World Youth Day is coming up in less than three weeks in Krakow, Poland.
This massive event, started by Pope St. John Paul II, is hosted only every three years and draws millions of young Catholics. It’s a time for deepening their faith, discovering or rediscovering it, making friendships and connections with other Catholics across the world.
Can We Get 100,000 Amens?
One of the pilgrims going to World Youth Day downloaded my Pray Novenas app and then requested that I add Pope St. John Paul II in time for WYD.
But then I thought: what if could get 100,000 Catholics around the world praying this novena for World Youth Day and the pilgrims? How awesome would that be?
Pope St. John Paul II grew up in Poland, is the patron of WYD, and was archbishop of Krakow before becoming Pope, so he is the perfect saint to ask for prayers for this great event.
Be Not Afraid!
Pope St. John Paul II was the Pope that led my wife to discover authentic Catholicism. He was the Pope who I looked to as I contemplated becoming Catholic. His life was an inspiration to us and hundreds of millions of young Catholics around the world.
He told us that he believed in us, to not be afraid, to put out into the deep, to love Christ and others. And that is exactly what we have sought to do in our lives.
I’m too old for WYD now. The baton has passed to a younger generation, but I am hopeful and excited for the kindling of their faith by the power of the Holy Spirit during this event.
Let us pray for them, for protection against forces of wickedness, for growth in faith, for the discovering of vocations, for healing and for wisdom.
Join this massive outpouring of prayer and share this post with your Catholic friends to invite them to join in as well.
If you can’t pray with us, simply reference the novena below.
Novena to Pope St. John Paul II for WYD
(Credit for the prayers of this novena go to the JP2 Falcons and the John Paul II Training Center.)
Pope St. John Paul II was born Karol Wojtyla in 1920 in Poland. His mother died when he was a boy, and then as a late teen he faced the Nazi occupation of Poland.
In spite of the Nazis, he studied for the priesthood and was ordained in 1946. He went on to become auxiliary bishop of Krakow in 1958, and four years later was influential in the Second Vatican Council. In the 1960s he became Archbishop of Krakow then was elevated to the College of Cardinals.
After the surprising death of Pope John Paul I in 1978, Pope St. John Paul II was elected bishop of Rome, the first non-Italian pope in over 450 years.
JPII’s great love and wisdom inspired youth around the world. He tirelessly visited countless countries, bringing hope to people and spreading the Gospel of Christ.
He inaugurated World Youth Day, and every three years millions of young Catholics flock to the destination where the Pope leads them to go deeper in their faith.
Pope St. John Paul II died in April 2005.
Intro prayer for each day
O Blessed Trinity, we thank you for having graced the Church with Saint John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your fatherly care, the glory of the Cross of Christ and the splendor of the Spirit of love to shine through him.
Trusting fully in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd. He has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you.
Grant us, by his intercession, and according to your will, the graces we implore (mention your intention here), through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Dear St. John Paul II, you told us: The future starts today, not tomorrow. So, as we start our nine days with you, thank you for reminding me that with God’s Help, I can start again, but I need to start now, not at some point in the future. Your words are encouraging and motivating to me. Please be with me as I progress through these nine days in prayer with you.
Dear John Paul, you told us: “I plead with you–never , ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.” With your help, I will not give up my hope, I will be persistent and unafraid.
Dear St. John Paul, you told us: “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.” What more can I say, but thank you for your confidence in me. Help me have complete faith in God. Stand with me at all times as my intercessor and spiritual guide until I get to Heaven.
Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure. Dear St. John Paul, just like St. Paul who described his journey as a race, you tell me that life with Jesus is a wonderful adventure. Life is not a sprint for me, but rather a winding marathon with its curves and its ups and downs. Help me by being with me at all times as I struggle in this race toward Christ.
Dear St. John Paul, you tell me: Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song. Let me be joyful on this wonderful adventure. Let me always have a true Christian joy in my path in life. Help me always be doing the Will of God in my life.
Anything done for another is done for oneself. Dear John Paul, you tell us, just as Christ did, the Golden Rule. How simple it is to hear, yet so difficult, at times, to do. Be with me and help me see God in my neighbor, and in those I find unbearable
The goal and target of our life is He, the Christ who awaits us — each one singly and altogether — to lead us across the boundaries of time to the eternal embrace of the God who loves us. Help me, dear St. John Paul to remember that God is the end-all. In every moment of my life, I need to be focused on my life with Christ, so that when my earthly life ends, my eternal life can begin with Jesus.
People are made for happiness. Rightly, then, you thirst for happiness. Christ has the answer to this desire of yours. But He asks you to trust Him. True joy is a victory , something which cannot be obtained without a long and difficult struggle. Christ holds the secret of this victory.” Dear St. John Paul II, once again, you in simple words tell us that God is our victorious Savior; nothing is more important life with Him.
Your motto was Totus tuus, or Totally yours (of the Blessed Virgin Mary). Dear St. John Paul, the surest, straightest road to Christ is through His Mother. When I am lost in life’s brambles, ask Our Lady to come rescue me and bring me back to the road that Jesus wants me on. Teach me your love for Mary.
Concluding Prayer for each day
(Optional) Divine Mercy Chaplet