Prayer for Government of Archbishop Carroll

The following prayer was composed by John Carroll, Archbishop of Baltimore, in 1791. He was the first bishop appointed for the United States in 1789 by Pope Pius VI. He was made the first archbishop when his see of Baltimore was elevated to the status of an archdiocese. John was a cousin of Charles Carroll of Maryland, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

I became familiar with this moving prayer at my home parish of St. Agnes in St. Paul (MN) where it was recited after all Masses on civic holidays of the USA, such as 4 July and Thanksgiving.

Americans among the readership might print it and bring it to your parish priests and ask them to use it after Mass on national holidays.

This needs no translation for Catholics who love their country!


We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name.

We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope N., the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, N., all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.

We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.

We pray for his excellency, the governor of this state , for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.

We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.

Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Domenico says:

    ‘Oremus pro Republica et Praeside eius …’. I heard this prayer sung by the Canons in the Cathedral of my town at Sanday’s high Mass still in the early ’60.

  2. Marianne says:

    Hi Fr.,
    My laptop crashed so I haven’t been on your site in quite a while.
    Is the camera in your chapel permanently gone? I was hoping to catch Mass one of these mornings…if it’s only temporary down, what time is weekeday Mass? Weekend Mass? Is Vespers or Compline prayed in the chapel?

    Your picture of the Sabine Farm after the rain is beautiful! I could almost smell the fresh rain. I envy you; West Michigan is in dire need of rain, and I love the sounds/sights of a good thunder storm (sans destruction).

    Rockford, Michigan

  3. Marianne: The webcam in the chapel has been offline for a week now and you are the first person to ask about it. It was my impression that the webcam wasn’t of much interest and I am confirmed in that impression. But that really isn’t the topic of this entry. Happy 4th of July!

  4. Father Bartoloma says:

    This prayer is definitely a keeper!

  5. Jonathan Bennett says:

    I have to admit Father, I am disappointed the Z-cam is gone. I liked to watch your Masses, since being broadcast live I could pray the Mass from my Missal and recieve your blessing (I think I can recieve the blessing if it’s a live broadcast, correct me if I’m wrong), since the “Tridentine” Mass is only allowed once a month in my city at the moment. I would have mentioned something when the z-cam went offline, but I thought it was just temporary.

    Sorry for hijacking the comments.

  6. Christian says:

    “may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty”

    I am not sure this really reflects Catholic dogma on the unequal nature of all things and the right of dominion superior things have over inferior. ‘Americanism’ I feels might be developing here…

  7. Kathy says:

    Thanks for posting this!

  8. Dan O says:

    Fr. Z,

    I know this is off topic, but I for one checked the Z-cam periodically. I particularly like the late evening and night time views. It had a prayerful serene mood to it. It seemed to me that the counter of number of hits was increasing steadily. I thought by a couple of thousand during the time the cam was available, but I may have been mistaken. Perhaps it was only a couple of hundred. If I had a vote, and I know this is not a democracy, I would vote to bring back the Z-cam.

Comments are closed.