The priest must teach the truths of faith; but the truths of religion are never so worthily and effectively taught as when taught by virtue; because in the common saying: "Deeds speak louder than words." The priest must preach the law of the Gospel; but for that preaching to be effective, the most obvious and, by the Grace of God, the most persuasive argument, is to see the actual practice of the law in him who preaches it. St. Gregory the Great gives the reason: "The voice which penetrates the hearts of the hearers, is the voice commended by the speakerʼs own life; because what his word enjoins, his example helps to bring about."
36. Ad Catholici Sacerdotii Pope Pius XI
Prayer for my Pastor and for all Priests
Divine Savior, Jesus Christ, Who Hast entrusted the weal and woes of Thy Holy Church to priests, with all the fervor of my heart I recommend to Thee the wants of my pastor and all priests. Enrich them more and more with true priestly sanctity. Give them generous, all embracing, apostolic hearts, full of love for Thee and for all Thy souls, so that they, being themselves sanctified in Thee, may sanctify us who are confided to their care, and may lead us safely to heaven. Bestow upon them in rich abundance all Thy priestly graces! Let them ever give us a glowing example of love and fidelity towards Holy Mother Church, towards the Pope, and bishops, and grant that by word and example of love and fidelity towards Holy Mother Church, towards the Pope and bishops, and grant that by word and example they may shine as models of every virtue.
Most loving Jesus, bless all their priestly labors and sacrifices! Bless all their prayers and words at the altar and in the confessional, in the pulpit, and in school, in confraternities, and at the bedside of the sick!
Protect and preserve them in all dangers form within and from without.
Divine Savior, give to Thy Church priests who abound in true holiness! Call many good boys and young men to the priestly and religious state! Aid and sanctify all those who are to become Thy priests! And to the souls of departed priests grant everlasting rest.
But to me give a true spirit of faith and humble obedience, in order that in my pastor I may ever behold the representative of God and willingly follow all his teachings. Amen