"On the occasion of the traditional World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests that is celebrated on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, I would like to recall the priority of prayer over action since it is on prayer that the effectiveness of action depends. The Church’s mission largely depends on each person’s personal relationship with the Lord Jesus and must therefore be nourished by prayer: 'It is time to reaffirm the importance of prayer in the face of the activism and the growing secularism' (Benedict XVI, "Deus Caritas Est," No. 37).
"Let us not tire of drawing on his Mercy, of letting him look at and medicate the painful wounds of our sin, in order to marvel at the ever new miracle of our redeemed humanity...
"St Thérèse of the Child Jesus, aware of the extreme need of prayer for all priests, especially those who were lukewarm, wrote in a letter to her sister Céline, 'Let us live for souls, let us be apostles, let us save above all the souls of priests…. Let us pray and suffer for them and on the last day Jesus will be grateful' (St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Letter 94).
"Let us entrust ourselves to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Queen of Apostles, our sweetest Mother, let us look to Christ with her, ceaselessly striving to be totally, radically his; this is our identity!
"Let us remember the words of the Holy Curé d’Ars, Patron of Parish Priests: 'If I already had one foot in Heaven and I was told to return to the earth to work to convert sinners, I would gladly return. And if, to do this, it were necessary that I remain on earth until the end of the world, always rising at midnight and suffering as I suffer, I would consent with all my heart' (Brother Athanase, "Procès de l’Ordinaire," p. 883).
"May the Lord guide and protect each and every one, especially the sick and those who are suffering the most, in the constant offering of our life for love."
Cardinal Cláudio Hummes
Titular Archbishop of Victoriana
Prayer for Priests
Lord Jesus, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament,
and living perpetually among us through Your Priests,
grant that the words of Your Priests may be only Your words,
that their gestures be only Your gestures,
and that their lives be a true reflection of Your life.
Grant that they may be men who speak to God on behalf of His people,
and speak to His people of God.
Grant that they be courageous in service,
serving the Church as she asks to be served.
Grant that they may be men who witness to eternity in our time,
travelling on the paths of history in Your steps,
and doing good for all.
Grant that they may be faithful to their commitments,
zealous in their vocation and mission,
clear mirrors of their own identity,
and living the joy of the gift they have received.
We pray that Your Holy Mother, Mary,
present throughout Your life,
may be ever present in the life of Your Priests. Amen.