Prayer and the genuine jocist revolution

Today we present Cardijn’s preface to a book by another Jocist chaplain, Fr Jean Cardolle, entitled “My Jocist prayer in my daily life.”

In this preface, we see how important Cardijn regarded prayer in bringing about what he called the “genuine Jocist revolution.”

Prayer teaches the YCW leader to transform his or her life, Cardijn explains.

And the YCW also produced many beautiful prayer cards to assist young workers to develop that prayer life.

Stefan Gigacz

Jocist prayer

My dear militant,

You’re made of the stuff of an apostle and you have the temperament of winners. You like your jocist work. You are not afraid of chores, visits, services to be rendered, meetings to be prepared, rallies to be organised. You have the soul of a leader. You know how to speak, act, you dare to commit yourself. You’re proud to be a jocist. You love the YCW You know how much good it has done you. You know its history. You understand how much the mass of working-class youth needs to be won over, conquered and formed by the YCW

When I see you and hear you, how happy and proud I am of you!

At the same time, I also hope that you will be able to develop and deepen all the riches and all the promises that are within you! How I wish that you could discover and experience more deeply in yourself the strength and the value of genuine jocist “life,” that life which transforms a soul, which renews a heart, which decides its will… for this interior, spiritual, supernatural and divine life!

Indeed, jocist action is not a purely human, purely temporal and external action. The jocist revolution is not simply social, economic and political.

As long as we haven’t understood, discovered and experienced this, we have not understood the genuine YCW, genuine YCW action, the genuine JOCIST revolution. And to understand this the jocist militant must learn to “pray,” not to recite a prayer with his or her lips, aloud, repeating words and formulas as a parrot might do, but to stop before God, to come into contact with Him, to speak to Him with one’s heart, with one’s soul, with one’s intelligence… interiorly, spiritually, without words or formulas… by thoughts, feelings, impulses and aspirations which take hold of his or her entire being and whole person.

It is this interior silence, this interior way of praying which must teach him or her to transform little by little his or her whole day, whole work, whole life into a prayer, to pray not only with a rosary and a prayer book, but to pray with his or her hammer, pick or work tools, to pray not only in a chapel and in a church, but to pray in the street, on a construction site, in a factory, an office, a mine.. .to pray everywhere and always.

And it is this inner life which must make him or her understand the true value, the divine value of his or her whole daily life, work life, family life, life today and in the future..

Dear militant, this little book will help you; by revealing to you the beauty, the richness of your jocist prayer, it will reveal to you the greatness and the value of your daily life, so simple, so humble as a modest young worker… but with a greatness and value that exceeds everything our imagination and our ambition. could conceive… the life of God in the life of every young worker…

And you,

dear group leaders,

dear chaplains of the Pre-YCW,

study, meditate on this little book to make yourselves capable of explaining and commenting on “jocist prayer” to aspirants and apprentices.

Ah! How we need to be able to live out the jocist prayer ourselves, to overflow with it, and communicate its meaning to our young comrades, to reveal to them the value and the importance of their jocist life, to inspire them with pride and enthusiasm for the jocist crusade in which they will participate and above all, to initiate them into the value, the beauty of the divine life to which Christ calls young workers in their daily, secular and ordinary life.

* * *

It is with joy that I recommend this little book to all jocists and to all those who want to understand the real YCW.

May it associate them more intimately with the great jocist revolution, with this divine crusade, through prayer, by prayer, by union with God in their daily life.

And may their gratitude be shown by a pious and fervent thought for  the authors of this brochure and for

Your Chaplain General



Joseph Cardijn, Preface, p. 5-8, in, J. Cardolle – P. Lefebvre, My Jocist prayer in my daily life, Eighteen meditations on Jocist prayer, Jocist Editions, Brussels, 1941, 64.

Joseph Cardijn, My jocist prayer in my daily life (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library)