2nd Sunday of Lent

Praying for Priests

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “the whole community of believers is, as such, priestly. The faithful exercise their baptismal priesthood through their participation, each according to his own vocation, in Christ’s mission as priest, prophet, and king. Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation the faithful are ‘consecrated to be . . . a holy priesthood.’” (CCC 1546)

“the Lord is my light and my help” (Psalm 26)

By focusing on initiatives aimed at community healing for all people irrespective of faith background, Bishop Edwin de la Peña of Marawi in the Philippines serves as a priestly example to his displaced Christian flock and others. The minority Christian community in that part of the Philippines were forced to flee their homes in 2017 due to militants laying siege to the city for four months and 24 days. More than 1,100 people died in the violence and St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral was destroyed.

This Sunday’s psalm states “the Lord is my light and my help” (Psalm 26). With ACN’s support the bishop is responding to the crisis by repairing inter-faith relations and rebuilding lives.

A new rehabilitation centre for Christians and Muslims kidnapped by extremists is providing counselling services and therapy sessions for groups and individuals, including victims of rape and for those who were subjected to violence. Children will need help to be reintegrated into daily life following the terrible experiences they have suffered.

St Joseph’s feast day is on the 20th March – he played pivotal role in supporting Jesus during his youth as well as protecting the Blessed Virgin. Pope Leo’s XIII prayer to St Joseph highlights his important role as spouse of the Virgin Mary and foster father of Jesus. He is the patron saint of the universal Church.

St Joseph’s prayer states:

To you, O blessed Joseph… O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family,
defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ… As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril,
so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity… supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.

Pope Leo’s XIII St Joseph prayer
To you, O blessed Joseph,
do we come in our tribulation,
and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse,
we confidently invoke your patronage also.

Through that charity which bound you
to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God
and through the paternal love
with which you embraced the Child Jesus,
we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance
which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood,
and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.
O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family,
defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ;
O most loving father, ward off from us
every contagion of error and corrupting influence;
O our most mighty protector, be kind to us
and from heaven assist us in our struggle
with the power of darkness.

As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril,
so now protect God’s Holy Church
from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity;
shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection,
so that, supported by your example and your aid,
we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness,
and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven.
Amen.

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