In Catholic piety, there is a special type of prayer known as an ejaculation.

From the Latin meaning “a dart,” these prayers are also known as ejaculatory prayers, or aspirations.

The most common you probably already know are the Jesus Prayer, Come Holy Spirit, or the Fatima Prayer. However, any short prayer that naturally springs from our hearts can be one, like simply saying “Holy Family, I love you” or “Jesus, help me.”

This one-word ancient prayer spoken in Jesus’ language is a great one too.

What makes these prayers so special?

According to Padre Pio, God must answer them! In fact, he called them “arrow” prayers because they “are like arrows that wound God’s heart.”

“I urge you continually to renew the right intention you had at the beginning and to recite ejaculatory prayers from time to time. Those prayers are like arrows that wound God’s heart and oblige him – and this word is not at all exaggerated in this case – oblige him, I tell you, to grant you his graces and his help in everything.”

Pope Saint John Paul II said that “ancient monks were so sure of this truth they were convinced that their faith would release a special ‘energy’ of the Holy Spirit.”

“Conviction was expressed in their typical use of the Psalms known as “ejaculatory prayer” – from the Latin word “iaculum”, that is “a dart” – to indicate concise phrases from the Psalms which they could “let fly” almost like flaming arrows, for example, against temptations. John Cassian, a writer who lived between the fourth and fifth centuries, recalls that monks discovered the extraordinary efficacy of the short incipit of Psalm 69: “God, come to my assistance; Lord, make haste to help me,” which from that time on became as it were the gate of entry to the Liturgy of the Hours.”

Padre Pio was distinctly known for his devout prayer life, calling it the best weapon we possess, the key that opens the heart of God. Want to learn another prayer he called his “secret weapon” and prayed everyday? 

Click here to read all about it and pray with Padre Pio! 🙏

Editorial credit: Renata Sedmakova /
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