PRAYER FOR GOVERNMENT
composed by John Carroll,
Archbishop of Baltimore and first Catholic bishop in the United States
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 Benedict, the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, Edward, 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.
Earlier this morning Pope Benedict sent greetings to our nation’s new president. Below is the text of his telegram.
THE HONORABLE BARACK OBAMA
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
THE WHITE HOUSE
ON THE OCCASION OF YOUR INAUGURATION AS THE FORTY-FOURTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA I OFFER CORDIAL GOOD WISHES, TOGETHER WITH THE ASSURANCE OF MY PRAYERS THAT ALMIGHTY GOD WILL GRANT YOU UNFAILING WISDOM AND STRENGTH IN THE EXERCISE OF YOUR HIGH RESPONSIBILITIES. UNDER YOUR LEADERSHIP MAY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CONTINUE TO FIND IN THEIR IMPRESSIVE RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL HERITAGE THE SPIRITUAL VALUES AND ETHICAL PRINCIPLES NEEDED TO COOPERATE IN THE BUILDING OF A TRULY JUST AND FREE SOCIETY, MARKED BY RESPECT FOR THE DIGNITY, EQUALITY AND RIGHTS OF EACH OF ITS MEMBERS, ESPECIALLY THE POOR, THE OUTCAST AND THOSE WHO HAVE NO VOICE. AT A TIME WHEN SO MANY OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD YEARN FOR LIBERATION FROM THE SCOURGE OF POVERTY, HUNGER AND VIOLENCE, I PRAY THAT YOU WILL BE CONFIRMED IN YOUR RESOLVE TO PROMOTE UNDERSTANDING, COOPERATION AND PEACE AMONG THE NATIONS, SO THAT ALL MAY SHARE IN THE BANQUET OF LIFE WHICH GOD WILLS TO SET FOR THE WHOLE HUMAN FAMILY (cf. Isaiah 25:6-7). UPON YOU AND YOUR FAMILY, AND UPON ALL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, I WILLINGLY INVOKE THE LORD’S BLESSINGS OF JOY AND PEACE
BENEDICTUS PP. XVI