Top Catholic Advent Apps for 2017

Prepare for Christmas with a little Advent devotion on-the-go!

No Santas or snowmen here. These apps are about the serious business of preparing for the birth of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Are you ready to take this on? Here are some of the best apps out there for Advent 2017.



Pray-As-You-Go offers its popular audio Advent Retreat.  What you’re getting is a digital audio retreat available as a podcast from iTunes podcast feeds or off their web site or off their free app, Pray-As-You-Go Apple | Android.  Produced by Jesuit Media Initiatives out of Britain, in collaboration with Sacred Space , the audio retreat invites you to spend about about 11 minutes per day in a systematic method of prayer and meditation as you listen to and reflect on God’s word along with gentle reflections offered by the Jesuits.

The 2017 Advent Retreat entitled, Messengers of Joy, invites you to meditate on some ‘good news’ moments in the Christmas story, using Isaiah and the Gospel of Luke.  A new session of the retreat will be available in text and audio format each week in the Advent season, starting with introductory material on November 27. Developers say, “The retreat offers some practical suggestions about how to create an inner space of attentiveness so that the Spirit of God can work in us in the period leading up to Christmas, in the hope that we will learn how to become Messengers of Joy.”

You will enjoy the wide variety of music in these podcasts which you can purchase via links on the Pray-As-You-Go web site. This is always an absolute gem of an experience to listen to. Powerful and thought-provoking meditations on topics you probably have never considered. Be prepared to give this app TIME. Don’t expect them to rush because that’s counter-productive to what they do in these podcasts. Relax and enjoy the serene moments of music or sound effects that they insert where you are to contemplate and ruminate aspects of the mystery of Advent.

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Pixmas-APPCan’t find a digital Advent calendar that you like? Make up your own custom Advent calendar this season! That’s right.  Pixmas Advent Apple (Free) enables you to create an Advent calendar utilizing 24 of your own photos with ability to include text. This is an enjoyable and subtle way to engage your loved ones in faith reflection each day in a most personalized way.

advent phone

You know them best, so you can tailor the calendar to a group or to an individual (make as many calendars as you wish!) and then share via Facebook, Messenger or email with a link.  So, for my daughter, I created one using old Christmas photos to bring up great memories and added text for the day — a little something religious to think about. For example, Day 1 opens up to an old photo of our Advent Wreath with the text: May Christ’s light illuminate you on your journey each day of your life. Day 2 shows my daughter at age 3 watching her dad cut a Christmas tree in deep snow. Her son is now 3 yrs old and just watched his dad cut their Christmas tree. Message: Dad and I wish you joy and peace as you pass on the family traditions of Christmas.

Add Scripture text, a prayer, an inspiring quote from a family member who has passed on, a picture of the church your family attended years ago, a photo of your family nativity set or a special Christmas ornament…You get the idea.


xt3 calendar Xt3 Advent Calendar 2017 (Free) For Apple iPhone;  Apple iPad and Android phone, Android tablet. Brought to you by the Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia, this calendar app opens up each day with new resources and material to aid your Advent journey to Christmas day.

This year’s theme examines a quote from Venerable Fulton Sheen:

“Divinity Is Always Where One Least Expects To Find It”

From developers:

This calendar is a Christian resource well suited for youth groups, parishes, schools, or for your own personal Advent journey. Each day you will see a new feature, including a daily reflection and bible quote, as well as a multimedia item of interest.

You will only be able to view the calendar features up to the present date. The first calendar feature will appear on the first Sunday of Advent, December 3, 2017.

An internet connection will be required to view linked content, so make sure you have an adequate data allowance with your device if you wish to view them.

Here’s a video explaining the features of this nifty app packaged with useful, creative resources. Our complete review for 2017 is here.

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advent_2017_magnificatMagnificat Advent Companion 2017Apple($1.99) Android, ($1.99) Kindle ($2.99), Kobo ($2.99), e-book for Mac and iOS ($2.99) English. The paperback print version is sold out, but you can get the electronic version any time.  English, French and Spanish. From the publishers of Magnificat:

  • a practical, page-a-day format featuring original meditations on the Gospel reading of each day by nineteen gifted authors.
  • Each issue of the Advent Companion is never the same as the last and contains these one-of-a-kind extras that you won’t find anywhere else:
    • a variety of beautiful blessings and essays
    • an Advent Penance Service
    • specially-commissioned poetry
    • a unique feature: the Advent Stations

Here is a review of a previous version.

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($2.99) iOS There is a FREE “lite” version that has half the meditations available. Here is a full-force meditation/reflection app designed to help you prepare for Christmas–all of it including the 12 days of Christmas following December 25. Using traditional (and quite famous) works of art, the app stimulates you to engage each day with its feast on the liturgical calendar and with reflections on the Gospels by Père Médaille, S.J.

To help you to meditate every day, there is a daily reminder feature in which you can set to your desired time. We want to list all the meditations to illustrate just how serious this app takes the Advent preparation. If you’re that serious about it too, please dive in!

