A prayer for your confessor, the priest to whom you are about to make your confession

In the past I have posted some prayers for priests to say before and after hearing confessions, as well as before and after making their own confessions.

Here is a prayer for people to say for the priest, for the confessor to whom they are about to make their confession.

A Prayer For One’s Confessor

In asking of Thee, O my God, the graces of which I am in need, can I, without ingratitude, forget before Thee, him whom Thou hast chosen from among Thy ministers, to reconcile me to Thee by the sacrament of penance, justly called the second plank after shipwreck?

Deign, I beseech Thee, O my God, to adorn his soul with the virtues befitting the functions of the awful ministry with which Thou hast invested him. Grant him the faith of St. Peter, the charity of St. Paul, the firmness of St. Chrysostom, the evangelical liberty of St. Ambrose, the lights of St. Augustine, the piety of St. Bernard, the zeal of St. Charles Borromeo, the mildness of St. Francis of Sales, and the humility of St. Vincent de Paul.

Guide him Thyself, O Lord in all his actions, that after having been here below a prudent and faithful dispenser of Thy mysteries, he may hereafter receive from Thy bountiful hands, the bright crown Thou hast promised in a blessed eternity, to the priests who shall have consecrated their lives to bring back their fellow creatures from the ways of error, and to conduct them in the paths of justice and peace. Amen.



(Some tips… HERE)

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    A beautiful and meaningful suggestion and….I can hear too many voices deridingly saying, “Pffft–how old school, such primitivism.

    Years ago, during my long years outside the Church, I lived for a time (~a year all told) in the New Age community Findhorn, sorta the birthplace of it all, and I had the following experience that comes to mind here.

    To set the stage: Findhorn, as you know, was(is) heavily into the New Age of communing with Nature, plants and animals, and sorta having nature “tamed” to the human will/spirit for the good of all involved. One day, while some of us were working in their kitchen, it was pointed out that a rat had been seen in the area. When it was suggested that the old Findhorn way of “reasoning” with the rat should be followed to ask him to leave, a suggestion which met with general superior-like laughter, despite that being the logic on which the place was founded. They mockingly did so anyway.

    Why do I feel that in today’s Church, the old days of saints’ repelling invaders or floods by holding a cross of using holy water is seen as naught but old wives tales about famous people. It is not.

    Will they take your suggestion? I profoundly hope so, but I aint holding my breath.

  2. ArthurH says:

    OOOPPPPSS — this was meant for the hurricane post, somehow had the wrong link. My apologies.

  3. Malta says:

    I had a strange coincidence yesterday: I was waiting in line to buy groceries, and my Spiritual Adviser got in line directly behind me. He’s a brilliant Priest who knows five languages, and was a corporate attorney, and gave a ‘brilliant career’ up to become a Priest. We spent quite awhile outside talking about the current state of the Church. I think he is contemplating moving over to the FSSPX, which I am encouraging him to do. They know him, and I too have friends there. I pray for this Priest.

  4. Elizabeth D says:

    It’s more brilliant to stay in full communion with the Church.

  5. APX says:

    I have a small old booklet of prayers for priests which contains the aforementioned prayer. I’ve been praying it before confession for the past three years. It also has another one for after confession when making one’s thanksgiving:

    O LORD JESUS CHRIST, bless, I beseech Thee, Thu servant who has now ministered to me in Thy name. Help me to remember his good counsel and advice, and to perform duly what he has rightly laid upon me. And grant him the abundance of Thy grace and favour, that his own soul may be refreshed and strengthened for Thy perfect service, and that he may come at last to the joy of Thy heavenly kingdom. Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

  6. yatzer says:

    Isn’t the FSSP in full communion with the Church? And the SSPX sort of isn’t? What is the FSSPX? Anyway, that is a lovely prayer, which I plan to use later this week. Thanks, what a good idea someone had to compose this.

  7. Cafea Fruor says:

    Cool! I like this. I just went to confession tonight–too bad I didn’t see this earlier in the day. But I’ll keep this on hand for the next time.

  8. APX says:

    The FSSPX is the SSPX. The F is for Fraternity of SSPX. The FSSP is not the same as FSSPX.

  9. Gab says:

    Thank you for this, Fr Z.
    It has never ever been suggested to me to pray for the priest before confession, but then I grew up in the Vatican II church, so I’m not surprised.

  10. Bellarmino Vianney says:

    “Deign, I beseech Thee, O my God, to adorn his soul with the virtues befitting the functions of the awful ministry with which Thou hast invested him.”

    In other words, put the Fear of God and the fear of hell into the minds of the presumptuous priests which are all-to-common throughout the world.

    Question: if a priest or priests knowingly collaborated with government entities in pre-planned schemes (conspiracies) in the confessional or through confession in attempt to manipulate a penitent’s behavior in favor of the government’s preferred outcomes, would those priests be committing mortal sin?

    For example: lets say a penitent is known to go to confession every Tuesday morning and has done so for almost a year or two straight. And, lets say a government entity was on the verge of being sued by this penitent because that government entity gravely abused the penitent through harassment techniques, unlawful surveillance, by drugging the penitent, and by drawing the penitent into a staged purse snatching as a means of harassment and/or an illegal “search”.

    Now, lets say that government entity has a large presence at the parish where the penitent goes to confession. Lets say that the government entity employs multiple harassers who are “friends” with the pastor and all of the priests at this parish.

    Lets also say that the government entity wants to attempt to make the penitent think that the confessor’s words are guidance from God – whereas, the words are actually implanted into the confessor by the government entity in attempt to manipulate the mind of the penitent. Would the confessor be committing mortal sin by repeating what the government entity tells the confessor to say? Is that not an excommunicable offense on the part of the confessor?

    Relatedly, would priests be committing mortal sin by collaborating with these government conspirators? If the government entity has worked its way into the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as a means of harassing/intimidating a Mass attendee or to favor the behavior outcomes preferred by the government entity, and if the priests knowingly engaged in pre-planned harassment schemes before, during, or after the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, would those priests be committing mortal sin? And are those pre-planned schemes that are carried out before, during, or after the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass excommunicable offenses?

  11. robtbrown says:

    For many years I have always said an Ave Maria for the confessor as I exit the Confessional.

  12. Gabriel Syme says:


    For many years I have always said an Ave Maria for the confessor as I exit the Confessional.

    That’s a great idea and I do it too – add a Hail Mary, after my penance, for the priest who heard my confession. A highly recommended practice!

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