Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Thursday 29 July |
Saint of the Day: Sts Martha, Mary and Lazarus of Bethany
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Read John Paul II’s tender poem for his deceased mother


Public Domain

Philip Kosloski - published on 05/18/20

St. John Paul II lost his mother when he was 9 years old, and later wrote a poem in her honor when he was 19.

St. John Paul II had a tragic childhood, losing his mother when he was nine years old, and losing his only brother soon after. Yet, despite these painful losses, John Paul II was able to overcome his grief and strive for holiness, living with an infectious joy that captivated the world.


Read more:
John Paul II’s mother knew he would become a “great man” someday

At the same time, his mother’s early death did have a profound impact on his life, and he later reflected on it when composing a poem during the spring of 1939, when John Paul II was 19 years old.

The poem expresses his grief, but at the same time, looks forward to the future. It is a poem of hope, recognizing the promise of eternal life in Heaven, while also mourning the loss of his mother.

John Paul II’s words unlock for us a glimpse into his heart and also the proper Christian response to death. While death is a tragedy, it also opens us up to the glories of Heaven.

Over this, your white gravethe flowers of life in white–so many years without you–how many have passed out of sight?Over this your white gravecovered for years, there is a stirin the air, something upliftingand, like death, beyond comprehension.Over this your white graveoh, mother, can such loving cease?for all his filial adorationa prayer:Give her eternal peace–


Read more:
This is the daily schedule John Paul II had as a teenager

MotherhoodPope John Paul II
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.