Now seems an especially apt moment to recall this prayer below.
I first discovered it this spring, in St. John the Evangelist Church, on the ground floor of the building where I work in Manhattan. They had several yellow cards on a table, with this prayer printed on it. I took one home, folded in my wallet, and more or less forgot about it. I think it’s no accident that tonight, I discovered it again.
I think we need it — now, more than ever.
PRAYER FOR PRIESTS
O Jesus, Eternal Priest, keep your priests within the shelter of your sacred heart, where none may touch them.
Keep unstained their anointed hands, which daily touch your sacred body.
Keep unsullied their lips, daily purpled with your precious blood.
Keep pure and unearthly their hearts, sealed with the sublime mark of your priesthood.
Let your holy love surround them, and shield them from the world’s contagion.
Bless their labors with abundant fruit,
and may the souls to whom they minister be their joy and consolation here on earth,
and in heaven, their everlasting crown.
Mary, Mother of Priests, pray for priests and vocations to the priesthood.
– St. Therese of Lisieux
Photo by Stephen Golder from “These Hands Bring Me Jesus”