“The primary purpose of World Day of Cloistered Life, traditionally known as Pro Orantibus Day (“For Those Who Pray”), 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. And as Pope Francis reminds us, “it is an opportune occasion to thank the Lord for the gift of so many people who, in monasteries and hermitages, dedicate themselves to God in prayer and in silent work.”
Pope Pius XII first instituted this ecclesial worldwide event in 1953 to publicly recognize women and men who so generously give of themselves to this unique calling and who each day, from the various convents, monasteries and hermitages spread throughout the world, offer prayer and sacrifice unceasingly. Pope St. John Paul II later expanded its celebration and encouraged Catholics to highlight and support this hidden vocation in any way possible.
Since his election, Pope Francis has strongly encouraged the faithful to express appreciation to cloistered women and men, especially on this day dedicated to them. “Let us thank the Lord for the witness of the cloistered life and let us not fail them in our spiritual and material support in accomplishing such an important mission.”
Let us pray.
We praise and thank you for those sisters and brothers who have embraced the gift of the cloistered, monastic or 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 World Day of Cloistered Life, 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 that 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