John Paul II Novena: Day 2

This Holy Saturday, let us return to John Paul II’s words in regards to the women at the foot of the cross. Thinking about those women can be a very fruitful meditation as he demonstrates in today’s quote.

As we contemplate this Mother [Mary], whose heart “a sword has pierced” (cf. Lk 2: 35), our thoughts go to all the suffering women in the world, suffering either physically or morally. In this suffering a woman’s sensitivity plays a role, even though she often succeeds in resisting suffering better than a man. It is difficult to enumerate these sufferings; it is difficult to call them all by name. We may recall her maternal care for her children, especially when they fall sick or fall into bad ways; the death of those most dear to her; the loneliness of mothers forgotten by their grown up children; the loneliness of widows; the sufferings of women who struggle alone to make a living; and women who have been wronged or exploited. Then there are the sufferings of consciences as a result of sin, which has wounded the woman’s human or maternal dignity: the wounds of consciences which do not heal easily. With these sufferings too we must place ourselves at the foot of the Cross. – Mulieris Dignitatem 19

Mary near cross

If anyone knows where this image comes from, please let me know. I would love to attribute this beautiful, powerful painting properly.

Today, as Jesus lays in the tomb, let us remember all widows and other women who have recently lost people dear to them. Their loved ones are not currently in their sight. They can’t touch them or hear their voice, just as the disciples could not touch Jesus nor hear His voice. They live with uncertainty about the future, but hope that they will be reunited again with their loved one.

Let them gain strength through the prayers of John Paul II and the women at the foot of the cross. Give them the support of a strong, empathetic community. Help them to keep a hold of that hope, even when all seems dark.

As John Paul II tried to renew the ancient practice of consecrated widows and widowers, allow those who are called to lift up their suffering and unite it to Christ crucified. Help those who do support these women, however, to accept them in their mourning as everyone mourns differently.

Let us conclude by praying the Litany to John Paul II:

Kyrie eleison,
Christe eleison,
Kyrie eleison,
Christ hear us, Christ graciously hear us
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us
Blessed, John Paul II, pray for us
Perfect disciple of Christ, pray for us
Generously gifted with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, pray for us
Great apostle of Divine Mercy, pray for us
Faithful Son of Mary, pray for us
Totally dedicated to the Mother of God, pray for us
Persevering preacher of the Gospel, pray for us
Pilgrim Pope, pray for us
Pope of the Millennium, pray for us
Model of industry, pray for us
Model of priests, pray for us
Drawing strength from the Eucharist, pray for us
Untiring man of prayer, pray for us
Lover of the rosary, pray for us
Strength of those doubting their faith, pray for us
Desiring to unite all those who believe in Christ, pray for us
Converter of sinners, pray for us
Defender of the dignity of every person, pray for us
Defender of life from conception to natural death, pray for us
Praying for the gift of parenthood for the infertile, pray for us
Friend of children, pray for us
Leader of youth, pray for us
Intercessor of families, pray for us
Comforter of the suffering, pray for us
Manly bearing his pain, pray for us
Sower of divine joy, pray for us
Great intercessor for peace, pray for us
Pride of the Polish nation, pray for us
Brilliance of the Holy Church, pray for us
That we may be faithful imitators of Christ, pray for us
That we may be strong with the power of the Holy Spirit, pray for us
That we may have trust in the Mother of God, pray for us
That we may grow in our faith, hope, and charity, pray for us
That we may live in peace in our families, pray for us
That we may know how to forgive, pray for us
That we may know how to bear suffering, pray for us
That we may not succumb to the culture of death, pray for us
That we may not be afraid and courageously fight off various temptations, pray for us
That he would intercede for us the grace of a happy death, pray for us

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us

Pray for us, Venerable Blessed John Paul II
That we may become worthy of the promises of Christ

 We ask all of this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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