There is no greater dignity on earth than that of the priest. The work of Jesus Christ, the evangelization of the world, is entrusted to the priest, they who must teach the law of God, regenerate souls to grace, absolve from sins, perpetuate the real presence of Jesus in the world with the Eucharistic Consecration and to assist the faithful from birth to death.
Jesus said: “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you” (St. John, XX, 21). “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide … If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”(St. John, XV, 16 – 19). “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”(St. Matthew, X, 16). “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me”(St. Luke, X, 16).
Satan unleashes his anger and jealousy against the ministers of God above anything else, so that souls cannot be saved.
The priest, who, though elevated to such high dignity, is always a miserable son of Adam, with the same consequences of original sin, he needs help and special assistance to fulfill his mission. Our Lady knows well the needs of the ministers of Her Son and loves them with an exceptional love, calling them in Her messages “my beloved ones”; She obtains abundant graces for them so that they may save souls and be sanctified; She takes special care of them, as She did with the Apostles in the early days of the Church.
Mary sees Her Son Jesus in every priest and considers every priestly soul as the “apple of Her eyes”. She knows well what dangers they are facing, especially in our times, of how wicked are they who target them and what pitfalls are prepared for them by Satan, wanting to sift them like wheat in the threshing floor. But as a loving Mother She does not abandon Her children in the struggles and keeps them always under Her mantle.
The Catholic priesthood, which is of divine origin, is cared deeply for by the devotees of Our Lady. First of all, the priests are to be esteemed and loved; they are obeyed because they are the spokesmen of Jesus, they defend them against the slanders of the enemies of God, and most of all, they pray for them.
Ordinarily, the day dedicated to the priest is Thursdays, because it recalls the day of the institution of the ministerial priesthood; but also, on the other days we should pray for them. The Holy Hour of Adoration for priests is highly recommended,
The purpose of our prayer is the sanctification of the ministers of God, because if they are not saints they cannot sanctify others. Also, pray for lukewarm priest to become fervent. Let us implore God, through the Virgin, so that priestly vocations may arise. It is the prayer that wrest the graces and attracts the gifts of God to all. And what greater gift can we have than a holy priest? “Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (St. Matthew, IX, 38).
In this our prayer, we should keep in mind the priests of our own diocese, the seminarians, our own parish priest and our confessors.
At nine, a girl was struck by a strange illness. The doctors did not find any remedy. So the father turned with faith to the our Lady of Victory; her good sisters multiplied their prayers for her healing.
In front of her sickbed’s bed was a small statue of our Lady, who miraculously came to life. The girl’s eyes met the eyes of the celestial Mother. The vision lasted a few moments, but it was enough to bring back the joy in that family. Our Lady healed the pretty girl and throughout her life, she brought with her the sweet memory of our Lady. Every time she was invited to tell the story, she confined herself to saying: “The Blessed Virgin looked at me, then smiled … and I was healed!”
Our Lady did not want that girl to lose her innocent soul, destined to give God so much glory.
The girl grew over the years and also in the love of God and in zeal. Wanting to save many souls, she was inspired by God to dedicate herself to the spiritual good of the priests. So that one day she said: To save many souls, I have decided to make a wholesale deal: I offer all my little acts of virtue to God, so that grace may increase in the priests; the more I pray and sacrifice myself for them, the more souls they will convert with their ministry … Ah, if I could be a priest myself! Jesus has always satisfied my desires; only one thing has left me dissatisfied: not being able to have a brother as a priest! But I want to become a mother of priests! … I want to pray a lot for them. At first I was amazed to hear people asking to pray for the ministers of God, when I thought that they should be the one to pray for us the faithful, but later I realized that they too need prayers!
This delicate feeling accompanied her to death and attracted her many blessings to reach the highest degrees of perfection.
The little girl who was miraculously healed was Saint Therese of the Child Jesus.
A Little Spiritual Flower Offering to our Lady:
– To celebrate, or at least listen to a Holy Mass for the sanctification of the priests.
Prayer to Mary:
– Queen of the Apostles, pray for us!
Adapted and Translated from:
MARIA REGINA E MADRE DI MISERICORDIA (Mese di Maggio) – by DON GIUSEPPE TOMASELLI