Patton Prayer
which General Patton had drafted for the Third Army to say in December 1944

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.

In early December General Patton's US Third Army was hindered in their advance by heavy rains, and soft ground that brought his armored advance to a standstill, while the weather prevented air strikes. General Patton, who was a devout churchman (Protestant Episcopal) and daily said Evening and Morning Prayer on his knees, was convinced that his soldiers did not pray enough, and that only God's help would break the weather and facilitate the Army's advance. He directed his chaplain to write a collect for the Army for his approval. His chaplain did so, and recommended also a Christmas greeting on the reverse of the prayer which Patton approved. General Patton called for his soldiers to pray at all times, in their foxholes, when traveling, etc. - always with this imprecatory prayer. Beginning on about the 8th of December, the Army began to distribute 250,000 copies of the prayer with a Training Directive to pray. On the 20th the weather broke, a cold front moved in and froze the earth solid. Allied air attacks commenced in earnest combined with an armored thrust to break the German Bulge in the Battle of Bastone. Patton's Army struck deep into the German lines in a most remarkable victory to relieve the 101st Airborne Division that was encircled at Bastone, France. This was the last major offensive that Hitler was able to mount, and the Allied forces continued their advance to end the war.

To each officer and soldier in the Third United States Army, I Wish a Merry Christmas. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We march in our might to complete victory. May God's blessings rest upon each of you on this Christmas Day. G.S. Patton, Jr, Lieutenant General, Commanding, Third United States Army.

"May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't."

Though belied by his rough language, peppered generously with four-letter expletives, Patton was an extremely religious man. He prayed in earnest every morning, night, and anytime that he felt he needed divine assistance in his performance or making decisions. For a time, Beatrice [his wife], though also receiving a Christian upbringing, really didn't understand George's constant praying. Once, before a polo match, she found Patton in the bedroom, polo mallet and helmet laying on the bed, on his knees praying. When he stood up, she asked him if he was praying for victory. Patton exclaimed, "Hell no, I'm praying that I do my best." Knowing that Patton felt that performing your best was always the most important thing, she then understood.

On-line concise Biography with good photos and quotations :

Saint George Patton Window

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Copyright. Order of Centurions. Reviewed 8:45 AM 1/22/2014