Prayer to be recited by Catholic Teachers (composed by Pius XII)
O Word Incarnate, Teacher of teachers, our most loving Jesus, Who didst deign to come into the
world and, out of Thy infinite wisdom and inexhaustible goodness, point out to men the way to Heaven, mercifully hear the humble prayers of those who follow Thy footsteps, thereby giving expression to their desire to be Catholic teachers worthy of the name and making known to souls the faith that will surely lead to Thee and through Thee to eternal happiness.
Grant us the light, not only to avoid falling into the pitfalls of error, but also to penetrate the truth so as to acquire that luminous clarity whereby that which is the most essential turns out to be the most simple and therefore best adapted to the intelligence even of children, in whom especially Thy Divine simplicity is reflected. Visit us, then, with the help of Thy Spirit, the Creator, so that in accordance with Thy mandate we may be able to give appropriate and adequate instructions in the doctrines of faith.
Give us the ability to adapt ourselves to the still immature minds of our pupils, to foster their fine, youthful energy, to have a sympathetic understanding for their deficiencies, to support their spirit of restlessness. Give us the power to become little without neglecting our line of duty even as Thou, O Lord, didst become as one of us without leaving the exalted throne of Thy Divinity.
Above all, however, fill us with Thy Spirit of love: love for Thee, Teacher unique and excelling, so that we may gladly sacrifice ourselves in Thy holy service; love for our holy profession, regarding it as a most noble calling rather than mere employment; loving concern for our personal sanctification, as the primal source of energy in all our work and apostolate; love of truth, not allowing ourselves to be turned aside from it; love for souls which we must pattern and form according to the standards of truth and goodness; love for our students, helping them to become exemplary citizens and loyal sons of the Church; love for our dearly beloved youth and for our children, like the love of a father, but more elevated, more conscious and more pure than mere natural paternal love.
And thou, most holy Mother Mary, under whose loving care the youthful Jesus grew in wisdom and in grace, be our intercessor at the side of Thy Divine Son and obtain for us an abundance of Heavenly graces in order that our work may redound to the honor and glory of Him Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth for ever and ever. Amen.
(December 28, 1957)
Prayer of the Teacher before school
You, O Lord,
are my strength, my patience, my light, and my counsel.
It is you who touch the hearts of the children entrusted to my care.
Abandon me not to myself for one moment.
For my own guidance and that of my students,
grant me the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and fortitude, the spirit of knowledge and piety,
the spirit of a holy fear of you and an ardent zeal to procure your glory.
I unite my efforts to those of Jesus Christ, and I beg the Most Blessed Virgin, Saint Joseph, the Guardian Angels, and Saint John Baptist de La Salle to protect me this day in the performance of my duties. Amen.
Prayer that the Christian Brothers prayed before school each day. Although some mistakenly attribute the origin of the prayer to Saint John Baptist De La Salle, Brother Gerard Rummery FSC notes it has its genesis in the eighteenth century Traité des Études by Charles Rollin.