An ancient Catholic custom that today is increasingly disused
We may not be aware of the enormous grace we receive from God when we have priests next to us. Therefore, many times, we end up letting go without realizing, for example, the value of the blessing they can give us, and we forget that custom.
St. John Mary Vianney , proclaimed by the patron church of priests, said: “If I met a priest and an angel, I would greet the priest before greeting the angel. The angel is a friend of God, but the priest takes his place. “
When they are ordained, the priests assume to act in persona Christi, that is, they are, for us, representatives of Christ himself. Therefore, the saint said that the father “occupies” the place of God, and therefore, was worthy to be greeted first, even before an angel. In addition, the priest receives from God the power to bring Christ into our midst, something that angels can not do.
That is why, during the ordination of every priest , there are two important moments: the imposition of the hands of the bishop and the anointing of the hands of the new priest. Upon receiving the oil on the palms of his hands, the priest assumes four important dimensions: welcome, bless, offer and consecrate.
Today we talk about this second dimension. When we ask a priest to bless us, it is a gesture that says we want to participate in that anointing received by him, we want to be part of this blessing. There are some who also maintain the custom of kissing the hands of priests, precisely because they are what bring us to Christ, they are instruments of God’s grace for the faithful.
Why do not many ask the priests to bless them?
Camilo Júnior, a Redemptorist missionary and member of the Youth Commission of the National Shrine of Brazil, warns that many times, people who do not ask for the blessing of priests, do not ask for it from their own parents.
Do not stop asking for the blessing to the priests, and participate in that anointing given by God. And do not forget to always pray for your parish priest and for the priests you know. They are God’s instruments for us, a wealth that the Church gives us, and they need our prayers as a way to dedicate our gratitude for dedicating their lives to others.