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Saint John Paul II's 1st Apostolic Visit to Poland

2nd - 10th June 1979

8 months after his election as Pope, Karol Wojtyła returned for the first time to his beloved homeland of Poland in June 1979, on his second apostolic pilgrimage. Pope John Paul II was to return 8 more times: in 1983, 1987, 1991 twice, the 2nd time for World Youth Day Częstochowa, 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2002

He arrived at Okecie airport, Warsaw, where he was greeted at a welcome ceremony before speaking with the ecclesial community gathered in the Cathedral of St John Baptist and then to the authorities of the Polish government, before ending the day by celebrating Mass. Day 2 of his 9 day pilgrimage began with a talk with Warsaw university students, before Jan Paweł II traveled to Gniezno, where he was welcomed before celebrating Mass in Gniezno Cathedral & then speaking with Polish young people. On day 3 (4th June), Papa Giovanni Paolo II was a pilgrim to the Shrine of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa where he made an Act of Consecration to Mary. He then visited the Parish of St. Zygmunt before speaking to the sick gathered at Jasna Gora. Day 4 saw JPII at the 169th Plenary Assembly of the Polish Episcopal Conference, being held in Czestochowa, where he addressed to the Polish Episcopal Conference for Science, before speaking to the women religious of Jasna Gora. The Angelus was prayed at the Marian Shrine of Czestochowa where JPII spoke to the pilgrims from Lower Silesia and Silesia and recited the "Call of Jasna Gora". Day 5 began with a meeting with seminarians gathered at Jasna Gora and then with diocesan priests and religious at the Cathedral of the Holy Family. JPII ended by celebrating Mass for workers from Upper Silesia & Zaglebie before saying farewell to Jasna Gora to travel to his home diocese of Kraków, where he addressed the faithful gathered in Kraków Cathedral. On day 6 (7th June) JPII made his pilgrim way to the Sanctuary of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska where he spoke to the faithful, and then travelled on to his hometown of Wadowice before celebrating Mass in Brzezinka. Mass was celebrated in Nowy Targ at the start of day 7 ahead of an address in Wavel Cathedral at the closing of the Archdiocesan Synod. The day ended with a meeting with university students from Kraków. On his penultimate day, JPII celebrated Mass at the Shrine of the Holy Cross in Mogila, before addressing Kraków Theology students ahead of the Bishops and guests from various countries and dioceses of Poland. On his last day of pilgrimage, John Paul II celebrated Mass in honour of St Stanislaw (patron saint of Poland) before meeting representatives of the media before departing Poland from Balice.

As JPII explained before leaving Rome: "It is, in fact, the recurrence of the jubilee of St Stanislaus, bishop and martyr, that guides my steps. His sacrifice for the faith, nine centuries ago, is — like the preceding and fundamental "Millennium Poloniae" — one of the most important historico-religious events of my native land, so it was decided some time ago to commemorate it with appropriate and solemn celebrations. And I who had already taken part in carrying out a vast programme of spiritual preparation for the event, could not fail to be present at this appointment with my people. I am all the more grateful for the invitation of the Polish Episcopate, headed by the Primate Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski. God willing, I will first reach Warsaw, the glorious capital, so sorely tired and now risen again, industrious and pulsating with life. I will then visit Gniezno, the city which was the cradle of the Christian faith for the Polish nation, because the sovereign Mieszko was baptized there in 996, and which is distinguished by devotion to the Patron Saint Woiciech. Then the famous Marian Sanctuary of Czestochowa; and then Krakow, which with unchanged affection I continue to call "my" city. The ancient capital of Poland, it was the episcopal see of the martyr Stanislaus, and for me close to Wadowice, the city of my youth and the field of a thirty-year apostolate. At Krakow what I would call the personal motive of this journey assumes importance, because I will meet there the Church from which I come.

But there is also an international motive, and in this connection I wish to recall the kind and respectful message that has reached me from Prof. Henryk Jablonski, President of the Council of State of the People's Republic of Poland, who, also on behalf of the Polish Government, has wished to express to me the satisfaction of the whole national. community at the fact that the "son of the Polish people", called to guide the universal Church, is about to visit his homeland. This is an act which gave, and still gives me, deep pleasure. For this reason I renew my most sincere appreciation to the Authorities of the Polish State, while I confirm what I already expressed in my letter of reply: that is, my attachment to the causes of peace, coexistence and cooperation among nations; the hope that my visit will consolidate internal unity among my beloved fellow-countrymen and also serve the further development of the relations between State and Church."

Święty Jan Paweł II's address at the Welcoming Ceremony in Warsaw
Okecie Airport, 2 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish    

"Mr Chairman of the Council of State of the Polish People's Republic,
1.  I express my sincere gratitude for the words with which you have greeted me at the beginning of my stay in Poland. I thank you for what you were so good to say with regard to the Apostolic See and myself. Through you, Mr Chairman, I express my esteem for the State Authorities and I again renew my cordial gratitude for the kind attitude towards my visit to Poland, 'the beloved motherland of all Poles', my own motherland.

I desire to recall here once again the courteous letter which I received from you in March, in which you wished, in your own name and in that of the Government of the Polish People's Republic, to express satisfaction for the fact that "the son of the Polish nation called to the supreme dignity of the Church" desired to visit his motherland. I recall these words with gratitude. At the same time it is useful to repeat what I have already pointed out: that is, that my visit has been dictated by strictly religious motives. Furthermore, I earnestly hope that my present journey in Poland may serve the great cause of rapprochement and of collaboration among nations; that it may be useful for reciprocal understanding, for reconciliation, and for peace in the contemporary world. I desire finally that the fruit of this visit may be the internal unity of my fellow-countrymen and also a further favourable development of the relations between the State and the Church in my beloved motherland.

Your Eminence the Cardinal Primate of Poland,
I thank you for your words of greeting. They are particularly dear to me both in consideration of the person who has spoken them and on account of the Church in Poland, whose feelings and thoughts they express. I wish to give a response to your words by means of the whole of the service that it is planned for me to give in the programme for the days that Divine Providence and your cordial kindness are granting me to pass in Poland.

Beloved brothers and sisters, dear fellow-countrymen,
2.  I have kissed the ground of Poland on which I grew up, the land from which, through the inscrutable design of Providence, God called me to the Chair of Peter in Rome, the land to which I am coming today as a pilgrim. I would like therefore to address you and greet each and every one of you with the same words I used on 16 October last year to greet those present in Saint Peter's Square: Praised be Jesus Christ!

3.  I greet you in the name of Christ, as I learned to greet people here in Poland,
— in Poland, my native land, to which I remain deeply attached by the roots of my life, of my heart, of my vocation;
— in Poland, this country in which, as the poet Cyprian Norwid wrote, "people gather up, through respect for heaven's gifts, every crumb that falls to the ground"; where the first greeting is an eternal confession of Christ: Praised be Jesus Christ!
— in Poland, whose thousand years of history makes it part of Europe and of contemporary humanity;
— in Poland, which throughout the course of history has been linked with the Church of Christ and the See of Rome by a special bond of spiritual unity.

4.  Beloved brothers and sisters, fellow-countrymen,
I am coming to you as a son of this land, of this nation, and also, by the inscrutable designs of Providence, as a Successor of St Peter in the See of Rome. I thank you for not having forgotten me and for not having ceased, from the day of my election, to help me with your prayers and to show me also such kindly benevolence. I thank you for inviting me. I greet in spirit and embrace with my heart every human being living in the land of Poland. I greet moreover all the guests who have gathered here from other countries for these days, and particularly those who represent the Polish emigrants throughout the world.

5.  What feelings arise in my heart at the music and words of the national anthem, which we have listened to a moment ago with the respect due to it! I thank you because this Pole, coming today "from the land of Italy to the land of Poland" (Polish National Anthem), is received on the threshold of his pilgrimage in Poland with this music and these words, in which expression has always been found for the nation's unflagging will to live — "while we live" (Polish National Anthem). I wish my stay in Poland to help to strengthen this unflagging will to live on the part of my fellow-countrymen in the land that is our common mother and homeland. May it be for the good of all the Poles, of all the Polish families, of the nation and of the State.

May my stay — I wish to repeat it once again — help the great cause of peace, friendship in relations between nations, and social justice."

Saint John Paul II's address to the Ecclesial Community of Warsaw
gathered in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, 2 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"Praised be Jesus Christ!

1. At the start of my pilgrimage through Poland I greet the Church of Warsaw gathered in its Cathedral. I greet the Capital and the Archdiocese. I greet this Church in the person of its Bishop, the Primate of Poland.

St Ignatius of Antioch gave expression, even in that early time, to the unity that the Church attains in its Bishop. The teaching of this great apostolic Father and martyr passed into Tradition. It was echoed amply and forcefully in the Constitution Lumen Gentium of the Second Vatican Council.

This teaching has found a magnificent incarnation in this very place, in Warsaw, in the Church in Warsaw. For the Cardinal Primate has become a special keystone of that unity. A keystone is what forms the arch, what reflects the strength of the foundations of the building. The Cardinal Primate shows the strength of the foundation of the Church, which is Jesus Christ. This is what his strength consists of. The Cardinal Primate has been teaching for over 30 years that he owes this strength to Mary, the Mother of Christ. We all know well that it is possible, thanks to Mary, to make the strength of the foundation that is Christ shine out, and effectively to become a keystone of the Church. This is taught by the life and ministry of the Primate of Poland.

He is the keystone of the Church of Warsaw and the keystone of all the Church of Poland. This is what constitutes the providential mission that he has been performing for more than 30 years. I wish to give expression to this at the beginning of my pilgrimage, here in the capital of Poland, and I also desire to give thanks for it, together with all the Church and the nation, to the Most Holy Trinity. For, in all her aspects of time and space, of geography and history, the Church is gathered in the unity of the Father, of the Son and of the Spirit, as the Council too reminds us (Lumen Gentium, 4).

2. So, in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, I wish to greet all those who constitute this Church in communion with their Bishop, the Primate of Poland. The Bishops — the aged Bishop Waclaw, Bishop Jerzy, Bishop Bronislaw, Secretary of the Polish Bishops' Conference, Bishop Wladislaw and Bishop Zbigniew. The Metropolitan Chapter, all the diocesan and regular clergy and the religious Brothers, the Sisters of all the Congregations, the Seminary, the Ecclesiastical Academic Institution that is the continuation of the Theology Faculty of the University of Warsaw.

I wish also - in union with the Archbishop of the Church of Warsaw - to see and embrace in the fullest way the whole of the community of the People of God represented by almost three million laypeople.

The Church is present "in the world" through the laity. I wish therefore to embrace all of you who constitute the pilgrim Church on earth, in the land of Poland, in Warsaw, in Mazowsze.

You, Fathers and Mothers of families, you, who are lonely, you, elderly people, you, young people and children. All you who work on the land, in industry, in offices, in schools, in universities, in hospitals, in cultural institutes, in the ministries, everywhere. Members of all the professions who by your work are building the Poland of today, the heritage of so many generations, a well-loved heritage, a difficult heritage, a great commitment, our "great community duty" as Poles, the Motherland (C. K. Norwid).

All of you who are at the same time the Church, this Church of Warsaw. You who are confirming the thousand-year-old right of citizenship that this Church has in the present-day life of the Capital, of the nation, of the State.

3. In union with the Church of the Archdiocese I also greet all the Bishops who are suffragans of the Metropolitan of Warsaw: the Ordinaries of Lodz, of Sandomierz, of Lublin, of Siedlce, of Warmia and of Plock, with their Auxiliary Bishops and Representatives of the Dioceses.

4. The Cathedral of Warsaw, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, was almost completely destroyed during the Rising. The one we are now in is a completely new building. It is also a sign of new Polish and Catholic life, having its centre in the Cathedral. It is a sign of what Christ once said: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up" (Jn 2, 19).

Most beloved brothers and sisters. Dear fellow-countrymen!

You know that I am coming here to Poland for the 9th centenary of the martyrdom of St Stanislaus. He is the principal Patron of the Archdiocese of Warsaw. I am therefore beginning my veneration of him here, in Warsaw, at the first stopping place in my jubilee pilgrimage.

He once occupied the bishopric of Krakow, which for centuries was the capital of Poland, and it seems that he once said of himself to King Boleslaw: "Destroy this Church, and Christ, over the generations, will rebuild it". "He spoke of the temple of his body" (Jn 2, 21).

Within this sign of the new building and the new life that is Christ and belongs to Christ, I am today meeting you, dearly beloved, and I greet you as the first Pope from the Polish race, on the threshold of the second Millennium of the Nation's Baptism and history.

"Christ... will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him" (Rom 6, 9)."

Papa San Giovanni Paolo II's Address to the Civil Authorities
Warsaw, 2 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"Gentlemen, Mr First Secretary,
1. "A Poland that is prosperous and serene is also beneficial for tranquillity and good collaboration among peoples of Europe". I take the liberty of beginning with these words pronounced by the unforgettable Paul VI in his response to the discourse of the First Secretary, during the meeting in the Vatican on 1 December 1977. I am convinced that these words constitute the best motto for my response today to his discourse, which we have all listened to with the deepest attention. Nevertheless, in this my response, I wish first of all to express my gratitude for such kind words addressed both to the Apostolic See and to me. I add a word of thanks to the Authorities of the State of the Polish People's Republic for their kind attitude in regard to the invitation of the Polish Episcopate, which expresses the will of the Catholic society in our motherland, and which on their part have also opened to me the gates of my native land. I renew this gratitude and at the same time I extend it, keeping in mind all that of which I have become the debtor to the various bodies of the central and local Authorities, in view of their contribution to the preparation and actuation of this visit.

