Christ, the Way of Conversion, Communion,
and Solidarity in America

We thank you, Lord Jesus,
because the Gospel of the Father's love,
with which you came to save the world,
has been proclaimed far and wide in America
as a gift of the Holy Spirit
that fills us with gladness.

We thank you for the gift of your Life,
which you have given us by loving us to the end:
your Life makes us children of God,
brothers and sisters to each other.
Increase, O Lord, our faith and our love for you,
present in all the tabernacles of the continent.

Grant us to be faithful witnesses
to your Resurrection
for the younger generation of Americans,
so that, in knowing you, they may follow you
and find in you their peace and joy.
Only then will they know that they
are brothers and sisters
of all God's children scattered
—throughout the world.

You who, in becoming man,
chose to belong to a human family,
teach families the virtues which filled with light
the family home of Nazareth.

May families always be united,
as you and the Father are one,
and may they be living witnesses
to love, justice and solidarity;
make them schools of respect,
forgiveness and mutual help,
so that the world may believe;
help them to be the source of vocations
to the priesthood and the consecrated life,
and all the other forms
of firm Christian commitment.

Protect your Church and the Successor of Peter,
to whom you, Good Shepherd, have entrusted
the task of feeding your flock.
Grant that the Church in America may flourish
and grow richer in the fruits of holiness.

Teach us to love your Mother, Mary,
as you loved her.
Give us strength to proclaim
your word with courage
in the work of the new evangelization,
so that the world may know new hope.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America,
pray for us!

-- Given at Mexico City, January 22, in the year 1999, the twenty-first of my Pontificate.

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The Marian Prayer of Pope John Paul II

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 filled you with singular gifts.
You allowed yourself to be led
by His hidden 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 human family and of the nations,
we confidently entrust the whole 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, 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!

-- John Paul II

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To You, O Mary!

Prayers of Consecration Kneeling before the image of Our Lady "Salus Populi Romani," at the end of the Mass he celebrated in the Basilica of St. Mary Major on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the Holy Father renewed the act of consecration of the Church and the world to Mary. Part of the Holy Father's prayer is printed below:

Prayers of Consecration O Mother of men and peoples, you know all their sufferings and their hopes, you feel in a motherly way all the struggles between good and evil, between the light and the darkness which shakes the world, accept our cry addressed in the Holy Spirit directly to your heart and embrace with the love of the Mother and the Handmaid of the Lord the peoples who await this embrace the most, and likewise the peoples whose consecration you too are particularly awaiting. Take under your motherly protection the whole human family which we can consecrate to you, O mother, with affectionate rapture. May the time of peace and freedom, the time of truth, justice and hope, approach for everyone.

Prayers of Consecration O you, who are the first handmaid of the unity of the Body of Christ, help us, help all the faithful, who feel so painful the drama of divisions of Christianity to seek with constancy the way to the perfect unity of the Body of Christ by means of unconditional faithfulness to the Spirit of Truth and Love, which was given to them by your Son at the cost of the cross and death.

Prayers of Consecration O you, who are so deeply and maternally bound to the Church, preceding the whole People of God along the ways of faith, hope and charity, embrace all men who are on the way, pilgrims through temporal life towards eternal destinies, with that love which the divine Redeemer himself, you Son, poured into your heart from the cross. Be the Mother of all our earthly lives, even when they become tortuous, in order that we may all find ourselves, in the end in that large community which you Son called the fold, offering his life for it as the Good Shepherd.

Prayers of Consecration O you, who were with the Church at the beginning of her mission, intercede for her in order that going all over the world she may continually teach all the nations and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.

Prayers of Consecration O you, who have known in the fullest way the power of the Holy Spirit, when it was granted to you to conceive in your virginal womb and to give birth to the Eternal Word, obtain for the Church that she may continue to give new birth through water and the Holy Spirit to the sons and daughters of the whole human family, without any distinction of language, race, or culture, giving them in this way the "power to be come with children of God." (Jn. 1:12).

