John Paul II believed that the peace of the Americas depends on the stability of the family.
In 1999, on the verge of the new millennium, St. John Paul II wrote the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Ecclesia in America, addressing all Catholics living in the American continents. In it, he addressed the many problems facing the Church, but above all he highlighted the struggles of the family.
John Paul II warned that “Many insidious forces are endangering the solidity of the institution of the family in most countries of America, and these represent so many challenges for Christians.”
To protect against such attacks, John Paul II firmly believed that “daily prayer in the family and practical signs of charity” would strengthen them and give them the ability to be a force of change in society. He wrote, “In such a family setting it will not be difficult for children to discover a vocation of service in the community and the Church, and to learn, especially by seeing the example of their parents, that family life is a way to realize the universal call to holiness.”
At the end of his letter, John Paul II composed a lengthy prayer for America, highlighting the role of families in a particular way. He believed the family was a key element to the success of the Americas and prayed for its protection. Below is the prayer he wrote, which can be prayed on a daily basis for the protection of families across the American continents.
We thank you, Lord Jesus,because the Gospel of the Father’s love,with which you came to save the world,has been proclaimed far and wide in Americaas a gift of the Holy Spiritthat fills us with gladness.We thank you for the gift of your Life,which you have given us by loving us to the end:your Life makes us children of God,brothers and sisters to each other.Increase, O Lord, our faith and our love for you,present in all the tabernacles of the continent.Grant us to be faithful witnessesto your Resurrectionfor the younger generation of Americans,so that, in knowing you, they may follow youand find in you their peace and joy.Only then will they know that theyare brothers and sistersof all God’s children scatteredùthroughout the world.You who, in becoming man,chose to belong to a human family,teach families the virtues which filled with lightthe family home of Nazareth.May families always be united,as you and the Father are one,and may they be living witnessesto love, justice and solidarity;make them schools of respect,forgiveness and mutual help,so that the world may believe;help them to be the source of vocationsto the priesthood and the consecrated life,and all the other formsof firm Christian commitment.Protect your Church and the Successor of Peter,to whom you, Good Shepherd, have entrustedthe task of feeding your flock.Grant that the Church in America may flourishand grow richer in the fruits of holiness.Teach us to love your Mother, Mary,as you loved her.Give us strength to proclaimyour word with couragein the work of the new evangelization,so that the world may know new hope.Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America,pray for us!