The Carmelite nun had a particular mission to pray for priests and seminarians and their sanctification.
At the end of the 19th century, Carmelite nun St. Thérèse of Lisieux felt a particular vocation to pray for priests. At first this was a strange idea for her, as she thought priests didn’t need prayers.
Praying for sinners fascinated me, but praying for the souls of priests, whom I thought were purer than crystal, seemed strange to me! … [During a pilgrimage to Italy] I lived with many holy priests for one month and understood that, if their sublime dignity lifts them above the angels, this does not mean that they are not weak and fragile.
As time progressed she witnessed many priests who needed her prayers, and after entering a Carmelite monastery, she made it her mission in life to pray for priests.
This is the vocation of Carmel, because the only purpose of our prayers and our sacrifices is to be an apostle of the apostles, to pray for them whilst they evangelize souls by words and above all by example.
While in the monastery she was eventually assigned a type of “pen pal,” exchanging letters with a seminarian who was eventually ordained a priest. Not surprisingly, she prayed for this priest on a daily basis, lifting him up with her prayers. In particular, she prayed the following prayer for him, which can easily be used as a prayer for all seminarians studying to become priests, asking God to maintain them in holiness and protect them from temptation.
Divine Jesus, listen to the prayer I am turning to you for he who wishes to be your missionary: protect him in the midst of dangers in the world; make him feel more and more the nothingness and vanity of fleeting things and happiness in knowing how to despise them for your love. Your sublime apostolate is already exerted over those who surround him: may he be an apostle, worthy of your Sacred Heart. Oh Mary, sweet Queen of Carmel, I entrust to you the soul of this future priest. Teach him from now with how much love you touched the Divine Child Jesus and how you wrapped him in swaddling clothes so that he one day might go up the Holy Altar and carry the King of Heaven in his hands. I ask you again to always protect him in the shade of your virginal mantle until the happy moment when, on leaving this valley of tears, he will be able to contemplate your splendor and enjoy the fruit of his glorious apostolate for the whole of eternity!
Offer your day for priests with this prayer
A prayer for priests written by Mother Teresa