Best Lent Apps for 2020

That exhilarating feeling you have on Easter when you’ve just traveled a rewarding Lent. These apps can help. They are filled with intelligent, Gospel-based ideas to foster a more loving response to ourself and our neighbor which will ultimately bring us closer to God. Ash Wednesday is February 26 and it isn’t too early to browse this year’s selection of the best Lent apps out there so you’re prepared. Of course, Confession apps cover that critical component of the Lenten experience, reconciliation. So don’t forget to wonder over to that page to check those out. And remember, we are a world-wide community of Catholic app users, so let us know about your great finds!  Here are our recommended Lent apps for 2020:

Exodus 90

exodus app

Leaving boyhood behind so you don’t live in a state of perpetual adolescence. That’s a big aim of Exodus 90 App for men looking to take their spiritual life to boot camp, according to the app’s founder/director, James Baxter. If that’s what you’re looking for, and you’d like to take a hard-core approach to seriously tackle your spiritual growth between now and Easter (or any 90-day period you choose), time to MAN UP. Here’s your program.

Exodus 90 is an intense make-my-daily-routine-uncomfortable initiative that emphasizes traditional forms of mortification like various forms of abstinence, physical discomfort, prayer and meditation to get you to break bad habits and form new ones that lead to FREEDOM in Jesus Christ. And because this exercise covers 90 days, it is ideal to hitch onto Lent (which would be 40 of the 90 days).

That means if you begin on Ash Wednesday (February 26), your journey ends May 26 (Memorial of St. Philip Neri, if you’re wondering).

A U.S. Catholic bishop is encouraging men to “embrace the sacrificial spirit” of Exodus 90 and join him in following the app’s program. Most Rev. Joseph Strickland, Bishop of Tyler, Texas, who started the program himself on January 13 (to end on Easter), has Tweeted that even if you can’t go all in on the daily practices (no sweets, no alcohol, added prayer time, regular exercise, fasting/abstinence twice a week, cold showers, fast from technology, reading Scripture regularly, etc.) “at least try to adopt some of these practices.”


The app is free with additional monthly purchase to continue the program– $10 each month totaling $30.
Radical transformation requires radical effort. Effects of the intense Exodus program can result in a closer relationship with Christ, appreciation of silence in body and mind, a re-orientation in how you spend your valuable time, a sense of renewed “sonship” with God, healthier body, and stronger relationships. All this, according to developers, adds up to regaining freedom, and the source of that freedom is Jesus Christ. Indeed, developers note that this program can be useful in breaking certain addictions like pornography and too much time with digital technology.

If you feel you may be up for this type of intense spiritual workout, check out the in-depth conversation about this app with its developer on Taylor Marshall’s podcast via YouTube. Marshall has gone through the program twice and along with Baxter, they cover the program rather thoroughly.


BUTTON-appStore BUTTON-Google play

MP3 Cardinal Newman

MP3 Cardinal Newman (Free) Android | Apple 

This year, we have a new English saint who already has an app devoted to his sermons! Lent is a wonderful time to get to know Saint John Henry Newman, a Roman Catholic cardinal, scholar, and founder of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in England. And what better way to get to know him than by spending time listening to many hours of his talks on MP3 Cardinal Newman. 

Enjoy audio recordings of almost 200 talks from this great 19th century Catholic preacher and writer who speaks to you on themes surrounding Scripture, feast days and many subjects dealing with

the human experience, Church teaching and spiritual growth. You’ll enjoy the pleasant English accent of many of the readers as you listen to inspiring, clear and beautifully-written sermons. Indeed, he is known as one of the 19th century’s greatest English prose

writers. These sermons are among his greatest “plain” sermons. The first recording blessedly offers an introduction to this great saint’s life and works and the source of the text of these recordings.

Download the app for free to enjoy a couple sample talks in each category listing. Upgrade to the full version ($8.99) to have unlimited access to the complete library of talks. Internet connection required to access audio files. Because they’re not downloaded, your hard drive space is saved.

A red ribbon marks the last sermon you heard so you can easily find your place. The screenshot above displays the talks for Lent/Easter/Pentecost.

BUTTON-appStore BUTTON-Google play

3D Catholic


3D Catholic (Free) Apple and Android Developed by University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life 3D Catholic app is designed to promote three traditional Catholic practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving (works of mercy)–practices traditionally connected to the season of Lent. But the developers hope users go beyond a one-shot attempt, so they programed in unique features designed to help the user develop a daily habit of engaging these practices cultivating a life-long practice. This is achieved by joining a community connected through this app and by setting daily reminders for prayer, fasting and almsgiving (including works of mercy). You can even get Friday reminders to abstain from meat.