2.Passing along the streets of Warsaw, which are so dear to the heart of every Pole, I could not restrain my emotion in thinking of the great but also sad historic route that this city has completed in the service and also in the history of our nation. The particular links of this route constitute the Belvedere Palace and above all the royal Castle which is under reconstruction. The latter has a truly particular eloquence. In it there speak centuries of the history of the motherland, from the time the Capital of the State was transferred from Krakow to Warsaw. Centuries particularly difficult and particularly responsible. I desire to express my joy, indeed I wish to express thanks for everything and for what the castle represents. Like almost all of Warsaw it was reduced to ruins during the Rising, and it is now being rapidly reconstructed as a symbol of the State and of the sovereignty of the motherland.

We Poles feel in a particularly deep way the fact that the raison d'être of the State is the sovereignty of society, of the nation, of the motherland. We have learned this during the whole course of our history, and especially through the hard trials of recent centuries. We can never forget that terrible historical lesson — the loss of the independence of Poland from the end of the 18th century until the beginning of the 20th. This painful and essentially negative experience has become as it were a new forge of Polish patriotism. For us, the word "motherland" has a meaning, both for the mind and for the heart, such as the other nations of Europe and the world appear not to know, especially those nations that have not experienced, as ours has, historical wrongs, injustices and menaces. And thus the last World War and the Occupation, which Poland experienced, were still for our generation such a great shock 35 years ago when this war finished on all fronts. At this moment there began the new period of the history of our motherland. We cannot however forget everything that influenced the experiences of the war and of the Occupation. We cannot forget the sacrifice of the lives of so many men and women of Poland. Neither can we forget the heroism of  the Polish soldier who fought on all fronts of the world "for our freedom and for yours".

We have respect for and we are grateful for every help that we received from others at that time, while we think with sadness of the disappointments that we were not spared.

3. In the telegrams and letters which the supreme State Authorities of Poland were good enough to send me, both on the occasion of the inauguration of the Pontificate and in connection with the present invitation, there repeatedly appeared the thought of peace, coexistence, and of the drawing together of the nations in the modern world. Certainly, the desire expressed in this thought has a profound ethical meaning. Behind which there also stands the history of Polish science, beginning with Pawel Wlodkowic. Peace and the drawing together of the peoples can be achieved only on the principle of respect for the objective rights of the nation, such as: the right to existence, to freedom, to be a social and political subject, and also to the formation of its own culture and civilization.

Once again I take the liberty of repeating the words of Paul VI who, in the unforgettable meeting of 1 December 1977, expressed himself in these terms: "...We shall never grow tired of striving further and always as our possibilities permit us, so that conflicts between nations may be prevented or resolved with equity, and so that there may be ensured and ameliorated the indispensable bases for a peaceful living together among countries and continents. And not last of all, a more just world economic order; the abandonment of the arms race, which is ever more threatening also in the nuclear sector, as a preparation for a gradual and balanced disarmament; the development of better economic, cultural and human relations among individual peoples and associated groups".

In these words there is expressed the social doctrine of the Church, which always supports authentic progress and the peaceful development of humanity. Therefore, while all forms of political, economic or cultural colonialism remain in contradiction to the exigencies of the international order, it is necessary to esteem all the alliances and pacts which are based on reciprocal respect and on the recognition of the good of every nation and of every State in the system of reciprocal relations. It is important that the nations and the States uniting themselves for the aim of a voluntary collaboration and one that is in conformity with the goal find at the same time in this collaboration the increase of their own well-being and their own prosperity. It is precisely this system of international relations and such resolutions among the States that the Apostolic See hopes for in the name of the fundamental premises of justice and peace in the contemporary world.

4. The Church wishes to serve people also in the temporal dimension of their life and existence. Given the fact that this dimension is realized through people's membership of the various communities — national and State, and therefore at the same time social, political, economic and cultural — the Church continually rediscovers her own mission in relationship to these sectors of human life and activity. This is confirmed by the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and of the recent Popes.

By establishing a religious relationship with people, the Church consolidates them in their natural social bonds. The history of the Church in Poland has confirmed in an eminent way that the Church in our motherland has always sought, in various ways, to train sons and daughters who are of assistance to the State, good citizens, and useful and creative workers in the various spheres of social, professional and cultural life. And this derives from the fundamental mission of the Church, which everywhere and always strives to make people better, more conscious of their dignity, and more devoted in their lives to their family, social, professional and patriotic commitments. It is her mission to make people more confident, more courageous, conscious of their rights and duties, socially responsible, creative and useful.

For this activity the Church does not desire privileges, but only and exclusively what is essential for the accomplishment of her mission. And it is this direction that orientates the activity of the Episcopate, which has now been led for more than 30 years by a man of rare quality, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, Primate of Poland. In seeking, in this field, an agreement with the State Authorities, the Apostolic See is aware that, over and above reasons connected with creating the conditions for the Church's all-round activity, such an agreement corresponds to historical reasons of the nation, whose sons and daughters, in the vast majority, are the sons and daughters of the Catholic Church. In the light of these undoubted premises, we see such an agreement as one of the elements in the ethical and international order in Europe and the modern world, an order that flows from respect for the rights of the nation and for human rights. I therefore permit myself to express the opinion that one cannot desist from efforts and research in this direction

5.  I also permit myself to express my happiness for all the good things that are shared in by my fellow-countrymen, living in the motherland, of whatever nature these good things may be and whatever be the inspiration from which they come. The thought that creates what is truly good must carry a sign of truth.

This good, and every further success in the greatest abundance and in every sector of life, I wish for Poland. Gentlemen, permit me to continue to consider this good as my own, and to feel my sharing in it as deeply as if I still lived in this land and were still a citizen of this State.

And with the same, or perhaps even with increased intensity by reason of distance, I shall continue to feel in my heart everything that could threaten Poland, that could hurt her, that could be to her disadvantage, that could signify stagnation or a crisis. Permit me to continue to feel, to think and to hope thus, and to pray for this. It is a son of the same motherland that is speaking to you.

Particularly near to my heart is everything in which solicitude is expressed for the good and for the consolidation of the family and for the moral health of the young generation.

Gentlemen, Mr First Secretary. I desire at the end to renew once again my cordial thanks to you and to express my esteem for all your solicitude that has as its aim the common good of fellow-citizens and the adequate importance of Poland in international life.

I add the expression of my regard for all of you, the distinguished representatives of the Authorities, and for each one in particular, according to the office which you exercise and according to the dignity which you hold, as also according to the important part of responsibility that is incumbent on each one of you before history and before your conscience."

Pope John Paul II's Homily at Holy Mass in Victory Square, Warsaw
the Vigil of Pentecost, 2 June 1979 - in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"Beloved Fellow-countrymen. Dear Brothers and Sisters.
Participants in the Eucharistic Sacrifice celebrated today in Victory Square in Warsaw.
1. Together with you I wish to sing a hymn of praise to Divine Providence, which enables me to be here as a pilgrim.

