“A man in wooden shoes” – a second day of Pope’s visit to Poland
17 sierpnia 2002 | 22:37 | KAI //ad Ⓒ Ⓟ
Entrusting the world to the Divine Mercy, consecrating the Basilica of the Divine Mercy in Łagiewniki, meetings with representatives of different groups – a second day of Pope’s visit to Motherland is ended.
*We love you!*
It took Pope John Paul II half an hour to reach the Basilica of the Divine Mercy in Łagiewniki from the Archbishop’s Palace. Enthusiastically received and applauded, the Pope attracted crowds on the way to the Shrine, blessing them from the window of his open car, the Popemobile. On the way the Pope stopped for a moment to greet the Dominican family. In keeping with a long-standing tradition, on the memorial of St. Jack John Paul II blessed ears of grain and the Dominicans who take today the first vows in the Order. The papal entourage stopped for while at the hospital run by Hospital Brothers of St. John the Divine on Krakowska Street. The Holy Father blessed the monks and the patients they take care of.
In Łagiewniki the Pope was greeted by around 20,000 people from Poland and various countries of the world. While John Paul II was approaching the altar on a special platform, the faithful chanted “We love you!” Thosands of poeple swang to the rhythm of the song sung by the Skaldowie group.
*The world need mercy*
During Holy Mass the Pope, as had been expected for a long time, entrusted in a solemn manner the world to Divine Mercy. Speaking about the tragedies the world is faced with, the Pope stressed that “Mercy is needed in order to ensure that every injustice in the world will come to an end in the splendour of truth”. He added that the contemporary man is lost and confused as he is faced with various forms of evil.
Making a reference to the revelations of St. Faustina from before half a century ago, John Paul II said, “Like Saint Faustina, we wish to proclaim that apart from the mercy of God there is no other source of hope for mankind. We desire to repeat with faith: Jesus, I trust in you!”
The dramatic analysis of the predicament of today’s world sketched out in the homily showed a necessity for a new kind of hope, which can be Divine Mercy, provided, however, the contemporary man is able to trust it. “In every continent, from the depth of human suffering, a cry for mercy seems to rise up”, said the Pope. “Where hatred and the thirst for revenge dominate, where war brings suffering and death to the innocent, there the grace of mercy is needed in order to settle humand minds and hearts and to bring about peace”, he explained.
The homily of the Pope was completed with a solemn act of entrusting the world to the Divine Mercy. John Paul II asked God to heal every weakness and conquer all evil. “Grant that all the peoples of the earth may experience your mercy. In You, the Triune God, may they ever find the source of hope”, prayed John Paul II.
*”A man in wooden shoes” consecrates a basilica*
After the homily the Holy Father anointed the altar of the church with holy chrism and consecrated it with incense. Subsequently, the act of anointing the twelve points on the supporting piers of the church was performed by Cardinal Primate Józef Glemp, Cardinal Franciszek Macharski, Metropolitan of Cologne, Joachim Meissner, and the Secretary of State of the Holy See, Angelo Sodano.
At the end of Holy Mass the Pope shared with the faithful his memories from the time of the Second World War. “During Nazi occupation I walked to the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in wooden shoes, even in wintertime. Who could have known back then that this man in wooden shoes would one day consecrate the basilica of the Divine Mercy”, said the Pope. The faithful responded to these words with enthusiastic applause. Attending the celebrations were the whole Polish Episcopate as well as numerous bishops from all over the world and politicians, among others Lech Wałęsa and Prime Minister of Hungary, Mr. Viktor Orban.
Joint choirs of various Polish higher schools greeted the Pope with the song Gaude Mater Polonia on the campus of the 600th anniversary of the Restitution of the Jagiellonian University. From the window of the Popemobile John Paul II greeted the Senates of the Pontifical Academy of Theology and the Jagiellonian University gathered before the library of the former school under construction. “Vivat Academia, vivant profesores!”, called the visibly satisfied Pope, expressing his gratitude for the “stopover on the way from Łągiewniki to Franciszkańska”. “Students are with you!” shouted the youth. The Pope assured them about his everyday prayers for Polish universities and wished them a constant development. He also expressed his thankfulness to the Jagiellonian University for everything that he has received from it.
Short stops of the papal entourage in two places especially close to John Paul II were greatly touching not only for the Pope himself. First the Pope saw the house at 10 Tyniecka Street, where he lived since 1938, and where he was greeted today by a banner “Welcome home!” Next the Pope’s car made a stop at the Salesian church in the Dębniki district. “I always remember about Salesians and about the ‘living rosary’, all of this is connected for me with Dębniki and with this church”, recalled the visibly touched Pope. It was here, in this parish that the young Karol Wojtyła got in touch with Jan Tyranowski, a simple yet spiritually strong Catholic, who exerted a significant influence on the future Pope’s choice of priesthood.
*Meetings with politicians*
The Pope’s short evening meetings with Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister touched upon among others, as the politicians themselves maintained, Poland’s access to the European Union. The President stressed that the Pope knows Polish problems very well. He also said that John Paul II’s visit will be “the Pope’s good counsel concerning what we should do”.
Prime Minister Miller was asked by the Pope whether the conditions set to Poland by the European Union in the negotiations are fair and reasonable. “I reassured [the Pope] that this is so”, told the journalists Prime Minister Miller. He also assured the Pope that the relations between the State and the Church are devoid of any tension whatsoever.
*Come again tomorrow!*
The Pope did not let down the crowds waiting for a meeting with him in front of the window of the Cracow Curia. This evening, too, a most unique “conversation” took place there. The Pope jokingly referred to his age, pointing to the fact that 23 years had passed since the first meeting of this kind in June 1979 and that all, unfortunately, had become more advanced in years… Quoting Christ’s words, “I am the resurrection and the life”, the Pope added ““In spite of old age, in spite of death – there is youth. This is my wish to all of you, to the youth of Cracow, Poland, and the world”. When the crowd chanted “Thank you!”, the Pope responded, “Come again tomorrow!” and blessed the cheering youth.
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