The Polish pontiff prayed this prayer in a letter to the elderly he wrote in 1999.
In 1999, St. John Paul II wrote a touching letter to the elderly, pointing out that, “As an older person myself, I have felt the desire to engage in a conversation with you. I do so first of all by thanking God for the gifts and the opportunities which he has abundantly bestowed upon me up to now.”
He went on to write about the gift of life and the dignity of every human person. It is a great letter to read, especially if you find yourself in that state in life.
John Paul II ended his letter with this beautiful prayer for the elderly.
Grant, O Lord of life, that we may be ever vividly aware of this and that we may savor every season of our lives as a gift filled with promise for the future.
Grant that we may lovingly accept your will, and place ourselves each day in your merciful hands.
And when the moment of our definitive “passage” comes, grant that we may face it with serenity, without regret for what we shall leave behind. For in meeting you, after having sought you for so long, we shall find once more every authentic good which we have known here on earth, in the company of all who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith and hope.
Mary, Mother of pilgrim humanity, pray for us “now and at the hour of our death.” Keep us ever close to Jesus, your beloved Son and our brother, the Lord of life and glory.