Easter Vigil 2002

This is the night of nights, the night of faith and of hope.  While all is shrouded in darkness, God – the Light – keeps watch.  With him there keep watch all who hope and trust in him.

O Mary,
this is truly your night!
As the last lights of the Sabbath are extinguished,
and the fruit of your womb rests in the earth,
your heart too keeps watch!
Your faith and your hope look ahead.
Behind the heavy stone,
they already detect the empty tomb;
behind the thick veil of darkness,
they glimpse the dawn of the Resurrection.
Grant, O Mother, that we too may keep watch in the silence of the night,
believing and hoping in the Lord’s word.
Thus shall we meet, in the fullness of light and life,
Christ, the first-fruits of the risen,
who reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
for ever and ever.
Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia!

[Source: L’Osservatore Romano,  April 3, 2002, English Edition]

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Mother of All Men and
Women and of All Peoples

O Mother of all men and women, and of all peoples, you who know all their sufferings and their hopes, you who have a mother's awareness of all the struggles between good and evil, between light and darkness, which afflict the modern world, accept the cry which we, moved by the Holy Spirit, address directly to your heart. Embrace with the love of the Mother and Handmaid of the Lord, this human world of ours, which we entrust and consecrate to you, for we are full of concern for the earthly and eternal destiny of individuals and peoples.

In a special way we entrust and consecrate to you those individuals and nations which particularly need to be thus entrusted and consecrated.

"We have recourse to your protection, holy Mother of God! Despise not our petitions in our necessities."

Behold, as we stand before you, Mother of Christ, before your Immaculate Heart, we desire, together with the whole Church, to unite ourselves with the consecration which, for love of us, your Son made of himself to the Father: "For their sake," he said, "I consecrate myself that they also may be consecrated in the truth" (Jn 17:19). We wish to unite ourselves with our Redeemer in this his consecration for the world and for the human race, which, in his divine heart, has the power to obtain pardon and to secure reparation.

The power of this consecration lasts for all time and embraces all individuals, peoples and nations. It overcomes every evil that the spirit of darkness is able to awaken, and has in fact awakened in our times, in the heart of man and in his history.

How deeply we feel the need for the consecration of humanity and the world--our modern world--in union with Christ himself! For the redeeming work of Christ must be shared in by the world through the Church. ...

Above all creatures, may you be blessed, you, the Handmaid of the Lord, who in the fullest way obeyed the divine call!

Hail to you, who are wholly united to the redeeming consecration of your Son!

Mother of the Church! Enlighten the People of God along the paths of faith, hope, and love! Enlighten especially the peoples whose consecration and entrustment by us you are awaiting. Help us to live in the truth of the consecration of Christ for the entire human family of the modern world.

In entrusting to you, O Mother, the world, all individuals and peoples, we also entrust to you this very consecration of the world, placing it in your motherly heart.

Immaculate Heart! Help us to conquer the menace of evil, which so easily takes root in the hearts of the people of today, and whose immeasurable effects already weigh down upon our modern world and seem to block the paths towards the future!

From famine and war, deliver us.

From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us.

From sins against the life of man from its very beginning, deliver us.

From hatred and from the demeaning of the dignity of the children of God, deliver us.

From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both national and international, deliver us.

From readiness to trample on the commandments of God, deliver us.

From attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of God, deliver us.

From the loss of awareness of good and evil, deliver us.

From sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us.

Accept, O Mother of Christ, this cry laden with the sufferings of all individual human beings, laden with the sufferings of whole societies.

Help us with the power of the Holy Spirit to conquer all sin: individual sin and the "sin of the world," sin in all its manifestations.

Let there be revealed, once more, in the history of the world the infinite saving power of the Redemption: the power of merciful Love! May it put a stop to evil! May it transform consciences! May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of Hope!

This prayer is a combination of prayers when the pope entrusted individuals and nations to Our Lady on the Jubilee Day for Families (2000): Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, VII, 1 (Vatican City, 1984), 775-777.

Find this prayer in its context on the Vatican web site at: www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith

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Oceania Prayer

O Mary, Help of Christians,
in our need we turn to you with eyes of love, 
with empty hands and longing hearts.
We look to you that we may see your Son, our Lord.
We lift our hands that we may have the bread of Life.
We open wide our hearts to receive the Prince of Peace. 
 

Mother of the church, your sons and daughters
thank you for your trusting word 
that echoes through the ages,
rising from an empty soul made full of grace, 
prepared by God to welcome the Word to the world
that the world itself might be reborn.
In you, the reign of God has dawned,
a reign of grace and peace, love and justice,
born from the depths of the Word made flesh.
The Church throughout the world joins you in praising him
whose mercy is from age to age.
 

