By Deborah Castellano Lubov

“For Pope Francis, who this coming December 13 celebrates the 50th anniversary of his priestly Ordination: may the Lord — who called him to be administrator of the Holy Mysteries and Bishop of Rome –, guide and support him with the grace of His Spirit and give him the consolation that comes from the prayer of the whole Church. Let us pray.”

Such is the Prayer of the Faithful that they will recite on Sunday, December 8, in the Masses of all the churches of the Diocese of Rome, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Pope Francis’ priesthood, indicated in a press release the Press Office of the Vicariate of Rome.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio received his priestly Ordination on December 13, 1969, with the imposition of hands of the Archbishop of Cordoba, Monsignor Ramon Jose Castellano.

Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the Pope’s Vicar for the Diocese of Rome, who wrote a letter on the occasion of this important anniversary, published this special prayer intention.

“We thank the Lord for these 50 years of ministry, of which 27 are of episcopacy,” says the Cardinal. Then he addresses the priests, Deacons, men and women religious and the faithful of the diocese. We all have in our mind and heart the image of March 13, 2013 when, presenting himself to the world, the Pope asked for the first time that we pray for him. We recall that sudden silence, when, looking at our city, he bowed to receive Heaven’s blessing by the intercession of the People of God: a silence, a gesture, a unanimous, strong, ‘family’ prayer.”

Cardinal De Donatis also recalls that the request for prayer is constant in the Holy Father’s addresses: “’Please, don’t forget to pray for me.’ These are his last words every Sunday, at the end of the Sunday Angelus, of each meeting and of each moment.”

In this way, the whole diocesan community of Rome comes together around its Bishop and prays for him.

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