A prayer from George Washington for Presidents’ Day



George Washington and Bishop John Carroll



Happy Presidents’ Day!!

Formerly known as Washington’s Birthday, this federal holiday celebrates the contributions of Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, as well as all our nation’s presidents over the course of our history.


First U.S. Bishop:

Bishop John Carroll, the first bishop (and later archbishop) in the United States and patriarch of American Catholicism, wrote and delivered the beautiful “Prayer for the Nation” in 1791, urging American Catholics to recite it regularly with their parish communities for God’s blessings on our nation, our president, and on our Church. Read Bishop John Carroll’s “Prayer for the Nation” here


Eulogy for President Washington: 

Two months after the death of President Washington, Bishop John Carroll delivered a moving eulogy at St. Peter’s Church in Baltimore on February 22, 1800. It honored our first president and his legacy, and was called by one biographer the “best specimen of Carroll’s eloquence.”  The eulogy was published in Peter K. Guilday’s 1922 book, “The Life and Times of John Carroll, Archbishop of Baltimore, 1735-1815 (Two Volumes)” Read his eulogy here.



Prayer at Valley Forge


President Washington’s Prayer for the Nation:


Today’s prayer was adapted from George Washington’s Circular Letter to the States, written on June 8, 1783 at Newburgh, New York.


Almighty GOD; we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection, that thou wilt incline the hearts of citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States of America at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of The Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech thee, through Jesus Christ Our Lord.


Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.