Quotes - Priesthood

The priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus. - St. John Vianney

Do you wish to know if the people of any place are righteous? Look what sort of a pastor they have. If you find him pious, just, sound, believe the people will be the same, for they are seasoned with the salt of his wisdom. - St. John Chrysostom

Go to your confessor; open your heart to him; display to him all the recesses of your soul; take the advice that he will give you with the utmost humility and simplicity. For God, Who has an infinite love for obedience, frequently renders profitable the counsels we take from others, but especially from those who are the guides of our souls. - St. Francis de Sales

When people want to destroy religion they begin by attacking the priest; for when there is no priest, there is no sacrifice: and when there is no sacrifice, there is no religion. - St. John Vianney

As the shepherd, so the sheep; as the priest, so the people. Priest-victim leadership begets a holy Church. Every worldly priest hinders the growth of the Church; every saintly priest promotes it. If only all priests realized how their holiness makes the Church holy and how the Church begins to decline when the level of holiness among priests falls below that of the people!  - Ven. Fulton Sheen

Pray very much for the Pope, bishops, and priests. Since your baptism you have always prayed faithfully for them. Continue to pray very much...very much. - Our Lady of Akita to Sr. Agnes Sasagawa (July 6, 1973)

Christ himself, the model of priests, taught first by the example of his deeds and then by his words: Jesus began to do and then to teach. Likewise, a priest who neglects his own sanctification can never be the salt of the earth; what is corrupt and contaminated is utterly incapable of preserving from corruption; where sanctity is lacking, there corruption will inevitably find its way. - St. Pius X

If I were to meet a priest and an angel, I should salute the priest before I saluted the angel. The latter is the friend of God; but the priest holds His place. - St. John Vianney

I am often asked, especially by young people, why I became a priest... I must begin by saying that it is impossible to explain entirely. For it remains a mystery, even to myself. How does one explain the ways of God? Yet, I know that, at a certain point in my life, I became convinced that Christ was saying to me what he had said to thousands before me: 'Come, follow me!' There was a clear sense that what I heard in my heart was no human voice, nor was it just an idea of my own. Christ was calling me to serve him as a priest. - St. John Paul II 

My sons, you are now to be advanced to the order of the presbyterate. You must apply your energies to the duty of teaching in the name of Christ, the chief Teacher. Share with all mankind the word of God you have received with joy. Meditate on the law of God, believe what you read, teach what you believe, and put into practice what you teach. - Bishops to candidates for priesthood at every ordination Mass.

If we would only bear in mind, dearly beloved brethren, the exalted character of the things that the Lord God has placed in our hands, what unbounded influence would not this have in impelling us to lead lives worthy of ecclesiastics! Has not the Lord placed everything in my hand, when he put there his only-begotten Son, coeternal and coequal with himself? In my hand he has placed all his treasures, his sacraments, his graces; he has placed there souls, than whom nothing can be dearer to him; in his love he has preferred them to himself, and redeemed them by his Blood; he has placed heaven in my hand, and it is in my power to open and close it to others... How, then, can I be so ungrateful for such condescension and love as to sin against him, to offend his honor, to pollute this body which is his? How can I come to defile this high dignity, this life consecrated to his service? - St. Charles Borromeo

It is easier for the earth to exist without the sun than without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. - St. Pio of Pietrelcina

The power of the priest, is the power of the divine person; for the transubstantiation of the bread requires as much power as the creation of the world. - St. Bernardine of Siena

Every slightest failing on our part brings the community under the judgment of God. Every least increase of priestly virtue brings it blessing. - Ven. Fulton Sheen

The worthy priest is an angel of purity in mind and body, a cherub of light and knowledge, a seraph of love and Charity, an apostle of zeal in work and sanctity, a little god on earth in power and authority, in patience and benignity. He is the living image of Christ in this world, of Christ watching, praying, preaching, catechizing, working, weeping, going from town to town, from village to village, suffering, agonizing, sacrificing Himself and dying for the souls created to His image and likeness. . . He is the light of those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He is the destroyer of error, schisms and heresies, the converter of sinners, the sanctifier of the just, the strength of the weak, the consolation of the afflicted, the treasure of the poor. He is the confusion of hell, the glory of heaven, the terror of demons, the joy of angels, the ruin of Satan's kingdom, the establishment of Christ's empire, the ornament of the Church. - St. John Eudes

Day after day it is necessary to learn that I do not possess my life for myself. Day by day I must learn to abandon myself; to keep myself available for whatever he, the Lord, needs of me at a given moment, even if other things seem more appealing and more important to me: this means giving life, not taking it. - Pope Benedict XVI

The priesthood is a call, not a career;a redefinition of self, not just a new ministry; a way of life, not a job; a state of being; not just a function; a permanent, lifelong commitment, not a temporary style of service; an identity, not just a role. - Timothy Cardinal Dolan