Prayers of Consecration O you, who have always wished to serve! You who serve as Mother the whole family of the children of God, obtain for the Church that enriched by the Holy Spirit with the fullness of hierarchical and charismatic gifts, she may continue with constancy towards the future along the way of that renewal which comes from what the Holy Spirit says and which found expression in the teaching of Vatican II, assuming in this work of renewal everything that is true and good, without letting herself be deceived either in on direction or in the other, but discerning assiduously among the signs of the times what is useful for the coming of the Kingdom of God.

Prayers of Consecration O you, who--through the mystery of your particular holiness, free of all stain from the moment of your conception--feel in a particularly deep way that "the whole creation has been groaning in travail" (Rom. 8:22), while, "subjected to futility," "it hopes that it will be set free from its bondage to decay" (Rom. 8:20-21), you contribute unceasingly to the "revealing of the sons of God," for whom "the creation awaits with eager longing" (Rom. 8:19), to enter the freedom of their joy (cf. Rom. 8:21).

Prayers of Consecration O Mother of Jesus, now glorified in heaven in body and in soul, as the image and beginning of the Church, which is to have its fulfillment in the future age--here on earth, until the day of the Lord comes (cf. 2 Pt. 3:10), do not cease to shine before the pilgrim people of God as a sign of sure hope and consolation (cf. Lumen Gentium, 68).

Prayers of Consecration O you, who more than any other human being have been consecrated to the Holy Spirit, help your Son's Church to persevere in the same consecration.

Prayers of Consecration Holy Spirit of God, Who are worshipped and glorified with the Father and Son! Accept these words of humble consecration addressed to You in the heart of Mary of Nazareth, Your bride and mother of the Redeemer, whom the Church too calls her Mother, because right from the Upper Room at Pentecost she has learned from Her, her own motherly vocation! Accept these words of the pilgrim Church, uttered amid toils and joys, fears and hopes.

-- written by His Holiness, Pope John Paul II
Reprinted in Soul Magazine, March-April 1982

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Act of Entrustment to Mary

On Sunday, October 8, 2000, at the conclusion of the Jubilee of the Bishops, Pope John Paul II and the bishops entrusted themselves and the Church in the new millennium to Mary.

1. "Woman, behold your Son!" (Jn 19:26).
As we near the end of this Jubilee Year,
when you, O Mother, have offered us Jesus anew,
the blessed fruit of your womb most pure,
the Word made flesh, the world's Redeemer,
we hear more clearly the sweet echo of his words
entrusting us to you, making you our Mother:
"Woman, behold your Son!"
When he entrusted to you the Apostle John,
and with him the children of the Church and all people,
Christ did not diminish but affirmed anew
the role which is his alone as the Saviour of the world.
You are the splendor which in no way dims the light of Christ,
for you exist in him and through him.
Everything in you is fiat: you are the Immaculate One,
through you there shines the fullness of grace.
Here, then, are your children, gathered before you
at the dawn of the new millennium.
The Church today, through the voice of the Successor of Peter,
in union with so many Pastors assembled here
from every corner of the world,
seeks refuge in your motherly protection
and trustingly begs your intercession
as she faces the challenges which lie hidden in the future.

2. In this year of grace, countless people have known
the overflowing joy of the mercy
which the Father has given us in Christ.
In the particular Churches throughout the world,
and still more in this centre of Christianity,
the widest array of people have accepted this gift.
Here the enthusiasm of the young rang out,
here the sick have lifted up their prayer.
Here have gathered priests and religious,
artists and journalists,
workers and people of learning,
children and adults,
and all have acknowledged in your beloved Son
the Word of God made flesh in your womb.
O Mother, intercede for us,
that the fruits of this Year will not be lost
and that the seeds of grace will grow
to the full measure of the holiness
to which we are all called.

3. 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.

4. Therefore, O Mother, like the Apostle John,
we wish to take you into our home (cf. Jn 19:27),
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 (cf. Acts 1:14).
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.

5. 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.

- initially published on the Vatican website,Sunday October 8, 2000

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To Our Lady for Christian Unity

The Essential Mary Handbook : a summary of beliefs, practices, and prayers : with a glossary of key terms and cross-referenced to the Catechism of the Catholic Church / [edited and compiled by Judith A. Bauer] Imprint Liguori, Mo. : Liguori Publications, c1999, BX2160.2 .E88 1999 , p. 127+

Spouse of the Holy Spirit and Seat of Wisdom, help us
in the great endeavor that we are carrying out to meet 
on a more and more mature way our brothers and sisters
in the faith, with whom so many things unite us, 
although there is still something dividing us. Through
all the means of knowledge, of mutual respect, of love,
shared collaboration in various fields, may we be able to
rediscover gradually the divine plan for the unity in 
which we should enter. Mother of unity, teach us
constantly the ways that lead to unity.

Allow us in the future to go out to meet human beings
and all the peoples that are seeking God and wishing to
serve him on the way of different religions. Help us all 
to proclaim Christ.

Mother of Good Counsel, show us always how we are to
serve the individual and humanity in every nation, how 
we are to lead them along the ways of salvation. How 
we are to protect justice and peace in a world 
continually threatened on various sides. Let us entrust 
to you all the difficult problems of the societies, 
systems, and states–problems that cannot be solved 
with hatred, war and self-destruction but only by peace,
justice, and respect for the rights of people and nations.

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To Our Lady, Mother of Advent

O Mother of our Advent, be with us and see to it
that he will remain with us in this difficult Advent
of the struggles for truth and hope, for justice
and peace: He, alone, Emmanuel.

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Prayer to Our Lady of Evangelization

O Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mother of his Church, we 
are mindful of the role you play in the evangelization 
of souls who do not yet know Him. We are mindful of 
how missionaries came with the power of Christ’s 
Gospel and committed the success of their work to you. 
As the Mother of Divine Grace you were with the 
missionaries in all their efforts.

And as Mother of the Church you presided over all the
activities of evangelization and over the implantation of 
the Gospel in the hearts of the faithful. You sustained 
the missionaries in hope and you gave joy to every new 
community that was born of the Church’s evangelizing activity.
You were there with your intercession and your prayers, 
as the first grace of baptism developed, and as those 
who had new life in Christ your Son came to a full 
appreciation of their Christian calling.

We ask you, Mary, to help us to fulfill this mission of 
evangelization which your Son has given to his Church 
and which falls to us. Mindful of your role as Help of 
Christians, we entrust ourselves to you in the work of 
carrying the Gospel ever deeper into the hearts and
lives of all the people. We entrust to you our 
missionary mandate and commit our cause totally to your prayers.
To Jesus Christ your Son, with the Father, in the unity 
of the Holy Spirit be praise and thanksgiving forever and ever. Amen.

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Prayer to Our Lady of Aparecida

Lady Aparecida, a son of yours who belongs to you 
unreservedly–totus tuus–called by the mysterious plan 
of Providence to be the Vicar of your Son on earth, 
wishes to address you at this moment. He recalls with
emotion, because of the brown color of this image of 
yours, another image of yours, the Black Virgin of  Jasna Gora.

Mother of God and our Mother, protect the Church, 
the Pope, the bishops, the priests and all the faithful 
people; welcome under your protecting mantle men and
women religious, families, children, young people, and 
their educations.

Health of the sick and Consoler of the afflicted, 
comfort those who are suffering in body and soul; 
be the light of those who are seeking Christ, the 
Redeemer of all; show all people that you are 
the Mother of our confidence.

Queen of Peace and Mirror of Justice, obtain peace 
for the world, ensure that Brazil and all countries may have 
lasting peace, that we will always live together as 
brothers and sisters and as children of God.

Our Lady Aparecida, bless all your sons and daughters 
who pray and sing to you here and elsewhere. Amen.

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Prayer at the Lourdes Grotto
in the Vatican Gardens

O blessed Virgin, Mother of God, Mother of Christ, 
Mother of the Church, look upon us mercifully at this hour.
Virgin faithful, pray for us. Teach us to believe as you 
believed. Make our faith in God, in Christ, in the 
Church, always to be serene, courageous, strong, and generous.
Mother worthy of love. Mother of faithful love, pray 
for us. Teach us to love God and our brothers and sisters 
as you loved them: make our love for others to be 
always patient, kindly, and respectful.
Cause of our joy, pray for us. Teach us to be able to 
grasp, in faith, the paradox of Christian joy, which 
springs up and blooms from sorrow, renunciation, and
union with your sacrificed Son. Make our joy to be 
always genuine and full, in order to be able to
communicate it to all.   Amen.

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