Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Spiritual Motherhood for Priests

The Vatican Congregation for Clergy recently issued a document encouraging “spiritual motherhood for priests.” Particularly in this “Year for Priests,” if the unique devotion of spiritual motherhood is better understood and promoted, the Church’s priests have the opportunity to receive tremendous strength and many graces through the prayer and sacrifices of spiritual mothers. Many vocations may arise and priests will be strengthened in holiness if women accept the call to be spiritual mothers.
Every mother loves and sacrifices in order to care for her children and will stop at nothing to provide what they need. Spiritual mothers of priests have different concerns, yet a spiritual mother’s love for her sons – the Church’s priests – is no less intense. A spiritual mother prays and sacrifices that her priests will be holy, conformed to Christ, strengthened and fulfilled in their vocation.
As the Congregation for Clergy has written: “The vocation to be a spiritual mother for priests is...barely understood and, consequently, rarely lived...although fundamental and vitally important. It is a vocation that is often hidden, not apparent to the human eye, but intended to transmit spiritual life.”
Women in the Church, both religious sisters and lay women, have a unique opportunity to become spiritual mothers. As such, they may “adopt” a particular priest, pray for all priests, or pray for vocations. Spiritual mothers offer their prayer, fasting and sacrifices for the holiness of priests, and so make their unique maternal love bear great spiritual fruit. All women are encouraged to prayerfully consider the “vocation within a vocation” to become spiritual mothers for priests. More information is available from the Vatican at
The Vatican’s website contains stories of spiritual motherhood in action. One such story follows. The little village of Lu Monferrato, Italy, with only a few thousand inhabitants, is in a rural area 90 kilometres east of Turin. In 1881, many of the mothers of Lu experienced a deep desire of many for one of their sons to become a priest or for a daughter to become a nun. Under the direction of their parish priest, they gathered every Tuesday for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, asking the Lord for vocations. They received Holy Communion on the first Sunday of every month with the same intention. After Mass, all the mothers prayed together imploring for vocations to the priesthood. Through the trusting prayer of these mothers and the openness of the other parents, an atmosphere of deep joy and Christian piety developed in the families, making it much easier for the children to recognize their vocations.
From the tiny village of Lu came 323 vocations: 152 priests and 171 nuns belonging to 41 different congregations! Every ten years, the priests and sisters born in Lu come together from all around the world. Fr. Mario Meda, the long-serving parish priest of Lu, explained that this reunion is a true feast of thanksgiving to God, who has done such great things for Lu.
The prayer that the mothers of Lu prayed was short, simple, and profound:
“O God, grant that one of my sons may become a priest!
I myself want to live as a good Christian
and want to guide my children always to do what is right,
so that I may receive the grace, O God,
to be allowed to give you a holy priest! Amen.”

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