We know that the recently deceased Paul VI, the first pilgrim Pope after so many centuries, ardently desired to set foot on the soil of Poland, especially at Jasna Gora (the Bright Mountain). To the end of his life he kept this desire in his heart, and with it he went to the grave. And we feel that this desire — a desire so potent and so deeply rooted that it goes beyond the span of a pontificate — is being realized today in a way that it would have been difficult to foresee. And so we thank Divine Providence for having given Paul VI so strong a desire. We thank it for the pattern of the pilgrim Pope that he began with the Second Vatican Council. At a time when the whole Church has become newly aware of being the People of God, a People sharing in the mission of Christ, a People that goes through history with that mission, a "pilgrim" People, the Pope could no longer remain a "prisoner of the Vatican". He had to become again the pilgrim Peter, like the first Peter, who from Jerusalem, through Antioch, reached Rome to give witness there to Christ and seal his witness with his blood.

Today it is granted to me to fulfil this desire of the deceased Pope Paul VI in the midst of you, beloved sons and daughters of my motherland. When, after the death of Paul VI and the brief pontificate of my immediate Predecessor John Paul I, which lasted only a few weeks, I was, through the inscrutable designs of Divine Providence, called by the votes of the Cardinals from the chair of Saint Stanislaus in Krakow to that of Saint Peter in Rome, I immediately understood that it was for me to fulfil that desire, the desire that Paul VI had been unable to carry out at the Millennium of the Baptism of Poland.

My pilgrimage to my motherland in the year in which the Church in Poland is celebrating the ninth centenary of the death of Saint Stanislaus is surely a special sign of the pilgrimage that we Poles are making down through the history of the Church not only along the ways of our motherland but also along those of Europe and the world. Leaving myself aside at this point, I must nonetheless with all of you ask myself why, precisely in 1978, after so many centuries of a well established tradition in this field, a son of the Polish Nation, of the land of Poland, was called to the chair of St Peter. Christ demanded of Peter and of the other Apostles that they should be his "witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1, 8). Have we not the right, with reference to these words of Christ, to think that Poland has become nowadays the land of a particularly responsible witness? The right to think that from here — from Warsaw, and also from Gniezno, from Jasna Gora, from Krakow and from the whole of this historic route that I have so often in my life traversed and that it is to proclaim Christ with singular humility but also with conviction? The right to think that one must come to this very place, to this land, on this route, to read again the witness of his Cross and his Resurrection? But if we accept all that I have dared to affirm in this moment, how many great duties and obligations arise? Are we capable of them?

2. Today, at the first stopping place in my papal pilgrimage in Poland, it is granted to me to celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice in Victory Square in Warsaw. The liturgy of the evening of Saturday the Vigil of Pentecost takes us to the Upper Room in Jerusalem, where the Apostles, gathered around Mary the Mother of Christ, were on the following day to receive the Holy Spirit. They were to receive the Spirit obtained for them by Christ through the Cross, in order that through the power of this Spirit they might fulfil his command: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you" (Mt 28, 19-20). Before Christ the Lord left the world, he transmitted to the Apostles with these words his last recommendation, his "missionary mandate". And he added: "Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Mt 28, 20).

It is good that my pilgrimage to Poland on the 9th centenary of the martyrdom of St Stanislaus should fall in the Pentecost period and on the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Fulfilling the desire of Paul VI after his death, I am able to relive the Millennium of the Baptism on Polish soil and to inscribe this year's jubilee of St Stanislaus in the Millennium since the beginning of the nation and the Church. The Solemnity of Pentecost and that of the Most Holy Trinity bring us close to this beginning. In the apostles who receive the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost are spiritually present in a way all their successors, all the Bishops, including those whose task it has been for a thousand years to proclaim the Gospel on Polish soil. Among them was this Stanislaus of Szczepanow, who paid with his blood for his mission on the episcopal chair of Krakow nine centuries ago.

On the day of Pentecost there were gathered, in the Apostles and around them, not only the representatives of the peoples and tongues listed in the book of the Acts of the Apostles. Even then there were gathered about them the various peoples and nations that, through the light of the Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit, were to enter the Church at different periods and centuries. The day of Pentecost is the birthday of the faith and of the Church in our land of Poland also. It is the proclamation of the mighty works of God in our Polish language also. It is the beginning of Christianity in the life of our nation also, in its history, its culture, its trials.

3a. To Poland the Church brought Christ, the key to understanding that great and fundamental reality that is man. For man cannot be fully understood without Christ. Or rather, man is incapable of understanding himself fully without Christ. He cannot understand who he is, nor what his true dignity is, nor what his vocation is, nor what his final end is. He cannot understand any of this without Christ.

Therefore Christ cannot be kept out of the history of man in any part of the globe, at any longitude or latitude of geography. The exclusion of Christ from the history of man is an act against man. Without Christ it is impossible to understand the history of Poland, especially the history of the people who have passed or are passing through this land. The history of people. The history of the nation is above all the history of people. And the history of each person unfolds in Jesus Christ. In him it becomes the history of salvation.

The history of the nation deserves to be adequately appraised in the light of its contribution to the development of man and humanity, to intellect, heart and conscience. This is the deepest stream of culture. It is culture's firmest support, its core, its strength. It is impossible without Christ to understand and appraise the contribution of the Polish nation to the development of man and his humanity in the past and its contribution today also: "This old oak tree has grown in such a way and has not been knocked down by any wind since its root is Christ" (Piotr Skarga, Kazania Sejmove IV, Biblioteka Narodowa). It is necessary to follow the traces of what, or rather who, Christ was for the sons and daughters of this land down the generations. Not only for those who openly believed in him and professed him with the faith of the Church, but also for those who appeared to be at a distance, outside the Church. For those who doubted or were opposed.

3b. It is right to understand the history of the nation through man, each human being of this nation. At the same time man cannot be understood apart from this community that is constituted by the nation. Of course it is not the only community, but it is a special community, perhaps that most intimately linked with the family, the most important for the spiritual history of man. It is therefore impossible without Christ to understand the history of the Polish nation — this great thousand-year-old community — that is so profoundly decisive for me and each one of us. If we reject this key to understanding our nation, we lay ourselves open to a substantial misunderstanding. We no longer understand ourselves. It is impossible without Christ to understand this nation with its past so full of splendour and also of terrible difficulties. It is impossible to understand this city, Warsaw, the capital of Poland, that undertook in 1944 an unequal battle against the aggressor, a battle in which it was abandoned by the allied powers, a battle in which it was buried under its own ruins — if it is not remembered that under those same ruins there was also the statue of Christ the Saviour with his cross that is in front of the church at Krakowskie Przedmiescie. It is impossible to understand the history of Poland from Stanislaus in Skalka to Maximilian Kolbe at Oswiecim unless we apply to them that same single fundamental criterion that is called Jesus Christ.

