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Novena to Blessed John Paul II

With the homilies at his funeral and beatification by Cardinal Ratzinger / Pope Benedict XVI.

Each day of the novena ends with John Paul II's Act of Entrustment to Mary (made on 8th October in the Jubilee Year 2000):

"O Mother, today we wish to entrust to you the future that awaits us,
and we ask you to be with us on our way.
We are the men and women of an extraordinary time,
exhilarating yet full of contradictions.
Humanity now has instruments of unprecedented power:
we can turn this world into a garden, or reduce it to a pile of rubble.
We have devised the astounding capacity to intervene in the very well-springs of life:
man can use this power for good, within the bounds of the moral law,
or he can succumb to the short-sighted pride of a science which accepts no limits,
but tramples on the respect due to every human being.
Today as never before in the past, humanity stands at a crossroads.
And once again, O Virgin Most Holy,
salvation lies fully and uniquely in Jesus, your Son.

Therefore, O Mother, like the Apostle John,
we wish to take you into our home,
that we may learn from you to become like your Son.
"Woman, behold your son!"
Here we stand before you to entrust to your maternal care
ourselves, the Church, the entire world.
Plead for us with your beloved Son
that he may give us in abundance the Holy Spirit,
the Spirit of truth which is the fountain of life.
Receive the Spirit for us and with us,
as happened in the first community gathered round you in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.
May the Spirit open our hearts to justice and love,
and guide people and nations to mutual understanding and a firm desire for peace.
We entrust to you all people, beginning with the weakest:
the babies yet unborn, and those born into poverty and suffering,
the young in search of meaning, the unemployed,
and those suffering hunger and disease.
We entrust to you all troubled families,
the elderly with no one to help them, and all who are alone and without hope.

O Mother, you know the sufferings and hopes of the Church and the world:
come to the aid of your children in the daily trials which life brings to each one,
and grant that, thanks to the efforts of all, the darkness will not prevail over the light.
To you, Dawn of Salvation, we commit our journey through the new Millennium,
so that with you as guide all people may know Christ,
the light of the world and its only Saviour,
who reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit
for ever and ever. Amen."

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This was recorded to begin on 13 October, leading up to the 1st feast day of Blessed John Paul, 22 October 2011.

Day 1 of Totus2us's Novena to Blessed John Paul II 

Beloved John Paul II, in his homily at your funeral, your dear friend and fellow bishop, Cardinal Ratzinger said:

""Follow me." The Risen Lord says these words to Peter. They are his last words to this disciple, chosen to shepherd his flock. "Follow me" – this lapidary saying of Christ can be taken as the key to understanding the message which comes to us from the life of our late beloved Pope John Paul II. ...

Follow me – as a young student Karol Wojtyla was thrilled by literature, the theatre, and poetry. Working in a chemical plant, surrounded and threatened by the Nazi terror, he heard the voice of the Lord: Follow me! In this extraordinary setting he began to read books of philosophy and theology, and then entered the clandestine seminary established by Cardinal Sapieha. After the war he was able to complete his studies in the faculty of theology of the Jagiellonian University of Kraków. How often, in his letters to priests and in his autobiographical books has he spoken to us about his priesthood, to which he was ordained on 1 November 1946. In these texts he interprets his priesthood with particular reference to three sayings of the Lord. First: "You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last" (Jn 15:16). The second saying is: "The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep" (Jn 10:11). And then: "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love" (Jn 15:9). In these three sayings we see the heart and soul of our Holy Father. He really went everywhere, untiringly, in order to bear fruit, fruit that lasts. "Rise, Let us be on our Way!" is the title of his next-to-last book. "Rise, let us be on our way!" – with these words he roused us from a lethargic faith, from the sleep of the disciples of both yesterday and today. "Rise, let us be on our way!" he continues to say to us even today. The Holy Father was a priest to the last, for he offered his life to God for his flock and for the entire human family, in a daily self-oblation for the service of the Church, especially amid the sufferings of his final months. And in this way he became one with Christ, the Good Shepherd who loves his sheep. Finally, "abide in my love:" the Pope who tried to meet everyone, who had an ability to forgive and to open his heart to all, tells us once again today, with these words of the Lord, that by abiding in the love of Christ we learn, at the school of Christ, the art of true love."

Blessed are you, beloved Pope John Paul II, because you believed! Continue, we implore you, to sustain from heaven the faith of God's people.

Beloved Blessed John Paul II, we thank you for all that you gave us and for all that we continue to receive through your intercession. We thank you for being a witness to the mercy of our heavenly Father, for being a true friend and disciple of Jesus who fully reveals man to man himself, and for being such an eloquent instrument of the Holy Spirit, having entrusted everything to Mary, the spouse of the Holy Spirit - Totus Tuus.

With you, we pray your act of entrustment to Mary ...

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John Paul II: "I would have liked to stay with you longer, but I find consolation in the words of Jesus. He tells us the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you. The Father sends his Spirit of truth and love into the world, and the Spirit guides us in the ways of peace. Therefore do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. Dear brothers and sisters, the Holy Spirit is with you."

Day 2 of Totus2us's Novena to Blessed John Paul II 

Beloved John Paul II, in his homily at your funeral, your dear friend and fellow bishop, Cardinal Ratzinger said:

""Follow me! In July 1958 the young priest Karol Wojtyla began a new stage in his journey with the Lord and in the footsteps of the Lord. Karol had gone to the Masuri lakes for his usual vacation, along with a group of young people who loved canoeing. But he brought with him a letter inviting him to call on the Primate of Poland, Cardinal Wyszynski. He could guess the purpose of the meeting: he was to be appointed as the auxiliary Bishop of Kraków. Leaving the academic world, leaving this challenging engagement with young people, leaving the great intellectual endeavour of striving to understand and interpret the mystery of that creature which is man and of communicating to today’s world the Christian interpretation of our being – all this must have seemed to him like losing his very self, losing what had become the very human identity of this young priest. Follow me – Karol Wojtyla accepted the appointment, for he heard in the Church’s call the voice of Christ. And then he realized how true are the Lord’s words: "Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it" (Lk 17:33). Our Pope – and we all know this – never wanted to make his own life secure, to keep it for himself; he wanted to give of himself unreservedly, to the very last moment, for Christ and thus also for us. And thus he came to experience how everything which he had given over into the Lord’s hands came back to him in a new way. His love of words, of poetry, of literature, became an essential part of his pastoral mission and gave new vitality, new urgency, new attractiveness to the preaching of the Gospel, even when it is a sign of contradiction."

Blessed are you, beloved Pope John Paul II, because you believed! Continue, we implore you, to sustain from heaven the faith of God's people.

Beloved Blessed John Paul II, we thank you for all that you gave us and for all that we continue to receive through your intercession. We thank you for being a witness to the mercy of our heavenly Father, for being a true friend and disciple of Jesus who fully reveals man to man himself, and for being such an eloquent instrument of the Holy Spirit, having entrusted everything to Mary, the spouse of the Holy Spirit - Totus Tuus.

With you, we pray your act of entrustment to Mary ...

Day 3 of Totus2us's Novena to Blessed John Paul II 

Beloved John Paul II, in his homily at your funeral, your dear friend and fellow bishop, Cardinal Ratzinger said:

"Follow me! In October 1978 Cardinal Wojtyla once again heard the voice of the Lord. Once more there took place that dialogue with Peter reported in the Gospel of this Mass: "Simon, son of John, do you love me? Feed my sheep!" To the Lord’s question, "Karol, do you love me?," the Archbishop of Krakow answered from the depths of his heart: "Lord you know everything; you know that I love you." The love of Christ was the dominant force in the life of our beloved Holy Father. Anyone who ever saw him pray, who ever heard him preach, knows that. Thanks to his being profoundly rooted in Christ, he was able to bear a burden which transcends merely human abilities: that of being the shepherd of Christ’s flock, his universal Church. This is not the time to speak of the specific content of this rich pontificate. I would like only to read two passages of today’s liturgy which reflect central elements of his message. In the first reading, Saint Peter says – and with Saint Peter, the Pope himself – "I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ - he is Lord of all" (Acts10:34-36). And in the second reading, Saint Paul – and with Saint Paul, our late Pope – exhorts us, crying out: "My brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and my crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved" (Phil 4:1)."

Blessed are you, beloved Pope John Paul II, because you believed! Continue, we implore you, to sustain from heaven the faith of God's people.

Beloved Blessed John Paul II, we thank you for all that you gave us and for all that we continue to receive through your intercession. We thank you for being a witness to the mercy of our heavenly Father, for being a true friend and disciple of Jesus who fully reveals man to man himself, and for being such an eloquent instrument of the Holy Spirit, having entrusted everything to Mary, the spouse of the Holy Spirit - Totus Tuus.

With you, we pray your act of entrustment to Mary ...

Day 4 of Totus2us's Novena to Blessed John Paul II 

Beloved John Paul II, in his homily at your funeral, your dear friend and fellow bishop, Cardinal Ratzinger said:

"Follow me! Together with the command to feed his flock, Christ proclaimed to Peter that he would die a martyr’s death. With those words, which conclude and sum up the dialogue on love and on the mandate of the universal shepherd, the Lord recalls another dialogue, which took place during the Last Supper. There Jesus had said: "Where I am going, you cannot come." Peter said to him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus replied: "Where I am going, you cannot follow me now; but you will follow me afterward." (Jn 13:33,36). Jesus from the Supper went towards the Cross, went towards his resurrection – he entered into the paschal mystery; and Peter could not yet follow him. Now – after the resurrection – comes the time, comes this "afterward." By shepherding the flock of Christ, Peter enters into the paschal mystery, he goes towards the cross and the resurrection. The Lord says this in these words: "... when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go" (Jn 21:18). In the first years of his pontificate, still young and full of energy, the Holy Father went to the very ends of the earth, guided by Christ. But afterwards, he increasingly entered into the communion of Christ’s sufferings; increasingly he understood the truth of the words: "Someone else will fasten a belt around you." And in this very communion with the suffering Lord, tirelessly and with renewed intensity, he proclaimed the Gospel, the mystery of that love which goes to the end (cf Jn 13:1)."

Blessed are you, beloved Pope John Paul II, because you believed! Continue, we implore you, to sustain from heaven the faith of God's people.

Beloved Blessed John Paul II, we thank you for all that you gave us and for all that we continue to receive through your intercession. We thank you for being a witness to the mercy of our heavenly Father, for being a true friend and disciple of Jesus who fully reveals man to man himself, and for being such an eloquent instrument of the Holy Spirit, having entrusted everything to Mary, the spouse of the Holy Spirit - Totus Tuus.

With you, we pray your act of entrustment to Mary ...

Day 5 of Totus2us's Novena to Blessed John Paul II 

Beloved John Paul II, in his homily at your funeral, your dear friend and fellow bishop, Cardinal Ratzinger said:

"He interpreted for us the paschal mystery as a mystery of divine mercy. In his last book, he wrote: The limit imposed upon evil "is ultimately Divine Mercy" (Memory and Identity, pp. 60-61). And reflecting on the assassination attempt, he said: "In sacrificing himself for us all, Christ gave a new meaning to suffering, opening up a new dimension, a new order: the order of love ... It is this suffering which burns and consumes evil with the flame of love and draws forth even from sin a great flowering of good" (pp. 189-190). Impelled by this vision, the Pope suffered and loved in communion with Christ, and that is why the message of his suffering and his silence proved so eloquent and so fruitful."

Blessed are you, beloved Pope John Paul II, because you believed! Continue, we implore you, to sustain from heaven the faith of God's people.

Beloved Blessed John Paul II, we thank you for all that you gave us and for all that we continue to receive through your intercession. We thank you for being a witness to the mercy of our heavenly Father, for being a true friend and disciple of Jesus who fully reveals man to man himself, and for being such an eloquent instrument of the Holy Spirit, having entrusted everything to Mary, the spouse of the Holy Spirit - Totus Tuus.

With you, we pray your act of entrustment to Mary ...

Day 6 of Totus2us's Novena to Blessed John Paul II 

Beloved John Paul II, in his homily at your funeral, your dear friend and fellow bishop, Cardinal Ratzinger said:

"Divine Mercy: the Holy Father found the purest reflection of God’s mercy in the Mother of God. He, who at an early age had lost his own mother, loved his divine mother all the more. He heard the words of the crucified Lord as addressed personally to him: "Behold your Mother." And so he did as the beloved disciple did: he took her into his own home" (eis ta idia: Jn 19:27) – Totus tuus. And from the mother he learned to conform himself to Christ."

Blessed are you, beloved Pope John Paul II, because you believed! Continue, we implore you, to sustain from heaven the faith of God's people.

Beloved Blessed John Paul II, we thank you for all that you gave us and for all that we continue to receive through your intercession. We thank you for being a witness to the mercy of our heavenly Father, for being a true friend and disciple of Jesus who fully reveals man to man himself, and for being such an eloquent instrument of the Holy Spirit, having entrusted everything to Mary, the spouse of the Holy Spirit - Totus Tuus.

With you, we pray your act of entrustment to Mary ...

Day 7 of Totus2us's Novena to Blessed John Paul II 

Beloved John Paul II, in his homily at your beatification, your dear friend and fellow bishop, Pope Benedict XVI said:

"“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe” (Jn 20:29). In today’s Gospel Jesus proclaims this beatitude: the beatitude of faith. For us, it is particularly striking because we are gathered to celebrate a beatification, but even more so because today the one proclaimed blessed is a Pope, a Successor of Peter, one who was called to confirm his brethren in the faith. John Paul II is blessed because of his faith, a strong, generous and apostolic faith. We think at once of another beatitude: “Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven” (Mt 16:17). What did our heavenly Father reveal to Simon? That Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Because of this faith, Simon becomes Peter, the rock on which Jesus can build his Church. The eternal beatitude of John Paul II, which today the Church rejoices to proclaim, is wholly contained in these sayings of Jesus: “Blessed are you, Simon” and “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe!” It is the beatitude of faith, which John Paul II also received as a gift from God the Father for the building up of Christ’s Church.

Our thoughts turn to yet another beatitude, one which appears in the Gospel before all others. It is the beatitude of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of the Redeemer. Mary, who had just conceived Jesus, was told by Saint Elizabeth: “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord” (Lk 1:45). The beatitude of faith has its model in Mary, and all of us rejoice that the beatification of John Paul II takes place on this first day of the month of Mary, beneath the maternal gaze of the one who by her faith sustained the faith of the Apostles and constantly sustains the faith of their successors, especially those called to occupy the Chair of Peter. Mary does not appear in the accounts of Christ’s resurrection, yet hers is, as it were, a continual, hidden presence: she is the Mother to whom Jesus entrusted each of his disciples and the entire community. In particular we can see how Saint John and Saint Luke record the powerful, maternal presence of Mary in the passages preceding those read in today’s Gospel and first reading. In the account of Jesus’ death, Mary appears at the foot of the cross (Jn 19:25), and at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles she is seen in the midst of the disciples gathered in prayer in the Upper Room (Acts 1:14)."

Blessed are you, beloved Pope John Paul II, because you believed! Continue, we implore you, to sustain from heaven the faith of God's people.

Beloved Blessed John Paul II, we thank you for all that you gave us and for all that we continue to receive through your intercession. We thank you for being a witness to the mercy of our heavenly Father, for being a true friend and disciple of Jesus who fully reveals man to man himself, and for being such an eloquent instrument of the Holy Spirit, having entrusted everything to Mary, the spouse of the Holy Spirit - Totus Tuus.

With you, we pray your act of entrustment to Mary ...

Day 8 of Totus2us's Novena to Blessed John Paul II 

Beloved John Paul II, in his homily at your beatification, your dear friend and fellow bishop, Pope Benedict XVI said:

"Today’s second reading also speaks to us of faith. Saint Peter himself, filled with spiritual enthusiasm, points out to the newly-baptized the reason for their hope and their joy. I like to think how in this passage, at the beginning of his first Letter, Peter does not use language of exhortation; instead, he states a fact. He writes: “you rejoice”, and he adds: “you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for youare receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet 1:6, 8-9). All these verbs are in the indicative, because a new reality has come about in Christ’s resurrection, a reality to which faith opens the door. “This is the Lord’s doing”, says the Psalm (118:23), and “it is marvelous in our eyes”, the eyes of faith.

Dear brothers and sisters, today our eyes behold, in the full spiritual light of the risen Christ, the beloved and revered figure of John Paul II. Today his name is added to the host of those whom he proclaimed saints and blesseds during the almost 27 years of his pontificate, thereby forcefully emphasizing the universal vocation to the heights of the Christian life, to holiness, taught by the conciliar Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium. All of us, as members of the people of God – bishops, priests, deacons, laity, men and women religious – are making our pilgrim way to the heavenly homeland where the Virgin Mary has preceded us, associated as she was in a unique and perfect way to the mystery of Christ and the Church. Karol Wojtyla took part in the Second Vatican Council, first as an auxiliary Bishop and then as Archbishop of Kraków. He was fully aware that the Council’s decision to devote the last chapter of its Constitution on the Church to Mary meant that the Mother of the Redeemer is held up as an image and model of holiness for every Christian and for the entire Church. This was the theological vision which Blessed John Paul II discovered as a young man and subsequently maintained and deepened throughout his life. A vision which is expressed in the scriptural image of the crucified Christ with Mary, his Mother, at his side. This icon from the Gospel of John (19:25-27) was taken up in the episcopal and later the papal coat-of-arms of Karol Wojtyla: a golden cross with the letter “M” on the lower right and the motto“Totus tuus”, drawn from the well-known words of St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort in which Karol Wojtyla found a guiding light for his life: “Totus tuus ego sum et omnia mea tua sunt. Accipio te in mea omnia. Praebe mihi cor tuum, Maria – I am totally yours and all that I have is yours. I accept you for my all. O Mary, give me your heart.”

