November 21: Pro Orantibus Day (“For Those Who Pray”)



“[On] the feast of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple, we will celebrate the Day of Pro Orantibus, dedicated to remembering cloistered religious communities. It is a good opportunity to thank the Lord for the gift of so many people who, in monasteries and hermitages, dedicate themselves to God in prayer and silent work. Let us give thanks to the Lord for the testimony of cloistered life and do not forget our brothers and sisters, our spiritual and material support to enable them to carry out their important mission.” ~Pope Francis, Nov 20, 2013

“It is an opportune occasion to thank the Lord for the gift of so many persons that, in monasteries and hermitages, dedicate themselves to God in prayer and in onerous silence, acknowledging in Him that primacy that belongs only to Him.” ~Pope Francis, Nov. 19, 2014

Catholics throughout the world are encouraged to honor the cloistered, monastic and eremitic life on Pro Orantibus Day, which is today. In observance of this special occasion, please pray for those who pray for usespecially any consecrated men and women in cloistered, monastic or eremitic (hermit) life in your own diocese. 

“The primary purpose of Pro Orantibus Day is to support–both spiritually and materially–the gift of the cloistered and monastic life,” notes Rev. Thomas Nelson, O. Praem., national director of the Institute on Religious Life.

In 1953 Pope Pius XII instituted Pro Orantibus Day, also known as World Day of Cloistered life, to recognize those men and women who so generously give of themselves to this unique vocation and who each day, from the various convents and monasteries and hermitages spread throughout the world, offer their prayers unceasingly to build up the Kingdom. Pope John Paul II later expanded its celebration and encouraged the faithful to support this special vocation in any way possible.

Last year at a general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis reminded the Church, “Let us give thanks to the Lord for the powerful testimony of cloistered life.” He urged the faithful to lend their spiritual and material support to these brothers and sisters of ours “so that they can carry out their important mission.”

++ Prayer in Support of the Cloistered Life ++

Eternal Father,

We praise and thank you for those sisters and brothers who have embraced the gift of the cloistered, monastic and eremitic life. Their prayerful presence is indispensable to the Church’s life and mission, and is the foundation of the New Evangelization.

As we celebrate Pro Orantibus Day, let us honor the holiness and glory of the Blessed Virgin. May she, who was presented in the Temple, intercede so that many young people might dedicate themselves entirely to Your divine service by hidden lives of contemplative prayer and selfless sacrifice.

May all of us be mindful of the spiritual and material needs of those who commit their lives to seeking God by fixing their gaze on those things which are eternal.

We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.