Definitions of Devotion


The concept of devotion has its origin in a Latin word that is about the manifestation of a person’s emotion regarding an ideology. It could be considered as a synonym of love, fervor and veneration when they are linked to religion. See Abbreviation Finder for acronyms related to devotion.

This term refers to the total surrender to a mystical experience, generally related to theistic faith, towards God. Some examples where the term appears may be: “Popular devotion to the Virgin of Fátima knows no limits: people make long pilgrimages in order to reach her hermitage”, “In this town there is a great devotion to Saint Paul the Apostle”.

When a person commits himself constantly and irrevocably to some cult or work related to religious life, he is said to be a devout individual . A person who has faith and entrusts himself to a saint, praying to him routinely and going to visit the Church of which he is the patron, for example, is devoted to said saint. Some examples where this concept is seen can be: “My mother is a devotee of San José”, “Hundreds of devotees gathered in the parish to thank the saint”.

The origin of this concept is related to the culture of Ancient Greece. So, devotion was a form of piety directed towards parents: children should respect and love their parents and try to take care of them when they were old. Over time, by extension of this meaning, the concept began to be used in a religious sense and also to refer to those practices of non-compulsory pious faith.

Currently the notion of devotion also serves to refer to the special inclination and fondness of someone towards a certain activity or person. In this case, it is about the attraction exerted by a person or an idea on a subject: “Marta is devoted to Radiohead: she already told me that she will spend all her savings on tickets for the next concert”, “The young actor generates devotion among adolescent girls, who do anything to keep him close”.

On the other hand, the expression “to be at the devotion” of someone means to be voluntarily subject to obedience towards another person. An example of this use can be the following sentence: “I don’t understand why Marcos is devoted to Ariel”.

In other religions such as evangelism, the concept of devotion is related to the study and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures.

Devotional and books of the Christian liturgy

Another concept related to the one we are defining is the devotional, which refers to a book created and printed by the Catholic Church where it collects the structure and content that liturgical prayers should have.

This book is divided into several parts which are:

* General devotions and ordinary acts (introduction to prayers, daily mass, examination of conscience and other prayers of an ordinary type)

* Special devotions and extraordinary acts (special prayers, expiatory prayers and liturgical stages such as Holy Week, Pentecost or Epiphany)

* Liturgical times and festivals of the Christian year (explanation of what each stage of the liturgy consists of and prayers to perform during that time)

* Novenas (Special prayers to various devotions such as the Sacred Heart, the Assumption of the Virgin and Saint Anthony of Padua)

* Months (prayers to offer to a certain figure throughout the month dedicated to it, for example for the month consecrated to the Child Jesus, to the Sorrows and Solitude of the Virgin or the month of the Rosary).

By following the prayer book, believers can pray the appropriate prayers for each moment and demonstrate their devotion to the church.