How would you like to join 12,000 Knights of Columbus this Lent praying a special novena for priests?
People sometimes ask Handmaids, “What do you do?” when they really mean, “What do you make?” Some monks and nuns make all manner of items to support themselves from caskets, to candies, to fruitcake, to soap, to wine and beer. Perhaps it can be said that Handmaids “make prayer”, at least in this case. For the second time, we have been happy to provide the text of novenas directed specifically towards the spiritual and practical support of dear priests, to whom we owe so much. We are continuing on with our work with the Tennessee Knights of Columbus in their ‘Strengthening the Parish Home’ program. They prepared for Advent with a novena for priests in 2018. Now, just as we join the Church in praying for a successful and fruitful summit in Rome on the abuse crisis, the Knights here are distributing 12,000 copies of the novena to their members and making it available in both English and Spanish PDFs on their website.
The novena has a running theme of following Jesus as Simon of Cyrene and applying the fruits of that contemplation into attitudes and actions that will assist our priests this Lent. You may notice that Our Lord is invoked in the novena as “O Gracious Captain” which was inspired from this excerpt from Saint Bernard of Clairvaux:
“This gracious Captain desires that the face and eyes of His devoted soldier should be lifted up to those wounds, that his soul may stand erect and he may draw from the sight strength unshakable. For gazing on those wounds he shall not feel his own….
The martyr stands fearless and in triumph…where then is the soul of the martyr? It is safe; it is on the rock; it is in the Heart of Jesus, whose wounds were opened to let it in.”
If you happen to get your hands on one of the little booklets, know that it is a gift of the Knights of Columbus, for they made possible its printing and distribution, but it also comes “packed with prayer” because Handmaids bundled all 12,000 – and we were praying for each soul that would pray for our priests. And we will continue.