Pro Orantibus Day (“For Those Who Pray”)
is November 21, 2017
Catholics throughout the world are encouraged to honor the cloistered and monastic life on Pro Orantibus Day, which is Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017.
In observance of this special occasion, we ask all the members, friends and supporters of the Institute on Religious Life to pray for those who pray, especially any cloistered and monastic religious in your own diocese. Send a note to them expressing your appreciation! And consider publicizing Pro Orantibus Day in your parish bulletin or in other ways.
“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. And as Pope Francis reminds us, “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.”
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 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.
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.”
As a sign of spiritual solidarity Pope Francis visited a Camaldolese monastery to celebrate vespers on Pro Orantibus Day. In his address the Holy Father stressed Our Lady’s great witness to hope, even in the face of difficulties and obstacles. The Holy Father urged all cloistered nuns to keep the “lamp of hope” burning brightly, and that monastic religious must strive to conform their lives to the model of Our Blessed Mother.
Prayer in Support of the Cloistered Life
We praise and thank you for those sisters and brothers who have embraced the gift of the cloistered and monastic 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.