Peter’s Pence represents a small offering, accompanied by grand desires and visions. It is an offering that each member of the faithful decides to give to the Pope so that he can provide for the needs of the entire Church, especially in those places where the Church experiences greater difficulties.

“From this, they will all know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”
John. 13, 35

It is not by chance that Peter’s Pence, as a donation to the Successor of Peter, took on stable form in the seventh century with the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons, in connection with the feast of the Apostle to whom Jesus entrusted His Church. It then developed in the following centuries as other European peoples adhered to Christianity. It always remained a contribution of gratitude to and acknowledgement of the Pope, an expression of unity and ecclesial co-responsibility.

From the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Francis reminded everyone that every man and woman is included in the grand project of the love of God the Father. The Church is not an exclusive group. Everyone is called by Jesus.

Charity distinguishes the disciples of Jesus. With this gift, we can broaden our gaze and our hearts to embrace the Church scattered throughout the world. The Church then becomes a companion for families and peoples on their journey toward human, spiritual and material development, for the benefit of all societies.
Peter’s Pence represents a small offering, accompanied by grand desires and visions. It is an offering that each member of the faithful decides to give to the Pope so that he can provide for the needs of the entire Church, especially in those places where the Church experiences greater difficulties.

Peter’s Pence is not only a gesture of charity, a way of supporting the activity of the Pope and of the universal Church in favouring especially the poorest and Churches in difficulty. It is also an invitation to pay attention and be near to new forms of poverty and fragility in which we are called to recognise the suffering Christ, placing them at the centre of the journey of the ecclesial communities.

In this way, we can evangelise our societies and individualistic lifestyles, which are often indifferent to the fate of their fellow men and women and communities who are at the thresholds of our homes, and our countries.

“We are called to find Christ in them, to lend our voice to their causes, but also to be their friends, to listen to them, to speak for them and to embrace the mysterious wisdom which God wishes to share with us through them”
Pope Francis

Charity thus becomes a thrust that regenerates social, economic and political relationships as well, so that no one might claim to be at peace while shutting his or her eyes or remaining speechless, but that together we all might be each other’s guardians, one for another.

In the first year of his Pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI stressed the proper meaning of this offering:

“‘Peter’s Pence’ is the most characteristic expression of the participation of all the faithful in the Bishop of Rome’s charitable initiatives in favour of the universal Church. The gesture has not only a practical value, but also a strong symbolic one, as a sign of communion with the Pope and attention to the needs of one’s brothers; and therefore your service possesses a refined ecclesial character”.
Pope Benedict XVI

This aid is always animated by that love which comes from God:

“For this reason, it is very important that the Church’s charitable activity maintains all of its splendour and does not become just another form of social assistance” (…) “The Christian’s programme — the programme of the Good Samaritan, the programme of Jesus — is ‘a heart which sees’. This heart sees where love is needed and acts accordingly”
Ibidem, No. 31.

Former Pontiffs have manifested their attention to the Peter’s Pence Collection as a form of support given by believers to the Successors of St Peter’s ministry to the universal Church. Pope John Paul II, for example, stated:

“Peter’s Pence Collection is a true and proper participation in the work of evangelisation, especially if one considers the meaning and importance of concretely sharing in the concerns of the universal Church”
Pope John Paul II


At Sacred Heart we will be holding a second collection after mass on the weekend of the 29th and 30th June. A little or a lot, it is all welcome. Giving is a gift.

God Bless.

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