What is the Prayer Crusade for Priests?
The Prayer Crusade for Priests is a work of the Society of Saint Pius X in the United States for the
sanctification and perseverance of priests and for priestly vocations. It is composed of lay Catholics,
banded together in a united effort of Prayer and Penance for priests. Each member is assigned a particular priest to pray for.
“So as to make Jesus Christ reign in the world, there is nothing as necessary as the sanctity of the clergy,
because by example, by word, and by knowledge, they guide the faithful…” –Saint Pius X
What do the Crusaders do?
“Crusaders” pray for Priests, their spiritual and physical welfare, perseverance in their vocation, protection from
harm and scandal, graces necessary to become as holy as possible, and the ability to penetrate and sanctify the
hearts of their faithful.
The PCP is designed so that we can accomplish much with little. Although our daily prayers don’t take long,
our intentions are always with us. Our simple obligations are able to be fulfilled in our own time, which makes it easy
to keep them no matter how busy we are or where we go. The hardest thing we have to do is make the Holy Hour on
First Thursdays, and to say the same PCP prayers even if we grow tired of them (therein lies one of the sacrifices).
When we pray for the priests, we are taking part in their vocation, we are participating in their priesthood - adding a little
vigor to their works, strengthening them against the pitfalls that surround the Church, keeping him fresh and zealous,
bequesting receptiveness for the flock. And we accomplish all this with our little efforts.
“It seems to me that spending our whole lives in prayer for the defenders of the Church, for the preachers
and the learned men who fight for Her, we would come as much as is in our power to the aid of their Adorable Master
so unworthily persecuted.” – Saint Teresa of Avila
The Prayer Crusade and Other Devotions
When you become a “Crusader,” you are pledging your services to Our Lady, Queen of the Clergy.
As you offer your prayers and sacrifices on behalf of priests and the Church, you need not worry that you are “undoing”
any promises you made through other consecrations, such as Saint Louis deMontfort’s Consecration to Mary.
Be assured that She manages all your requests and offerings for you. After all, you are doing this for her anyway.
What are the Obligations?
There are but five obligations, four daily (which really don’t take long to say) and one monthly:
- To recite the Daily Oblation of the Prayer Crusade (see below)
- To recite, daily, the General Prayer, called the Prayer for Priests, which is said for all priests in general (see below)
- The Particular Prayer, which is said for the particular priest for whom you will be assigned to pray. The priest will not know who you are (and it is to be kept a secret), although you will know his name. This Particular Prayer can be any kind of prayer, a Rosary, or even just one Hail Mary - whatever strikes the fancy of your devotion.
- Daily, you will be obliged to pray one decade of the Rosary for priestly and religious vocations (this can be simply an intention added to a Rosary you are already accustomed to say). This decade (or Rosary) is to be followed by the Invocation (see below).
- The First Thursday Holy Hour is to be kept each month: the Crusader will keep a Holy Hour with the intentions of 1: Sanctification of the clergy and religious, and 2: Increase of religious and priestly vocations. This Holy Hour may be made either at home or at Church. If time is scarce, it may be broken into two half-hours segments.
What is Necessary to Become a “Crusader?”
After you have read about the Prayer Crusade for Priests and have reviewed and understand the obligations,
then it is necessary to first submit the Membership Form information to the PCP Headquarters for enrollment.
There are no fees or dues, but you are welcome to make donations to help with printing and mailing costs, but
it is not at all required.
Then, you should say the Consecration Prayer in a Church where the Blessed Sacrament is present
(if this is impossible, then it is OK to pray it at home).
Finally, you must fulfill the obligations of the Prayer Crusade.
The Benefits of Being a Member
When a person prays alone, he is free to adjust his prayers according to his fancy when and how he likes. He can
change his prayers and his self-imposed obligations and has no constrictions. But when you make the promise of the
PCP, your work for God is directed by an agent outside yourself – you bind yourself to a will and to decisions that do not
proceed from you. This enables you to gain a special and particular merit which would be otherwise unobtainable.
