17th Saturday in Ordinary Time
Memorial of St John Mary Vianney
St John Vianney was everything a priest should be, which is why he was declared the patron saint of priests. We ask him to intercede for all priests, and for all those whose lives have been affected by priests.
But how exactly do we pray for priests? A Catholic layperson in the Philippines composed the following prayer:
Lord Jesus, through the intercession of St. John Mary Vianney, we your people pray to you for our priests. You have given them to us for our needs. We pray for them in their needs.
We know that you have made them priests in the likeness of your own priesthood. You have consecrated them, set them aside, anointed them, filled them with the Holy Spirit, appointed them to teach, to preach, to minister, to console, to forgive, and to feed us with Your Body and Blood.
Yet we know, too, that they are one with us and share our human weaknesses. We know too that they are tempted to sin and discouragement as we are, needing to be ministered to, as do we, to be consoled and forgiven, as do we. Indeed, we thank You for choosing them among us so that they understand as we understand them, suffer with us and rejoice with us, worry with us and trust with us, share our beings, our lives, our faith.
We ask that you give them this day the gift you gave your chosen ones on the way to Emmaus: Your presence in their hearts, your holiness in their souls, your joy in their spirits. And let them see you face to face in the breaking of the Eucharistic bread.
We pray to you, our Lord, through Mary the Mother of all priests, for your priests and for ours.
Holy Mary, intercede for your priests. St. Joseph, protect them. St. Michael, defend them. St. John Mary Vianney, pray for them.