What is a palanca?

Palanca is intercessory prayer, sacrifice, or works of mercy. Palanca is the prayers and sacrifices we make for someone or something. Prayer and self-denial are Palanca. The word “Palanca” is Spanish for a lever or crowbar. In the sense in which it is used in Cursillo, it means making a prayer, receiving the Eucharist, exercising the rosary, fasting, or making personal sacrifices which are offered on behalf of the Cursillistas or Pilgrims.

What is a palanca letter?

A palanca letter is one that is sent to the candidates and team, informing them of the prayers and sacrifices that you are offering to God on their behalf. A letter may be sent explaining what type of palanca is being offered. However, the letter itself is not the palanca. The actual palanca is the action – intercessory prayer, sacrifice, or works of mercy, and it can be done without writing a letter. These letters and small gifts which are given during a Cursillo weekend are “Evidences of Palanca” to show that someone has been praying for the Cursillistas before, or during, the Cursillo weekend.

  • P stands for the privilege and power of Prayer, and for Personal service to the Cursillistas.

  • A stands for the anytime, anywhere, by anybody, to anyone, for anything, which expresses the when, where, who and why of Palanca.

  • L stands for the “lever” (Palanca) of our knees bent in prayer; for the love of God towards us, and for our love one to another; for the Light of Christ, and for His Light which we bring to the world; and for the letters of love which are evidence of Palanca to the Pilgrims.

  • A the second “A” stands for the acts we do (anonymously, if possible) to affirm God’s love in our lives, ascribing all adoration and praise to God our Father, rather than pointing to ourselves.

  • N stands for nourishment – providing for the Pilgrim’s physical needs with food, snacks, and refreshments.

  • C stands for the Core of Palanca – the caring community with Christ at the center.

  • A the last “A” stands for the abundance of God’s gifts to us, and for our need to accept his love.