Today is the feast day of St. John Vianney, Patron Saint of Parish Priests. I always try to pray today for all the priests who have helped me along the way: the priest that baptized me, the priests who have heard my confessions, priests I have known who have died, etc.
St. John told the young boy who showed him the way to Ars, France, where he would remain his whole priestly life: “You have shown me the way to Ars, I will show you the way to Heaven.” He also said that a priest who is obedient to the demands and wishes of the Lord is the greatest blessing that God can bestow on a parish.
As Fr. John Hardon, SJ, once said, and I paraphrase, do not be afraid to ask a priest to perform his priestly duties for that is his road to holiness.
Prayer for Priests
(St Therese of Lisieux)
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 priest 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.
O Jesus, keep them all close to Your heart, and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity. Amen.