Collect for the Commemoration of Bl. John Paul II

When a person is beatified their “cult” or the public liturgical observance of the person is normally restricted to the place most closely associated with the blessed’s life and work or the blessed’s religious institute, if a member.

The liturgical cult of Bl. Pope John Paul II will be observed in Rome and in Poland.  Bishops would have to seek permission from the Holy See to have local observances.

I see also that the COLLECT for the new blessed’s feast, 22 October, is released in English.  I haven’t see the Latin, but I bet we could fairly closely reconstruct it.

O God, who are rich in mercy [a reference to Dives in misericordia]
and who willed that the Blessed John Paul II
should preside as Pope over your universal Church, [like the classic collect for a Pope]
grant, we pray, that instructed by his teaching,
we may open our hearts to the saving grace of Christ, [Echoing his “Be not afraid” sermon.]
the sole Redeemer of mankind. [reference to Redemptor hominis, 1st encyclical]
Who lives and reigns.


Someone sent me the Latin:

Deus, dives in misericordia, [As I suspected]
qui beatum Ioannem Paulum, papam,
universae Ecclesiae tuae praeesse voluisti,
praesta, quaesumus, ut, eius institutis edocti,
[hmmm… ]
corda nostra salutiferae gratiae Christi,
[perhaps better gratiae Christi salutiferae]
unius redemptoris hominis, fidenter aperiamus
. [As I suspected, on both counts.]

That “eius institutis edocti” sounds a little odd to my ear… my liturgical Latin ear.

First, institutum, usually plural in liturgical Latin, seems to be paired up with divine, rather than the human.  Let that pass.  Also, whereas in the English, above, it is rendered as “teachings”, the Latin word has more of a deeds and manner of life connotation.  Of course one teaches through those as well, no question.  But institutis edocti… edocti institutis… it feels strange.

Also, for that final line, perhaps aperiamus fidenter.   I’m not wedded to that.  I can see ending on that aperiamus, which stresses that connection with the famous “Be not afraid to open wide… ” etc.  And aperiamus provides a singable clausula.  But there are a lot of sibilants in that last line.

Okay.. whatever.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Geoffrey says:

    Thank you, Father! I’ve been waiting for this! Any word on the texts for the Liturgy of the Hours? I wonder if a proper hymn has been composed? I wonder what his feast day will be…

  2. Geoffrey says:

    Never mind about the feast… I see it now!

  3. Andrew says:

    I hope nobody thinks that this is something official: it is an attempt to reconstruct from
    the English translation above:

    Literal translation:
    Deus, dives in misericordia
    qui Beatum Joannem Paulum Secundum
    universae Ecclesiae Tuae praeesse voluisti
    praesta quaesumus ut ejus eruditi doctrina
    corda nostra salutaris gratiae Christi
    solius humani generis Redemptoris
    patere sinamus
    Qui vivis …

    Non literal:
    Misericors Deus
    Beatum qui Papam Joannem Paulum Secundum
    totius Ecclesiae Tuae pastorem praeesse voluisti
    concede ejus nos doctrina eruditis
    ut gratiae Christi, solius humani generis Redemptori
    corda nostra jugiter pateant
    Qui vivis …

  4. Ezra says:

    When Navarro-Valls said that “people must remember that beatification is not a judgment on a pontificate, but on the personal holiness of the candidate”, I thought to myself that it would be interesting to see how long that distinction was maintained. That was ten days ago.

  5. Geoffrey says:

    How clever that the actual Latin titles are used in the Collect! Do any other collects do this?

  6. @Ezra: Well, I don’t think that was ever intended to mean they’d leave out reference to him being Pope – just that the decision of *whether* to beatify him was based on his personal holiness.

    (I personally think that his papacy was nowhere near a disqualification, but rather profoundly exceptional given the circumstances — he accomplished a tremendous amount; and it’s largely only because he won the battles he did win that we’re free to be fighting the battles we are fighting now. I shudder to think where we would be now without Ordinatio sacerdotalis or Veritatis splendor. And some say he played a major role in the downfall of Communism – I’m not sure how accurate that is, however. And while his Theology of the Body is not nearly as well known as it should be (largely because JPII wrote it in such a recondite manner), I think it provides the only real wedge to answer the sexual revolution as such.

