URGENT prayer request: against floods

From a reader:

Please offer up a prayer for us in Fargo ND.  We are all doing our best to avoid a catastrophe from the flood hitting our city.  National Weather Service just revised crest predictions by another foot to 41 feet and a day later, Saturday.    We have never had it so high in recorded history, this includes the 97 flood which made national news…many are worried that it will be difficult for the earthen and sandbag dikes to hold very long at these levels.

I remember that ’97 flood.  A parishioner who is a pilot took me up in a small plane and we flew over the whole area… water with roof tops sticking out as far as you could see.  Devastation.

It sounds as if the pastors of the area and their assistant bishops, the bishops and religious priests of the region should get out their Rituale Romanum and use the Benedictio contra inundationes aquarum…. NOW.

Benedictio contra inundationes aquarum

Blessing of a community against floods

Sacerdos indutus superpelliceo et stola, populo concomitante, portet ad rivum vel flumen benedicendum Reliquiam sanctae Crucis, ibique in quatuor partibus legat devote initia quatuor Evangeliorum, et post singular Evangelia subjungat sequentes Versiculos et Orationem:

The priest, vested in surplice and stole, accompanied by the people, carries the relic of the True Cross to the river or stream, and there devoutly reads at each of four different spots of the introductions to the four Gospels.  After each Gospel he adds the following verses and prayers:

V. Adjuva nos, Deus, salutaris noster.
R. Et propter gloriam nominis tui libera nos.
V. Salvos fac servos tuos.
R. Deus meus, sperantes in te.
V. Domine, non secundum peccata nostra facias nobis.
R. Neque secondum iniquitates nostras retribuas nobis.

V. Stand by us, O God, our Helper.
R. And for thy name’s sake deliver us.
V. Preserve thy servants.
R. Who trust in thee, my God.
V. Deal not with us, Lord, according to our sins.
R. And take not vengeance on us because of our misdeeds.

V. Mitte nobis, Domine, auxilium de sancto.
R. Et de Sion tuére nos.
V. Domine, exaudi orationem meam.
R. Et clamor meus ad te veniat.
V. Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.

V. Send us help, O Lord, from thy holy place.
R. And from Sion watch over us.
V. O Lord, hear our prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto thee.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.


Deus, qui justificas impium, et non vis mortem peccatoris: majestatem tuam suppliciter deprecamur;  ut famulos tuos de tua misericordia confidentes, ab aquarum periculis, caelesti protegas benignus auxilio, et assidua protectione conserves: ut tibi jugiter famulentur, nullisque tentationibus a te separentur.  Per Christum Dominum nostrum.  R. Amen.

Et benedictio Dei omnipotentis, Patris, et Filii + et Spiritus Sancti, descendat super has aquas, easque coerceat. 

R. Amen.

Let us pray.

O God, Who dealest justly with the wicked, and dost not will the death of sinners, humbly we entreat they Majesty!  Protect with heavenly aid thy trusting servants from perils of flood, and keep them constantly under thy heavenly protection.  May they at all times serve thee, and never through any temptation be separated from thee.  Through Christ our Lord.  R. Amen.

And may the blessing of God almighty, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit descend upon these waters, and keep them under control.  R. Amen.

From The Romanum Ritual: In Latin and English With Rubrics and Plainchant Notation. Translated and Edited With Introduction and Notes by Philip T. Weller.  Volume III: The Blessings.  Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1946, pp. 161-3.


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  1. Fr. Charles says:

    There is a slot in our sacristy cabinets for the “oratio imperata,” a custom derived, I believe, from exactly this sort of need. God be with them today.

  2. mrsmontoya says:

    I love our faith. God be with them.

  3. Ann says:

    My prayers for them as well. It must be very scary to see the waters rising and know that they may not stop in time.

    For the safety of the people of ND!

  4. Dr. Eric says:

    I offer my prayers through the intercession of St. Gregory the Wonder Worker!

  5. Scott Mastel says:

    Your prayers are greatly appreciated. The priests at the Cathedral here in Fargo are saying a Novena to St. Joseph as well. They stress that we should pray for ‘Good Weather,’ not necessarily the weather we want. God is in control. +JMJ+

  6. Irenaeus says:

    I was there in 1997 in both major cities – Grand Forks and Fargo – sandbagging and the whole bit, then coordinating relief efforts for displaced persons heading west for shelter. Grand Forks (north of Fargo by an hour on I-29) got leveled, and to make matters worse, the downtown burned pretty good at the same time. What a mess. We do not need this again, and so, Father, I appreciate your drawing such focused and constructive attention to this, and so, all, we appreciate your prayers.

  7. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    Wow. The True Cross and the Four Gospels. What a powerful blessing.

    Perhaps, Father, a reading of Don Camillo’s flood experience for the next Podcazt if you haven’t already done it.

  8. supertradmom says:

    Lord, have mercy on those people. And, it is still so cold up there..

  9. Al says:

    It just got RAISED to 43 FEET! Please pray for us

  10. Faithful one says:

    Let us all join in prayer to Our Lady of America, Mother of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, to please intercede for us in this dire need of assistance in preventing such a disaster.GOD’S WILL BE DONE. Dear friends in ND , we join you in prayers. Keep your faith strong. Be ready for whatever God the Father wills. God wants us united in prayer, in good times and in bad times.

  11. FYI: I just recieved word from one of our seminarians studying in Fargo that the seminary has been evacuated. Please pray for them.

  12. Liz F. says:

    We will pray! I just told the kids to pray and offer up their illnesses for these poor people! God be with them.

  13. Helen Donnelly says:

    May the dear Lord watch over you and protect you. Amen

  14. SMJ says:

    But Father, But Father!

    What happens if a parish doesn’t have a relic of the True Cross?

  15. SMJ: No one is bound to the impossible. You do your best. You go with what you have.

    However, check at the chancery. They usually have lots of relics.

  16. Anders says:

    Bishop Aquila and his chancellor gave this blessing this weekend at five spots along the river.

  17. Anders: Did they use the old Ritual?

  18. Anders says:

    I wasn’t there, but the chancellor told me they brought a relic of the True Cross and read the openings of the Four Gospels. So I’m assuming it’s the same version that you’ve posted, and the same that I’ve been praying (just as a layman’s prayer) out of my copy of the Rituale Romanum.

  19. Anders: Thanks! It sounds very much like the old Ritual was used, based on what you said.

  20. Mary says:

    Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of the Father,
    Send now Your Spirit over the earth
    (especially in Fargo ND)
    Let the Holy Spirit dwell in the hearts of all nations that they may be preserved from disaster, degeneration and war.
    May the Lady of All Nations, the Blessed Virgin Mary, be our Advocate. Amen

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