NOVENA TO SAINT JOHN PAUL II

DAY 1 – LOVE


Have the courage to live for love… A person’s greatness lies not in his possessions but in who he is, not in what he owns but in what he shares with others.

(…) Today the message about purity of heart is very timely. The culture of death wants to destroy the purity of heart. One of its strategies is to deliberately create doubt about the value of the human attitude that we call the virtue of chastity. This is some- thing particularly dangerous when the at- tack is aimed at the sensitive consciences of children and young people. A culture that in this way wounds or even kills the correct relationship between individuals, is a culture of death, for man cannot live without true love. (…) Proclaim before the world “the Good News” of purity of heart, and by the example of your lives pass on the message of the culture of love. I know how sensitive you are to truth and beauty. Today the culture of death sets before you, among other things, a so called “free love.” In this kind of disfigurement of love, we reach the profanation of one of the most cherished and sacred values, for promiscuity is neither love nor freedom. (…) Do not be afraid to live in a way contrary to fashionable opinions and ways of life in conflict with God’s law. The courage of faith is costly, but you cannot gamble and lose love! Do not allow anyone to enslave you! Do not allow yourselves to be seduced by illusions of happiness for which you will have to pay a very high price, a price of often in- curable wounds or even of a life destroyed!

                                                                                  John Paul II, Homily, June 12, 1999

 

Let us pray:

God our Father, in order to return to You, we must find Your mercy, Your patient and kind love, which in You, knows no limit. Your infinite mercy as shown by your readiness to forgive our sins, is as in- effable as the sacrifice of Your Son. With confidence we ask You to grant us Your graces … through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

 

 

DAY 2 – TRUTH


No one can dictate to anyone else his own “Truth.” Truth overcomes only with its own power. Imposing one’s own views leads to making worse inter-personal relationships, giving rise to quarrels and tensions. Thus, one of the conditions to maintain peace in the world is to respect the freedom of conscience of others even if they think quite differently from the way we do.

Truth is the light of the human intellect. If the intellect seeks, from youth onwards, to know reality in its different dimensions, it does so in order to possess the truth: in order to live the truth. Such is the structure of the human spirit. Hunger for truth is its fundamental aspiration and expression. Now Christ says, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free”. Of all the words recorded in the Gospels these are certainly among the most important. For they refer to man in his totality. They explain what the dignity and greatness proper to man are built upon from within, in the dimensions of the human spirit. The knowledge which frees man does not depend on education alone, even of university standard – an illiterate person can have it too; though education, the systematic knowledge of reality, should serve the dignity of the human person. It should therefore serve the truth. (…) Christ’s words: “You will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free”, become a veritable plan. Young people, one might say, have an innate “sense of truth”. And truth should serve freedom: young people also have a spontaneous “desire for freedom”. And what does it mean to be free? It means to know how to use your freedom in Truth – to be truly free. To be truly free does not at all mean doing everything that pleases me or doing what I want to do. Freedom contains in itself a criterion of Truth, the discipline of Truth. Without this it is not authentic. It is a lie about freedom. To be truly free means to use your freedom for that which is truly good (…) to be a person of upright conscience, to be responsible, to be a person for others.

Apostolic letter of Pope John Paul II to the youth of the world on the occasion of the International Year of Youth 1985

 

Let us pray:

God our Father, believing in You, placing my hope in Christ, I wish to imitate Him and experience the miracle of an abundant catch. Come to the aid of all Christians of our generation to go out into the deep of Truth, good, and beauty. Make our Saint Pope John Paul II a patron of the new evangelization, and through his intercession grant us this favor … Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Our Father… Hail Mary…Glory be… Litany…

 

DAY 3—THE PERSON


On this earth be the bearers of Chris- tian faith and hope, each day living in love. Be faithful witnesses of the resurrected Christ, never give ground to obstacles that accumulate on the paths of your life. I am counting on you, your youthful enthusiasm and dedication to Christ.

A person cannot live without love. A person remains an entity that cannot understand himself, his life makes no sense, if love does not manifest itself to him, if he will not encounter love, if he can’t touch it and in some way make it his own, if he does not find some living participation in it. That is precisely why Christ the Redeemer, (…)manifests a totality of the person to the person himself. This is the human dimension of the mystery of redemption. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that everyone who believes in Him will not be lost but will have eternal life.” (Jn 3, 16) And through the Son-Word, who became man (…) God entered into human history – one of billions, and at the same time just One!

