Dear brothers and sisters, one of the most beautiful traditions that this parish has is that many people come to ask for the blessing of the priest for various life events or situations (travel, surgeries, family problems, etc.). I recently read the article that is appropriate for us to continue and maintain this beautiful practice of asking for the priest’s blessing. The article is as follows:
Why ask a priest for a blessing? An ancient Catholic custom that is now increasingly disused*
We may not be aware of the enormous grace we receive from God as we have priests with us. Therefore, many times, we end up letting go without realizing, for example, the value of the blessing they can give us, and we forget that custom.
St. John María Vianney, who is the Patron Saint of Priests, said: “If I was to meet a priest and an angel, I would greet the priest before greeting the angel. The angel is a friend of God, but the priest takes his place.”
When ordained, priests assume to act in persona Christi, that is, they are, for us, representatives of Christ himself. Therefore, Saint John said that the priest “occupies” the place of God, and therefore was worthy to be greeted first, even before an angel. In addition, the priest receives, from God, the power to bring Christ in our midst; something angels cannot do.
Therefore, during the ordination of every priest, there are two important moments: the laying on of the hands of the bishop and the anointing of the hands of the new priest. By receiving the oil in the palms of his hands, the priest assumes four important dimensions: to welcome, bless, offer and consecrate.
Today we are talking about this second dimension. When we ask a priest to bless us, it is a gesture that says we want to partake of this anointing received by him, we want to be part of this blessing. There are some who also maintain the custom of kissing the hands of priests, precisely because they are the ones who bring us to Christ, they are instruments of God’s grace for the faithful.
Why do many people no longer ask priests to bless them?
Camilo Júnior, a redemptorist missionary and member of the Youth Commission of the National Shrine of Brazil, warns that often, people who do not ask for the blessing of priests, do not ask for it from their own parents either.
Do not stop asking the priests for the blessing and participate in that God-given anointing. Don’t forget to always pray for your parish priest and for the priests you know. They are God’s instruments for us, a wealth given to us by the Church, and they need our prayers as a way to dedicate our gratitude to them for dedicating their lives to others.
* Translated and adapted from: https://es.aleteia.org/2017/08/08/por-que-pedir-la-bendicion-a-un-sacerdote/