VATICAN CITY, JUNE 21, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The Congregation for the Clergy is inviting the faithful to mark Benedict XVI’s 60th anniversary as a priest this June 29 with 60 hours of prayer.
The intention proposed by the congregation, according to L’Osservatore Romano, is the sanctification of priests and to obtain from God the gift of new and holy vocations.
A note signed by Cardinal Mauro Piacenza and Archbishop Celso Morga Iruzubieta, prefect and secretary of the congregation, notes that the anniversary is a “particularly propitious” occasion to draw near to Benedict XVI, and to express to him gratitude, affection, and communion in the service of God and his Church and, above all, in that “shining of the Truth on the world,” which he calls us to.
The hours of adoration can be continuous or distributed throughout the month of June and are addressed in particular to involve priests, the letter suggests.
The congregation proposed that the prayer vigil can culminate on July 1, feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Day of Prayer for Priests.
“Thus homage could be rendered to the Pontiff with an extraordinary wreath of prayer and of supernatural unity, capable of showing the real center of our lives, from which every missionary and pastoral effort derives, and the authentic face of the Church and of her priests,” the prelates reflected.
The Congregation for the Clergy then indicated some guidelines for the prayer, particularly centered on the Apostle Peter. It suggested Gospel passages from John 20 and 21 and Matthew 16.
In addition to praying for the Pope’s life, health, happiness and protection from every evil, the faithful are asked to pray for bishops, priests, deacons and all ministers of the Gospel, that they may be faithful to their vocation and their self-giving, and to remember the Church, vocations, the laity and deceased priests.