The Millennium of the Baptism of Poland, of which St Stanislaus is the first mature fruit — the millennium of Christ in our yesterday, and today — is the chief reason for my pilgrimage, for my prayer of thanksgiving together with all of you, dear fellow-countrymen, to whom Christ does not cease to teach the great cause of man; together with you, for whom Jesus Christ does not cease to be an ever open book on man, his dignity and his rights and also a book of knowledge on the dignity and rights of the nation.

Today, here in Victory Square, in the capital of Poland, I am asking with all of you, through the great Eucharistic prayer, that Christ will not cease to be for us an open book of life for the future, for our Polish future.

4. We are before the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. In the ancient and contemporary history of Poland this tomb has a special basis, a special reason for its existence. In how many places in our native land has that soldier fallen! In how many places in Europe and the world has he cried with his death that there can be no just Europe without the independence of Poland marked on its map! On how many battlefields has that solider given witness to the rights of man, indelibly inscribed in the inviolable rights of the people, by falling for "our free­dom and yours"!

"Where are their tombs, O Poland? Where are they not! You know better than anyone — and God knows it in heaven" (A. Oppman, Pacierz za zmarlych).

The history of the motherland written through the tomb of an Unknown Soldier!

I wish to kneel before this tomb to venerate every seed that falls into the earth and dies and thus bears fruit. It may be the seed of the blood of a soldier shed on the battlefield, or the sacrifice of martyrdom in concentration camps or in prisons. It may be the seed of hard daily toil, with the sweat of one's brow, in the fields, the workshop, the mine, the foundries and the factories. It may be the seed of the love of parents who do not refuse to give life to a new human being and undertake the whole of the task of bringing him up. It may be the seed of creative work in the universities, the higher institutes, the libraries and the places where the national culture is built. It may be the seed of prayer, of service of the sick, the suffering, the abandoned — "all that of which Poland is made".

All that in the hands of the Mother of God — at the foot of the cross on Calvary and in the Upper Room of Pentecost!

All that — the history of the motherland shaped for 1000 years by the succession of the generations (among them the present generation and the coming generation) and by each son and daughter of the motherland, even if they are anonymous and unknown like the Soldier before whose tomb we are now.

All that — including the history of the peoples that have lived with us and among us, such as those who died in their hundreds of thousands within the walls of the Warsaw ghetto.

All that I embrace in thought and in my heart during this Eucharist and I include it in this unique most holy Sacrifice of Christ, on Victory Square.

And I cry — I who am a Son of the land of Poland and who am also Pope John Paul II — I cry from all the depths of this Millennium, I cry on the vigil of Pentecost:

Let your Spirit descend.
Let your Spirit descend.
and renew the face of the earth,
the face of this land. Amen."

John Paul II's Homily at Mass with University Students at Pentecost
Warsaw, Solemnity of Pentecost, Sunday 3 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"My dearest friends,
1. It is my ardent desire that today's meeting, which is marked by the presence of the university students, will be in keeping with the grandeur of the day and its liturgy.

The university students of Warsaw and those of the other seats of learning in this central metropolitan region are the heirs of specific traditions going back through the generations to the mediaeval "scholars" connected principally with the Jagellonian University, the oldest university in Poland. Today every large city in Poland has its university. Warsaw has several. They bring together hundreds of thousands of students who are being trained in various branches of knowledge and are preparing for intellectual professions and particularly important tasks in the life of the nation.

I wish to greet all of you who have gathered here. I wish also to greet in you and through you all the university and academic world of Poland: all the higher institutes, the professors, the researchers, the students. I see in you, in a certain sense, my younger colleagues, because I too owe to the Polish university the basis of my intellectual formation. I had a systematic connection with the lecture halls of the faculty of philosophy and theology at Krakow and Lublin. Pastoral care of those in the universities is something for which I have had a particular liking. I therefore wish on this occasion to greet also all those who dedicate themselves to this pastoral care, the groups of the spiritual assistants of university students, and the Polish Episcopate's Commission for University Pastoral Care.

2. We are meeting today on the Solemnity of Pentecost. With the eyes of our faith we see appear before us the upper room in Jerusalem from which the Church came forth and in which the Church remains for ever. There it was that the Church was born as the living community of the People of God, as a community aware of its own mission in the history of man.

On this day the Church prays: "Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love" (Liturgy of Pentecost). These words, so often repeated, today resound with particular ardour.

Fill the hearts. Reflect, young friends, how great is the human heart, if God alone can fill it with the Holy Spirit.

Through your university studies you see open up before you the wonderful world of human knowledge in its many branches. Step by step with this knowledge your self-awareness is certainly developing also. Assuredly you have long been putting the question to yourselves: "Who am I?" This is, I would say, the most interesting question. The fundamental query. What is to be the measurement for measuring man? That of the physical forces at his command? That of the senses that enable him to have contact with the external world? Or that of the intelligence obtained by means of the various tests or examinations?

Today's answer, the answer of the liturgy of Pentecost, points to two measurements: Man must be measured by the measurement of his "heart"... In Biblical language the heart means the inner spirituality of man; in particular it means conscience... Man must therefore be measured by the measurement of conscience, by the measurement of the spirit open to God. Only the Holy Spirit can "fill" this heart, that is to say, lead it to self-realization through love and wisdom.

3. Therefore let this meeting with you today in front of the upper room of our history, the history of the Church and of the nation, be above all, a prayer to obtain the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

As once my father placed a little book in my hand and pointed out to me the prayer to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit, so today I, who am also called "Father" by you, wish to pray with the university students of Warsaw and of Poland: for the gift of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety (that is to say the sense of the sacred value of life, of human dignity, of the sanctity of the human body and soul) and, finally, for the gift of the fear of God, of which the Psalmist says that it is the beginning of wisdom (cf Ps 111, 10).

Receive from me this prayer that my father taught me, and remain faithful to it. You will thus stay in the upper room of the Church, united with the deepest stream of its history.

4. Very much will depend on the measurement that each one of you will choose to use for your own life and your own humanity. You know well that there are different measurements. You know that there are many standards for appraising a human being, for judging him even during his studies and later in his professional work, his various personal contacts, etc.

Have the courage to accept the measurement that Christ gave us in the upper room of Pentecost and the upper room of our history. Have the courage to look at your lives from a viewpoint that is close up and yet detached, accepting as truth what St Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans: "We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now" (Rom 8, 22). Do we not see this suffering before our eyes? "For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God" (Rom 8, 19).

Creation is waiting not only for the Universities and the various higher institutes to prepare engineers, doctors, jurists, philologists, historians, men of letters, mathematicians and technicians: it is waiting for the revealing of the sons of God. It is waiting for this revealing from you, you who in the future will be doctors, technicians, jurists, professors...

Try to understand that the human being whom God created in his image and after his likeness is also called in Christ, in order that in him should be revealed what is from God, in order that in each one of us God himself should to some extent be revealed.

5. Reflect on this! As I make my way along the route of my pilgrimage through Poland towards the tomb of St Wojciech (Adalbert) at Gniezno, to that of St Stanislaus at Krakow, to Jasna Gora — everywhere I will ask the Holy Spirit with all my heart to grant you: such an awareness, such a consciousness of the value and the meaning of life, such a future for you, such a future for Poland.

