The Blessed of the Day

During the mourning period for Blessed Pope John Paul II, I wrote this hymn text, which can be sung to Rendez a Dieu (most commonly used for Father, We Thank Thee Who Hast Planted).

Staff of a shepherd for the faithful; heart of a father for the poor
Jesus was in him, and the Spirit, for the uplifting of the world
“Be not afraid!” a voice was calling, “Lay down your lives in sacrifice!”
“Be not afraid!” the sound re-echoes, “Open the doors to Jesus Christ!”

Long may his legacy of courage guide us in paths of good and right.
Angels of God, come forth to lead him into the mysteries of light.
There Mary reigns, the Queen of Heaven; there Lazarus is poor no more.
Be not afraid, O Holy Father! Enter the mercy of the Lord.

Scott Turkington kindly set it in staves last year for the use of his cathedral parish of St. John the Baptist in Charleston, South Carolina. Today is our dear Holy Father’s feast day.