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The Power of Mothers’ Prayers

This is a true story about some special mothers who lived in a little village called Lu in 19th century Italy. Mons. Alessandro Canora, their parish priest was a wonderful man who cared greatly for the three thousand souls entrusted to his care.

Back in 1881 a few of the mothers felt a desire to pray that their children would be blessed with a vocation to the priesthood or religious life. They were encouraged by Monsignor Canora to place this specific intention every Tuesday before The Lord of the Harvest during Eucharistic Adoration. They repeated this same request during Holy Communion on the first Sunday of every month when they begged the Lord of the Harvest to choose their children as His special labourers. Once more after Holy Mass the mothers prayed together when they asked God to honour their families with vocations.

Through the prayers of these mothers, something supernatural happened in Lu. The atmosphere in the village changed, peace seemed to descend upon the place and families developed a sense of piety making it much easier for the children to recognise their vocations. Many were called and many responded.

God is never outdone in generosity. Would you believe that the prayers of these mothers resulted in 323 vocations (three-hundred twenty-three!): 152 priests (diocesan and religious), and 171 nuns belonging to 41 different congregations.

Many hearts were touched in Lu. Sometimes as many as three or more from the same family answered the Lord’s call to labour in His harvest. Little did those mothers realise that as a result of their prayers one of their own little ones would not only become the third Superior General of the Salesian Order but he would also be raised to the honours of the altars as happened on 29th April 1990 when Father Rinaldi was declared Blessed Filippo Rinaldi. by Pope John Paul II. Saint John Bosco travelled the 50km from Turin to Lu four times and on each occasion gained many candidates for his congregation from those special families who affirmed “The Lord gave us our children, so if He calls them, we can’t say no.” Would you believe that four of Father Filippo Rinaldi’s brothers became priests and two of his sisters became nuns? All seven joined the Salesian Congregation.

Vocations Guide to Priesthood


Are we not a little foolish to complain about the shortage of priests when some of us do absolutely nothing to foster vocations? Our Lord has told us “Ask and you shall receive”

If you felt so inclined you could offer your pastor a modest stipend and request him to celebrate Holy Mass “for our priests and for vocations in our parish.” You could also share this story with some of your fellow parishioners in the hope that they too will join in this apostolate.

Just imagine how wonderful it would be if your parish had a monthly mass (say on the first Saturday) for “our priests and for vocations in our parish”. In the meantime don’t forget to say a daily “Hail Mary” for your clergy. Ask any Contemplative Communities in diocese to assist you with their prayers.


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