And pray for me, that the Holy Spirit may come to the aid of our weakness!"

Papież Jan Paweł II's address at the Welcoming Ceremony in Gniezno
Sunday 3 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"Your Eminence, beloved Primate of Poland,
1. "May God reward" the words of greeting addressed to me here, on the way that leads to Gniezno. Here are the field and the wide meadows where we meet to begin our pilgrimage. This pilgrimage must bring us to Gniezno, and then from Gniezno — through Jasna Gora — to Krakow. This is like the route of the history of the nation and also the route of our Patrons: Adalbert and Stanislaus, united in solicitude for the Christian patrimony of this land, next to the Mother of God at Jasna Gora.

Here, in these wide meadows I greet with veneration the nest of the Piasts, the origin of the history of our motherland and the cradle of the Church, in which our ancestors were united, through the bond of faith, with the Father, with the Son, and with the Holy Spirit.

I greet this bond! I greet it with great veneration since it goes back to the very beginnings of history, and after a thousand years it continues to be intact. And therefore I greet here, together with the illustrious Primate of Poland, also the Metropolitan Archbishop of Poznan and the Bishops of Szczecin-Kamien, Koszalin-Kolobrzeg, Gdansk, Pelplin and Wloclawek, with the Auxiliary Bishops of these sees. I greet the clergy of all the dioceses belonging to the metropolitan community of Gniezno of the Primates. I greet the religious families of men and women. I greet all those who have assembled here in such great numbers. All together we are "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people he claims for his own" (1 Pt 2, 9). All together we form also "the royal race of the Piasts".

2. Dear brothers and sisters, my fellow-countrymen. I desire that my pilgrimage through Polish land, in communion with all of you, should become a living catechesis, the integration of that catechesis which entire generations of our forebears have inscribed into our history. May this be the catechesis of all the history of the Church and of Poland, and at the same time the catechesis of our times.

The fundamental task of the Church is catechesis. We know this well, not only on the basis of the work of the last Synod of Bishops, but also on the basis of our national experiences. In the field of this work of an ever more conscious faith that is always newly introduced into the life of each generation, we know how much depends on the common effort of parents, of the family, of the parish, of the priests and pastors of souls, of men and women catechists, of the community, of the instruments of social communication, and of customs. In fact the walls of the bell towers of the churches, the crosses at the crossroads, the holy pictures on the walls of the houses — all this in a certain way, catechizes. And on this great synthesis of the catechesis of life, in the present and in the past, depends the faith of future generations.

And therefore I desire today to be with you here, in the nest of the Piasts, in this cradle of the Church — here where over 1000 years ago catechesis began on Polish soil.

And I desire to greet from here all the ecclesial communities on Polish soil, in which catechesis takes place today. All the catechetical groups in the churches, chapels, halls and rooms...

I desire to greet from here the young Poland, all the Polish children and all the youth gathered in those groups where they assemble perseveringly and systematically... Yes, I say the young Poland; and my heart turns to all the Polish children, both to those who are present here at this moment and all those who live on Polish soil.

No one of us can ever forget the following words of Jesus; "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them" (Lk 18, 16). I want to be, before you dear Polish children, a living echo of these words of our Saviour, particularly in this year in which the Year of the Child is celebrated throughout the whole world.

With my thought and with my heart I embrace the infants that are still in the arms of their fathers and mothers. May those loving arms of parents never cease to exist! May the number be extremely small on Polish soil of those who are known as "social" orphans, coming from broken homes or from families that are unable to educate their own children.

May all the children of pre-school age have easy access to Christ. May they be prepared with joy to receive him in the Eucharist. May they grow "in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man" (Lk 2, 52), as he himself grew, in the house of Nazareth.

And as they grow up in years, as they pass from childhood to adolescence, let no one of us, dear brothers and sisters, ever be culpable in their regard, of causing that scandal of which Jesus speaks in such a severe manner. Let us meditate every once in a while on those words. May they help us to fulfil the great work of education and of catechesis with greater zeal and with a greater sense of responsibility.

3. The Cardinal Primate has greeted me in the name of Poland always faithful. The first and fundamental proof of this fidelity, the essential condition for the future is precisely this youth, these Polish children and, at their side, their parents, the pastors of souls, the sisters, the men and women catechists, united in the daily work of catechesis throughout all the land of Poland.

May God bless all of you, just as in the past he blessed our forebears, our sovereigns Mieszko and Boleslaw, here, along the route between Poznan and Gniezno. May he bless all of you!

Accept this sign of blessing from the hands of the pilgrim Pope who is visiting you."

Święty Jan Paweł II's Homily at Mass in Gniexno Cathedral at Pentecost
Sunday 3 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"Your Eminence, beloved Primate of Poland.
Dear Brothers, the Archbishops and Bishops of Poland.
1. In you I greet the whole of the People of God living in my native land — the priests, the religious families, the laity. I greet Poland, baptized over 1000 years ago.

I greet Poland, inserted into the mysteries of the divine life through the sacraments of baptism and confirmation. I greet the Church in the land of my forefathers, in hierarchical community and unity with the Successor of Saint Peter. I greet the Church in Poland, which was guided from the beginning by the saints, Bishops and Martyrs, Wojciech (Adalbert) and Stanislaus, in union with the Queen of Poland, Our Lady of Jasna Gora (The Bright Mountain—Czestochowa).

I who have come among you as a pilgrim for the great Jubilee greet all of you, dear brothers and sisters, with the brotherly kiss of peace.

2. Once again the day of Pentecost has come, and we are spiritually present in the Jerusalem upper room, while at the same time we are present here in this upper room of our Polish Millennium, in which we hear as forcefully as ever the voice of the mystery-filled date of that beginning from which we start to count the years of the history of our motherland and of the Church that has been made part of it. The history of Poland ever faithful.

On the day of Pentecost, in the Jerusalem upper room, the promise is fulfilled that was sealed with the blood of the Redeemer on Calvary: "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained" (Jn 20, 22-23). The Church is born precisely from the power of these words. The Church is born of the power of this breath. After it had been prepared during the entire life of Christ, the Church is definitively born when the Apostles receive from Christ the gift of Pentecost, when they receive from him the Holy Spirit. The descent of the Spirit marks the beginning of the Church, which throughout all generations must bring mankind — both individuals and nations — into the unity of the Mystical Body of Christ. The descent of the Holy Spirit means the beginning of this mystery and also its continuance. For the continuance is a constant return to the beginning.

And now we hear how in the Jerusalem upper room, the Apostles were "filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2, 4). The various languages became theirs, became their own languages, thanks to the mystery-filled action of the Holy Spirit, which "blows where it wills" (Jn 3, 8) and renews "the face of the earth" (Ps 103[104], 30).

