"We exhort you again and again, that, ever mindful of your vocations, you may daily shine more and more with the adornment of all virtues, and studiously cultivate especially the sacred sciences, free from the danger of any error, so that, known for sanctity of life and praised for salutary learning, you may be able, under the direction of your bishops, strenuously to fight the battle of the Lord and care fro the salvation of souls. "
-- Pope Pius IX, Nov. 20, 1862
Prayer for All the Candidates for the Priesthood Throughout the World
Divine Savior and eternal High Priest Jesus Christ, it is Thou Who choosest with especial love those who are to be Thy priests. With all the fervor of my heart I recommend to Thee all the candidates for the priesthood throughout the world. Do Thou already now in their years of study fill their hearts with true priestly sentiments. Given them lively and joyous faith, a great spirit of prayer, burning love for Thee and for Thy holy Church, ardent zeal for the salvation of souls, a tender devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to Thine immaculate Mother. Also enlighten and bless all their educators and teachers in their difficult and responsible obligations.
O Mary, thou good Mother of priests, protect all candidates for the priesthood. Shield them in all those interior and exterior dangers that threaten their holy vocation during their years of study.
Grant them good health always, progress in their studies, and also the necessary financial means, so that not one of them may be excluded from the priesthood because of poverty. But, above all, be always at their side in all the temptations that assail youth, so that they may preserve untarnished their purity of heart and one day ascend the altar as holy priests of spotless purity. But especially keep away from the priesthood those who, uncalled and unworthy, would force themselves into the sanctuary of the Most High. And do not permit that parents or relatives in misguided love, or even out of wrong motives, urge their sons to enter the priestly stat when they do not feel themselves called to it.
All ye holy Apostles, all ye holy bishops and priests, all ye holy patrons of youth, pray for all aspirants to the priesthood, shield them and be ever their strong support, in order that they may be true apostle, holy mediators between God and men, and safe guides to many immortal souls along the road to heaven. Amen