A bishop in the central Philippines called on the faithful to pray for their priests as the Catholic Church marked the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of the Clergy on June 19.
Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of SanCarlos urged the faithful to offer prayers for priests “that they may be always filled with wisdom and joy in serving the Lord among God’s people especially the unreached and underserved among us.”
In 2002, Pope St. John Paul II designated a special world day of prayer for the sanctification of priests on the occasion of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The celebration encourages priests to reflect upon the importance and dignity of their vocation.
In his Holy Thursday homily on April 9, Pope Francis reminded priests that in order to serve others, they must first allow themselves to be served by Christ.
Just like Saint Peter, priests must be willing to be washed by Christ, forgiven by Christ, and loved by Christ so that they, in turn, may be dispensers of divine forgiveness and love to others.
The Holy Father also remembered courageous priests in hospital ministry who have died in service to their brothers and sisters suffering from coronavirus.
He also commended those priests who serve prisoners and those ministering in remote parts of the world.