A project of the Jesuit – run global prayer network Apostleship of Prayer is the monthly “ Pope Video ” initiative. In his prayer video of July 3, 2018, Pope Francis asked Catholics to dedicate the month of July to giving a spiritual gift to their pastors by praying for them, especially for those priests that are tired and lonely. The video shows priests working in difficult situations such as disaster areas and war zones while Francis exclaims that priests “ working on so many active fronts, they cannot remain inactive after a disappointment, ” and when such moments come, it is good for a pastor to remember “ that the people love their priests, need them, and trust in them. ” The video then shows scenes of priests visi!ng the sick, administering the sacraments, and talking with parishioners. The priest featured in the video is given a flower by an elderly woman, he puts it in a vase and prays as more members of his congregation give him flowers to add to the bouquet. Pope Francis ended the video by asking Catholics to join him in praying “ that priests, who experience fa!gue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests. ” Many times Francis has spoken to priests about gettng worn out, saying: “ Do you know how often I think about this weariness which all of you experience? ” “ I think about it and I pray about it, often, especially when I am tired myself, ” and he said he prays for every priest and their ministry, especially those who serve “ in lonely and dangerous places. ” During the chrism Mass in 2015 he said the tiredness of a holy priest who gives his life in service “ is like incense which silently rises up to heaven. Our weariness goes straight to the heart of the Father. ”
Prayer of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus
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.