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Prayers to the Saints

Prayers to the Saints

To Saint Joseph, Father and Protector of the Faithful

(Dom Guéranger, The Liturgical Year, Easter time 2)

O glorious Saint Joseph! Father and Protector of the Faithful! We bless our Mother the Church, for that she, now that the world is drawing to the close of its existence, has taught us to confide in thee. Many ages passed away, and thy glories had not been made known to the world; but even then, thou wast one of mankind’s most powerful intercessors. Most affectionely didst thou fulfil thy office as head of the great human family, whereof the Incarnate Word was a member. Nations and individuals experienced the benefit of thy prayers; but there was not the public acknowledgement of thy favours – there was not the homage of gratitude, which is now offered to thee. The more perfect knowledge of thy glories, and the honour paid to thee as the Protector of mankind – these were reserved for our own unhappy times, when the state of the world is such as to require help beyond that which was granted to former ages. We come before thee, O Joseph, to honour the unlimited power of thine intercession, and the love thou bearest for all the children of the Church, the Brethren of Jesus.

To Saint Joseph

(Dom Guéranger, The Liturgical Year, Lent)

We praise and glorify thee, O happy saint! We hail thee as the spouse of the Queen of heaven, and foster-father of our Redeemer. These titles, which would seem too grand for any human being to enjoy, are thine; and they are but the expression of the dignities conferred on thee by God. The Church of heaven admires the sublime favours thou hast received; the Church on earth joyfully celebrates thy glories, and blesses thee for the favours thou art so unceasingly bestowing upon her.

O sublime minister of the greatest of blessing, intercede for us with God made Man. Ask Him to bestow humility upon us, that holy virtue which raised thee to such exalted dignity, and which must be the basis of our conversion. Get us this virtue, without which there can be no true penance. Pray also for us, O Joseph, that we may be chaste. Without purity of mind and body we cannot come nigh the God of all sanctity, who suffers nothing defiled to approach Him. He wills to make our bodies, by His grace, the temples of His Holy Spirit: do thou, great saint, help us to maintain ourselves in so exalted a dignity, or to recover it if we have lost it.

And lastly, O faithful spouse of Mary! Recommend us to our Mother. If she cast a look of pity upon us during these days of reconciliation, we shall be saved: for she is the Queen of mercy, and Jesus, her Son, will pardon us and change our hearts, if she intercede for us, O Joseph! Remind her of Bethlehem, Egypt, and Nazareth, in all of which she received from thee such marks of thy devotedness; tell her that we, also, love and honour thee; and Mary will reward us for our devotion to him who was given her by heaven as her protector and support.

To Saint Benedict, Patron of Europe and Father of Monks

(Dom Guéranger, The Liturgical Year, Lent)

O Benedict! thou vessel of election, thou palm of the wilderness, thou angel of the earth, we offer thee the salutation of our love! The Saviour has crowned thee as one of His principal co-operators in the work of the salvation and sanctification of men. O father of so many people! Look down upon thine inheritance, and once more bless this ungrateful Europe, which owes everything to thee, yet has almost forgotten thy name: by thy prayers, keep it from perishing. Give firmness to what has been shaken. May a new Europe, a Catholic Europe, spring up in place of that which heresy and false doctrines have formed. O patriarch of the servants of God! Look down from heaven on the vineyard which thy hand hath planted: raise it up again; multiply it; sanctify it: let the spirit which thou hast deposited in thy holy rule flourish in its midst, and show, by thus blessing it, that thou art ever Benedict, the servant of God.

Support the holy Church, by thy powerful intercession, dear father! Assist the apostolic See, which has been so often occupied by disciples of thy school. Father of so many pastors of thy people! Obtain for us bishops like those sainted ones whom thy rule has formed. Father of so many apostles! Ask for the countries which have no faith preachers of the Gospel, who may convert the people by their blood and by their words, as did those who went out missioners from thy cloisters. Father of so many holy doctors! pray that the science of sacred literature may revive, to aid the Church and confound error. Father of so many sublime ascetics! rekindle the zeal of Christian perfection, which has grown so cold among the Christians of our days. Patriarch of the religious life in the western Church! bless all the religious Orders which the Holy Spirit has given successively to the Church; they all look on thee with admiration, as their venerable predecessor: do thou pour out upon them the influence of thy fatherly love.

Lastly, O blessed favourite of God! pray for all the faithful in Christ. Teach us to keep down the flesh and to subject it to the spirit, as thou didst. Obtain for us a little of thy blessed spirit, that, turning away from this vain world, we may think on the eternal years. Pray for us, that our hearts may never love, and our thoughts never dwell on, joys so fleeting as are those of time. Catholic piety invokes thee as one of the patrons, as well as one of the models, of a dying Christian. It loves to tell men of the sublime spectacle thou didst present at Thy death, when standing at the foot of the altar, leaning on the arms of thy disciples, and barely touching the earth with thy feet, thou didst give back, in submission and confidence, the soul to its Creator. Obtain for us, dear saint! a death courageous and sweet as thine. Drive from us, at our last hour, the cruel enemy who will seek to ensnare us. Visit us by thy presence, and leave us not till we have breathed forth our soul into the bosom of God who has made thee so glorious a saint.

To Our Lady

(Dom Guéranger, The Liturgical Year, Lent)

We salute thee, O Mary, full of grace, thy incomparable purity drew down upon thee the love of the great Creator, and your humility drew Him to thy womb; His presence within thee increased the holiness of thy spirit and the purity of thy body. By thee we are delivered from the enemy’s sway; and nothing but our own perversity and ingratitude could again give him the mastery. Let not this be, O Mary! Come to our assistance. During this season of repentance, we humbly acknowledge that we have abused the grace of God: we beseech thee, on this feast of thy Annunciation, intercede for us with Him, who, on this day, became thy Son.