O Stella Maris, light of every ocean and mistress of the deep,
guide the peoples of Oceania across all dark and stormy seas,
that they may reach the haven of peace and light
prepared in him who calmed the sea.
Keep all your children safe from harm 
for the waves are high and we are far from home.
As we set forth upon the oceans of the world 
and cross the deserts of our time,
show us, O Mary, the fruit of your womb,
for without your Son we are lost.
Pray that we will never fail on life's journey,
that in heart and mind, in word and deed,
in days of turmoil and in days of calm,
we will always look to Christ and say,
"Who is this that even wind and sea obey him?"
 

Our Lady of Peace, in whom all storms grow still,
pray at the dawn of the new millennium that the Church in Oceania
will not cease to show forth the glorious face of your Son,
full of grace and truth,
so that God will reign in the hearts of the Pacific peoples
and they will find peace in the world's true Savior.
 

Plead for the Church in Oceania
that she may have strength to follow faithfully 
the way of Jesus Christ,
to tell courageously the truth of Jesus Christ,
to live joyfully the life of Jesus Christ.
O Help of Christians, protect us!
Bright Star of the Sea, guide us!
Our Lady of Peace, pray for us!

--Conclusion to the Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Oceania, Pope John Paul II, November 22, 2001.

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O Mary, Bright Dawn of the New World

O Mary,
bright dawn of the new world,
Mother of the living,
to you do we entrust the cause of life:
Look down, O Mother,
upon the vast numbers
of babies not allowed to be born,
of the poor whose lives are made difficult,
of men and women
who are victims of brutal violence,
of the elderly and the sick killed
by indifference or out of misguided mercy.
Grant that all who believe in your Son
may proclaim the Gospel of life
with honesty and love
to the people of our time.
Obtain for them the grace
to accept that Gospel
as a gift ever new,
the joy of celebrating it with gratitude
throughout their lives
and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely, in order to build,
together with all people of good will,
the civilization of truth and love,
to the praise and glory of God,
the Creator and lover of life.

--Pope John Paul II, March 25, 1995

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O Most Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church

O Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church,
With joy and wonder we seek to make our own your Magnificat, joining you in your hymn of thankfulness and love.

With you we give thanks to God "whose mercy is from generation to generation," for the exalted vocation and the many forms of mission entrusted to the lay faithful. God has called each of them by name to live his own communion of love and holiness and to be one in the great family of God's children. He has sent them forth to shine with the light of Christ and to communicate the fire of the Spirit in every part of society through their life inspired by the Gospel.

O Virgin of the Magnificat, fill their hearts with a gratitude and enthusiasm for this vocation and mission. With humility and magnanimity you were the "handmaid of the Lord"; give us your unreserved willingness for service to God and the salvation of the world. Open our hearts to the great anticipation of the Kingdom of God and of the proclamation of the Gospel to the whole of creation. Your mother's heart is ever mindful of the many dangers and evils which threaten to overpower men and women in our time. At the same time your heart also takes notice of the many initiatives undertaken for good, the great yearning for values, and the progress achieved in bringing forth the abundant fruits of salvation.

O Virgin full of courage, may your spiritual strength and trust in God inspire us, so that we might know how to overcome all the obstacles that we encounter in accomplishing our mission. Teach us to treat the affairs of the world with a real sense of Christian responsibility and a joyful hope of the coming of God's Kingdom, and of a "new heavens and a new earth."

You who were gathered in prayer with the Apostles in the Cenacle, awaiting the coming of the spirit at Pentecost, implore his renewed outpouring on all the faithful, men and women alike, so that they might more fully respond to their vocation and mission, as branches engrafted to the true vine, called to bear much fruit for the life of the world.

O Virgin Mother, guide and sustain us so that we might always live as true sons and daughters of the Church of your son. Enable us to do our part in helping to establish on earth the civilization of truth and love, as God wills it, for his glory. Amen.

--John Paul II, Christifideles Laici, AAS 81 (1989): 393-591; "On the Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World," Boston: Daughters of St. Paul, 1989, 64.

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Our Lady of the Millennium, 
Mother of the Redeemer

Our Lady of the Millennium, Mother of the Redeemer,
with great joy we call you blessed.

In order to carry out His plan of salvation,
God the Father chose you before the creation of the world.
You believed in His love and obeyed His word.

The Son of God desired you for His Mother
when he became man to save the human race.
You received Him with ready obedience and undivided heart.

The Holy Spirit loved you as His mystical spouse
and He filled you with singular gifts.
You allowed yourself to be led
by His hidden and powerful action.

On the eve of the third Christian Millennium.
we entrust to you the Church
which acknowledges you and invokes you as Mother.

