It is particularly at the Masses of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ that I have the greatest understanding of the bond between the priest and the Blessed Mother. As she wrapped the Holy Infant in swaddling clothes and laid Him in the manger, I have an overwhelming sense of doing the same in a mystical way, as our Lord is made present on the altar.
Please pray for all priests, especially during this Christmastide, and commend them to the intercession of St. John Vianney, who is the patron of priests.
O Almighty and Eternal God, look upon the Face of Thy Christ, and for love of Him Who is the eternal High-priest, have pity on Thy priests. Remember, O most compassionate God, that they are but weak and frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation which is in them by the imposition of the Bishop's hands. Keep them close to Thee, lest the enemy prevail against them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation.
O Jesus, I pray Thee for Thy faithful and fervent priests; for Thy unfaithful and tepid priests; for Thy priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields; for Thy tempted priests; for Thy lonely and desolate priests; for Thy young priests; for Thy aged priests; for Thy sick priests; for Thy dying priests; for the souls of Thy priests in Purgatory.
But above all I commend to Thee the priests dearest to me: the priest who baptized me; the priests at whose Masses I assisted and who gave me Thy Body and Blood in Holy Communion; the priests who taught and instructed or helped me and encouraged me; all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way. O Jesus, keep them all close to Thy heart, and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity. Amen.
Mary, Queen of the clergy, pray for us; obtain for us many and holy priests. Amen.
(Pictured here is the statue of St. John Vianney, located in the Chapel of the Most Sacred Heart at Our Lady of the Atonement Church, with a first class relic of the Patron of Priests.)