Corporal Works of Mercy

Corporal works of mercy are those that tend to the bodily needs of other creatures. The works include:

To feed the hungry

To give water to the thirsty

To clothe the naked

To shelter the homeless

To visit the sick

To visit the imprisoned, or ransom the captive

To bury the dead



Spiritual Works of Mercy

Just as the corporal works of mercy are directed towards relieving corporeal suffering, the aim of the spiritual works of mercy is to relieve spiritual suffering. The works include:

To instruct the ignorant

To counsel the doubtful

To admonish sinners

To bear patiently those who wrong us

To forgive offenses

To console the afflicted

To pray for the living and the dead


Suggested by Pope Francis, 2016:


To Care for Creation


Francis characterized this new work as having both corporal and spiritual components. Corporally, it involves "daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness". Spiritually, it involves contemplating each part of creation to find what God is teaching us through them.