Shield of Ministry?

“For a blameless man made haste to pray for the people, bringing forth the shield of his ministry, prayer, and by incense making supplication, withstood the wrath, and put an end to the calamity, shewing that he was thy servant.” Wisdom 18:21

This passage is referenced to Aaron in Numbers 16:46; where he saved the people from the wrath of God. Do Priests have a “shield of ministry” that protects us? :shrug:

RSV-Catholic translation:
Wis 18:21 - 23:
21: For a blameless man was quick to act as their champion; he brought forward the shield of his ministry, prayer and propitiation by incense; he withstood the anger and put an end to the disaster, showing that he was thy servant.
22: He conquered the wrath not by strength of body, and not by force of arms, but by his word he subdued the punisher, appealing to the oaths and covenants given to our fathers.
23: For when the dead had already fallen on one another in heaps, he intervened and held back the wrath, and cut off its way to the living The “shield” refers to the “prayers and incense” offered by the priest as he exercises his ministry of tending to the flock placed in his care. These prayers can be powerful before God, influencing (for lack of a better word) Him to intervene in some way to aid or protect those for whom the priest was interceding.

When a flock is endangered in some way, the prayers of a good pastor will be especially fervent and continuous. God listens to all our prayers, but I think the prayers of a holy priest for those in his care have a special influence with God.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit