World Priest Day Theme
St John Paul II established that, on the solemnity of the Sacred Heart, the Church will observe the World Day of prayer for the Sanctification of Priests.
In 2002, the Catholic Church announced a special annual world priest day, a day of prayer for the sanctification of priests to be held on the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The 2010 to 2011 ''Year of The Priests'' was a tremendous success worldwide. We are most grateful to all who participated in making this year of prayer such a special gift to all priests.
We strongly encourage each and every one of the faithful to begin, if not already doing so, to pray for our priests today - this day, this very moment - in preparation through prayer, celebration of the Mass and Eucharistic Adoration, so that the 27th June 2014 will be an even greater celebration of the priesthood of Jesus Christ worldwide.
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The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests 27th June 2014
LETTER TO PRIESTS
My dearest friends and brothers in the priesthood,
On the occasion of the coming solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, 7 June 2013, on which we celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests, I cordially greet each and every one of you, and thank the Lord for the wonderful gift of the priesthood and for your fidelity to the love of Christ.
The invitation of the Lord to “remain in his love” (cf. Jn. 15:9) is valid for all the baptised, but on the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it resounds with a new power in us, his priests. As the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI reminded us at the opening of the Year for Priests, quoting the Holy Curé of Ars, “the priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus” (cf. Homily at the celebration of Vespers of the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, 19 June 2009). We must never forget that from this heart sprang the gift of the priestly ministry.
We know from experience that “to remain in his love” pushes us forcefully towards holiness. This holiness, as we know well, is not based in doing extraordinary actions, but in allowing Christ to act in us and in making his attitudes, his thoughts and his behaviour our own. The extent of holiness derives from the extent of Christ’s presence in us, insofar as we model the whole of our life on him, by the strength of the Holy Spirit.
We priests have been consecrated and sent to make present the salvific mission of the incarnate Divine Son. Our function is indispensable for the Church and for the world and demands from us complete fidelity to Christ and constant union with Him. Thus, by humble service, we are guides who lead to holiness the faithful entrusted to our ministry. In this way, we reflect in our life the desire expressed by Jesus himself in his priestly prayer after the institution of the Eucharist: “I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours… I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one… sanctify them in the truth… for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth” (Jn. 17:9,15,17,19).
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Visit the Congregation for the Clergy website at clerus.org.