Vatican endorses iPhone prayer app

Software featuring morning prayers created by priest and Web designer endorsed for use by the Vatican.

Candace Lombardi
In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.
Candace Lombardi

Doing any last-minute holiday shopping for that religious yet tech-savvy someone in your life?

On Monday, the Vatican formally endorsed an iPhone application that allows users to load the Breviary prayer book, prayers for saying a Catholic Mass, and other prayers.

The application, called iBreviary, was created by Rev. Paolo Padrini and Web designer Dimitri Giani. It's available for purchase in Europe, and in the U.S. at Apple's App Store for 99 cents with free upgrades planned. Languages included in the U.S. version are Italian and English.

The Catholic Church is "learning to use the new technologies primarily as a tool or as a mean of evangelizing, as a way of being able to share its own message with the world," Monsignor Paul Tighe, secretary of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Social Communications, told the Associated Press.

If you read Italian (or are handy with translation software) you can read more about the iBreviary application on Dimitri Giani's Web site.

While the Catholic Church may still be lagging behind on several social and political issues, Pope Benedict XVI's attempts to modernize his organization's communications and reach out to youth through technology are widely known.

Last December the Vatican issued 10 driving commandments which ruffled some feathers at Ferrari.

The Pope is even down with using acronyms in his text messages, famously signing a mobile text sent to gatherers at last year's Catholic youth day rally in Sydney, Australia with "BXVI."