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, and acknowledges that they are among the most affected by “the grave socio-economic crisis,” brought to new heights by wars and the devastating Covid-19 pandemic.

According to statistics for 2021 from the World Bank, one in four companies lost half of their volume of sales because of the global pandemic. Further exacerbating their reality is that they do not receive adequate public assistance.

Constant sacrifices and hard work to help others

In his video message, the Pope praised those who through their workshops or shops “invest in life,” by “generating well-being, opportunities and work.”

The Holy Father acknowledged their hard work and constant sacrifices made, in order to invest in the common good.

“Stores, workshops, cleaning businesses, transportation businesses, and so many others. The ones that don’t appear on the world’s richest and most powerful lists, and despite the difficulties, they create jobs, fulfilling their social responsibility.”

The Holy Father concluded his video message remembering the value of small businesses.

“Let us pray for small and medium-sized businesses, hard hit by the economic and social crisis, so they may find ways to continue operating, and serving their communities.”

The ‘great importance’ of small businesses

Father Federic Fornos, S.J., the International Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Network, reflected on the intention.

“The crises that we are going through, are—as the Pope says—a ‘Noah moment,’” he said, are “an opportunity to build something different. In this sense, small and medium-sized businesses are of great importance, with their creative force and their capacity to contribute solutions from the bottom up.”

“Without them, it would not have been possible to make it through the COVID crisis, and they continue to be necessary now. This is why it is important to pray for them.”

Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and Pope Video

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network is a Vatican foundation, with the mission of mobilizing Catholics through prayer and action in response to the challenges facing humanity and the mission of the Church. Founded in 1844 as the Apostleship of Prayer, the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network currently is present in 89 countries and is made up of more than 22 million Catholics. The Pope Video is an official global initiative with the purpose of disseminating the Holy Father’s monthly prayer intentions.


Kazakhstan’s capital of Nur-Sultan is a 6 ½ hour flight from Rome. The return flight is 7 ½ hours. The country is 4 hours ahead of Italy.

FYI: The Palace of Peace and Reconciliation will be the focal point of the Pope’s attendance at the conference. It has been a top tourist and visitors’ site since 2006, offers unique cultural and religious exhibits and spaces for meetings and cultural encounters. One of the more unusual facts is its diagonal moving elevator inside, one of only several in the world. It is also called the Pyramid of Peace and Reconciliation.

TUESDAY, 13 September 2022 Rome – Nur-Sultan

07:15 Departure by airplane from Rome/Fiumicino international airport to Nur-Sultan

17:45 Arrival at Nur-Sultan international airport

17:45 – 18:30   Official welcome ceremony at the presidential palace in Nur Sultan

18:45 Courtesy visit to the president of the republic

19:30 Meeting with the authorities, civil society and the diplomatic corps at the Qazaq concert hall. Address of the Holy Father

WEDNESDAY, 14 September 2022 Nur-Sultan

10:00   Silent prayer of religious leaders. Opening and plenary session of the “VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions” at the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation. Address of the Holy Father

12:00   Private meetings with various religious leaders at the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation

16:45 Holy Mass in the Expo Grounds. Homily of the Holy Father

THURSDAY, 15 September 2022   Nur-Sultan – Rome

09:00 Private meeting with members of the Society of Jesus at the Apostolic Nunciature

10:30 Meeting with bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated persons, seminarians and pastoral workers in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cathedral. Address of the Holy Father

15:00 Reading of the Final Declaration and Conclusion of the Congress at the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation. Address of the Holy Father.

16:15 Farewell ceremony at Nur-Sultan international airport

16:45 Departure by airplane from Nur-Sultan international airport to Rome

20:15 Arrival at Rome/Fiumicino international airport