Maundy Thursday, anniversary of Holy Orders' institution, is a special feastday for priests. Let us remember them in our prayers, and review the words of the Curé.
On this day of both sorrow, and celebratory gratitude for the great gifts of the priesthood and the Holy Eucharist, it seems fitting to review the words of St. John Marie Vianney on the priest, and pass along a prayer card for our priests that can be said as a parish on a certain Sunday of each month, or in your own devotions.
The Holy Cure of Ars on the Priest
Some people are in the habit of speaking ill of priests, and have contempt for them. Be careful, my children. They are the representatives of God, and so everything you say, you say of God Himself.
Holy Orders: a sacrament that doesn’t seem to concern any of you, and yet it is a sacrament that concerns everyone.
It is the priest who continues the work of Redemption on earth.
When you see a priest, think of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
A priest is not a priest for himself, he is a priest for you.
Go to confession to the Blessed Virgin or to an angel. Will they absolve you? Will they give you the Body and Blood of Our Lord? No, the Blessed Virgin cannot make her Divine Son come down into the Host. And even if you had two hundred angels on hand they could not absolve you. A priest, as simple as he may be, can. He can tell you: Go in peace, I forgive you.
Oh! How great a priest is!
A good pastor, a pastor according to the Heart of God, is the greatest treasure that God can grant a parish, and one of the most precious gifts of Divine Mercy.
The Priesthood is the love of the Heart of Jesus.
Leave a parish without a priest for twenty years: they will adore beasts.
Prayer for Priests
Taken from Christian Warfare
O Almighty 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 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 dying priests; for the souls of your priests in purgatory.
But above all, I recommend to Thee the priests dearest to me: the priest who baptized me; the priests who absolved me from my sins; the priests at whose Masses I assisted and gave me Thy Body and Blood in Holy Communion; the priests who taught and instructed me or helped and encouraged me; all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way, particularly our priests at [your church name here].
O Jesus, keep them all close to Thy heart, and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity.