In what is thought to be the first papal prayer ever written for Jews, Pope John Paul II spoke in 1998 of “the Jewish nation” as dear to God while calling 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 encourage interfaith dialogue and dispel lingering anti-Semitism in the country. A million copies of the prayer were printed by a Jewish publisher in Poland in late December 1998.
Here follows 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