First Week of Advent:
• Sunday: The Last Judgmentadventus-app-screenshot
• Monday: On the Sentence in favor of the Just
• Tuesday: On the Sentence pronounced against the Wicked
• Wednesday: The Sinner Arraigned at the Judgment Seat
• Thursday: On the Necessity of a General Judgment
• Friday: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand”
• Saturday: On the Predestination of the Blessed Virgin
Second Week of Advent:
• Sunday: “Prepare ye the way of the Lord” – I
• Monday: “Prepare ye the way of the Lord” – II
• Tuesday: “Prepare ye the way of the Lord” – III
• Wednesday: St. John came to preach the Baptism of Penance – I
• Thursday: St. John came to preach the Baptism of Penance – II
• Friday: On the Penance which St. John preaches
• Saturday: On the Sacrament of Penance
Third Week of Advent:
• Sunday: On the Uncertainty of the State we are in
• Monday: On the Decision of our Fate
• Tuesday: On the Presence of God
• Wednesday: On the Words: “Who art Thou” – I
• Thursday: On the Words: “Who art Thou” – II
• Friday: On the Words: “Who art Thou” – III
• Saturday: On True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin
Fourth Week of Advent:
• Sunday: St. John hears in Prison of the Works of Christ
• Monday: “Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen”
• Tuesday: “Blessed is he whosoever shall not be scandalized in Me!”
• Wednesday: “To the poor the gospel is preached”
• Thursday: On Poverty of Spirit
• Friday: On the Doubt of St. Joseph
• Saturday: On the Journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem
Twelve Days of Christmas
• Christmas Day
• Feast of St. Stephen
• Feast of St. John the Evangelist
• Feast of the Holy Innocents
• The End of the Year
• On the Blessings we have received from God during the Year
• On our Omissions during the Year
• The Circumcision
• On the Name of Christian
• Third Day of the Year
• On the Good Resolutions we should make at the Beginning of the Year
• On the Mystery of God becoming Man for the Redemption of Mankind


advent-lectioDivinascreen568x568.jpgLectio Divina for Advent (Free) iPhone, iPad, Android Phone, Android tablet Advent calendars are designed to unpack a daily gift or message each day of the season. This is better–Unpack daily Scripture readings during the season! This is done through Lectio Divina or a meditative, prayerful way of reading Scripture. The Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay (Australia) has taken their popular Advent Lectio Divina to the app format which offers a reflection for each week of Advent as well as Christmas and Epiphany, an overview of the Advent season and information about Lectio Divina for your Scripture passages. You’ll need to read the lengthy instruction on Lectio Divina before you begin, but it’s important to get you started correctly so you get the most out of the Scripture served up to you for the week. Granted, the app is for the 2014 season using Mass readings from that year, but it still works for any year. Developers may update this for 2015.

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popemoji-xmas-faceThe popular Pope Emoji app has Christmas themes! Warm up your messages with the love of the season by including a light-hearted image of Pope Francis in six Christmas settings. The free keyboard app, available for both Apple and Android mobile devices, offers you the ability to text, tweet and otherwise message (but not Facebook) with a set of 58 different emojis.

A couple good questions…popemoji-xmas

Will recipients of your message recognize that image as Pope Francis with his red santa hat in place of the white zucchetto? Hmmm…Not sure about that.

pope imogi use

Is it insulting to the Holy Father? It depends on how his image is used in your message. Keep it light-hearted; and protect his image as you would your grandfather’s. If your friend sends a “bah hum-bug” message, respond with Pope Francis holding a dove and the words, “Peace on Earth.”


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Load nifty virtual Advent wreaths on your smart device. We’ve got you covered for iOS and Android.

Virtual Advent Wreath ($.99) iOS. This is my favorite advent wreath app. It is as realistic as it gets. No prayers, a little background music (which you can turn off). You light the realistic candles in a lovely low-light setting and just pray on your own. Peaceful and serene. The flames respond to rotation of the device. And you can blow the candle(s) out–literally. I’m serious! So cool. Annoying ads at the opening, but once you’re in the virtual wreath, it’s just you and your candles. I have had this on in the middle of the night when I just want to pray a bit. Extremely realistic – and safer than the real thing. Unfortunately, this app no longer works with iOS 11 (boo hoo!)


adventwreath.jpgAdvent Wreath ($.99) Android. This app misses the fancy, realistic graphic sizzle we have come to expect in apps these days but, hey, it works if all you need is a simple Advent wreath in the palm of your hand. From developer:  “Touch the wicks to light the candles and enjoy the peaceful, soothing flickering of the flames. Easily gather your friends and family for your very own Advent Wreath lighting no matter how busy you are.” Here’s a cool feature: the candles slowly burn down as the days of Advent pass by. You also have the option to turn the burn rate up for a more dramatic effect.

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advent-wreath-wallpaperAdvent Wreath Live ($.99) Android only. Live Advent wreath wallpaper From developer: Beautiful 3D rendering counts down the days until Christmas in style. Candles sync to your device calendar and burn down as the weeks of Advent pass. Note: This is a Live Wallpaper, not an app. After installing, long press on your Home Screen to access the Live Wallpaper chooser.

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As  community of Catholic app enthusiasts, we invite you to make your recommendations for Advent apps in comments below!

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Categories: Blog for Catholic Apptitude

Author:Jennifer Kane

Content Evangelist, Jennifer Kane, is a secular Carmelite (OCDS), wife, mother, grandmother who worked for more than 30 years in marketing/communications which included 20 years in radio broadcasting including news director. She holds degrees in Journalism/Communication (BA) and English (MA) from St. Bonaventure University. In 2016 she authored the Vatican application for minor basilica status for The Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels in Olean, New York. Pope Francis granted that title in 2017. Research on the basilica formed the basis of her history book, A Place Set Apart. She previously authored the book, A Worthy and Capable Clergyman, the second part of the history book in a slightly different format. She is founder and editor of the website,, the #1 English language website cataloging/reviewing Catholic apps for mobile devices.

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  1. Top Catholic Advent Apps for 2017 | Formed In Faith - December 1, 2017

    […] No Santas or Snowmen here! These apps are about the serious business of preparing for the birth of Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Are you ready to take this on? Here are some of the best apps out there for 2017. […]

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