Thursday 6th May 2010


The Papal Basilica of St. Mary Major

The Words of His Eminence Cardinal Cláudio Hummes

Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy



At the conclusion of this happy cycle of Eucharistic-Marian Holy Hours, which since the month of October 2009 until this present evening have taken place on each first Thursday in this Papal Basilica dedicated to Our Lady, I would like to give a genuinely spiritual thanks in the name of the Congregation for Clergy to the “Queen of Heaven”, with Whom we have adored Her Divine Son imploring the great grace of the sanctification of Priests. I would like to thank in a particular way His Eminence Cardinal Bernard Law, the Archpriest of the Basilica, and the Chapter of Canons, for the ready and kind welcome they afforded us. Sincere thanks to Sisters of the Family of Mary and the seminarians, who with music and song along with the decorous floral arrangements and their liturgical service, created an atmosphere for a recollected and joyous prayer. I would also like to thank the Franciscan brothers who, with great faith, facilitated us in every possible way. But I must thank all of you most of all, Priests, Religious and the lay Faithful, Friends who have prayed with us and for us, who support the ministry and life of priests and who encourage vocations. I am sure you will continue to do so, strongly motivated by faith and with intense love of the Priesthood of Jesus Christ, who lives and acts in the Priests spread all over the world. May our well intentioned prayers ever reach Him.

         And now, allow me to say farewell until we meet again in St. Peter’s Square, gathered around the Holy Father for the Evening Vigil of Thursday 10th June (20.30 – 22.30) when the Pontiff, after the period of testimony and song, will impart the Eucharistic Benediction. Let us meet again also in St. Peter’s Square at 09.30 on Friday 11th June when the Year for Priests desired by the Supreme Pontiff will be brought to a conclusion during the Eucharistic concelebration presided over by the Holy Father.

         Let us make every effort to be present for these two gatherings, and let us invite our friends to them so as to express together, on the moving occasion of the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the will to support our Priests, to enfold them in our prayer, and to express communion, support and affection to the Vicar of Christ!