    He made one major error — the Assisi/Koran bit — and the nearly 20 years after that – including Dominus Iesus made up for that a hundredfold.)

  7. Ezra says:


    The episodes you mention (Assisi meetings, Koran, etc.) did not happen in a void. I don’t think this is the right forum for the discussion, but if you ever have the opportunity, read the late Fr Johannes Dörmann’s multi-volume work on John Paul II’s “theological journey” to the Assisi meetings. Though it is published in English by Angelus Press, the non-SSPX Fr Dörmann was a theologian in good standing with the Church.

  8. bmmccoy23 says:

    Many Traditional Catholics are shocked and scandalized by the beatification of John Paul II. Indisputably he was personally a very prayerful man. He also suffered a great deal from being shot and illness. The truth is his pontificated was the most catastrophic of the 20th century in terms of Leading Catholic Indicators.

    His pontificate as a matter of public historical record led to what could accurately described as the worst pontificate on record. Look at the number of nun’s, brothers, seminaries, parish’s and most of all religious fervor in ’78 vs ’05. Look at the number of Mahoney style bishops he appointed, and horrid scandals he allowed (legionnaire founder maciel, Card. Law his personnel friends).He talked of a new springtime constantly while doing nothing to rid the Church of the “filth,” leaving dear Pope Benedict to clean out the barn. A index of Catholic indicators would point to a historic figure indeed, a Pope who allowed the moral capital of the Church so carefully built over hundreds of years to erode to laughing status in a quarter of a century. If the historic record does not matter and the decline of the Church is irrelevant to whether he is a saint, why did it matter in the case of St Pius V or St Pius X?

    We accept the Church’s decision on the matter regardless, if they say he is a Saint then we submit to that. Down the road 50 years however, when the lens of history can look back on Pope John Paul’s pontificate objectively they will see him as the one of greatest failures as a Pope while admiring him as a prayerful person.

  9. Geoffrey says:

    I would suggest reading His Eminence Stanis?aw Cardinal Dziwisz’s book “A Life with Karol” for the real story behind Assisi.

    And it seems that only Lefebvrists and Mel Gibson’s father are obsessed with the Koran episode. It was Ven. John Paul the Great’s custom to kiss a gift when it was presented as a sign of gratitude and appreciation… just as he kissed the earth when arriving in a new land. He wasn’t a “closet Muslim”.

  10. NCtrad says:


    And Lefebvrists are not the only ones “obsessed” with the Koran kissing. Please see the online petition at

    It isn’t only “Lefebvrists” who are concerned about this “beatification.” Again I pray you remove the blinders.

  11. Ezra says:


    I’m neither a Lefebvrist nor Mel Gibson’s father, but I can understand why the action upset many. Catholics know that actions have meanings. Why else do you think people died sooner than offering a grain of incense to the deities of antiquity? It wasn’t for want of respect for their fellow Romans, whose culture they would in many regards have valued and appreciated.

    I sometimes wonder whether those who dismiss the matter have actually read the Koran, which promotes defective moral teaching and anti-Christian theology. If the Holy Father had been presented with the little red book of Quotations from Chairman Mao, or a portrait of Lenin, or a bust of Queen Elizabeth I, or a copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf, would the same people who seem to find the Koran episode so unremarkable have thought a kiss an unproblematic gesture of gratitude and appreciation? Along with the Assisi meetings, and statements such as “may Saint John Baptist protect Islam“, I think this is an aspect of John Paul II’s papacy which future historians will need to treat carefully in order to avoid giving ammunition to enemies of the Church.

  12. irishgirl says:

    Thanks for providing the Collect, Father Z! And for the translation, too!
    I wondered what his feast day was going to be, too-isn’t October 22 the day of inauguration of his pontificate?
    I’m happy about the beatification, although some traditional Catholic people I know are not.
    I was ‘blessed’ to see John Paul II three times in my life, all in Rome; four if you count the time I saw him 1976 at the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia. A priest in my hometown was a seminary classmate of his in Poland-oh, how he would have loved to see this day!

