On the Catholic Priesthood
Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Holy Church
Queen of heaven, thy immense love for God maketh thee likewise love His Church. We pray thee, come to its help amidst the ills under which it is now suffering, rent asunder as she is by her own children. Thy prayers, being a mother’s, can obtain all from that God Who loveth Thee so well.
Pray then, pray for the Church; ask for enlightenment for so many unbelievers who are persecuting it, and obtain for faithful souls the necessary strength to resist being caught in the snares of the unbelievers who would drag them down into their own ruin.
Source: St. Alphonsusʼ Prayer Book (Father Edward Saint Omer, Redemptorist.1888)
The Religious State
He who finds himself bound by a habit of any vice cannot take any holy Order without incurring the guilt of mortal sin.
“I am horrified,” says St. Bernard (Epist. 8), “when I think whence thou comes, wither thou goest, and what a short penance thou hast put between thy sins and thy ordination. However, it is indispensable that thou do not undertake to purify the conscience of others before thou purifiest thy own.
"Of those daring sinners who, though full of bad habits, take priesthood, an ancient author, Gildas say, “It is not to the priesthood that they should be admitted, but they should be dragged to the pillory” (Cast. In eccl. Ord.).
They, then, says Saint Isidore, who are still subject to the habit of any sin should not be promoted to holy orders (Sent. 1. 3, C. 34).
(…) According to St. Gregory, it is particularly necessary with regard to the virtue of chastity that “No one should be admitted to the ministry of the altar unless an assurance has been given of his perfect chastity".
(...) And as a bishop cannot ordain any person unless he be a man of approved chastity, so a confessor cannot permit an incontinent penitent to receive ordination without having a moral certainty that he is free from the bad habit which he had contracted, and that he had acquired a habit of the virtue of chastity.
By St. Alphonsus de Liguori
Source:The Religious State: Together with a Short Treatise on the Vocation to the Priesthood 1889