To you, Mother of the human family and of the nations,
we confidently entrust the whole of humanity,
with its hopes and fears.
Do not let it lack the light of true wisdom.
Guide its steps in the ways of peace.
Enable all to meet Christ,
the Way and the Truth and the Life.

Sustain us, O Virgin Mary, on our journey of faith
and obtain for us the grace of eternal salvation.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Mother of God and our Mother, Mary!

-- written by Pope John Paul II

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Marian Prayer Day by Day

Sunday

Mary, Mother of our Redeemer and Mother of the Church, we offer you the praise of the Angel of the Annunciation--Hail, full of grace! Through you the Holy Spirit gave this world Jesus its Savior--Son of God, Word made Flesh, Foundation of the Church.

Monday

Through you God's holy people, his Church on earth, appeal for light and strength in its pilgrimage of faith. You have gone before us on the same journey and are now glorified in heaven. Be for us who are still on that journey of faith a true Star of the Sea, leading us to the presence of your Son where he sits at the right hand of the Father, enthroned in glory.

Tuesday

You were the first to believe. You persevered in prayer with the disciples in the Upper Room. You were a unique witness to the mystery of Jesus. All generations have called you blessed. Now in this Marian year God's holy Church looks yet again to you for inspiration and help.

Wednesday

Be our Mother. Share with us your limitless faith. Take and keep us within your protective arms in a world that has largely lost faith and abandoned hope. Petition for us from your Son--as once you did so powerfully at Cana of Galilee--an increase of vocations to the priesthood and the religious life so that the Church may flourish in our time and thereby magnify his name. Touch the hearts of all our youth that they may see in every walk of life an opportunity to serve.

Thursday

Take from all our hearts the selfishness that sours relationships and keeps us centered only on ourselves. Give us hearts aflame with charity and filled with love. Make us, like the apostle John who was commended to your care, loving children of our heavenly Father, conscious always of your maternal presence in our lives.

Friday

Look favorably upon your children in our failure to provide the one flock under one shepherd for which Jesus prayed. Shine forth for us and for all the peoples as a sign of sure hope and solace as we strive to make our pilgrimage of faith hand in hand. Be our common Mother who prays for the unity of God's family. May we see in you our model of that obedience of faith which should be found in all who listen attentively to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.

Saturday

He who is mighty has done great things for you. Humbly we ask that you in turn may do for us these things for which we pray in the name and through the power of that most Holy Spirit who lives and reigns in the unity of the Father and the Son, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

-- written by Pope John Paul II

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Prayer for World Day of Peace
(Jan. 1, 2002)

"Salve, Madre santa!"
Virgin Daughter of Zion,
how deeply must your Mother's heart suffer for this bloodshed!

The child you embrace has a name that is dear to the peoples of biblical religion: "Jesus," which means "God saves."  So the Archangel named him before he was conceived in your womb (cf. Lk 2,21).  In the face of the newborn Messiah, we recognize the face of all your children, who suffer from being despised and exploited.  We recognize especially the faces of your children, to whatever race, nation or culture they may belong.

For them, O Mary, for their future, we ask you to move hearts hardened by hatred so that they may open to love and so that revenge may finally give way to forgiveness.

Obtain for us, O Mother, that the truth of this affirmation--No peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness--be engraved on every heart.  Thus the human family will be able to find the true peace that flows from the union of justice and mercy.

Holy Mother, Mother of the Prince of Peace, help us!
Mother of Humanity and Queen of Peace, pray for us!

Prayed at the conclusion of the homily during the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, and World Day of Peace, St. Peter's Basilica.  This translation: L'Osservatore Romano, January 9, 2002, p. 3.

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Marian Prayer for World Day of
Prayer for Vocations (May 11, 2003)

Mary, humble servant of God Most High,
the Son to whom you gave birth has made you the servant of humanity.
Your life was a humble and generous service.
You were servant of the Word when the angel
announced to you the divine plan of salvation.
You were servant of the Son, giving him life
and remaining open to his mystery.
You were servant of Redemption,
standing courageously at the foot of the Cross,
close to the Suffering Servant and Lamb,
who was sacrificing himself for love of us.
You were servant of the Church on the day of Pentecost
and with your intercession you continue to generate her in every believer,
even in these, our difficult and troubled times.
Let the young people of the third millennium look
to you, young daughter of Israel,
who have known the agitation of a young heart
when faced with the plan of the Eternal God.
Make them able to accept the invitation of your Son
to give their lives wholly for the glory of God.
Make them understand that to serve God satisfies the heart,
and that only in the service of God and of his kingdom
do we realize ourselves in accordance with the divine plan,
and life becomes a hymn of glory to the Most Holy Trinity.
Amen.

From the Vatican, October 16, 2002.
JOHN PAUL II
[Translation of Italian original issued by Vatican Press Office] 

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