The Apostolate of Smiling

Ideas from Fr. Bruno Hagspiel, SVD & 
Lawrence Lovasik, The Hidden Power of Kindness


  • Cheers your heart
  • Keeps you in good humour
  • Preserves peace in your soul
  • Promotes your health
  • Beautifies your face
  • Induces kindly thoughts
  • Inspires kindly deeds …. Even if you’re feeling sad.


  • …To warm your own heart.
  • First thing in the morning, smile at yourself in the mirror, no matter how blurry-eyed and tousled you may look.
  • Throughout the day in the classroom, at work, in the bathroom, walking, smile at yourself.
  • Remind yourself, “If God loves me, I can love myself too”


  • … Until you notice that your constant seriousness or even severity has vanished.


  • … Until you have warmed you own heart with the sunshine of your cheery countenance. Then… go out – and radiate your smile.


  • … Has work to do – work to do for God. You are an apostle now, and your smile is your instrument for winning souls.
  • Sanctifying grace dwelling in your soul will give the special charm to your smile that will render it productive of much good.

SMILE – on the lonely faces

SMILE – on the timid faces

SMILE – on the sorrowful faces

SMILE – on the sickly faces

SMILE – on the fresh, young faces

SMILE – on the wrinkled, old faces

SMILE – on the familiar faces of your family and friends – let all enjoy the beauty and inspiring cheer of your smiling face.

SMILE – at Church, look them in the face and genuinely wish peace to others at the sign of peace.

SMILE – as a sign of joy.

SMILE – your thanks even if you don’t say the words.

SMILE – your apology.


  • … the number of smiles your smile has drawn from others in one day. This is how many times you have promoted contentment, joy, satisfaction, encouragement, or confidence in the hearts of others. These will give birth to unselfish acts and noble deeds. The influence of your smile is spreading, though you do not always see the wonders of it working.


  • … can bring new life and hope and courage into the hearts of the weary, the overburdened, the discouraged, the tempted, the despairing.


  • … can help to bring people to God, be the beginning of a conversion, prepare the way for a sinner’s return to God and can win for you a host of devoted friends.


  • … in gratitude and loving acceptance of whatever He sends into your life and God will reward you with the radiantly Smiling Face of Jesus to gaze on you with special love throughout eternity.








“A word or a smile is often enough to put fresh life in a despondent soul.”
― Thérèse de Lisieux

In times of aridity when I am incapable of praying, of practicing virtue, I seek little opportunities, mere trifles, to give pleasure to Jesus; for instance a smile, a pleasant word when inclined to be silent and to show weariness. If I find no opportunities, I at least tell Him again and again that I love Him; that is not difficult and it keeps alive the fire in my heart. Even though this fire of love might seem extinct I would still throw little straws upon the embers and I am certain it would rekindle.

St. Therese – XVI letter to her sister Celine


“A smile cures the wounding of a frown.”

―William Shakespeare


“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”

―Blessed Mother Teresa (1910-1997)


“A smile is the shortest distance between two people.”

―Victor Borge (1909-2000)


“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.”

―William Arthur Ward (1921-1994)


“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”

―Phyllis Diller (1917-2012)


“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

―Blessed Mother Teresa (1910-1997)


“Here’s wishing you the smiles o’ life and not a single grumble.”

―Irish Blessing


“If you see a friend without a smile, give him one of yours.”



“The world always looks brighter from behind a smile.” 



“Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.”

―Mark Twain (1835-1910)


“A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.”

―Author Unknown


“If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.” 

―Andy Rooney (1919-2011)


“I’ve never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful.”

―Author Unknown


“All people smile in the same language.”



“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”

―Blessed Mother Teresa (1910-1997)


  1. Dr. David C Hoenie says:

    Hi. I’m an orthodontist and at one point in my career, I had a holy card proclaiming the Apostolate of Smiling. I regret this card escaping from me. Have you any idea of what I’m referring to? Do you know where I can find some of these Holy Cards?



  1. […] This is the kind of sunlight we can’t get too much of. This is the kind of climate change we need. Let’s all adopt the Apostolate of the Smile. […]

  2. […] a great way to have the thought of authentic encounters floating around in your mind all day. The Apostolate of Smiling is a beautiful reflection on the use and value of a smile. Take this into account the next time you […]

  3. […] As many of you may know, I am a big fan of Fr. Michael Gaitley and his books.   He provides great insight into the mysteries of our faith.  To make a long story short, my prayer group and I studied a series of his books and took part in the retreats he offers in them.  The last book in a series called on us to choose something to do as a group that would help make the world a better place. This same book included a poem about smiling.   We decided to print the poem on rack cards and make it available everyone in our parish.  We took care to size them just right to fit within the missalettes while at the same time being a good size to use as a bookmark.   You can read the poem here. […]

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