The Paratrooper’s Prayer

The Paratrooper’s Prayer

French paratrooper drop in front of Mont Saint Michel the day after his feast day. Saint Michael is the official patron of the French Paratroopers.
Photo credits: Michael Gorre.

The Paratrooper’s Prayer was written by Second Lieutenant André Louis Arthur Zirnheld, a parachutist in the Free French Army. While serving with the British SAS deep behind enemy lines in Libya, he was killed in action on July 27, 1942. Found in his officer’s note book was the following prayer entitled “The Paratrooper’s Prayer” that he had written in Tunis in 1938. The Paratrooper’s Prayer has been adopted by all French and Portuguese Paratroopers, including the those of the French Foreign Legion.

 

The Paratrooper’s Prayer

Give me, O Lord my God,
what is left Thee, that which no one asks of Thee.

I do not ask Thee for rest or tranquility,
either of soul or body.

I do not ask Thee for riches,
for success, or for health.

So many ask Thee for these, my God,
that none must be left Thee.

Give me, Lord, what is left Thee.
Give me what the others refuse.

I want risk and anguish;
I want fight and pain.

Give me these, my God, once and for all.

Give me the certainty that these
will always be my portion, for I will not
always have the courage to ask them of Thee.

Give me, O Lord, what is left Thee.
Give me what others do not want.

But also give me courage,
strength, and Faith.

Amen.

 

The Paratrooper’s Prayer

French paratrooper drop in front of Mont Saint Michel the day after his feast day. Saint Michael is the official patron of the French Paratroopers.
Photo credits: Michael Gorre.

(The original French text:)

La Prière du Para

Je m’adresse à vous, mon Dieu, car vous donnez
Ce qu’on ne peut obtenir que de soi

Donnez-moi, mon Dieu, ce qui vous reste
Donnez-moi ce qu’on ne vous demande jamais.

Je ne vous demande pas le repos, Ni la tranquillité
Ni celle de l’âme, ni celle du corps.

Je ne vous demande pas la richesse
Ni le succès, ni même la santé.

Tout ça, mon Dieu, on vous le demande tellement
Que vous ne devez plus en avoir.

Donnez-moi, mon Dieu, ce qui vous reste
Donnez-moi ce que l’on vous refuse.

Je veux l’insécurité et l’inquiétude.
Je veux la tourmente et la bagarre

Et que vous me les donniez, mon Dieu, définitivement.

Que je sois sûr de les avoir toujours
Car je n’aurai pas toujours le courage
De vous les demander.

Donnez-moi, mon Dieu, ce qui vous reste.
Donnez-moi ce dont les autres ne veulent pas.

Mais donnez-moi aussi le courage
Et la force et la foi.

Car vous seul donnez, mon Dieu,
Ce que l’on ne peut attendre que de soi.

Amen.

 

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