The prayer Patton commissoned before the Battle of the Bulge

December 13, 2012

Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies, and establish Thy justice among men and nations. Amen.*

On the back of the Prayer, which was sent to every soldier in the Third United States Army, was Patton's personal 1944 Christmas Message to each one of them.


Alan Axelrod, Patton on Leadership: Strategic Lessons for Corporate Warfare (Paramus, N.J.: Prentice Hall Press, 1999), 267.


Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 238


* ( Editorial comment: This prayer was written by Fr. James O’Neill, chief chaplain of the Third Army, at General Patton’s request. )

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  • Josseph Jay

    Why? There is no abusive language, nor insults, nor links

  • Robert

    To SEPOL888 It is easy to understand. As they found out at Stalingrad, when the screws are really on in times of war people have time to find God.

  • Sepol888

    An interesting historical figure, but I cannot bring myself to admire someone who used profanity, made racist comments, and believed in reincarnation. Why a Catholic aristocratic site finds the need to highlight the late general is beyond me.

    • Sepol888, it is proper to the Catholic spirit to admire all that is true, good, and beautiful and reject their contraries.
      Patton was not a saint, but God did give him certain qualities, such as a gift for leadership, which is admirable, especially today when it is so hard to find.
      In this vale of tears, more often than not, the good and the bad come together in the same person, so we must support, admire, and emulate the first while taking care to protect ourselves from the influence of the latter.

  • EXB

    General Patton had the virtue of combativity. Notice he wrote "Merry Christmas" on the prayer card and not "happy holidays". Different times when America was still upholding to be Chrisitan. General Patton is not smiling, his generation did not have that superficial optimism that society fell into after WWII. People smiled when photographed only if there was a reason at the moment the photo was taken. Life was a serious matter for them.

    • EXB, Patton called this his "war face." He practiced it all life long, and by the time WWII broke out, he had to perfection.

  • happygael

    I have never ceased admiring this man. I am a WW2 vet.

  • Frances Didieu

    I have always stood in admiration of General George S. Patton and now that I read his prayer I have even more admiration for this brave man.

  • reader


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