Pope Benedict XVI declared the Year for Priests to begin on June 19th, 2009 the day after the 44th Anniversary of the Second Message of Garabandal. He began the conclusion of his letter, “To the Most Holy Virgin I entrust this Year for Priests.”
Our Holy Father exhorts the entire Church in this year to pray for the sanctification and renewal of the clergy and for the greater communion of priests with their bishop.
In over two thousand recorded apparitions between 1961 and 1965, Our Lady taught the young visionaries of Garabandal to pray and offer sacrifices for priests and to obey lawful church authority. Through her personal instruction, Our Blessed Mother instilled in these children a sincere appreciation for the indelible nature and dignity of the priesthood drawn from the holy sacrifice of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
Very often through her related conversations, Our Lady revealed a preeminent love and concern for priests which was reflected in the conduct of the visionaries. In a 1990 interview, Conchita, the main visionary recounted, “Priests were the beloved children of the Virgin. In every apparition we noticed the Virgin would speak with special, very dear love about priests and I guess this was contagious; since the priests were the main objects of the Virgin’s love, they were also our most beloved persons.”
Many authors on Garabandal believe that the events pertaining to Father Luis Andreu S.J. -his vision of the Miracle and related death- are meant to honor him as a worthy priest and single out his example of devout ministry for imitation by others.
Father Joseph Pelletier A.A. believed the heavenly motivation for the apparitions was to address a profound calamity in the Church, the cause of which was a crisis in the priesthood. The Second Message of June 18th, 1965 contains the great warning of the “road to perdition” being tread by many priests. We have seen the fulfillment of this sad prediction in our time. We believe, with Fr. Pelletier, that the remedy for these errors is to be found in the Message of Garabandal.
Today is the feast of Saint John Mary Vianney, universal patron of priests. In union with the Holy Father’s request, we encourage our readers to pray with renewed fervor for priests.
Saint John Mary Vianney-pray for us and for priests! Our Lady of Mount Carmel-pray for us!
The Workers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel