Saint John Paul II

On October 12, 2012, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments confirmed the inscription of Saint John Paul II, Pope, into the Proper Calendar for the Dioceses of the United States of America.  Two years later, on May 29, 2014, Pope Francis ordered the inscription of Saint John Paul II into the General Roman Calendar.  St. John Paul is celebrated each year as an Optional Memorial on October 22.

From 2012 to 2019, a provisional English translation released by the Holy See was used; on September 21, 2019, the Congregation confirmed a definitive translation for future use, beginning in 2020. The proper liturgical texts in their final English version are provided below:

Roman Missal

Text in Latin

From the Common of Pastors: For a Pope.

Collect

O God, rich in mercy,
who willed that Pope Saint John Paul the Second
should preside over your universal Church,
grant, we pray, that instructed by his teaching,
we may confidently open our hearts to the saving grace of Christ,
the sole Redeemer of the human race.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Lectionary for Mass

Aside from the usual Mass readings of the day, any Lectionary readings from the Common of Pastors: For a Pope may be used for St. John Paul II. The following readings from that Common, suggested by the Holy See, are also available in no. 663A of the Lectionary for Mass Supplement:

First Reading – Isaiah 52:7-10
All the ends of the earth will behold the salvation of our God.

Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8a, 10
R/. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Gospel Acclamation – John 10:14
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord,
I know my sheep, and mine know me.

Gospel – John 21:15-17
Feed my lambs, feed my sheep.

Liturgy of the Hours

Text in Latin

From the Common of Pastors: For a Pope.

Biography

Karol Jósef Wojtyła was born in 1920 in Wadowice, Poland. After his ordination to the priesthood and theological studies in Rome, he returned to his homeland and took up various pastoral and academic tasks. First he became Auxiliary Bishop of Krakow. In 1964 he was named its Archbishop and took part in the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. On October 16, 1978, he was elected Supreme Pontiff and took the name John Paul II. His exceptional apostolic zeal, particularly for families, young people, and the sick, led him to make numerous pastoral visits throughout the world. Among the many fruits which he has left as a heritage to the Church are above all his rich body of teachings, the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and of the Codes of Canon Law for the Latin Church and for the Eastern Churches. In Rome on April 2, 2005, the eve of the Second Sunday of Easter (or of Divine Mercy), he died peacefully in the Lord.

Office of Readings

Second Reading
From a homily of Saint John Paul II, Pope
(For the inauguration of his Pontificate, October 22, 1978: AAS 70 [1978], 945-947)

Be not afraid! Open wide the doors to Christ!

Peter came to Rome! What else but obedience to the inspiration received from the Lord could have guided him and brought him to this city, the heart of the Empire? Perhaps the fisherman of Galilee did not want to come here. Perhaps he would have preferred to stay there, on the shores of Lake of Genesareth, with his boat and his nets. Yet guided by the Lord, obedient to his inspiration, he came here!

According to an ancient tradition, Peter tried to leave Rome during Nero’s persecution. However, the Lord intervened and came to meet him. Peter spoke to him and asked. “Quo vadis, Domine?” — “Where are you going, Lord?” And the Lord answered him at once: “I am going to Rome to be crucified again.” Peter went back to Rome and stayed here until his crucifixion.

Our time calls us, urges us, obliges us, to gaze on the Lord and to immerse ourselves in humble and devout meditation on the mystery of the supreme power of Christ himself.

He who was born of the Virgin Mary, the carpenter’s Son (as he was thought to be), the Son of the living God (as confessed by Peter), came to make us all “a kingdom of priests."

The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council has reminded us of the mystery of this power and of the fact that Christ’s mission—Priest, Prophet-Teacher, and King—continues in the Church. Everyone, the whole People of God, shares in this threefold mission. Perhaps in the past the tiara, that triple crown, was placed on the Pope’s head in order to signify by that symbol the Lord’s plan for his Church, namely that all the hierarchical order of Christ’s Church, all “sacred power” exercised in the Church, is nothing other than service, service with a single purpose: to ensure that the whole People of God shares in this threefold mission of Christ and always remains under the power of the Lord; a power that has its source not in the powers of this world, but instead in the mystery of the Cross and the Resurrection.

The power of the Lord, absolute yet at the same time sweet and gentle, responds to the whole depths of the human person, to his loftiest aspirations of intellect, will and heart. It does not speak the language of force, but expresses itself in charity and truth.

The new Successor of Peter in the See of Rome today raises a fervent, humble and trusting prayer: "Christ, make me become and remain the servant of your unique power, the servant of your sweet power, the servant of your power that knows no setting. Make me a servant: indeed, the servant of your servants."

Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power. Help the Supreme Pontiff and all those who wish to serve Christ and with Christ’s power to serve the human person and the whole human race.

Be not afraid. Open, I say open wide the doors to Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of states, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development. Be not afraid. Christ knows “that which is in man”. He alone knows it.

So often today, man does not know that which is in him, in the depths of his mind and heart. So often he is uncertain about the meaning of his life on this earth. He is assailed by doubt, a doubt which turns into despair. We ask you, therefore, we beg you with humility and with trust, let Christ speak to man. He alone has words of life, yes, of life eternal.

Responsory
Be not afraid. The Redeemer of the human race has revealed the power of the Cross
and has given his life for us.
—Open, open wide the doors to Christ.

In the Church we are called to participate in his power.
—Open, open wide the doors to Christ.

Prayer
O God, rich in mercy,
who willed that Pope Saint John Paul the Second
should preside over your universal Church,
grant, we pray, that instructed by his teaching,
we may confidently open our hearts to the saving grace of Christ,
the sole Redeemer of the human race.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

The English translation of Liturgical Texts for Saint John Paul II © 2017 International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.