If there was ever a need to pray and sacrifice for priests for their preservation and sanctity it is today. In the US alone, since Vatican Council II, we have lost well over ten thousand priests and vocations have dropped almost seventy-five percent.
Praying for priests and bishops has been the practice of the Church since apostolic times. It is a matter of revealed truth. It is a divine mandate. We read in the Acts of the Apostles: "Peter therefore was kept in prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the church unto God for him."
Through prayer we gain graces for priests which otherwise they would not obtain. Priests need special graces because they have extraordinary responsibilities before God. Those who are responsible for Christ's presence on earth are to be, of all people, most Christ-like. They are to be patterns of what Christ wants all of us to be.
PRAYERS FOR HOLY PRIESTS
My Dear Jesus, You desire that we pray the Lord of the harvest that He send zealous laborers into His harvest. Deign to raise up in Thy Church, and especially in this diocese, numerous and holy priests who, taking Thy Divine Heart as their Model, will, in the exercise of their holy priesthood, promote the glory of Thy heavenly Father and the salvation of those souls whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood. Give us truly holy priests who, inflamed with the fire of Thy divine love, seek nothing but Thy greater glory and the salvation of souls.
O Mary, Queen of the clergy, pray for us; obtain for us many holy priests.
PRAYER TO BE SAID AT THE
O Lord, may You find shelter and rest gently within the heart of Thy priest...
Make him, O Lord, a priest according to Thy heart: meek, humble, zealous, so that all he does will be for Thine honor and glory. Mold him into a man of prayer and labor, insensible to earthly things, and sensible only to Thy love and to the graces of the Holy Ghost. Amen.