Blessed are you, beloved Pope John Paul II, because you believed! Continue, we implore you, to sustain from heaven the faith of God's people.

Beloved Blessed John Paul II, we thank you for all that you gave us and for all that we continue to receive through your intercession. We thank you for being a witness to the mercy of our heavenly Father, for being a true friend and disciple of Jesus who fully reveals man to man himself, and for being such an eloquent instrument of the Holy Spirit, having entrusted everything to Mary, the spouse of the Holy Spirit - Totus Tuus.

With you, we pray your act of entrustment to Mary ...

Day 9 of Totus2us's Novena to Blessed John Paul II 

Beloved John Paul II, in his homily at your beatification, your dear friend and fellow bishop, Pope Benedict XVI said:

"In his Testament, the new Blessed wrote: “When, on 16 October 1978, the Conclave of Cardinals chose John Paul II, the Primate of Poland, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, said to me: ‘The task of the new Pope will be to lead the Church into the Third Millennium’”. And the Pope added: “I would like once again to express my gratitude to the Holy Spirit for the great gift of the Second Vatican Council, to which, together with the whole Church – and especially with the whole episcopate – I feel indebted. I am convinced that it will long be granted to the new generations to draw from the treasures that this Council of the twentieth century has lavished upon us. As a Bishop who took part in the Council from the first to the last day, I desire to entrust this great patrimony to all who are and will be called in the future to put it into practice. For my part, I thank the Eternal Shepherd, who has enabled me to serve this very great cause in the course of all the years of my Pontificate”. And what is this “cause”? It is the same one that John Paul II presented during his first solemn Mass in Saint Peter’s Square in the unforgettable words: “Do not be afraid! Open, open wide the doors to Christ!” What the newly-elected Pope asked of everyone, he was himself the first to do: society, culture, political and economic systems he opened up to Christ, turning back with the strength of a titan – a strength which came to him from God – a tide which appeared irreversible. By his witness of faith, love and apostolic courage, accompanied by great human charisma, this exemplary son of Poland helped believers throughout the world not to be afraid to be called Christian, to belong to the Church, to speak of the Gospel. In a word: he helped us not to fear the truth, because truth is the guarantee of liberty. To put it even more succinctly: he gave us the strength to believe in Christ, because Christ is Redemptor hominis, the Redeemer of man. This was the theme of his first encyclical, and the thread which runs though all the others.

When Karol Wojtyla ascended to the throne of Peter, he brought with him a deep understanding of the difference between Marxism and Christianity, based on their respective visions of man. This was his message: man is the way of the Church, and Christ is the way of man. With this message, which is the great legacy of the Second Vatican Council and of its “helmsman”, the Servant of God Pope Paul VI, John Paul II led the People of God across the threshold of the Third Millennium, which thanks to Christ he was able to call “the threshold of hope”. Throughout the long journey of preparation for the great Jubilee he directed Christianity once again to the future, the future of God, which transcends history while nonetheless directly affecting it. He rightly reclaimed for Christianity that impulse of hope which had in some sense faltered before Marxism and the ideology of progress. He restored to Christianity its true face as a religion of hope, to be lived in history in an “Advent” spirit, in a personal and communitarian existence directed to Christ, the fullness of humanity and the fulfillment of all our longings for justice and peace."

Blessed are you, beloved Pope John Paul II, because you believed! Continue, we implore you, to sustain from heaven the faith of God's people.

Beloved Blessed John Paul II, we thank you for all that you gave us and for all that we continue to receive through your intercession. We thank you for being a witness to the mercy of our heavenly Father, for being a true friend and disciple of Jesus who fully reveals man to man himself, and for being such an eloquent instrument of the Holy Spirit, having entrusted everything to Mary, the spouse of the Holy Spirit - Totus Tuus.

With you, we pray your act of entrustment to Mary ...