Papal Prayer for Jews

Ed. The following prayer appeared in Our Sunday Visitor, January 10, 1999.

The Holy Father’s phrase: “… uphold what remains the particular mystery of their vocation” coincides with one of the essential insights of the AHC apostolate; that is, that the vocation (or, equivalently, identity) of the People Israel persists, even after they enter the body of Messiah – the Catholic Church.

In what is thought to be the first papal prayer ever written for Jews, Pope John Paul II describes “the Jewish nation” as dear to God and calls on young Jews to “uphold the particular mystery of their vocation.”

The Pope wrote the prayer in response to a request by Catholic and Jewish leaders in Poland, who see it as a way to spur dialogue and help dispel lingering anti-Semitism in the country. A million copies of the prayer were printed by a Jewish publisher in Poland in late December.

The following is an English-language translation of the prayer:

God of Abraham, the prophets, Jesus Christ, in You everything is embraced, toward You everything moves, You are the end of all things. Hear the prayers we extend for the Jewish nation which – thanks to its forefathers – is still very dear to you.

Instill within it a constant, ever livelier desire to deepen your truth and love. Help it, as it yearns for peace and justice, that it may reveal to the world the might of Your blessing.

Succor it that it may obtain respect and love from the side of those who do not yet understand the greatness of suffering it has borne, and those who, in solidarity and a sense of mutual care, experience together the pain of wounds inflicted upon it.

Remember the new generations of youth and children that they may, unchangeably faithful to You, uphold what remains the particular mystery of their vocation.

Strengthen all generations, that, thanks to their testimony, humanity will understand that Your salvific intention extends over all humankind, and that You, God, are for all nations the beginning and the final end. Amen.

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