In june 19, 2009, the entire Church began the Year of the Priesthood, a year of grace announced by Pope Benedict XVI for the universal church. Pope Benedict XVI began the year of the priesthood with a solemn ceremony at the Basilica of Saint Peter by warmly receiving the relics of Saint Cure of Ars, patron of priests. The bishops of every church around the world echoed the Pope's initiative.
HH Benedict XVI wanted to begin the Year of the Priesthood on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and to celebrate also the 150th anniversary of the death of Saint Cure of Ars, patron and model of priests.
« The objective of this Year for Priests, as I wrote in the letter sent to priests for this occasion, is to support that struggle of every priest "toward spiritual perfection, on which the effectiveness of his ministry primarily depends." It is to help priests first of all -- and with them all of God's people -- to rediscover and reinvigorate their awareness of the extraordinary and indispensable gift of grace that the ordained ministry is for he who receives it, for the whole Church, and for the world, which would be lost without the real presence of Christ. » Benedict XVI, General Audience, 24 June 2009)
At the end of this year formally closed, the Church has been inspired to walk for a permanent discovery and strengthening of the orden sacerdotal gift for all those who have received or will receive in the future.