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  At La Salette, France, in the year 1851 of the 19th century, Our Lady made reference to priests, whom she loves so much and continually asks us to pray for, as follows: “Italy will be punished for its ambition in wanting to shake of the yoke of the Lord of lords; thus she will be handed over to war; blood will flow on all sides; churches will be closed or desecrated; priests, religious will be driven out; they will be put to death, and to a cruel death. Many will abandon the faith, and the number of priests and religious who will separate themselves from the true religion will be great; even Bishops will be found among these persons.

  At Garabandal, Spain, in the year 1965 of the 20th century, Our Lady referred to priests when she said the following:  “As my message of October 18, 1961, has not been complied with and has not been made known to the world, I am advising you that this is the last one (at Garabandal). Before, the cup was filling up. Now it is flowing over. Many cardinals, many bishops and many priests are on the road to perdition and are taking many souls with them. Less and less importance is being given to the Eucharist”.


  At Akita, Japan, in the year 1973 of the 20th century, Our Lady referred to priests when she said the following:  “My daughter, listen well to what I have to say to you. You will inform your superior. As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests. The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres…churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.”

  The Old Testament describes how God made his people "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation," and within the twelve tribes of Israel, the tribe of Levi was chosen to be set apart for the liturgical service of offering sacrifice as priests. The priest was understood as a mediator between God and human beings who offers sacrifices and intercedes for the people.


  The New Testament depicts Jesus as the "great high priest" of the New Covenant who, instead of offering the ritual animal sacrifices prescribed by the Jewish Law, offers himself on the cross as the true and perfect sacrifice.


  The Catholic priesthood is a participation in this priesthood of Christ, and therefore traces its origins to Jesus Christ himself. Thus, the New Testament says that as high priest, Jesus has made the Church "a kingdom of priests for his God and Father." All who are baptized are given a share in the priesthood of Christ; that is, they are conformed to Christ and made capable of offering true worship and praise to God as Christians. "The whole community of believers is, as such, priestly."


  The ministerial priesthood of Catholic priests and bishops—what most people think of as "the Catholic priesthood"—has a distinct history. This ministerial priesthood is at the service of the priesthood of all believers and involves the direct consecration of a man to Christ through the sacrament of orders, so that he can act in the person of Christ for the sake of the Christian faithful, above all in dispensing the sacraments. It is understood to have begun at the Last Supper, when Jesus Christ instituted the Eucharist in the presence of the Twelve Apostles, commanding them to "do this in memory of me." The Catholic priesthood, therefore, is a share in the priesthood of Christ and traces its historical origins to the Twelve Apostles appointed by Christ.


  The duties of a Catholic priest are: (1) offering the Eucharist, (2) hearing confessions, and (3) counseling. Whilst continuing to hold the importance of these three aspects of priesthood, the church now has a significantly broader understanding. Priests are also responsible for daily recitation of the principal and minor offices of the Liturgy of the Hours. Priests are the only ministers of the Sacrament of Penance and Anointing of the Sick. They are the ordinary ministers of Baptism and witnesses to Holy Matrimony. And, as stated by Mirjana at Medugorje on July 2, 2007, “Our Lady spoke about the importance of priests, and their blessing.” On April 2, 2007, Mirjana told us that Our Lady said the following, “Our Lady blessed all of us, and all religious articles, and once again emphasized that she gives her motherly blessing. But the greatest blessing is the blessing from the priests.”


  Typically, most Catholics are served by a relative few priests in their lifetime. Each of these men have a tremendous burden placed on their shoulders as they commit and dedicate their lives to Jesus Christ, and to those they will be serving. And, they are human beings just as we all are, and subject to all of the temptations that we all are.


  But, so was Jesus! The fact that Jesus is tested by the devil three separate times reveals that He was also 100% human. The temptations are real. Jesus has the same weaknesses, struggles, doubts, fears and wishes that we have. By coming to earth as a man, Jesus humbled Himself to live and be as one of us. But Jesus was able to rebuke the devil each time through the help of God the Father.


  However, each of us as human beings, may or may not be strong enough to rebuke the devil. Some of us may fall prey to his temptations easier than others, but we all do at some time or the other, including unfortunately a relative few of our priests.


  Perhaps that is why Our Lady at Medjugorje frequently asks us to pray for our priests. She also calls all priests and religious brothers and sisters to pray the rosary and to teach others to pray. To the priests and to us all, Our Lady said: “The rosary, little children, is especially dear to me. Through the rosary open your heart to me and I am able to help you.”


  At first, many priests did not believe or accept that Our Lady was indeed appearing at Medjugorje. As time went on, more and more priests began to accept Medjugorje and went there. Then, more and more young men actually decided to become a priest as a result of their visit to Medjugorje. And, each year there is an International youth festival with 50,000 youths and 400 priests participating. What a wonderful event!


THE UNCEASING PRAYER FOR PRIESTS:  Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I love you.  Save priestly souls.  Save Souls.  Amen.






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