popeIn anticipation of Pope John Paul II’s twenty-fifth anniversary as Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, the entire Christendom College community has made plans to say a novena for the health of the Pope beginning on October 7 (the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary) and ending on October 15 (the eve of the Pope’s 25th Anniversary).

“Our current Holy Father has been such a blessing for our Church and to the world as a whole,” said Christendom College President Timothy O’Donnell. “It is amazing that Pope John Paul II is now the fourth longest reigning pope in the history of the Catholic Church, with only Pope St. Leo XIII, Blessed Pius IX, and St. Peter having longer pontificates. We can only hope that he continues to gloriously reign for years to come, and for that to happen, we all need to pray that His Holiness has the good health to do so.”

The novena to be said is based on the novena for the reigning pontiff promulgated by Pope Leo XIII on May 8, 1896. Dr. O’Donnell encourages all Roman Catholics to join the Christendom College community in saying this most important novena.

A Novena for the Holy Father
In Honor of the 25th Anniversary of his Election
October 16, 2003

Days 1, 3, 5, 7, 9

Lord Jesus, shelter our Holy Father the Pope under the protection of Thy Sacred Heart. Be Thou his light, his strength and his consolation.

V. Let us pray for our Pontiff, Pope John Paul II

R. The Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him to be blessed upon the earth and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.

Almighty and everlasting God, have mercy upon Thy servant, John Paul II, our Supreme Pontiff, and direct him, according to Thy loving kindness, in the way of eternal salvation; that, of Thy gift, he may ever desire that which is pleasing unto Thee and may accomplish it with all his might.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be…

Days 2, 4, 6, 8

O Lord, we humbly kneel at Thy feet and beg Thee to preserve, defend and save the Sovereign Pontiff for many years. He is the Father of the great fellowship of souls and our Father as well. On this day, as on every other day, he is praying for us also, and is offering unto Thee with holy fervor the Sacred Victim of love and peace.

Wherefore, O Lord, turn Thyself toward us with eyes of pity as we, forgetful of ourselves, pray above all for him. Do Thou unite our prayers with his and receive them into the bosom of Thine infinite mercy, as a sweet savor of active and fruitful charity, whereby the children are united in the Church to their Father. All that he asks of Thee this day, we too ask it of Thee in union with him.

Whether he weeps or rejoices, whether he hopes or offers himself as a victim of charity for his people, we desire to be united with him. We desire that the cry of our hearts should be made one with his. Of Thy great mercy grant, O Lord, that not one of us may be far from his mind and his heart in the hour that he prays and offers unto Thee the Sacrifice of Thy Blessed Son.

At the moment when our venerable High Priest, holding in his hands the very Body of Jesus Christ, shall say to the people over the chalice of benediction these words: “The peace of the Lord be with you always,” grant, O Lord, that Thy sweet peace may come down upon our hearts and upon all the nations with new and manifest power. Amen. (Pope Leo XIII, May 8, 1896)

The faithful who devoutly assist at any of the religious services held every year on a day dedicated to the Sovereign Pontiff, either to celebrate solemnly the praises of the Roman Pontiff and to call to mind the countless benefits which he has hitherto bestowed upon the whole world, or to give thanks to God for the preservation of the life of the Supreme Ruler of the Church and at the same time to obtain from Almighty God the help he needs in ruling the Church, exposed as she is to so many dangers, may gain a plenary indulgence, if in addition they go to confession, receive Holy communion and pray for the intentions of the Pope.

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