Priests Page 4-2:
Prayer for Vocations to the Priesthood
Composed by Pope Pius XII
Lord Jesus, High Priest and universal Shepherd, Thou hast taught us to pray, saying: "Pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into His harvest" [Matt. 9: 38]. Therefore we beseech Thee graciously to hear our supplications and raise up many generous souls who, inspired by Thy example and supported by Thy grace, may conceive the ardent desire to enter the ranks of Thy sacred ministers in order to continue the office of Thy one true priesthood.
Although Thy priests live in the world as dispensers of the mysteries of God, yet their mission demands that they be not men of this world. Grant, then, that the insidious lies and vicious slanders directed against the priesthood by the malignant enemy and abetted by the world through its spirit of indifference and materialism may not dim the brilliance of the light with which they shine before men, nor lessen the profound and reverent esteem due to them. Grant that the continual promotion of religious instruction, true piety, purity of life and devotion to the highest ideals may prepare the groundwork for good vocations among youth. May the Christian family, as a nursery of pure and pious souls, become the unfailing source of good vocations, ever firmly convinced of the great honor that can redound to our Lord through some of its numerous offspring. Come to the aid of Thy Church, that always and in every place she may have at her disposal the means necessary for the reception, promotion, formation and mature development of all the good vocations that may arise. For the full realization of all these things, O Jesus, Who art most zealous for the welfare salvation of all, may Thy graces continually descend from Heaven to move many hearts by their irresistible force: first, the silent invitation; then generous cooperation; and finally perseverance in Thy holy service.
Art Thou not moved to compassion, O Lord, seeing the crowds like sheep without a shepherd, without anyone to break for them the bread of Thy word, or to lead them to drink at the fountains of Thy grace, so that they are continually in danger of becoming a prey to ravening wolves? Does it not grieve Thee to behold so many unplowed fields where thorns and thistles are allowed to grow in undisputed possession? Art Thou not saddened that many of Thy gardens, once so green and productive, are now on the verge of becoming fallow and barren through neglect?
O Mary, Mother most pure, through whose compassion we have received the holiest of priests; O glorious Patriarch St. Joseph, perfect model of co-operation with the Divine call; O holy priests, who in heaven compose a choice choir about the Lamb of God: obtain for us many good vocations in order that the Lord's flock, through the support and government of vigilant shepherds, may attain to the enjoyment of the most delightful pastures of eternal happiness.
Nov. 6, 1957O Lord Jesus Christ, eternal High Priest, Good Shepherd and Fountain of Life, Who hast numbered us among thy priests not through any merits of ours but by the special bounty of Thy most Sacred Heart, mercifully grant unto us an abundance of Thy gifts that we may be able to fulfill those priestly promises which we have made by the inspiration of Thy grace. Since Thou didst sanctify Thyself for us that we also may be truly sanctified [John 17: 19], and since Thou art our Way, grant that we may never depart from Thee so that becoming well versed in Thy teaching and faithful in the keeping of Thy Commandments we may reflect in our conduct the image and kind dispositions of Thy Sacred Heart. Thus in Thee and through Thee we shall in all things be found pleasing to the Heavenly Father. committed to our care. May the enemies of Thy Gospel stand in awe as they witness the strong bonds of unity that knit us so closely together. May they never have occasion to observe in our conduct anything with which to find fault with Thy Church, our spotless and immaculate Mother. Finally, may we ever prefer Thy glory to our own personal gain, and grant us to persevere to our last breath in the fruitful performance of duty with an upright will and a pure conscience. Then after death be Thou, Who art now our Teacher and Companion, our eternal reward in the glory of the Saints, Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost for ever and ever. Amen.
May perfect justice together with prudence shine forth in our lives and let robust fortitude be tempered by the restraints of chaste temperance. With pure faith abiding in our hearts, may they be consoled by the hope of immortal blessings, and become inflamed with the fires of Heavenly love from Thy Sacred Heart, the burning furnace of charity. Grant that we may be ever diligent in meditating on thy words, radiant with the brightness of Thy eternal wisdom for the enlightenment of our minds. Thus from that very pasture in which we are fed, we can feed the sheep of Thy flock
May 4, 1956
O Jesus, eternal High Priest, Good Shepherd, Font of Life, Who by a special favor of Thy most tender Heart hast given to us our priests in order to accomplish in us those holy ideals with which Thy grace inspires our hearts, let Thy mercy, we beseech Thee, come to the aid of our priests.
Grant them, O Jesus, lively faith in their works, unshakable hope in their trials and fervent charity in their intentions. May Thy word, radiant with eternal Wisdom, become through continual meditation, the never failing nourishment of their interior life; may the examples of Thy Life and Passion be renewed in their conduct and sufferings for our instruction and as a light and consolation in our sorrows.
Grant, O Lord, that our priests, free from all earthly attachments and solicitous for Thy glory alone, may persevere to their last breath in the fulfillment of duty and in purity of conscience. And when in death they deliver into Thy hands a task well done may they have in Thee, Lord Jesus, their Master on earth, the eternal reward of the crown of justice in the glory of the Saints. Amen.
O Lord Jesus Christ, sublime model of all perfection, Thou art ever urging onward all privileged souls in their high aspiration towards the goal of religious life; and, moreover, Thou dost also strengthen them through the powerful force of Thy example and the efficacious influence of Thy grace so that they may be able to follow Thee in such a noble way of life; grant then that many, recognizing Thy sweet inspirations, may have the will to correspond with them by embracing the religious state and so enjoy in it Thy special care and tender predilection.Grant in like manner that there may never be wanting those angels of Thy charity, who will represent Thee day and night at the cradle of the orphan, at the bedside of the suffering, by the side of the aged and the sick, who perhaps have no one on earth to whom they may look for sympathy and a helping hand. Grant that humble schools, like lofty pulpits, may ever re-echo Thy voice, teaching the way to Heaven and the duties proper to each one's state in life. May no land, ever so wild and remote, be deprived of the preaching of the Gospel, whereby the invitation is extended to all peoples to enter into Thy Kingdom. Increase and multiply the flames which are to spread throughout the world that fire in which the immaculate holiness of Thy Church is to shine forth in all its splendor. May there flourish in every place gardens of chosen souls who by contemplation and penance make reparation for the sins of men and invoke Thy mercy upon them. Grant that the continuous self-sacrifice of these hearts, the snow-white purity of these souls and their eminent virtues may keep ever alive the perfect example of the children of God which Thou didst will to make manifest to men by Thy coming into this world.
To these armies of Thy dearly beloved souls send a large number of good vocations, souls steadfast and firm in their resolve to make themselves worthy of their high calling and to become a credit to the holy institute to which they aspire, by exact religious observance, by diligence in prayer, by constant mortification and by the perfect conformity of their will with Thine in all things.
Enlighten, O Lord Jesus, many generous souls with the fiery glow of the Holy Spirit, Who is substantial and eternal love, and by the powerful intercession of Thy most dear Mother Mary, stir up and preserve in them the fire of Thy love, unto the glory of the Father and the same Holy Spirit, Who together with Thee live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.
Related Page: Special Prayer for Priests