From Developers: “Join other Catholics in your area praying the Angelus every day at noon, abstaining from meat on Fridays throughout the year and performing least one corporal work of mercy weekly. View the real-time map to see where others are practicing the 3 devotions. Upload prayers to the prayer intention stream and take other users’ petitions into prayer while you are engaged in the practices of the 3D Catholic community.” Check out this detailed look at the movement behind this app.

We like the fact that it is a simple, yet serious attempt to help users cultivate a life-long habit of prayer, fasting and engaging in works of mercy. Just as with quality health/exercise apps, this app is integral to the process of engaging in fundamental spiritual exercises which can radically transform us in our spiritual journey.
– Set daily reminders for Praying the Angelus at noon and Fasting on Fridays
– Find opportunities in your area to volunteer; add reminders to your personal calendar
– Prayer Intention stream generated from the app community
– Anonymously share prayers with people around you
– Track your progress on Prayer, Fasting, and Works of Mercy

BUTTON-appStore BUTTON-Google play

Pray as You Go Lent Retreat

Pray as You Go Catholic App

Make a digital retreat for Lent with Pray as You Go (Free) Apple | Android. Enjoy beautifully-produced audio retreats brought to you by Jesuit Media Initiatives out of Britain. This app invites you to spend about about 11 minutes per day (not just during Lent, but all year long!) in a systematic method of prayer which you follow in an audio format; they call this form of exercise “imaginative contemplation” as you are taken on a guided mental cruise of spiritual discovery and wonder and challenge with music, Scripture and questions for reflection.

These specific retreats, a separate offering from their regular daily retreats, are uploaded once per week during Lent. You will not be able to access reflections ahead of time. They are only available on the date of release for the week.

Pray as You Go is a valuable addition to your mobile device as a daily retreat you can engage all year long. In the regular section of Pray as You Go, a new prayer session is produced for each day of the week and one for weekends with material written by a number of Jesuits and other experts in the spirituality of St Ignatius of Loyola, according to developers. Although the content is different every day, it keeps to the same basic format of gently weaving together music, a passage of scripture and a few questions for personal reflection in a each prayer session. Developers say the framework of prayer allows you to:

  • become more aware of God’s presence in your life
  • listen to and reflect on God’s word
  • grow in your relationship with God

You will appreciate the ability to set the time you’d like reminder notifications to pray. The wide variety of music in this app is a significant feature, as this app review noted. Music is used as a conduit to help with your meditation. You WILL enjoy some pieces so much you will want them for you collection. No problem. Go to Pray as You Go’s web site to purchase/ download any of the music you discover on the app.

BUTTON-appStore BUTTON-Google play

The Chosen App

Binge Jesus, not Netflix during Lent with the world’s first original television series about Jesus, The Chosen.  The brand new app is Free and for Apple | Android smartphones and tablets [Click that link above on your mobile device and it will automatically take you to the download site on your browser suitable for your device]

In 2017, a little film (below) spread throughout the internet depicting Christ’s birth from the vantage point of characters who were caught up in an intriguing tale. Did you see it? Captured your heart, didn’t it? That was the pilot episode that captivated thousands of small investors to fund the series. Well, the first four episodes of Season One are available to you FREE with The Chosen app. The final four episodes rounding out Season One are available for purchase ($19.99) through this app, so you can start watching immediately.

Revive your relationship with Jesus and the gospels as you immerse yourself in story lines right out of somebody’s fruitful imagination, unfolded in a way that gets you to see Jesus in a new light. Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said that a saint is someone who makes Jesus lovable to others. So the producers of this special series take on the challenge to do just that–-make Jesus lovable to you. And the effect it can have is really quite stunning as you sense his humanity worn as comfortably as an old shoe. These aren’t sappy, sentimental storylines. You are brought into plausible domestic scenes within the actual gospel accounts–the stories you know, but this time from another person’s vantage point, including Peter’s wife, for example.

Spanish subtitles coming soon, producers report. To watch the series on a monitor or television, simply go to your Chromecast or AppleTV or other streaming device to stream from your phone or tablet through this free app.

Read our complete review of The Chosen series here. But do yourself a favor and watch this amazing series during Lent. Your soul will thank you. Here’s that episode about the birth of Christ…Kleenex not included.


Sacred Space


Sacred Space, is a daily audio retreat format produced by a joint apostolate of the Irish Jesuits and Loyola Press since 1999. They feature special Lent retreats (in conjunction with PrayAsYouGo) which you can follow at your own pace as you carve out a few minutes each day for this devotion. These mini-retreats are designed to gently guide you through meditations on Scripture suitable to the overall theme. Pray As You Go provides the glorious audio production/music for which they are known.

BUTTON-appStore BUTTON-Google play

Passion of Jesus


Meditation on the Passion of our Lord is a particular devotion during the season of Lent. The Passion of Jesus app Apple ($1.39)| Apple Watch | Android ($.99) is designed to help you develop a tender daily devotion to Jesus Christ and his passion by engaging you–in real time–in the last 24 hours of Christ’s life. The events are put in sequence as found in Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Based on your local time, you are served a respective passion image, a corresponding reflection (based on the collective writings of Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri), response and suggested prayer intentions.

This passion timeline enfolds over a 24 hour period, but you can change this to other timelines to accommodate your schedule– 8 hours, 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Its developers note:

“The primary goal of this reflection is to engage believers to ponder and reflect on each aspect of the Passion by allowing time and eternity to intersect, by allowing the power of the cross to pour into our daily lives, no matter where we are or what we are doing….for a few moments, to pause and cast a glance at our Lord and permit this awesome, life-changing reality to bear fruit, to illumine, to set free & to save.”

Also included with this app are

  • Way of the Cross by St. Alphonsus Liguori
  • Way of the Cross through Mary’s eyes

BUTTON-appStore BUTTON-Google play

Take a look at how the app works.

Magnificat Lenten Companion

Magnificat Lenten Companion 2020 You can get the e-book version of this popular devotional booklet for Apple ($2.99) Android ($2.99)
Kindle, ($2.99) Nook, ($2.99) Kobo ($2.93). This is the popular devotion presented in a day-by-day format.

Includes daily liturgy (Mass readings), Stations of the Cross, meditations, penance service, devotional prayers and much more. We are proponents of bringing your mobile device into church to use as your Missal because it is a terrific aid in being present at liturgy. This may be a good time to start because this app or e-book version is at your fingertips. Of course the convenience of having this resource is valuable for down times like waiting for your children at team practice or quiet times when you just want to steal a few minutes to meditate. Because Google/Android format may not be available, you can use the Kindle version with the Kindle app on your Android device.


Catholic Meditations for Lent

LentLiteCatholic Meditations for Lent by St. Thomas Aquinas– Apple Lite version is free and offers meditations every other day. Full Version is $2.99 and offers each day’s meditation beginning on Septuagesima Sunday–three Sundays before Ash Wednesday–through Holy Saturday. If you are looking for daily in-depth, scholarly meditations from the great Doctor of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas, this is your app. You will be impressed by the myriad of topics diving into Scripture passages each day right up through the passion, death and resurrection of Our Lord. Feast on his famous “points” to each meditation which draw you deeper into the theological perspectives the great saint shares. You will enjoy the ability to share meditations on social media, email or just copy into your notes. Cool 3-D touch shortcuts take you to the day’s mediations.


Rice Bowl

CRS-ricebowlCatholic Relief Services Rice Bowl (Free) iOS | Android | iOS Spanish Version. Bring Lent to life through daily meditation and sacrifices. This app takes a unique twist on alms giving by putting a price on various items you may give up for Lent. With values in dollars, you can donate that amount to CRS through the app or make a pledge. That direct dollar value connection to giving is a real motivator because it puts your little sacrifices into concrete action to help others in the world who are in need. Available in English and Spanish.rice-bowl-crs-logo

  • •Prayerful reflection for each day of Lent which you can schedule to receive
  • Customizable tool to set Lenten sacrifice goal and track progress towards its achievement
  • Meatless recipes for Fridays during Lent
  • Stories and videos of people who benefit from prayers and almsgiving to CRS Rice Bowl

BUTTON-appStore BUTTON-Google play

Lent Buddy

lentbuddy-144LentBuddy (.99 cents) iOS This little app operates as a simple reminder of what the Church requires of you on a particular day in Lent and what your expectations are for yourself. It also offers daily Mass readings from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ web site (requiring internet connection). Upon opening the app for the first time, you are asked to set a time of day you would like your daily reminders to appear. This is useful, particularly if you need that early Friday morning reminder not to eat meat that day. You are also asked to list those elements of Lent you wish to focus upon–what you intend to give up or particular devotions or practices or disciplines you wish to engage each day. So, both reminders–Church and personal–are served to your device screen at the time you request. This app hasn’t been updated for 2019 as of this posting.


Truth and Life Audio Bible with 40-Day Reading Plan

An essential component of your spiritual journey is engaging the Word of God. How about making a commitment to reading the entire New Testament or all four Gospels during Lent? You can EASILY do that with…

Truth-Life-audio-bibleTruth & Life Dramatized audio Bible New Testament (Free text with in-app purchase to unlock all the audio; Gospel of Mark audio free) RSV-Catholic Edition translation  Apple | Android | Windows PC |Kindle Fire | Nook

IMG_0022Imagine a reading plan that will serve the text to you on your mobile device AND read it to you! This is not your ordinary audio book. We’re talking a world-class production of the Bible read by more than 70 actors (many celebrities) with movie studio sound effects and an original music score!

On a long road trip? Stuck in traffic? Fire up this app and enjoy having the Gospels read to you while you listen to the oars of Peter’s boat slapping the water on the Sea of Galilee or the crowds gasp in amazement on witnessing a miracle from Jesus. You’ll enjoy the original background music that dramatically enhances the readings.

From Developers: “More than 70 actors help bring the scriptures to life in this 22-hour audio production, complete with this award-winning audio New Testament … endorsed with an Imprimatur from the Vatican and including a foreword by Pope Benedict XVI.”

The 40-Day reading plans for Lent cover your choice of the New Testament or just the Gospels. As an added bonus, you get the audio version of the Gospel of Mark with this free version with the ability to upgrade (a mere $20) to the full New Testament audio at any time. So, while the full text of the Bible is free, the audio New Testament is not, with the exception of the Gospel of Mark. The quality of the audio is well worth the price as you’ll experience hearing Mark’s Gospel.

img_8562Our preferred way to get this Bible app is to go through the free EWTN app. This Catholic multi-media app provides a seamless portal to the Truth and Life Audio Bible while at the same time offering you all their great programing which you should have anyway.

Individual audio books of the New Testament are $1.99 ea; the complete new Testament is $19.99 and the entire package audio and study bible is 29.99.

IMG_0023In addition to exhilarating audio, the app features:

  • Complete text of RSV-CE synchronized with audio [text highlights move with the audio reading- very cool]
  • Go directly to any verse and hear and see the Bible text instantly [very cool!]
  • Use the built in playlist [built-in reading plan] to hear/read the New Testament in 40 days or in Chronological order
  • Search verses
  • Create your own playlist of verses [who else provides that?]
  • Remembers where you left off with bookmark.
  • Easily fit entire 22 hours of audio on your device.
  • Ability to highlight text and take notes
  • Maps of the Holy Land during various Biblical times
  • Spanish text version of the Bible is NOW offered (La biblia de Straubinger, considered the primer Catholic Bible in Spanish)


Check out the video promotion for this app:

Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross is a devotion that invites us to literally walk with Jesus during his Passion and Death, stopping at key moments to meditate and pray. At each of the 14 blessed stations we reflect on the event that went on in that time and place. Special graces are attached to walking the Stations in a Catholic church. Yes, you may bring your mobile device with you to read the prayers and meditations as you walk the Stations on your own. While a church is an ideal setting to pray this devotion, praying these stations on your own outside of a church setting can still be of great spiritual aid for you, of course. These apps certainly help to enrich your prayer experience with beautiful imagery, meditations and even audio in some cases. 

PAYG_LogoAudio Stations of the Cross via Pray as You Go app (Free) Apple | Android Fully-produced stations with lovely prayers, music and reflections enhances the experience of praying the Stations in a church. Pray as You Go app offers one of the finest an audio versions of the Stations of the Cross. Ideally, you could use earbuds/headphones with your mobile device as you walk through the Stations listening to the separate audio files for each station.


BUTTON-appStore BUTTON-Google play

viadolorosaapp.pngVia Dolorosa ($2.99) Apple | Android If ever there was a blessing of an app, it is this one. Imagine walking in the footsteps of Jesus on his Way of the Cross in the designated locations as they appear today. This very journey that pilgrims take in the Holy Land is offered to you in a virtual setting supplied by this lovely app. Enjoy beautiful photographs of each station blended in a video format with serene background music as you listen to the description, reflection and prayer. The narration, delivered in a soothing voice, gently walks you through the scene as described by Scripture and tradition. You get a sense of what went on in those specific places you see before you.

viadolorosa-screenshotLike an actual pilgrim in Jerusalem, you are supplied with an interactive map which denotes the actual place of each station on the Via Dolorosa. These stations were officially designated in the 19th century, but generally follow the route of pilgrims centuries earlier. While nine of the stations are based on Gospel accounts, the rest are based on tradition (Jesus’ three falls, his meeting with his Mother, and Veronica wiping his face).  If you can’t get to a Catholic church to walk the stations (complete with the graces that come with that effort), this is an inspirational substitute. Yes, these follow the designated stations in a Catholic church. The audio portion of the app alone is worth the price. Listen to this on your way to or from work, or while you’re out for a walk. It is a beautiful way to end your day before going to bed.

