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The Catholic Defender: Prayers for Catholic Priests, the Men in Black





St. Teresa of Calcutta’s Prayer for Priests

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.


Heavenly Father, grant that our priests be strengthened and healed by the power of the Eucharist they celebrate. May the Word they proclaim give them courage and wisdom. We pray that all those whom they seek to serve May see in them the love and care of Jesus, Our Eternal High Priest, who is Lord for ever and ever.


O Jesus, Eternal High Priest, live in our priests, act in them, speak in and through them.

Think Your thoughts in their mind, love through their heart.

Give them Your own dispositions and feelings. Teach, lead and guide them always.

Correct, enlighten and expand their thoughts and behavior.

Possess their soul; take over their entire personality and life.

Replace them with Yourself.

Incline them to constant adoration and thanksgiving; pray in and through them.

Let them live in You and keep them in this intimate union always.

O Mary, Immaculate Conception, Mother of Jesus and Mother of priests, pray and intercede for all our priests Amen.

St. Francis Prayer for priests


Pour out your Holy Spirit upon him and sanctify him as Your ardent servant, consecrated in holiness. Mould him into the the true likeness of Your son to be a compassionate shepherd to Your people. Keep him steadfast in times of trial, ever faithful in obeying Your will and zealous in proclaiming Christ to the world.


Heavenly Father, Giver of every good gift, we thank You for blessing us with our priests . Pour out your Holy Spirit upon them and sanctify them as Your ardent servant, consecrated in holiness. Mould them into the the true likeness of Your son to be a compassionate shepherd to Your people. Keep them steadfast in times of trial, ever faithful in obeying Your will and zealous in proclaiming Christ to the world. May Your divine wisdom guide their every decision, and Your strength sustain them in their apostolic ministry. Mary Blessed Mother, through your prayers, help your sons to imitate Christ’s humility and self-emptying love so that others may encounter Jesus though them, for the glory of God and the renewed growth of the Church. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, Amen.


Praying for others was central to Jesus' mission and should be for us, especially intercession for priests. Click on the links below to learn more about prayer and its value for assisting souls:

St. Pope John Paul II’s Prayer for Priests to Our Blessed Mother

Mother of Jesus Christ and Mother of priests, Accept this title which we bestow on you to celebrate your motherhood and to contemplate with you the priesthood of your Son and of your sons, O holy Mother of God. Mother of Christ, to the Messiah Priest you gave a body of flesh through the anointing of the Holy Spirit for the salvation of the poor and the contrite of heart; guard priests in your heart and in the Church, O Mother of the Savior. Mother of Faith, you accompanied to the Temple the Son of Man, the fulfillment of the promises given to the fathers; give to the Father for his glory the priests of your Son, O Ark of the Covenant. Mother of the Church, with the disciples in the Upper Room you prayed to the Spirit for the new People and their shepherds; obtain for the Order of Presbyters a fullness of gifts, O Queen of the Apostles. Mother of Jesus Christ, you were with Him at the beginning of His life and of His mission, you sought the Master among the crowd, you stood beside Him when he was lifted up from the earth consumed as the one eternal sacrifice, and you had John close by you, your son; accept from the beginning those who have been called, protect their growth, accompany your sons in their life and in their ministry, O Mother of Priests.


Mary, Woman of the Eucharist, Mother and Model of Every Priest

And, you, Mary, "Woman of the Eucharist," Mother and model of every priest, be close to these sons of yours today and throughout the years of their pastoral ministry. Like the Apostle John, they too welcome you "into their home." Help them to conform their lives to the divine Teacher who has chosen them as His ministers. May their "present," just spoken by each one with youthful enthusiasm, be expressed every day in generous adherence to the task of the ministry and blossom in the joy the "magnificent" for the "great things" that God's mercy will, to work through their hands. Amen.


O Jesus, our great High Priest, hear my humble prayers on behalf of your priests. Give them a deep faith, a bright and firm hope and a burning love which will ever increase in the course of their priestly life. In their loneliness, comfort them. In their sorrows, strengthen them. In their frustrations, point out to them that it is through suffering that the soul is purified, and show them that they are needed by the Church; they are needed by souls; they are needed for the work of redemption.



A Prayer for Priests By St. Therese of Lisieux O Jesus, eternal Priest, keep your priests within the shelter of Your Sacred Heart, where none may touch them. Keep unstained their anointed hands, which daily touch Your Sacred Body. Keep unsullied their lips, daily purpled with your Precious Blood. Keep pure and unearthly their hearts, sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood. Let Your holy love surround them and shield them from the world's contagion. Bless their labors with abundant fruit and may the souls to whom they minister be their joy and consolation here and in heaven their beautiful and everlasting crown. Amen.


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.

Amen. 3. A Prayer for Priests By John Cardinal O’Connor O loving Mother Mary, Mother of Priests, take to your heart your sons who are close to you because of their priestly ordination and because of the power which they have received to carry on the work of Christ in a world which needs them so much. Be their comfort, be their joy, be their strength, and especially help them to live and to defend the ideals of consecrated celibacy. Lord Jesus, we your people pray to You for our priests. You have given them to us for OUR needs. We pray for them in THEIR needs. We know that You have made them priests in the likeness of your own priesthood. You have consecrated them, set them aside, anointed them, filled them with the Holy Spirit, appointed them to teach, to preach, to minister, to console, to forgive, and to feed us with Your Body and Blood. Yet we know, too, that they are one with us and share our human weaknesses. We know too that they are tempted to sin and discouragement as are we, needing to be ministered to, as do we, to be consoled and forgiven, as do we. Indeed, we thank You for choosing them from among us, so that they understand us as we understand them, suffer with us and rejoice with us, worry with us and trust with us, share our beings, our lives, our faith. We ask that You give them this day the gift You gave Your chosen ones on the way to Emmaus: Your presence in their hearts, Your holiness in their souls, Your joy in their spirits. And let them see You face to face in the breaking of the Eucharistic bread. We pray to You, O Lord, through Mary the mother of all priests, for Your priests and for ours. Amen.


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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.

Amen.


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.

Amen.


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.

Amen.


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.

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