We wish to look towards Him, because there is salvation in no-one else but Him, the Son of God, repeating the words of St. Peter: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”. Through (…) all the roads of activity by which the Church expresses itself, we must continuously go to Him, who is the Head, “through whom all came into being, and thanks to whom we also exist”. (…) The Church does not cease to listen to His words. She re- reads them anew, reads every detail of His life. The Church lives His mystery, draws from it without any respite, and constant- ly seeks ways to bring this mystery of our Master and Lord to humanity, nations, the succeeding generations, and every individual human being. Man discovers in Christ his own greatness, dignity and the value of his humanity. Man remains in the mystery of the redemption newly asserted, newly declared. Created a new! A person, who wants to understand himself to the end (…) to come closer to Christ, must in a way enter into Him with himself, to assimilate the entire reality of the Incarnation and Redemption, in order to find oneself. If this deep process is realized in a person, he then not only brings forth fruit to praise God, but also looks upon himself with great awe. A person must carry in the eyes of the Creator a special value because he deserved such a powerful Redeemer since God “gave his only-begotten so that man would not be lost but would have eternal life” (see J 3,16).

John Paul II, Encyclical Redemptor Hominis, 1979

 

Let us pray:

God, our Father, You are loved and You were first to love us. Your Son became a man for our salvation and revealed to his brothers and sisters the truth about love, permitted them to understand themselves and discover the sense of their own existence. We ask You that Saint John Paul II, a tireless defender of human dignity, a good shepherd, seeking lost souls in the confusion of life and plunged into hopelessness, will intercede for us … Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Our Father… Hail Mary…Glory be… Litany…

 

DAY 4 – THE FAMILY


A family that draws its strength from God becomes the strength of man and of an entire nation.

Among the many paths in a person’s life, the family is the first and most import- ant one. It is a path common to all, yet one which is particular, unique and unrepeatable, just as every individual is unrepeatable. A person comes into this world and becomes a member of a family, grows and develops, learns about values. The Church embraces the family in its maternal care because it knows well that it is precisely the family that gives a person the foundation for complete humanity.

The family has its origin in the same love with which the Creator embraces the created world, as was already expressed “in the beginning,” in the Book of Genesis (1:1). It found its supreme confirmation in the words of Christ in the Gospel: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (Jn 3:16). The only-be- gotten Son, of one substance with the Father, God from God and Light from Light, entered into human history through the family: “For by his Incarnation He unit- ed himself with every person. He labored with human hands, (…) and loved with a human heart. Born of the Virgin Mary, He truly became one of us and, except for sin, He was like us in every respect”. Therefore, if Christ “fully discloses man to himself”, He does so beginning with the family in which he chose to be born and grow up. We know that the Redeemer chose to spend most of His life in the obscurity of Nazareth, being “obedient” (Lk 2:51) as “the Son of Man” to His Mother Mary and to Joseph the carpenter. Is not this filial “obedience” a first measure of His obedience to His Father “even unto death” (Phil 2:8) through which He re- deemed the world?

John Paul II, Letter to Families Gratissimam Sane. 1994

 

Let us pray:

God our Father, Your eternal plan of salvation reached its fullness when Your Beloved Son came into the world through the Holy Family, sanctifying by His birth, every human family. We entrust to You our families and all the families around the world. May prayer be a part of their lives, pure love, respect for life, and a healthy concern for youth. We ask You humbly that Saint John Paul II, tireless defender for the rights of families, be our intercessor to God for us all … Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be… Litany…

 

DAY 5 – YOUTH


You must make demands of yourself, even if others make no demands from you. Make demands contrary to the universal thought that promotes, “Taking the easy way”. Choose “to be more” rather than “to have more.” Today’s “to be more” of a young person is the courage to remain full of initiative – you cannot resign from this, the future of everyone depends on this, faithful to a dynamic witness to faith and hope.

My young friends … Be blessed! Be blessed together with Mary, who believed that the words spoken to her by the Lord will come to pass. Be blessed. May the sign of the woman clothed with the sun go with you, may she go with everyone along all the paths of life. May she lead you to the fulfillment in God of your adoption as children in Christ. Verily, verily, the Lord will do great things for you! The Lord will do great things for us!

You, my dear young friends, girls and boys, you are to be faithful witnesses brave in those “great things” in your circles, with your peers, in all circumstances of life. Mary, the Virgin from Nazareth, who heeded every inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is with you. She, who through her grand response to God’s plan, “be it done unto me”, disclosed to the world the long-awaited perspective on salvation. Looking at the humble handmaid of the Lord, taken today into the glory of heaven, I say to you with St. Paul, “Live by the spirit” (Ga 5:16.) Allow the “Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and fortitude, of knowledge, of piety and fear of the Lord” (Is 11:2) penetrate your heart and your life and trans- form the face of the earth. Renewed by the power that comes from Him, become the builders of a new world – a different world based on truth, justice, solidarity, and love. My dear young friends receive the Holy Spirit and be strong!

