Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, was ordained to the priesthood fifty years ago today, on December 13, 1969. In Argentina, Jorge Mario Bergoglio became a Jesuit priest and later served as auxiliary bishop and then archbishop of Buenos Aires. Saint John Paul II made him a cardinal in 2001.
Pope Francis gained worldwide attention when he was elected to the papacy in 2013. He took the name Francis after St. Francis of Assisi, and began his papacy by asking the faithful to pray for him.
He has continued to ask the Church to pray for him throughout his pontificate, and today as he celebrates fifty years of serving the Church as a priest, we also ask you to keep him in your prayers.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has published a prayer for the Holy Father on this special occasion:
Father of mercy, we come before you with gratitude for the fifty years of priesthood of Pope Francis, whom you have made Peter’s successor. Support him with the Spirit’s gifts so that he can continue to preach the Gospel with priestly zeal and lead the Church with wisdom and strength and courage. May his example of long and faithful service be an inspiration to your priests and to all your faithful. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Archbishop José Gomez, President of the USCCB, has sent a letter to bishops asking them to share the prayer with their parishes and schools, and to consider offering Mass on that day with petitions for Pope Francis’ jubilee anniversary.
St. Francis of Assisi, please pray for Pope Francis!