According to the Church of St. Albert, prayer blankets are blankets blessed by a priest, which are believed to hold those who receive them in prayer. The chaplain at the M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas gave blankets to the sick, originating the prayer blanket as such.
The Church of St. Albert states that missionaries have delivered prayer blankets internationally to the sick, orphaned and extremely elderly in Volgograd, Russia and in Guatemala. In the United States, prayer blankets have been distributed to hospital patients, cancer support groups and the Veterans Hospital. Prayer blankets are held to bring comfort and peace to those shrouded in them.