“With such conviction he spoke to me! Until this day I can hear his voice” – said St. John Paul II about the prayer, which created a lot of miracles in his life. It was this prayer which led him to holiness.
John Paul II encouraged young people to pray always and everywhere. He shared with them his testimony as to how much this prayer changed in his life. At one point, he revealed that since his childhood this is one special prayer which starts each day. This prayer made a lot of miracles in his life.
Young Karol Wojtyła lost his mother when he was 9 years old. Upon her death, he became an altar service boy. As he recalls, himself, he was not too devoted to his service. When his father noticed that, he said to him: “You are not a good altar service boy. You are not praying enough to the Holy Spirit. You should pray to Him.” After these words, he presented young Karol this prayer:
Holy Spirit, I ask of You
the gift of wisdom for a better understanding of You and of Your divine perfection;
the gift of intellect for a better understanding of the essence of the mysteries of the holy faith;
the gift of knowledge so that I may know how to orient my life in accordance with the principles of faith;
the gift of counsel so that in all things I can seek counsel from You and can always find it in You;
the gift of strength so that no fear or earthly motivations can take me away from You;
the gift of piety, so that I can always serve Your Majesty with filial love;
the gift of the fear of God so that no fear or earthly motivations can take me away from you.
From that time, the future Pope was praying with these words and experiencing even more powerful actions of God in his life. “I never forgot this prayer. It was an important spiritual lesson, more durable and stronger than others which I could pull from readings or teachings which I received. With such conviction he spoke to me! Until this day, I can hear his voice. My Encyclical letter about the Holy Spirit is the result of this lesson from my childhood” – he said many years later already as the Pope.
A year before his death, weak Pope wrote it down on a piece of paper with his trembling hands, so it will be not forgotten. It was published by the “Tygodnik Powszechny” magazine. He encouraged to pray with this prayer during the meeting with young people in Warsaw.
“As once my father placed a little book in my hand and pointed out to me the prayer to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit, so today I, who am also called “Father” by you, wish to pray with the university students of Warsaw and of Poland:
— for the gift of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety (that is to say the sense of the sacred value of life, of human dignity, of the sanctity of the human body and soul) and, finally, for the gift of the fear of God, of which the Psalmist says that it is the beginning of wisdom (cf. Ps 111:10).
Receive from me this prayer that my father taught me and remain faithful to it.”
We strongly and warmly encourage you to start each day with this prayer to the Holy Spirit.