John Paul II, Homily for the Conclusion VI/DM, Czestochowa, August 15, 1991

 

Let us pray:

God our Father, from our youth You have invited us to follow You. In Your Son, youth has a Master who teaches how to form a new person in us – patiently and persistently – to discover one’s vocation, to build effectively a culture of love. We pray to You for our youth, that it may not en- slave itself to blind desires and deceptive love. May Saint John Paul II, who sought the young and reciprocally loved them, be a model and patron for them, and for us we ask for this favor … Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be… Litany…

 

DAY 6 – SIN


The greatest suffering of mankind and of every single individual is sin. There is no greater pain that you can inflict upon a soul than to plunge it into a state of mortal sin.

Sin does not come to a conclusion when it reaches the limits of a person’s conscience, when it is enclosed by them. It is etched deeply into one’s very essence as it relates to God. This relationship is, however, redemptive – that is, it means that “I”, a person, do not remain alone with my guilt. God, who is in a way an eyewitness to my sin (even though not a visible one) is with me, but not only to judge me. It’s true He judges me with the very internal judgment of my conscience, if it has not been silenced and depraved. However, this very judgment is already redemptive. Calling evil by its name means (in some way) I’ve already severed the bond with it, distanced myself from it, even though at the same time I know that this evil, this sin does not cease to be my sin. However, even though my sin is directed against God, God does not come forward against me. In the moment of an internal tension of a human conscience, God does not render a judgment, does not condemn. God waits for me to turn to Him as a loving justice, as a loving Father, just as in the parable of the prodigal son, so that I may reveal my sin to Him, and express my trust in Him. In this way, we pass from an examination of conscience to that which constitutes the essence of a conversion and reconciliation with God.

       John Paul II, Angelus, Rome February 23, 1986

Let us pray:

God our Father, sin is a prod that causes pain and kills sanctifying grace. In Your concept of salvation, suffering is the way leading to You. Your Son, through His free will, passion, and death on the cross, took upon Himself all the evil of sin, and gave suffering a whole new meaning; He introduced it into the order of love. In the name of this Love that was able to assume suffering without any guilt, we ask You that Saint John Paul II, marked with the stigma- ta of martyrdom while serving the people of God, will intercede for us all. Through His intercession, grant this special grace… Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be… Litany…

 

DAY 7 – MERCY


Today, when egoism, indifference, and insensitivity of hearts are spreading in a frightening way, how intensely we need a re- newal of sensitivity to a person, to his pover- ty and sufferings. The world cries for mercy.

Nothing is more necessary for man than the mercy of God – this gentle, sympathetic love, raising man above his weaknesses toward the eternal heights of God’s holiness.

Man – every man – is that prodigal son: burdened with the temptation to leave the Father, in order to live independently; giving in to temptation; betrayed by this emptiness that fascinated him like a mi- rage; alone, slandered, taken advantage of, when he tries to build a world just for himself; in the depths of his misery, tortured by his desire to return to his union with his Father. Like the Father in the parable, God looks out for the return of His son, embraces him when he arrives and sets a table to honor the renewed meeting in which reconciliation between the Father and brothers is celebrated.

          John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, Reconciliatio et Penitent, Dec. 2, 1984

 

“Jesus, I trust in You”. This prayer, prized by many devotees of the Mercy of God, aptly expresses the posture that we also wish to assume as we want to entrust ourselves into Your embrace, Lord, our only Savior. How intensely You want to be loved, and whoever kindles in himself the feelings of Your Heart, learns to be a builder of the new culture of love. A simple act of trust is enough to penetrate the drape of gloom and sadness, doubt and despair. The rays of Your divine mercy restore in a special way the hope of those who feel oppressed by the heavy weight of sin. (…).

Let us pray:

Mary, Mother of Mercy, grant that the hope we place in your Son, our Redeemer, may always remain alive. St. Faustina, also help us when with you, we wish to repeat (as we gaze boldly into the face of the Di- vine Redeemer) the words, “Jesus, I trust in You. Today and forever”. Amen.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be… Litany…

 

DAY 8 – MARY


Amid this mystery, amid this trust in faith, stands Mary. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done unto me according to Your word.”

Our Lady of Czestochowa, Mother of Trust, I come to you once again to bid farewell and to ask for your blessing for my trip. Mother of the Church, once again I offer myself into the “Maternal slavery of love” according to the words of my vocation: Totus Tuus! I entrust to you the whole Church – every- where, even to the farthest ends of the earth! I entrust to you all of mankind, my brothers and sisters. All the peoples and nations. I entrust to You Europe and all the continents. I entrust to You Rome and Poland, united by your Servant, through a new bond of love.

Mother accept us!
Mother, do not abandon us! Mother be our guide!

