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 of Ars.
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 of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus for Priests
O Jesus, I pray for your faithful and fervent priests;
for your unfaithful and tepid priests;
for your priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields;
for your tempted priests;
for your lonely and desolate priests;
for your young priests;
for your dying priests;
for the souls of your priests in purgatory.
But above all, I recommend to you 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 who gave me your Body and Blood in Holy Communion;
the priests who taught and instructed me;
all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way (especially …).
O Jesus, keep them all close to your heart,
and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity.