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(The following was drawn from zenit.org.)

The greatest suffering of the Church is the sin of its priests, Pope Benedict XVI said as he inaugurated the Year for Priests on Friday, June 19 at the Vatican.

The Pope presided at a celebration of vespers on the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Basilica of St. Peter's, during which he launched a yearlong celebration of the priesthood. The theme for the priestly year is "Faithfulness of Christ, Faithfulness of Priests."

The year, convoked by the Pontiff, coincides with the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Mary Vianney, known as the Curé d'Ars. Bishop Guy Bagnard of Belley-Ars brought the relics of the French saint to Rome for the inauguration Mass.

The Year for Priests will conclude with an International Convention in Rome, to be held June 9-11, 2010.

The celebration began with the Holy Father venerating in silence the relics of St. John Mary Vianney.

"The Church needs holy priests," the Pope said in his homily. "[It needs] ministers to help the faithful experience the merciful love of the Lord and to be convinced witnesses."

For this, he invited the faithful to pray "that the Lord inflame the heart of each priest" with the love of Jesus.

"How can one forget that nothing makes the Church — the Body of Christ — suffer more than the sins of its pastors, above all those that are 'wolves in sheep's clothing,' whether because they lead [the faithful] away with their private doctrine, or because they bind [the faithful] down with the ties of sin and death," he asked.

"The call to conversion and to take recourse to Divine Mercy also applies to us, dear priests," Benedict XVI said to the numerous priests and bishops present. "We should also appeal, humbly and incessantly, to the Heart of Jesus so that He preserves us from the terrible risk of damaging those whom we should save."

For this, the Pope affirmed, "Our mission is indispensible for the Church and for the world, which demands complete fidelity to Christ and an incessant union with Him; that is to say, it demands that we constantly seek the holiness of St. John Mary Vianney."

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HEN - Dec 2, 2015

Where did this prayer for priests originate?

Maria P. (Canada) - Jun 30, 2009

Praise the Living God and our Holy Father Pope Benedict for sure. I agree with you Theresa. Thank you, thank you to all priests all over the world for your "fiat". Keep focusing on the Cross and remember that every drop of blood that Jesus shed cries out, "I LOVE YOU". May this "Year of the Priest" be a reawakening to all priests for their sanctification and new vocations to the priesthood through our prayers and supplications to the Most Holy Trinity and the greatest protector of all--Our Blessed Mother, Queen of Apostles.

Theresa - Jun 30, 2009

I am sorry. I left out a Key Word in the Prayer for Priest. I am dyslexic and also think faster than I write. And see what I think thought but it is not there. My condition has been a Blessing because it helps me understand other people. And my youngest daughter because of her assisting me since she was 3 years old, is a Musical Therapist and a Inter-related Special Education Teacher. With God, everything is a Blessing.

The Prayer with the Key Word is thus:

God Our Father, please send us Holy Priest. All for the Sacred EUCHARISTIC Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary; in union with St, Joseph. Amen.

Thank You. God's Mercy be with You and All our Priest.

Theresa - Jun 28, 2009

Praise God! Thank You Pope Benedict! The Church needs a definite Revival and It coming from the Altar/Pulpit by the Priest will be the fire that starts it. If the Church can't count on the Shepherds to "Feed,Tend,and Feed the Sheep then what. And then where do the Sheep, the Flock go? I pray year is truly BLESSED.

There is a Prayer for Priest that is Prayed with each decade of the Rosary:
God Our Father please send us Holy Priest. All for the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in union with St. Joseph. Amen,