And although the author of Acts does not list our language among those that the Apostles began to speak that day, the time would come when the Successors of the Apostles in the upper room were to begin to speak also the tongue of our forefathers and to proclaim the Gospel to the People that could understand it and receive it only in that language.

3. There is much significance in the names of the castles of the Piast dynasty in which this historic translation of the Spirit took place and in which the torch of the Gospel was lit in the land of our forefathers. The language of the Apostles resounded for the first time, as if in a new translation, in our tongue, the tongue that the people living on the banks of the Warta and the Vistula understood and that we still understand today.

The castles with which the beginning of the faith in the land of our Polish forefathers is linked are, in fact, that of Poznan — which from the earliest times, beginning two years after the baptism of Mieszko, was the residence of the Bishop — and that of Gniezno — where the great ecclesiastical and state act of the year 1000 took place: the meeting before the relics of St Wojciech of the envoys of Pope Sylvester II of Rome with the Roman Emperor Otto III and the first Polish king (then only a prince as yet) Boleslaw Chrobry (Boleslaus the Bold), the son and successor of Mieszko, in which the first Polish ecclesiastical province was set up, thus laying the foundations of the hierarchical order for the whole of the history of Poland. Within this ecclesiastical province of Gniezno we find in the year 1000 the episcopal sees of Krakow, Wroclaw and Kolobrzeg, linked in a single ecclesiastical organization.

Every time we come to this place, we must see the upper room of Pentecost opened up before us again. And we must listen to the language of our forefathers, in which the proclamation of "the mighty works of God" (Acts 2, 11) began to resound.

It was also here that the Church in Poland intoned in 1966 its first Te Deum of thanksgiving for the Millennium of its baptism. As Metropolitan of Krakow, I had the good fortune to participate in that celebration. Today, as the first Pope of the Polish race, I would like to sing again with you this Te Deum of the Millennium. Inscrutable and wonderful are the decrees of the Lord that trace the ways leading from Sylvester II to John Paul II in this place.

4. After so many centuries the Jerusalem upper room was again opened up and amazement fell no longer only on the peoples of Mesopotamia and Judea, Egypt and Asia, and visitors from Rome, but also on the Slav peoples and the other peoples living in this part of Europe, as they heard the apostles of Jesus Christ speaking in their tongue and telling in their language "the mighty works of God".

When in the course of history the first sovereign of Poland wished to introduce Christianity and unite with the See of St Peter, he turned above all to the related peoples and married Dobrawa, daughter of the Czech prince Boleslaus, who was a Christian and became the godmother of her husband and of all his subjects. With her, Poland received missionaries from various nations of Europe, from Ireland, Italy and Germany, such as the holy bishop and martyr St Bruno of Querfurt. In the memory of the Church in the land of the Boleslaws the deepest impression was made by St Wojciech, a son and pastor of the related Czech nation. Well known are his history during the time that he was Bishop of Prague, his pilgrimages to Rome and above all his stay at the court of Gniezno, which was to prepare him for his final missionary journey to the North. In the area of the Baltic Sea this exile bishop, this tireless missionary, became the grain that falls into the ground and must die in order to bear much fruit (cf Jn 12, 24). The witness of martyrdom, the witness of blood, sealed in a special way the baptism received a thousand years ago by our forefathers. The martyred remains of the apostle Wojciech lie at the foundations of Christianity throughout the land of Poland.

5. Today, in the year of the Lord 1979, on this anniversary of the descent of the Holy Spirit, as we go back to those beginnings, we cannot fail to hear also — as well as the language of our own forefathers — other Slav languages and related languages, languages in which there then began to be heard the voice of the upper room that was opened wide to history. These languages cannot fail to be heard especially by the first Slav Pope in the history of the Church. Perhaps that is why Christ has chosen him, perhaps that is why the Holy Spirit has led him — in order that he might introduce into the communion of the Church the understanding of the words and of the languages that still sound strange to the ear accustomed to the Romance, Germanic, English and Celtic tongues. Is it not Christ's will that the Holy Spirit should make the Mother Church turn, at the end of the second millennium of Christianity, with loving understanding, with special sensitivity, to those forms of human speech that are linked together by their common origin, their common etymology, and which, in spite of the well-known differences, even in way of writing, sound close and familiar one to another?

Is it not Christ's will, is it not what the Holy Spirit disposes, that this Pope, in whose heart is deeply engraved the history of his own nation from its very beginning and also the history of the brother peoples and the neighbouring peoples, should in a special way manifest and confirm in our age the presence of these peoples in the Church and their specific contribution to the history of Christianity?

Is it not the design of Providence that he should reveal the developments that have taken place here in this part of Europe in the rich architecture of the temple of the Holy Spirit?

Is it not Christ's will, is it not what the Holy Spirit disposes, that this Polish Pope, this Slav Pope, should at this precise moment manifest the spiritual unity of Christian Europe? Although there are two great traditions, that of the West and that of the East, to which it is indebted, through both of them Christian Europe professes "one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all" (Eph 4, 5-6), the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes, it is Christ's will, it is what the Holy Spirit disposes, that what I am saying should be said in this very place and at this moment in Gniezno, in the land of the Piasts, in Poland, close to the relics of St Wojciech and St Stanislaus, before the image of the Virgin Mother of God, Our Lady of the Bright Mountain and Mother of the Church.

On the occasion of the baptism of Poland we must call to mind the Christianization of the Slavs: that of the Croats and Slovenes, among whom missionaries worked as early as about 650 and largely accomplished their evangelization by the year 800; that of the Bulgarians, whose prince, Borys I, received baptism in 864 or 865; that of the Moravians and Slovaks, who were reached by missionaries before 850 and then in 863 by St Cyril and St Methodius, who came to Greater Moravia to consolidate the faith of the young communities; that of the Czechs, whose Prince Borivoj was baptized by St Methodius. The field of the evangelizing influence of St Methodius and his disciples also included the Vislans and the Slavs living in Serbia. We must also recall the baptism of Russia at Kiev in 988. We must also remember the Christianization of the Slavs dwelling along the Elbe: Obotrits, Wielets and Lusatian Sorbs. The Christianization of Europe was completed with the baptism of Lithuania in 1386 and 1387.

Pope John Paul II, a Slav, a son of the Polish nation, feels how deeply fixed in the ground of history are the roots of his origin, how many centuries stand behind the word of the Holy Spirit proclaimed by him from St Peter's Vatican Hill, and here at Gniezno, from the hill of Lech, and at Krakow, from the heights of Wawel.

This Pope, who is a witness of Christ and a lover of the Cross and the Resurrection, today comes to this place to give witness to Christ, who is living in the soul of his nation, to Christ, who is living in the souls of the nations that have long since accepted him as "the way, and the truth, and the life" (Jn 14, 6). He comes here to speak before the whole Church, before Europe and the world, of those often forgotten nations and peoples. He comes here to cry "with a loud voice". He comes here to point out the paths that in one way or another lead back towards the Pentecost upper room, towards the Cross and Resurrection. He comes here to embrace all these peoples, together with his own nation, and to hold them close to the heart of the Church, to the heart of the Mother of the Church, in whom he has unlimited trust.