Via Dolorosa App is developed by the World Evangelical Alliance, one of the world’s largest alliances of Christian churches. So while the descriptions and photos show you key art and architecture of each station (many of them in Catholic churches/chapels), you won’t see the Fourth Station’s magnificent Eucharistic Adoration chapel, for example.

BUTTON-appStore BUTTON-Google play

 Way of the Cross  Android ($1.99). Traditional stations with scripture passages and Reflections from Pope Benedict XVI’S Good Friday Way of the Cross public prayer 2006-2011. From Developer: “In the Roman Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II directed an annual public prayer of the Stations of the Cross at the Roman Colosseum on Good Friday. Originally, the Pope himself carried the cross from station to station, but in his last years when age and infirmity limited his strength, John Paul presided over the celebration from a stage on the Palatine Hill, while others carried the cross… Each year a different person is invited to write the meditation texts for the Stations.”. Choose the version (year) you wish to use. This app would be greatly enhanced with reflections composed by Joseph Card. Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, for the 2005 Good Friday observance at the Colosseum in Rome. This app allows for landscape viewing in addition to portrait. You can enlarge both the text (for easy reading!) and photos. English & Spanish.

BUTTON-appStore BUTTON-Google play

istations.pngiStations ($1.99) Android iOS. Traditional images of stations and the popular St. Alphonsus Liguori devotional text. For most people, that’s all they ask for. But you get more–There is an audio version imbedded. In that case, bring your ear buds if you’re in church.  If you are not in church, the app helps to simulate the experience by providing beautiful traditional art depicting the stations for you to use in your private prayer. Two traditional methods, including a Franciscan method. Also, text of traditional prayers in English and Latin.

BUTTON-appStore BUTTON-Google play

viaVia Crucis: Catholic Meditations on the Way of the Cross by St. Francis of Assisi ($2.99) Apple Why shell out three bucks for this app? Because you don’t often find one based on “Meditations on the Way of the Cross” by St. Francis of Assisi. In addition, the classic artwork offered is just gorgeous on your device. This art includes timeless masterworks in painting and stained glass. Touch the picture and it opens to a larger format via 3-D touch which you can pinch/zoom to fill the screen.

IMG_3603St. Francis’ meditations bring us into Christ’s sufferings, challenging us to consider our part in each station. They are brief and to the point. This is the type of app is fine to use while you’re in church walking the Stations on your own or outside of church using the beautiful artwork to aid your meditation.

We appreciate the option to change the font size for easier reading. Offered in 4 languages: English, Italian, French, and Portuguese.


All Catholic Music All the Time!

Lent is a great time to explore new ways of focusing our attention on spiritual matters. One way to do that is to change the music we listen to. “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you…with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16) So, this year, we’re calling out two important apps to help you do just that.


iCatholic Music (Free) iOS | Android  The #1 Catholic Radio App in the world, iCatholic Radio, offers this separate app dedicated to streaming contemporary music by top Catholic artists on weekdays and Saturdays. Sunday mornings switch to several hours of sacred Gregorian chant, offering perfect background music as you prepare for Mass. With this app you not only get spiritually-enriching Catholic music 24/7 (no matter where you are in the world, and no matter what time you’re listening), but you get valuable on-demand features:

  • audio Rosary
  • audio Chaplet of Divine Mercy
  • Podcasts — talks by noted Catholic authors and priests on a variety of topics.
  • the ability to record a testimonial on how Catholic music has impacted your life
  • quick links to iCM’s social media posts

BUTTON-appStore BUTTON-Google play

greatCatholicmusicGreat Catholic Music (Free) Apple     Living Bread Radio offers a stand-alone app to fill the need for those just looking for well, great Catholic music. Their selection includes hymns that you’d hear in church as well as Catholic contemporary music. This is a basic click and play app. They don’t offer any other resources–just their commercial-free music.



Tags: , ,

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.

Join our digital community of people endowed with great Catholic Apptitude!

Get our latest posts and updates. Share with the rest of us your recommended Catholic apps or other Catholic digital media for mobile devices.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: