Patton was a serious man, and thankfully he left behind two missives that defined his leadership within the realm of Christmas during the legendary Battle of the Bulge. First is the prayer he commissioned from Third Army Chaplain Msgr. Francis O’Neill for better fighting weather and then his personal Christmas greeting to his troops. As the Commander of the Third Army, as a Lieutenant General (three stars, like Flynn), and as a God fearing man, he spoke from his heart with a two-part Christmas message to his Army.
“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 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.” Then his greeting: “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.”