  13. donantebello says:


    My dear friend in Christ, while I sympathize with your suffering, at many points coming from the hands of Churchmen themselves, I must also educate you due to your comments which illustrate a poor grasp of Church history and an immature understanding of the philosophical complexities that vex the current epoch in which we live. 1.) Are you conscious of the challenges faced by the entire West due to the “68 generation,” and the false euphoria that swept up Churchmen in the highest ranks of the Church, even in the Papacy! (ahem! Paul VI!!) 2.) Pope John Paul II’s reign was a manifestly energizing force in the Church, despite it’s flaws; inserting into the mainstream of the Church a missionary and orthodox dynamism which contrasted from the errors of the preceding years after the Council. 3.) After every major council, it usually takes a generation or two to begin the process of the dust settling, and a clear vision of the true nature of the reforms to be instituted. (Grace builds on nature!) Just look at France after Trent! It took a hundred years before a harvest of Bishop were raised up to properly implement the reforms of Trent! Who are we to say that what happened in France hasn’t happened all over the world! (Lest we forget “Athanasius contra mundum!”) And could the “New Catholic Renaissance” which was the core of Vatican II, be ushered in as a fruit of such egregious errors, just as in the Renaissance of post-Trent France? (O felix culpa!!) 4.) By a lack of patience and a rejecting the possibility of the Holy Ghost to foster true reform and true development of tradition, you have become anti-tradition, and have grouped yourself with the most ossified of Protestants.

  14. bmmccoy23 says:


    A few clarifications. First, I was referencing the opinion of many conservatives/traditionalists that the pontificate of John Paul II was a catastrophe in terms of any measurement of leading Catholic indicators. You, however brought up Vatican II which is another subject which I will briefly address by quoting Cardinal Ratzinger in the 1980’s “the period which has followed the council has undoubtedly been a period of decline…” has he grouped himself with the most ossified of Protestants? When Deitrech von Hildebrand chronicled the decline of the faith since the Council in his work “Devastated Vineyard” is he also an “ossified protestant”? When the Virgin Mary appeared at Akita Japan (approved by the vatican, during John Paul’s reign, to His credit) and told of a false ecumenism that would infect the church and that “the Church will be full of those who accept compromises.” Clearly there is nothing wrong with stating the obvious about the condition of the Church since Vatican II and to suggest otherwise is ludicrous. To arrogantly sniff and sneer that someone is “anti-tradition” and talk down to someone you disagree with as an “ossified Protestant” is silly. Name calling is last resource of the exhausted mind. You have read one post and from this You judge that I am so many horrible things. I would simply ask that You thumb through the Catechism and look up the definition of rash judgment.
    I am well aware of the crisis that affected the Church before John Paul II. The 1960’s liberals was simply the retreading of the thinking of modernists and neo-modernists who were condemned by St Pius Tenth. Pope Pius presciently predicted there return.
    I do hope that all of the wonderful things You describe will come to pass with regard Vatican II.
    I would like to amend what I said, I don’t believe John Paul II’s ponitficate to be the worst, or even the worst in the 20th century. While most conservative/traditionalists I know do feel this way. I think a Pontificate should be looked at as a WHOLE, and never are we allowed to judge any Pope personally(GOD alone can do this), only as an historical figure. As a Whole You there were many positive aspects to his pontificate which I mentioned and one very crucial one I failed to mention: we would probably all be in a gulag speaking Russian if it were not for JP11 and Ronald Reagan.
    The spiritual authors tell us there are millions and millions in heaven. I hope with all my heart that John Paul II is one of them. But we don’t canonize the millions and millions of saints in part, precisely because they may have had some things in their history that might lead people astray (scandal) even though they enjoy celestial bliss. So whats wrong with asking a few questions and raising a few points?
    The point of the post was to list as a devils advocate with regard to the canonization of John Paul II. You did not address a single point of the substance of the post which I will repeat: a)Look at the number of nun’s, brothers, seminaries, parish’s and most of all religious fervor in ’78 vs ’05.b) Look at the number of Mahoney style bishops he appointed, and horrid scandals he allowed (legionnaire founder maciel, Card. Law his personnel friends). c)If the historic record does not matter and the decline of the Church is irrelevant to whether he is a saint, why did it matter in the case of St Pius V or St Pius X? The overall point is this: would it not be better to study the case for 10 or 20 years as we did in the past without the emotional euphoria of the crowd screaming “sainthood now”! Would it not be better to follow the Church’s customary wisdom and dispassionately and objectively study the whole truth of this pontificate?

    Whomever You are I Love You as my Brother in the Lord!
    May God Bless You, Fr Z and All Involved in this Blog!

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