“The only worthwhile striving is after the highest ideals: If you aim for an easy target, your standard will inevitably decline, and no progress is ever made, except through real effort and real suffering.” - Servant of God Fra' Andrew Bertie                                                                                                                                                 "Work as if everything depends on you, pray as if everything depends on God" - Saint Ignatius of Loyola

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NOVENA OF PRAYER FOR THE HOLY FATHER

In the light of the recent and growing scurrilous attacks upon the Holy Father in the mass media, which Archbishop Nichols has written about in today's Times, where he says "What of the role of Pope Benedict? ... He is not an idle observer. His actions speak as well as his words", we are encouraged especially at this time, as indeed every day, to pray for the Pope and his ministry. (Read full article).

In particular we are invited now (see here) to join in a Novena of prayer to St Jean-Marie Vianney, the holy Cure d'Ars, patron of parish priests, and patron of this Year for Priests, for the intention of the Holy Father, beginning at First Vespers this Palm Sunday, and extending through the Sacred Triduum to Easter.

Please encourage others to join in this prayer.

V. Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Benedicto.

R. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius. [Ps 40:3]

Pater Noster, Ave Maria.

Oremus. Deus, omnium fidelium pastor et rector, famulum tuum Benedictum, quem pastorem Ecclesiae tuae praeesse voluisti, propitius respice: da ei, quaesumus, verbo et exemplo, quibus praeest, proficere: ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Christum, Dominum nostrum. Amen.
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V. Let us pray for Benedict, our Pope.

R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. [Ps 40:3]

Our Father, Hail Mary.

O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look mercifully upon Thy servant Benedict, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, he may he attain everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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We might include in our prayers all those good priests who are damaged by these grievous scandals and allegations within the Church, and for the victims of abuse.

You may also wish to send an email message of support to the Holy Father.  This may seem an empty gesture, and clearly he will not see them all himself, but he will be told of the numbers of messages received, and the assurance of public prayer and support is greatly valued. Remember, he is praying for you every day. The address is: benedictxvi@vatican.va

Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam.