Anima Christi Prayer - History, Purpose, and How to Pray
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The Anima Christi is a popular prayer among Catholics that asks Jesus for specific graces to help with our journey to heaven.
People often pray the this prayer after receiving the Eucharist to give thanks to God. “Anima Christi” translates to “Soul of Christ.”
History of the Anima Christi
The Anima Christi is often credited to Ignatius, who included it in his book Spiritual Exercises in the 16th century.
However, the prayer has been dated to the 14th century, as it was found in other prayer books before St. Ignatius included it in his book.
The prayer consists of eleven main petitions that relate to receiving help from Christ Himself, particularly from His Passion and Death.
The Anima Christi can be prayed as a reflection on the suffering of Christ and as a prayer to grow closer to Him.
Why Pray this Powerful Prayer?
As mentioned before, the Anima Christi is often prayed after receiving Jesus in His gift of the Eucharist.
It is a beautiful prayer that can help us give thanksgiving to God for His sacrifice in the Crucifixion. It calls us to think about His Passion, Death, and Resurrection.
The prayer also asks God for the grace to stay close to Him and for His protection against the devil. We also ask God to call us to be with Him in heaven forever when we die.
It can be said for many different occasions, including in gratitude and thanksgiving, for an intention, or as a starting point for contemplation.
How to Pray the Anima Christi Prayer
There are a few different variations, but a common version is prayed as follows:
Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from Christ's side, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O good Jesus, hear me
Within Thy wounds hide me
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee
From the malicious enemy defend me
In the hour of my death call me
And bid me come unto Thee
That I may praise Thee with Thy saints
and with Thy angels
Forever and ever
Three Tips to Praying the Anima Christi
After receiving the Eucharist
As mentioned above, the Anima is a popular prayer to say after receiving Communion during Mass to give thanks to God for the sacrifice of His Son.
In the morning after waking up
This is a beautiful prayer to say in the morning to invite Jesus into your day and to remind yourself of the great love God has for you before carrying on with the busyness of your day.
Before going to confession
Praying the Anima Christi before receiving the sacrament of confession can help ease our anxiety about going to confession and remind us that God has already won our salvation and continues to love us, despite our sinfulness.
Blessing your Children
This is a great prayer to use to bless your children or loved ones. Simply replace the "me's" in the prayer with the name of your child. It's a wonderful way to intentionally draw them close to Jesus with prayer.
Looking for other ways to pray with the Anima Christi?
The Anima Christi is a beautiful prayer that can be said for many different occasions.
Try praying it within a Rosary for a deceased loved one by reciting it after the Fatima prayer before the start of the next decade.
No matter how or when you pray it, the Anima Christi is a powerful, traditional prayer that is rich in language that brings us deeper into prayer and closer to Christ, particularly to His Passion and Death.
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