Vocations and Celibacy: A marian prayer for priests from Pope John Paul II

In this time when the confused or obstinate call into question celibacy and the priesthood, it’s good to seek some clarity. Pope John Paul II, without question, having divine understanding on the things of faith revealed to our souls his keen ability to simplify the difficult and clarify the obscure… Here’s one passage from Pastores Dabo Vobis on the link between celibacy and sacred ordination:

The will of the Church finds its ultimate motivation in the link between celibacy and Sacred Ordination, which configures the priest to Jesus Christ the Head and Spouse of the Church. The Church as the Spouse of Jesus Christ wishes to be loved by the priest in the total and exclusive manner in which Jesus Christ her Head and Spouse loved her…

John Paul II,
Pastores dabo vobis,
In n. 29, 1992,

[Note: For the biblical foundation of priestly celibacy click here]

In this year dedicated to priests, it seems appropriate to pass on the following marian prayer from JPII for all our priests today, and for all those to come…

 O Mary,

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.

O 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.

O 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.

O Mother of the Church,

in the midst of 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 full measure of gifts,

O Queen of the Apostles.

O Mother of Jesus Christ,

you were with him at the beginning

of his life and 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, your son, near at hand;

accept from the beginning those

who have been called,

protect their growth,

in their life ministry accompany

your sons,

O Mother of Priests.

Amen.

Given in Rome, at St. Peter’s on March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, in the year 1992, the fourteenth of my Pontificate.

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