Why should we say prayers for the priests in our lives? Saint John Vianney, the patron saint of priests, once said, “After God, the priest is everything.”
Priests serve Christ’s Church here on earth daily through the Mass and sacraments. In confession they stand in persona Christi and work with Christ to bring us forgiveness from our sins.
We must pray for priests everyday—especially because of the deep hatred Satan has for priests. Christ Himself instituted the priesthood for the Church here on earth, so naturally, the devil hates the men Christ has chosen to continue to bring light and truth to the world. He continuously works to separate them from the grace of God.
After their ordination, all priests have an indelible mark on their souls. This mark makes priests prime targets for the devil and his evil ways. Here are six prayers (from some of our favorite saints!) to say today to intercede for our shepherds here on earth.
1. St. Therese of Lisieux’s 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 the 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 and in heaven their beautiful and
2. St.John Vianney’s Prayer for Priests
God, please give to your Church today
many more priests after your own heart.
May they be worthy representatives of Christ the Good Shepherd.
May they wholeheartedly devote themselves to prayer and penance;
be examples of humility and poverty;
shining models of holiness;
tireless and powerful preachers of the Word of God;
zealous dispensers of your grace in the sacraments.
May their loving devotion to your Son Jesus in the Eucharist
and to Mary his Mother be the twin fountains of fruitfulness for their ministry.
3. St. Pope John Paul II’s Prayer for Priests to Our Blessed Mother
Mother of Jesus Christ and Mother of priests,
Accept this title which we bestow on you to celebrate your motherhood
and to contemplate with you the priesthood of your Son and of your sons,
O holy Mother of God.
Mother of Christ,
to the Messiah Priest you gave a body of flesh
through the anointing of the Holy Spirit
for the salvation of the poor and the contrite of heart;
guard priests in your heart and in the Church,
O Mother of the Savior.
Mother of Faith,
you accompanied to the Temple the Son of Man,
the fulfillment of the promises given to the fathers;
give to the Father for his glory the priests of your Son,
O Ark of the Covenant.
Mother of the Church,
with the disciples in the Upper Room
you prayed to the Spirit for the new People and their shepherds;
obtain for the Order of Presbyters a fullness of gifts,
O Queen of the Apostles.
Mother of Jesus Christ,
you were with Him at the beginning of His life and of His mission,
you sought the Master among the crowd,
you stood beside Him when he was lifted up from the earth
consumed as the one eternal sacrifice,
and you had John close by you, your son;
accept from the beginning those who have been called,
protect their growth, accompany your sons in their life and in their ministry,
O Mother of Priests.
4. St. Teresa of Calcutta’s Prayer for Priests
Mary, Mother of Jesus, throw your mantle of purity over our priests.
Protect them, guide them, and keep them in your heart.
Be a Mother to them, especially in times of discouragement and loneliness.
Love them and keep them belonging completely to Jesus.
Like Jesus, they, too, are your sons, so keep their hearts pure and virginal.
Keep their minds filled with Jesus, and put Jesus always on their lips,
so that he is the one they offer to sinner and to all they meet.
Mary, Mother of Jesus, be their Mother,
loving them and bringing them joy.
Take special care of sick and dying priests, and the ones most tempted.
Remember how they spent their youth and old age,
their entire lives serving and giving all to Jesus.
Mary, bless them and keep a special place for them in your heart.
Give them a piece of your heart, so beautiful and pure and immaculate,
so full of love and humility, so that they, too, can grow in the likeness of Christ.
Dear Mary, make them humble like you, and holy like Jesus.
5. Fr. Benedict’s Prayer for Priests
Lord Jesus Christ, eternal High Priest,
You offered yourself to the Father on the altar of the Cross
and through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit
gave Your priestly people a share in Your redeeming sacrifice.
Hear our prayer for the sanctification of our priests.
Grant that all who are ordained to the ministerial priesthood
may be ever more conformed to You, the Divine Master.
May they preach the Gospel with pure heart and clear conscience.
Let them be shepherds according to Your own Heart,
single-minded in service to You and to the Church
and shining examples of a holy, simple and joyful life.
Through the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Your Mother and ours,
draw all priests and the flocks entrusted to their care
to the fullness of eternal life where you live and reign
with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
6. St. Faustina’s Prayer for Priests
Heavenly Father, grant that our priests be strengthened and healed
by the power of the Eucharist they celebrate.
May the Word they proclaim give them courage and wisdom.
We pray that all those whom they seek to serve
May see in them the love and care of Jesus,
Our Eternal High Priest, who is Lord for ever and ever. Amen.
Mary, Mother of the Church, look tenderly upon your sons, our priests.
St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, pray for us all.
8. O my Jesus, I beg You on behalf of the whole Church:
Grant it love and the light of Your Spirit
and give power to the words of priests
so that hardened hearts might be brought to repentance
and return to You, O Lord.
Lord, give us holy priests;
You Yourself maintain them in holiness.
O Divine and Great High Priest,
may the power of Your mercy accompany them everywhere and protect them
from the devil’s snares which are continually being set for the souls of priests.
May the power of Your mercy, O Lord,
shatter and bring to naught all that might tarnish the sanctity of priests,
for You can do all things.