But there is more. All of us are committed in the same way: God looks at our unity of intention and blesses not only each
of us individually, but also collectively as a single body (a union that is derived from being members of the Mystical Body).
Stronger members of the PCP supply for the weaker members; and each individual’s prayer is multiplied by the number of
members (like with the Rosary) on account of the unity of intention. If the PCP pleases God, God grants special graces to
priests; the PCP is strengthened, and each individual soul is also strengthened. We gain merits individually for our work, and
we gain exclusive merits from participation in the work of the whole. It is like getting something for nothing.
In a secondary manner, the PCP Secretary is able to keep track of all the priests and members. He pulls all the efforts
together into one. He can notify Crusaders when priests die or when new ones are found, and can assign new priests as needed.
Who Can Join?
Anyone can join, although in large families only the parents need to be enrolled. Children simply follow along with the
devotion of the parents and pray for the same priest. However, if any young person wants to be enrolled separately, they
must be willing to fulfill all the obligations of their own accord.
What If A Member Wishes To Leave The Crusade?
Members are joined to the Prayer Crusade only by a pledge whereby they promise to fulfill certain obligations. There is no
obligation as to length of membership. If someone wishes to be released from their promise, they need only to contact the
Guardian of the Prayer Crusade and notify them that they wish to be released. Former Members are most welcome to re-join
any time; they need only to repeat the membership steps and let the Guardian know.
The Consecration Prayer
This is the Membership pledge by which one becomes a Crusader. This Consecration Prayer is prayed only once, although
it can be renewed any time, especially on the anniversary of engagement. It is to be prayed in a Church where the Blessed
Sacrament is kept in reserve (if this is impossible, it is well to pray it at home).
Almighty God, in union with the sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary, and in union with the most Sorrowful and Immaculate
Heart of Mary, I, (name___), consecrate to Thee and resign into the hands of Thy Mother, my life and my death as a sacrifice of love
for the sanctification and fidelity of Thy priests. To this end, O Almighty God, I beg Thee to grant me the grace of perseverance until death.
I promise to fulfill to the best of my ability the obligations of the Prayer Crusade for Priests. Let me love Thee, O god and serve
Thee faithfully all the days of my life. Amen.
Act of Oblation
This is your daily prayer to unite yourself with promises of the Prayer Crusade:
O Jesus, humbled in the Eucharist to be the source and center of charity of the
Catholic Church and the strength of souls, I offer Thee my prayers, my actions, my sufferings in
behalf of Thy Priests, to the end that each day may behold the wider extension of the Kingdom
of Thy Sacred Heart.
† IMPRIMATUR: Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop of New York, 1951
General Prayer for Priests
This prayer is for all priests in general in all the world, even the Pope:
O Jesus, Eternal High Priest, Good Shepherd, Font of life, Who by a special favor of Thy most tender Heart hast
given to us our Priests, in order to accomplish in us those holy ideals with which Thy grace inspires our hearts, let Thy mercy, we
beseech Thee, come to the aid of our Priests.
Grant them, O Jesus, lively faith in their works, unshakable hope in their trials and fervent charity in their intentions. May Thy word,
radiant with eternal wisdom, become through continual meditation the never failing nourishment of their interior life; may the examples
of Thy life and Passion be renewed in their conduct and sufferings, for our instruction and as a light and consolation in our sorrows.
Grant, O Lord, that our priests, free from all earthly attachments and solicitous for Thy glory alone, may persevere to their last breath i
n the fulfillment of duty and in purity of conscience. And when in death they deliver into Thy hands a task well done, may they have in
Thee, Lord Jesus, their Master on earth, the eternal reward of the crown of justice in the glory of the saints. Amen.
† IMPRIMATUR: Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop of New York, 1951
This short litany is to follow your daily decade.
O Lord, grant us priests (repeat).
O Lord, grant us holy priests (repeat).
O Lord, grant us many holy priests (repeat).
O Lord, grant us many holy religious vocations (repeat).
Saint Pius X, pray for us.