St. John Vianney (1786 –1859) is the patron saint of parish priests. He was known for having the utmost dedication to his parish at Ars, France. He often spent between 12 and 16 hours a day hearing confessions from his parishioners as well as from many who traveled specifically to confess to him.
In honor of St. John Vianney’s exceptional ministry and his Aug. 4 feast day, may we always remember to pray for our priests.
Here are five prayers to cherish and support the priests that make a difference in our lives.
1. Prayer of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus
O Jesus, I pray for your faithful and fervent priests;
for your unfaithful and tepid priests;
for your priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields;
for your tempted priests;
for your lonely and desolate priests;
for your young priests;
for your dying priests;
for the souls of your priests in purgatory.
But above all, I recommend to you the priests dearest to me:
the priest who baptized me;
the priests who absolved me from my sins;
the priests at whose Masses I assisted and who gave me your Body and Blood in Holy Communion;
the priests who taught and instructed me;
all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way (especially …).
O Jesus, keep them all close to your heart,
and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity.
Courtesy of STACharlotte.com
2. Prayer for Priests
Gracious and loving God, we thank you for the gift of our priests.
Through them, we experience your presence in the sacraments.
Help our priests to be strong in their vocation.
Set their souls on fire with love for your people.
Grant them the wisdom, understanding, and strength they need to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
Inspire them with the vision of your Kingdom.
Give them the words they need to spread the Gospel.
Allow them to experience joy in their ministry.
Help them to become instruments of your divine grace.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns as our Eternal Priest.
Courtesy of USCCB.org
3. Prayer by Pope Benedict XVI
Lord Jesus Christ, eternal High Priest,
you offered yourself to the Father on the altar of the cross
and through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit
gave your priestly people a share in your redeeming sacrifice.
Hear our prayer for the sanctification of our priests.
Grant that all who are ordained to the ministerial priesthood
may be ever more conformed to you, the Divine Master.
May they preach the Gospel with pure heart and clear conscience.
Let them be shepherds according to your own heart,
single-minded in service to you and to the Church,
and shining examples of a holy, simple, and joyful life.
Through the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, your Mother and ours,
draw all priests and the flocks entrusted to their care
to the fullness of eternal life where you live and reign
with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Courtesy of Zenit.org
4. Prayer by St. Teresa of Kolkata
Mary, Mother of Jesus,
throw your mantle of purity over our priests.
Protect them, guide them, and keep them in your heart.
Be a Mother to them, especially in times of discouragement and loneliness.
Love them and keep them belonging completely to Jesus.
Like Jesus, they, too, are your sons, so keep their hearts pure and virginal.
Keep their minds filled with Jesus, and put Jesus always on their lips,
so that he is the one they offer to sinner and to all they meet.
Mary, Mother of Jesus, be their Mother, loving them and bringing them joy.
Take special care of sick and dying priests, and the ones most tempted.
Remember how they spent their youth and old age, their entire lives serving and giving all to Jesus.
Mary, bless them and keep a special place for them in your heart.
Give them a piece of your heart, so beautiful and pure and immaculate,
so full of love and humility, so that they, too, can grow in the likeness of Christ.
Dear Mary, make them humble like you, and holy like Jesus.
Courtesy of STACharlotte.com
5. Prayer by St. Faustina
O my Jesus, I beg you on behalf of the whole Church:
Grant it love and the light of your Spirit, and give power to the words of priests so that hardened hearts might be brought to repentance and return to you, O Lord.
Lord, give us holy priests; you yourself maintain them in holiness.
O Divine and Great High Priest, may the power of your mercy accompany them everywhere and protect them from the devil’s traps and snares which are continually being set for the souls of priests.
May the power of your mercy, O Lord, shatter and bring to naught all that might tarnish the sanctity of priests, for you can do all things.
From the Diary of St. Faustina, 1052