Lent Apps

That exhilarating feeling on Easter when you’ve just traveled a rewarding Lent. These apps can help. We only choose intelligent, Gospel-based Catholic apps designed to foster a more loving response to ourself and our neighbor which will ultimately bring us closer to God. 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 2021:

Your Device

Before you download a Lent app, how about setting your phone or tablet to have Lenten practices and devotions intrude on your day? You can do this in your calendar by setting alarms for daily prayers and alerts for fast/abstinence on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and abstinence from meat on Fridays. Set your wake-up alarm to spiritual music. Set notifications/alarms for your parish’s penance service or confession times. Eucharistic adoration time could also be plugged into your calendar with alerts. You probably already have a Rosary app. Commit to praying it daily.

So, you may not need a specific app for Lent if you engage in such devotional/sacramental practices on your own. But the apps listed below are some of the best we’ve found to further enrich (think: Power Punch) the experience of your journey towards Easter. 


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.

Specific retreats, like their Lent retreat, are a separate offering from their regular daily retreats. They are uploaded one 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.

Their Lent Retreat for 2021, Growing Back Better, takes into consideration all the epic struggles of the past year and helps you to reflect prayerfully on not just the difficulties but the possibilities such an experience has set before us. 

Release dates for the Lent Retreat:

Introduction  Wednesday 17 February (Ash Wednesday)

Session 1      Monday 22 February

Session 2      Monday 1 March

Session 3      Monday 8 March

Session 4      Monday 15 March

Session 5      Monday 22 March

Session 6      Monday 29 March (Holy Week)]

Session 7      Monday 5 April (Easter 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.

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Passion of Jesus

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Meditation on the Passion of our Lord is a particular devotion during the season of Lent. If you have never tried this app, do it this year. 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

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Take a look at how the app works.


Magnificat Lenten Companion

Magnificat Lenten Companion 2021  Apple ($2.99) Android ($2.99) A Companion to the popular Magnificat series specifically targeting the Forty Days of Lent (from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday). This popular devotional ($4.99 if you purchase the print booklet) is  designed in a convenient, easy-to-use format. In addition to the app version of the booklet, the e-book version is available for: Kindle, ($2.99) Nook, ($2.99) Kobo ($2.99). This is the popular devotion, presented in a day-by-day format, is also available in large print, and as an eBook for KoboKindle, Nook and Apple Books

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. Appreciated are the alerts you can set for Evening Prayer, for example. 

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Exodus

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Leaving boyhood behind so you don’t live in a state of perpetual adolescence. That’s a big aim of Exodus 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 40-day period you choose), time to MAN UP. Here’s your program. This new version (which typically is 90 days) has been trimmed to follow the 40-day period of Lent. 

Exodus (Free with in-app purchase) Apple| Android 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. It is ideal to hitch onto Lent.

A U.S. Catholic bishop has encouraged men to “embrace the sacrificial spirit” of Exodus and join him in following the app’s program. Most Rev. Joseph Strickland, Bishop of Tyler, Texas, who started the program himself in 2020, 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.”

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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.

The download links below take you to the app’s sign-up portal before you go to the actual download so you can start with the free trial. 

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Carmelite Institute Web App

Here’s a Lenten deep dive for you. This app offers you a unique opportunity to engage the lively intellectual and spiritual treasures members of the Carmelite Order have enjoyed for 800 years. Now you can bask in that world of Carmel that inspired its great saints like St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa Beniedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) and many others. The Carmelite Institute’s Web App (Free) Apple | Android  is a convenient portal to their many audio, video and text resources–some free, some at a modest price. Offerings focusing on the season of Lent are included. 

Brought to you by the Carmelite Institute of North America, the new app offers three simple portals on the Home Screen to access their videos, the Institute’s website, and Novenas (which also come in audio/video formats and automatic notifications so you don’t miss a day).

Developing a rich, contemplative prayer life aiding you in spiritual union with God is the essence of Carmelite spirituality. While ancient in origin (the Carmelite Order was established in the 13th century), the lessons are timeless, and leading Carmelite scholars are masters at applying teachings to modern living.

A wide range of videos include lectures/presentations on Carmelite history and spirituality.

The link to the Institute’s website opens up the rich array of conferences, reflections, webinars, historical classes, days of recollection and retreats offered by the institute. Some are even live-streamed. Costs vary for programming–most are pretty minimal. Many video offerings are free. The more in-depth series and conferences certainly are a bargain when you consider you don’t have to physically travel to attend lectures by renown Carmelite scholars.

That’s why this app is an ideal companion if you find it impossible to attend an in-person retreat or day of recollection. Join the Carmelites from the comfort of your home!

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Catholic Meditations for Lent

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Catholic Meditations for Lent by St. Thomas Aquinas– Apple Lite version is free and offers meditations every other day. Full Version is $3.99 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.

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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…

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Truth & 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 

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Imagine 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.

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In 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)
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MP3 Cardinal Newman

In 2019 Pope Francis canonized a new English saint who already had an app devoted to his sermons! MP3 Cardinal Newman (Free) AndroidApple 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 recording artists reading 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.

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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. 

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Via 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.

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Like 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.

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 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 allows for landscape viewing in addition to portrait. You can enlarge both the text (for easy reading!) and photos. English & Spanish.

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iStations ($1.99) Android  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.

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Via 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.

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St. 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 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.

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PAYG_LogoAudio Non-Traditional Stations of the Cross via Pray as You Go app (Free) Apple | Android Enjoy fully-produced audio reflections with lovely prayers and music appropriate for the reflection to enhance your experience of praying Stations, but please understand they are not the traditional Stations of the Catholic Church. The value of this devotion lies in the richness of meditations that include subjects like the Good Thief and Peter’s denial mixed in with some traditional stations as you take an imaginary walk through the Passion and Death of Christ. You may find this journey enriches the traditional Stations when you pray those. If nothing else, it will get you to sloooow down and calm your mind as you ease into reflection on sublime topics. I find the beautiful music draws me into the meditation in unexpected ways. On that note, the first station is sure to get you hooked.

Separate audio files for each station do not need to be downloaded to play, but that option is available if you want to take this on your walk. Web link for direct access to this devotion without the app here.

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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.

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iCatholic Music (Free) Apple | 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
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Great 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.


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7 Comments on “Lent Apps”

  1. Olga
    February 19, 2015 at 6:58 am #

    Another great Lenten app!

    http://www.dbb.org.au/news/dsp-default-lectio.cfm?loadref=588

  2. February 1, 2021 at 7:12 pm #

    This was such an inspirational post for me, Thank you! This is just what my family needed this Lent. Wonderful post!

    • February 2, 2021 at 12:30 pm #

      That’s why we do this. Glad you found some gems among our listing. Updating to 2021 in a few hours!

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