PRAYER FOR PRIESTS.
Divine Saviour, Jesus Christ, who have entrusted your work of redemption to the priests, who take your place on earth. I offer you, through the hands of your most holy mother for the sanctification of your priests and future priests this whole day, all my prayers, works, joys, sacrifices and sufferings. Give us saintly priests. Grant to them apostolic hearts, filled with love for you and all the souls belonging to you, so that, being themselves sanctified in you, they may sanctify us who are entrusted to their care and bring us safely into heaven. Loving Jesus, bless all their prayers and words at the altar and in the confessional, in the pulpit, in the school and at the sickbed. Call many young men to the priesthood and monastic life. Protect and sanctify all who will become your priests. And grant to the souls of the priests who have departed this life, eternal rest. And to you, Mary, Mother of all priests, take them under your special protection and lead them ever to the highest priestly sanctity. Amen.
Katolikong Katesismo on the 5th Sunday in Ordinary time, February 8, 2015.
OUR LADY OF LOURDES.
On February 11, 1858, in a grotto at Massabielle at Lourdes in Southern France. Our Lady appeared to 14 year old Bernadette Soubirous, a young peasant girl. From that day until July 16, 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared 18 times to Bernadette.
During the 9th apparition, the Blessed Virgin Mary asked Bernadette to dig the ground near the grotto and a spring began to flow. The water from this still flowing spring has been attributed as an instrument of healing in the many miraculous cures in Lourdes. On the 13th apparition, Bernadette was instructed by Our Lady to “TELL THE PRIESTS THAT PEOPLE SHOULD COME HERE IN PROCESSION AND THAT A CHAPEL SHOULD BE BUILT ON THE SITE.” On the 16th apparition which took place on March 25 the Feast of the Annunciation, the Blessed Virgin told Bernadette in the dialect of Lourdes,
“I AM THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION.”
The sentence meant nothing to her but it was an amazing affirmation of the dogma that had been defined by Pope Pius IX just a few years earlier on December 8, 1854.
Since the apparitions in 1858, many healing miracles are reputed to have occured in Lourdes. In 1862, after thorough examination and study, the Bishop of Tarbes made a solemn declaration that the apparitions were supernatural and divine. What Bernadette saw was indeed the Most Blessed Virgin. The declaration was based not only on the testimony of Bernadette, but above all, on the things that happened that can be nothing other than divine intervention.
Pope Pius IX approved the veneration in Lourdes and welcomed and supported the building of the cathedral in 1870. He promoted Marian Piety in Lourdes with the granting of special indulgences and the formation of local Lourdes associations. Bernadette entered the Sisters of Charity and Christian Association in Nevers on July of 1866 where she spent the rest of her life until her passing on April 16, 1879 at the age of 35. Pope Pius XI canonized Bernadette Soubirous on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 1933, not only for the content of her visions, but for the simplicity and holiness of her life.
Until this day, the shrine at Lourdes, France has remained as one of the most visited pilgrim sites, second to the Vatican. It has become a refuge to many sick people who seek healing through the intercession of Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes.
DOMINICAN PROVINCE OF THE PHILIPPINES