Opening prayer for Mass for ‘Blessed John Paul II’ on his Oct. 22 feast day

(UPDATE: Full story.)

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican just published a notice about the worldwide celebration of Masses of thanksgiving for the beatification of Pope John Paul II as well as the more restrictive rules for celebrating his feast day each year. The note also says that his feast day will be Oct. 22, the anniversary of the formal inauguration of his pontificate in 1978.

At the same time, L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, published the opening prayer for the feast day Mass. The prayer — called a “collect” — was written in Latin and translated into several languages, including English:

O God, who are rich in mercy

and who willed that the Blessed John Paul II

should preside as Pope over your universal Church,

grant, we pray, that instructed by his teaching,

we may open our hearts to the saving grace of Christ,

the sole Redeemer of mankind.

Who lives and reigns.

5 Responses

  1. This is disgraceful.
    The Pope is the head of the One Catholic (universal or worldwide) Church therefore every country should celebrate his feastday.
    Brian

  2. While I am sure that there is a logical reason for it, this does appear to be an odd action of the Church, especially given that John Paul II was Pope. It seems, however, that the cult of devotion that is directed toward every Blessed is reserved to the local area, diocese and/or religious order that the person was from. It seems not to matter how well known the person might be. A case in point is that of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta whose feast day of September 5 does not year appear on the liturgical calendar of the United States but is celebrated by her religious community and, I am sure, in Calcutta. It seems that it is not until the person becomes a Saint that he or she may be officially celebrated by the larger universal Church, even for a universal Shepherd of the Church like John Paul. Why this is so I do not know. Individual dioceses, however, seem able to request and receive an exception to this rule. The Archdiocese of New York, for example, celebrated a Mass in honor of Bl. Teresa of Calcutta last year on around the time of her feast day, seemingly with the permission of Rome. I think that the Archdiocese of Washington did something similar. Both were in conjunction with her 100th anniversary of birth. I presume that a similar permission could be granted in the case of John Paul II.

  3. By rule – and of course, there can be exceptions – feast days of beatified persons are normally celebrated only in the areas where they lived, worked, etc. That changes when a person is canonized.

  4. Well, we know that his Feast day will be celebrated in Poland with gusto! Long live the memory of Blessed Pope John Paul the Great!

  5. After a person has been canonized, Their feast day is placed on their local calendars (Rome and Poland in this case). Once John Paul II has been canonized (God Willing), his feast day will be extended to every calendar throughout the world. While we cannot celebrate his feast yet, If will keep praying for him, someday we might get that honour.

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