Grant to us, Mother of the Church and Queen of Poland, that we will thank You more than with our words, with the silence of our hearts; that with this silence we will sing our farewell prayer.

       John Paul II, First Apostolic Pilgrimage to Poland, Czestochowa, June 6, 1979

Let us pray:

God our Father, Mary, Mother of Your Son, hear our prayer-petition: “Our Advocate, turn then Your merciful eyes upon us, and Jesus, the Blessed Fruit of Thy womb, after our exile, present to us, O merciful, O compassionate, O sweet Virgin Mary!” May we offer thanks for Saint John Paul II, totally dedicated to Mary, faithfully and to the end fulfilling the mission given to him by the Risen One—accept the fruits of his life and service and to us grant this favor… Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be… Litany…

 

DAY 9 – THE EUCHARIST


The Eucharist is the greatest gift and miracle because the mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ—the redemption of mankind—is made present in it.

The Church lives thanks to the Eucharist. This truth expresses not only the daily experience of faith but contains in itself the essence of the mystery of the Church. In many different ways the Church joyfully experiences the promise that is endlessly realized: “And behold I am with you al- ways, until the end of the world.” (Mt 28, 20). Thanks to the most holy Eucharist, in which occurs the transubstantiation of bread and wine into the Body and blood of Our Lord, the Church rejoices in this presence in a very special way.

The Church received the Eucharist from Christ, her Lord, as the greatest gift because it is a gift from His very Self, from His own Person in His holy humanity, as well as a gift of His redemptive act. It is not limited to the past since “He who is Christ, what He did and what He suffered for all of humanity, participates in the eternity of God, transcends all times and is constantly present in them….”

Once again, I want to remind you of this truth, dear brothers and sisters, adoring this mystery with you: a great mystery, the mystery of mercy. What greater good could Jesus do for us? Truly, love that moves itself “to the very end” (Jn 13:1) – love that reveals itself to us in the Eucharist, love that knows no limits.

      John Paul II, Encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia April 17, 2003

Let us pray:

God our Father, your Son loved us to the end and remained with us in the Eucharist. May the AMEN that we utter in the presence of the Body and Blood of our Lord dispose us to a humble service to our brothers starving for love. May You be praised in the bright example of this love as demonstrated by your Saint John Paul II, and through his intercession grant us this favor … Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be…

 

 

LITANY TO ST. JOHN PAUL II


Kyrie eleison,

Christ eleison, Kyrie eleison

Christ, hear us Christ, graciously hear us.

Father of Heaven, God – have mercy on us.

Son, Redeemer of the world, God – have mercy on us.

God, the Holy Spirit – have mercy on us.

 Holy Trinity, One God – have mercy on us. Holy Mary – pray for us.

St. John Paul II – pray for us

Immersed in the Father rich in mercy United with Christ, the Redeemer of man Filled with the Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of life

Completely devoted to Mary

Friend of the saints and blessed

Successor of Peter and the servant of servants of God

Guardian of the Church, teaching the truths of faith

Father of the Council and Executor of its indications

Supporting the unity of Christians and the whole human family

Zealous Lover of the Eucharist

Tireless Pilgrim of the earth

Missionary of all nations

Witness of faith, hope, and love Participant persistent in sufferings of Christ Apostle of reconciliation and peace Promoter of the civilization of love Propagator of new evangelization

Master, calling us to sail into the deep Teacher showing us holiness as a measure of life

Pope of Divine Mercy

High Priest gathering the Chu sacrificing

Shepherd leading the flock to Heaven Brother and Master of priests
Father of consecrated persons
Patron of Christian families Strengthening spouses

Defender of the unborn
Protector of children orphans and abandoned
Friend and Teacher of the youth
Good Samaritan for the suffering Support for the elderly and lonely Propagator of the truth about the dignity of man
Man of prayer immersed in God
Lover of the liturgy sacrificing at the altars of the world
The personification of hard work
Love in the cross of Christ Implementing your vocation properly Patient in suffering
Example of life and death for the Lord Reprimanding sinners

Showing the way to the misguided Forgiving wrongdoers
Respecting opponents and persecutors Spokesman and Defender of the persecuted

Supporting the unemployed Concerned about the homeless Visiting prisoners
Supporting the weak Teaching everybody solidarity

Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world – Spare us, Lord.
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world – Hear us, Lord.

Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world – Have mercy on us.

Pray for us, St. John Paul, so that we would proclaim to the world with life and words Christ the Redeemer of man.

Let us pray:

Merciful God accept our thanksgiving for the gift of St. John Paul’s II apostolic life and mission. And through his intercession, please, help us grow in love for you and proclaim boldly the love of Christ to all people.

Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.