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iPrayer: Pope blesses iPhone prayer book just in time for Christmas

Although Apple's iPhone and iPod are primarily designed to deliver music, movies and other entertainment, they're also being used to bring religion to Web 2.0. A prime example: iBreviary, a Vatican-approved digital daily prayer book that can be downloaded via iTunes to the iPhone or iPod Touch.

iBreviary is a digital version of the Catholic Breviary, a book of daily prayer containing biblical psalms and other readings, created by the Rev. Paolo Padrini, a priest in Italy's Diocese of Tortona, with the help of Italian Web developer Dimitri Giani.

"iBreviary will be for every person wanting to nourish [his or her] own spirituality, to find a useful aid for reflection and meditation," Padrini wrote on Giani's Web site (translated from Italian to English using Google Translate).

iBreviary costs 99 cents per download via iTunes. It's available in Spanish, French, English and Latin; and Padrini writes that the proceeds are being donated to help restore the Pineta Refuge, a local haven for needy families in Padrini's diocese.

The Vatican has embraced iBreviary, the Associated Press reports. Monsignor Paul Tighe, secretary of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Social Communications, praised the new application, saying the 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," according to the AP.

iBreviary, of course, is not the first or only religious application offered through Apple's App Store, which already sells various other bible-related applications, a digital version of the Koran, commentary on the Torah and a Chanukah guide under its "reference" category.

© iStockphoto/Evelyn Peyton

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