PRAYER SUGGESTION: Archbp. Carroll’s “Prayer for Government”

washingtonprayingFathers, you might want to have everyone pray this after Mass on major public holidays in these USA.  This, and other prayers, are deeply needed.

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.

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.

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.

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Continental Congress at Prayer

The opening prayer session of the 1st Continental Congress was about 3 hours long.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Archbishop John Carroll, S.J.

    [SJ… fine. And blind squirrels also find nuts once in a while.]

  2. Joy65 says:

    THANK YOU Father. Just emailed it to our Pastor

  3. msc says:

    It’s a moving piece of writing, but I’d drop the “his excellency” bit — a quick online search suggests that only three states still use it, and even then it smells of monarchy, not a republic.

    [I think I’ll leave it as it was written. Taking that out is like ripping statues out of churches and destroying sanctuaries.]

  4. Charivari Rob says:

    “This needs no translation …”

    Just in case I run into a time-traveling centurion between now and Bastille Day, Father, how good (or bad) is this Google Translate attempt?

    Ipsis, Dómine, Sanctificator omnipotens aeterne Deus? Qui in Christo Iesu in omnes gentes gloriam tuæ demonstrasti te, ut conservent operum misericordiae tuae, quia tua ecclesia, quod per universum mundum, fides inconcussa permanere Ut in confessione tui nominis.

    Quæsumus, et sanctus, qui solus bonus es, ad ditare scientia caelesti, sincero studio, vitae sanctitatem erga Antistitem sacrorum nostrorum Papa nostro N. et Domini nostri Iesu Christi vicarium in ecclesia sua imperio; Episcopo nostro N., et omnibus aliis episcopis et pastoribus ecclesiae; et praecipue illi qui in constituit exercere munera nobis ministerium sanctorum est, et in populum tuum deducerent de via salutis.

    Quæsumus Domine potens verax Deus sapientiam, et juste judicem? Per quorum auctoritatem non recte fit, leges latae sunt, ac iura maiorum: adiuvaret et spiritum sanctum tuum de consilio et fortitudine Praesidem harum Civitatibus Foederatis Americae, ut eius administratio peragi possunt ad iustitiam et apprime utilis plebi tuae super quam non presidet, ac per se debitum respectu virtutis ac religionis; a fideli supplicium leges justitiam et misericordiam, et cum ordinat flagitio, sine scelere. Fiat lux tua divina sapientia immittere cogitationes enim Congresso et fulgebit in omnibus causis legibus pro nostra regula et regimen, ita ut tendunt ad conservandam pacem, promotionem nationalibus beatitudo, quae nascuntur ex industria coniugalis, ornet sobrietas et utilis scientia; Benedictione perpetua et aequae libertatis est.

    Oramus optimo praesidi statu membris ecclesiae omnes iudices, duces, et magistros, qui deputantur ad custodiam publica utilitas ut possit tua virtute custodia dimitti stationibus suis munia cum honestate defuit.

    Commendamus etiam ad magnum necis misericordiae tua: et fratres nostri omnibus civibus in Civitatibus Foederatis Americae, ut beati possunt in scientia et in sanctificatis maxime sanctum tuum de observantia iuris; ut a Deo conservetur in unionem, et in illa quae pacem in mundo non posse; benedictionibus et frui vita aeterna fatendum.

    Denique hoc oro ad te, Domine misericordiae, qui memini cum animabus famulorum famularumque tuarum qui nos praecesserunt cum signo fidei et dormiunt in somno pacis; animas parentum, propinquorum, amicorum qui cum viverent, de medio huius multitudinis et maxime quos nuper defuncti; omnium benefactores, qui ex donations suum aut legata percepit hanc Ecclesiae testatum decentiam divini cultus et zelo in latus argueret, et caritatis, ad quam per gratiam meam commemorationem. Ipsis, Domine, et omnibus in Christo quiescentibus, da, quaesumus, locum refrigérii, lucis et pacis aeternam per Iesum Christum Salvatorem nostrum. Amen.

  5. Fr_Marc says:

    Sorry to be off topic, but I just learned that Cardinal Meißner died today. Please say a memento for him. Thank you!

  6. bobbird says:

    My recommended Prayer for Government:

    Almighty God, who dost charge us in the Second Commandment not to take thy Holy Name in vain, we ask thee to remind those who would presume to serve the nation in federal, state or local service, that when they raise their hands in Oath, or place it on thy Holy Scriptures, to defend the Constitution of these United States, that they recall the words of thy holy saint and servant Thomas More: that when under oath to thee they place their souls in their hands like water, and should they break their oath, they do open their hands and pour out their life of Grace; that they are obliged to understand properly, like a well-formed conscience, the Constitution that they swear under thy Holy Name to support, whether they find it convenient or no; that they should recall the Principle of Subsidiarity, the principles of thy wise and departed servant Frederic Bastiat and Pius XI, of happy memory, that socialism is evil, and the Tenth Amendment dost preclude any mischief into that diabolical system. Allow these thy servants to accept a joyous heart in fidelity to their oaths, and fear thy wrath, rather than the capricious vagaries of the people or the media. This we ask through Jesus Christ Our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the Holy Spirit, world without end, Amen.

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