Our Morning Offering – 21 December – Pope Benedict’s Favourite Prayer – The Memorial of St Peter Canisius (1521-1397) Doctor of the Church
The Universal Prayer
By Saint Peter Canisius
Almighty, eternal God, Lord, heavenly Father,
look with Your eyes of undeserved compassion
on our sorrow, misery and need.
Have mercy on all the Christian faithful,
for whom Your only-begotten Son,
our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, was content to give Himself
into the hand of sinners
and shed His precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross.
For the sake of the Lord Jesus, most gracious Father,
avert our well-deserved punishments,
present danger and future threats, harm and outrage,
arms and warfare, dearth and misfortune,
sickness and sorrowful, miserable times.
Enlighten and strengthen in all goodness our spiritual leaders
and earthly rulers, that they may do everything
to further Your honour as God, our salvation,
the common peace and the welfare of all Your people.
Grant us, O God of peace, a true unity in faith,
free of all division and separation.
Convert our hearts to true repentance and amendment of life.
Kindle in us the fire of Your love; give us hunger and zeal
for justice in all things, so that we, as obedient children
through life unto death, may be pleasing to You
and find favour in Your sight.
We also pray, O God, as You willed that we should pray,
for our friends and enemies, for the healthy and the sick,
for all Christians in sadness and distress,
for the living and the dead.
To You, O Lord, be entrusted whatever we do,
whatever our path, our work and our dealings,
our living and dying.
Let us delight in Your grace here in this world
and attain the next with all Your chosen ones,
to praise, honour and extol You in unending joy and blessedness.
Grant us this, O Lord, heavenly Father,
through Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son,
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
“The [prayer] I like most…the ‘General Prayer’ by Peter Canisius from the sixteenth century. It remains unchangingly pertinent and beautiful.”
From Pope Benedict, Last Testament, New York, Bloomsbury, 2016, 8.