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Feast Day of St. John Paul II – Our Spiritual Father

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Our Spiritual Father

Today we celebrate the feast of St. John Paul II, spiritual father of our small religious family.

He was a light that shone in the world during his pontificate, and he continues to be a beacon of clarity and hope in today’s modern world. He understood the “signs of the times” and clearly pointed the way for the Church through these times.

He is our spiritual father because our religious family had the grace to be born during his pontificate and because his magisterium and teachings illuminate, and in a sense, are the very “soul” of our charism and spirituality (in our constitutions St. John Paul II is cited more than 1,100 times).

As we celebrate his feast day today with the whole Church, we ask you to join us in praying for our Religious Family, through his intercession, that we may always be faithful and persevering missionaries and evangelizers of the culture.

Prayer to St. John Paul II for our Religious Family

Saint John Paul the Great,

Spiritual Father, under whose pontificate
Divine Providence willed our Religious Family to be born,
Singular teacher of Truth, in “whose magisterium we satiate our thirst for fidelity to the Lord” [1];

Good Shepherd, who guided the world that it might open its doors to Christ,
Untiring  Missionary who,  with  your  example,  taught  us “not  to  be  evasive  to  the  missionary adventure” [2],
Slave and apostle of Mary from whom, in the school of St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, we learned to say every day: Totus Tuus Maria [3];

We, your children in the Incarnate Word,
invoke you as our heavenly intercessor
and take refuge in the shelter of your fatherly care:

Vicar of Christ, who told us: Do not be afraid! Christ knows what is in man [4],
protect and defend us.

Great evangelizer of the culture, who gave us your example,
working unceasingly that “the very power of the Gospel
should permeate patterns of thought, standards of judgement,
and norms of behavior” [5],
strengthen our missionary efforts and make them fruitful;

Friend of the Youth, whom you sought out,
moved by zeal’s urgings,
make us generous witnesses of the Incarnate Word,
adept in promoting vocations,
offering a faithful and joyful witness of consecrated life,
carrying out our discernment with generosity,
and our proper apostolates with seriousness,
and working together in fraternal communion [6];

Pontiff of the Family [7],accompany and sustain this, your family,
the Family of the Incarnate Word
that we may remain, both now and forever united to the Rock, who is Christ [8].

Hero of the Church, who with courage required by fidelity to Christ
knew how to guide the People of God
not towards those artificial paradises,
which, without God or His holy law [9], turn against man,
but rather towards the Kingdom of Christ
which one conquers through the cross.

We ask you the grace that we too may be courageous and fervent in announcing Christ,
never bargaining, never compromising, never yielding,
never negotiating, nor doing any business with the spirit of the world. [10]

Truly perfect and holy man, grant through your intercession
the grace of perseverance in our faithfulness to Christ and the Gospel,
which is always faithfulness to the Church and to her mission in the world,
faithfulness to religious life and to the particular Charism of our Institute,
faithfulness to man and to our times. [11]

All of this we ask of God, One and Three, through your intercession.
Amen.

St. John Paul the Great, pray for us!

[1] Directory of Vocations, 78.

[2] Directory of Spirituality, 216.

[3] Constitutions, 19.

[4] Homily of Pontifical Inauguration of PopeJohn Paul II(10/22/1978).

[5] SAINT JOHN PAUL II,  Apostolic  Letter Sapientia  Christiana,  on Universities  and  Ecclesial  Faculties  (04/15/1979),  1 OR (03/06/1979), 7. Cited in the Constitutions, 26.

[6] Directory of Consecrated Life, 308.

[7] FRANCIS, Homily of Canonization of Pope John XIII and Pope John Paul II (04/27/2014).

[8] Constitutions, 7; op. cit. Cf. 1 Co 10, 4.

[9] Cf. SAINT JOHN PAUL II, Homily during the mass celebrated in the explanada Xico del Valle de Chalco(07/05/1990).

[10] Cf. Directory of Spirituality, 118.

[11] Cf. On the Formation of Religious Institutes, 18; cited inThe Directory of Consecrated Life, 362.