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No. 52 • January - June 2011 • Page 36
 •  Holy See

Decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments concerning liturgical worship in honor of Blessed John Paul II (April 2, 2011)

On account of his exceptional virtue acknowledged by the entire Catholic Church throughout the world, the Beatification of Venerable John Paul II of happy memory is to be celebrated at the Basilica of St Peter in Rome with the Supreme Pontiff Pope Benedict XVI presiding. Given the extraordinary nature of this event and the numerous requests received concerning liturgical worship in honor of the new Blessed at certain times and in certain places, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments sees fit to communicate in a timely manner what has been decided in that respect.

Mass of thanksgiving

It has been decided that during the year following the Beatification of John Paul II, that is, until May 1, 2012, it will be possible to celebrate a Holy Mass of thanksgiving in certain places and on certain days. The responsibility of establishing the day or days as well as the place or places for gathering the People of God for this purpose belongs to the Diocesan Bishop. Having considered the local needs and pastoral benefits, one Holy Mass in honour of the new Blessed may be celebrated on any Sunday during the year or on another day of the week designated in numbers 10-13 of the Table of Liturgical Days.

Similarly, in religious communities, it is the responsibility of the Superior General to establish the days and places of such celebrations for the entire religious community.

As far as regards the celebration of Mass, besides the permission to sing the Gloria, the appropriate collect is to be prayed in honour of the Blessed; the other prayers, as well as the Preface, the Antiphons, and the Readings, are to be taken from the “Common of Pastors: For a Pope.” If the celebration falls on a Sunday in Ordinary Time, appropriate texts for the First Reading, Responsorial Psalm, and Gospel may be taken from the “Common of Pastors.”

Inserting the new Blessed
into local liturgical calendars

The annual celebration of Blessed John Paul II is to be inserted into the liturgical calendars of the Diocese of Rome and all the Dioceses of Poland as a “memorial” to be observed on October 22.

As for the liturgical texts, the Collect and the second reading of the Office of Readings, together with its Response, are to be inserted into the “Proper of Saints.” The other texts are to be taken from the “Common of Pastors: For a Pope.”

With regard to other local calendars, any request that the celebration Blessed John Paul II be observed as an Optional Memorial is to be submitted to this Congregation by a local Conference of Bishops when it involves an entire territory, a Diocesan Bishop when it involves an individual dioceses, and a Superior General when the request pertains to a religious community.

Dedicating a church to God in honor of the new Blessed

An indult of the Apostolic See is needed to dedicate a church in honor of Blessed John Paul II (cf. Ordo dedicationis ecclesiae, Praenotanda, n. 4) unless a celebration in his memory has already been inserted into the local calendar; in this case the indult is not necessary and the memorial is elevated to a liturgical Feast in the church named for the Blessed (cf. Congregatio de Cultu Divino Sacramentorum, Notificatio de cultu Beatorum, May 21, 1999, n. 9).

All things to the contrary notwithstanding.

From the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, April 2, 2011.

Antonius Card. Cañizares

Iosephus Augustinus
Di Noia, O.P.
Archiepiscopus a Secretis



Common of Pastors: For a Pope.


O God, who are rich in mercy
and who willed that the blessed
John Paul the Second
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.


Karol Józef Wojtyla was born in 1920 in Wadowice, Poland. After his ordination to the priesthood and theological studies in Rome, he returned to his homeland and resumed various pastoral and academic tasks. He became first auxiliary bishop and, in 1964, Archbishop of Krakow and took part in the Second Vatican Council. On October 16, 1978 he was elected Pope and took the name John Paul II. His exceptional apostolic zeal, particularly for families, young people and the sick, led him to numerous pastoral visits throughout the world. Among the many fruits which he has left as a heritage to the Church are above all his rich Magisterium and the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church as well as the Code of Canon Law for the Latin Church and for the Eastern Churches. In Rome on April 2, 2005, the eve of the Second Sunday of Easter (or of Divine Mercy), he departed peacefully in the Lord.

Common of Pastors: For a Pope.

Office of readings

Second reading

From the Homily of Blessed John Paul II, Pope, for the Inauguration of his Pontificate
(October 22, 1978: AAS 70
[1978], 945-947)

Do not be afraid! Open wide the doors for Christ!

Peter came to Rome! What else but obedience to the inspiration received from the Lord could have guided him and brought him to this city, the heart of the Empire? Perhaps the fisherman of Galilee did not want to come here. Perhaps he would have preferred to stay there, on the shores of Lake of Genesareth, with his boat and his nets. Yet guided by the Lord, obedient to his inspiration, he came here!

According to an ancient tradition, Peter tried to leave Rome during Nero’s persecution. However, the Lord intervened and came to meet him. Peter spoke to him and asked. “Quo vadis, Domine?” — “Where are you going, Lord?” And the Lord answered him at once: “I am going to Rome to be crucified again.” Peter went back to Rome and stayed here until his crucifixion.

Our time calls us, urges us, obliges us, to gaze on the Lord and to immerse ourselves in humble and devout meditation on the mystery of the supreme power of Christ himself.

He who was born of the Virgin Mary, the carpenter’s Son (as he was thought to be), the Son of the living God (as confessed by Peter), came to make us all “a kingdom of priests.”

The Second Vatican Council has reminded us of the mystery of this power and of the fact that Christ’s mission as Priest, Prophet-Teacher and King continues in the Church. Everyone, the whole People of God, shares in this threefold mission. Perhaps in the past the tiara, that triple crown, was placed on the Pope’s head in order to signify by that symbol the Lord’s plan for his Church, namely that all the hierarchical order of Christ’s Church, all “sacred power” exercised in the Church, is nothing other than service, service with a single purpose: to ensure that the whole People of God shares in this threefold mission of Christ and always remains under the power of the Lord; a power that has its source not in the powers of this world, but instead in the mystery of the Cross and the Resurrection.

The absolute, and yet sweet and gentle, power of the Lord responds to the whole depths of the human person, to his loftiest aspirations of intellect, will and heart. It does not speak the language of force, but expresses itself in charity and truth.

The new Successor of Peter in the See of Rome today makes a fervent, humble and trusting prayer: Christ, make me become and remain the servant of your unique power, the servant of your sweet power, the servant of your power that knows no dusk. Make me a servant: indeed, the servant of your servants.

Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power. Help the Pope and all those who wish to serve Christ and with Christ’s power to serve the human person and the whole of mankind.

Do not be afraid. Open, I say open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of states, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development. Do not be afraid. Christ knows “that which is in man.” He alone knows it.
So often today, man does not know that which is in him, in the depths of his mind and heart. So often he is uncertain about the meaning of his life on this earth. He is assailed by doubt, a doubt which turns into despair. We ask you, therefore, we beg you with humility and with trust, let Christ speak to man. He alone has words of life, yes, of life eternal.


R/. Do not be afraid. The Redeemer of mankind has revealed the power of the Cross and has given his life for us. * Open, open wide the doors for Christ.

V/. In the Church we are called to partake of his power. * Open, open wide the doors for Christ.


O God, who are rich in mercy and who willed that the blessed John Paul the Second 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.

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