We celebrate St. Sylvester, one of our early popes. He was responsible for building the basilicas of St. Peter and St. John Lateran and his representatives were at the Council of Nicea which promulgated the Nicene Creed. Today, we should ask St. Sylvester’s intercession for our own Pope Benedict, that God will grant him many happy years as leader of our Church and protect him from harm. We are so blessed to have the hierarchy to guide the Church, and God has given us a line of faithful popes. Despite the fact that some of the popes were less than stellar, not one has given false teaching from the “Chair” or ex cathedra. That shows the importance of the Holy Spirit which has guided the Church from the time of Pentecost.
Prayers for the pope are essential, and ingrained in me. From the time of my childhood, my mother taught me to say an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for the pope everytime I entered a new church for the first time. Perhaps you, my dear reader, could also pray for the pope when you enter a Catholic church for the first time as a recognition of the supremacy of the pontiff and also his care for the entire Church, even the little mission out in the country that you might happen upon.