prayers for priests

Prayer for Priests

March 23, 2015

Christ True vine (Russia, 19th c.)

My latest holy card project with Catholic Prayer Cards is this Russian icon with a prayer for priests on the back. The company now has it in their online catalog for anyone to purchase.

About the icon

The name of this 19th century icon is “Christ True Vine”. Here we see Jesus seated on the sepulcher with the vine emerging from the wound in his side. Instruments of the Passion are at his feet. Jesus presses His sacred blood from the grapes into a golden chalice held by a kneeling angel.

Christ the High Priest and Victim is to be emulated by all men in the sacred priesthood. They bring the saving blood of Christ to the faithful through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation. Every time we see a priest we should, regardless of whether we like him or not, see Christ on Calvary and remember the great sacrifice that opened the gates of heaven to us.

The prayer

Ever since I found this prayer in the late 1990s it has been one of my favorites. Carrying an imprimatur from Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop of New York, December 15, 1954, it expresses beautifully the theology of the sacred priesthood.

Sanctify to Thyself,

O my Lord,

the hearts of Thy priests,

that by the merits of

Thy sacred humanity,

They may become

living images of Thee,

children of Mary,

and full of the fire of

the Holy Ghost, that they

may guard Thy house, and

defend Thy glory, and

that through their ministry

the face of the earth

may be renewed, and

they may save those souls

which have cost Thee

all Thy blood.

Amen.

Our priests are a sacred treasure of the Church, and the ones more vulnerable to attacks by Satan than anyone else. Every fallen priest means a terrible loss of a conduit of grace God intended for the faithful. As laity we have an obligation to remember them in our prayers, especially our pastors and confessors.

Does your parish emphasize prayers for priests? Would you obtain these prayer cards and make them available to your fellow parishioners with the permission of your pastor? I’m sure that many priests would greatly appreciate knowing that they are remembered daily in prayer by the faithful they serve.

“Christ the Vine” image via Wikimedia.

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V. Praised be Jesus Christ!

R. Now and forever!

(Click on the link above to read why I end my posts this way.)

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