6. Within a short time there will end here in Gniezno the visit of the sacred Icon. The image of Our Lady of Jasna Gora, the image of the Mother, expresses in a unique way her presence in the mystery of Christ and of the Church that has been living for so many centuries in the land of Poland. This image, which for more than 20 years has been visiting the individual churches, dioceses and parishes of this land, ends before long its visit to Gniezno, the ancient See of the Primates, and goes to Jasna Gora, to begin its pilgrimage in the Diocese of Czestochowa.

It is a great joy for me to be able to do this stage on my pilgrimage together with Mary and to be with her on the great historic route that I have often travelled, from Gniezno to Krakow by way of Jasna Gora, from St Wojciech to St Stanislaus by way of the "Virgin Mother of God, whom God has filled with glory, Mary".

The chief route of our spiritual history, the route travelled by all the Poles, whether of the West or of the East, as well as those outside their motherland in the various countries and continents.

The chief route of our spiritual history and also one of the great routes of the spiritual history of all the Slavs and one of the chief spiritual routes of the history of Europe.

In these days there will take place for the first time a pilgrimage along this route by the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, the first among those who went forth from the Pentecost upper room in Jerusalem, singing:

"Lord God, how great you are, clothed in majesty and glory, / wrapped in light as in a robe!...
How many are your works, O Lord! / In wisdom you have made them all. / The earth is full of your riches.
You send forth your Spirit, they are created, / and you renew the face of the earth" (Ps 103, 1-2, 24, 30).

Thus, dear fellow-countrymen, will this Pope, blood of your blood, bone of your bone, sing with you, and with you he will exclaim:

"May the glory of the Lord last for ever! / May the Lord rejoice in his works! / ... May the glory of the Lord last for ever! / ... May my thoughts be pleasing to him". (Ps 103, 31, 34).

We shall go together along this path of our history, from Jasna Gora to Wawel, to St Stanislaus. We shall go there, thinking of the past, but with our minds directed towards the future.

We shall not return to the past! We shall go towards the future! "Receive the Holy Spirit"! (Jn 20, 22). Amen."

Papież Jan Paweł II's words to the Young People of Gniezno
Gniezno, 3 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"My dearest friends,
1. The most ancient monument of Polish literature is the "Bogurodzica" ("Mother of God"). Tradition makes its origin go back to St Wojciech (Adalbert). The history of literature enables us to place in the 15th century the date of the oldest texts of this song message. I call it a song message because the Bogurodzica is not only a song but also a profession of faith, a creed of Polish belief; it is a catechesis and even a document of Christian education. The principal truths of faith and the principles of morals are contained in it. It is not merely a historical object. It is a document of life. Jakub-Wujek called it "the Polish catechism".

It is always with deep emotion, with rapture, that we sing it, remembering that it was sung at solemn and decisive moments. We read it with deep feeling. It is difficult to read these ancient verses in any other way, if we think of the fact that the generations of our forefathers were brought up on them. The song of the Bogurodzica is not just an ancient cultural document. It has given Polish culture its fundamental original framework.

2. Culture is an expression of man, a confirmation of humanity. Man creates culture and through culture creates himself. He creates himself with the inward effort of the spirit, of thought, will and heart. At the same time he creates culture in communion with others. Culture is an expression of communication, of shared thought and collaboration by human beings. It is born of service of the common good and becomes an essential good of human communities.

Culture is above all a common good of the nation. Polish culture is a good on which the spiritual life of Poles rests. It distinguishes us as a nation. It is decisive for us throughout the course of history, more decisive even than material power. Indeed, it is more decisive than political boundaries. The Polish nation, as is well known, passed through the hard trial of the loss of its independence for over 100 years. And in the midst of this trial it preserved its own identity. It remained spiritually independent because it had its own culture. Indeed, in the period of the partitions it still greatly enriched its culture and made it deeper, since it is only by creating culture that it can keep itself in being.

3. From its beginnings Polish culture bears very clear Christian signs. The baptism received throughout the thousand years by the generations of our fellow-countrymen not only initiated them into the mystery of the death and Resurrection of Christ, not only made them become children of God through grace, but also had a great echo in the history of thought and in artistic creativity, poetry, music, drama, the plastic arts, painting and sculpture.

It is still so today. Christian inspiration continues to be the chief source of the creativity of Polish artists. Polish culture still flows with a broad stream of inspirations that have their source in the Gospel. This contributes also to the deeply humanistic character of this culture. It makes it so deeply and authentically human, since, as Adam Mickiewicz wrote in his Ksiegi Narodu i Pielgrzymstwa Polskiego, "a civilization truly worthy of man must be a Christian civilization".

In the works of Polish culture the soul of the nation is reflected. In them lives the nation's history, a history that is a continual school of solid sincere patriotism. For this reason, that same history can make demands and uphold ideals without which it is difficult for man to believe in his own dignity and educate himself.

4. You are hearing these words from a man who owes his own spiritual formation from the beginning to Polish culture, to its literature, its music, its plastic arts, its theatre — to Polish history, to the Polish Christian traditions, to the Polish schools, the Polish universities.

In speaking to you young people in this way, this man wishes above all to pay the debt that he owes this marvellous spiritual heritage that began with the Bogurodzica. At the same time, this man wishes to appear before you today with this heritage, which is the common good of all Poles and constitutes an outstanding part of European and world culture.

And he asks you: Remain faithful to this heritage. Make it the foundation of your formation. Be nobly proud of it. Keep this heritage and multiply it; hand it on to future generations.

Come, Holy Spirit, and from heaven direct on man the rays of your light. Come, Father of the poor; come, giver of God's gifts; come, light of men's hearts... (Pentecost Sequence).

Light of young Polish consciences, come. Strengthen in them the love from which was born the first Polish song, the Bogurodzica, a message of faith and dignity for man in our land."

St John Paul II's Homily at Mass at the Marian Shrine of Jasna Gora
Czestochowa, Monday 4 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"1. "Holy Virgin guarding bright Czestochowa..." To my mind come back these words of the poet Mickiewicz, who in an invocation to the Virgin at the beginning of his 'Pan Tadeusz' expressed what then beat and still beats in the hearts of all Poles, by making use of the language of faith and that of our national tradition. It is a tradition that goes back some 600 years to the time of the blessed Queen Hedwig at the dawn of the Jagellonian dynasty. The image of Jasna Gora expresses a tradition and a language of faith still more ancient than our history and also reflecting the whole of the content of the Bogurodzica, on which we meditated yesterday at Gniezno, recalling the mission of St Wojciech (Adalbert) and going back to the first moments of the proclamation of the Gospel in the land of Poland.

She who once spoke in song, later spoke in this Image, manifesting through it her maternal presence in the life of the Church and of the motherland. The Virgin of Jasna Gora has revealed her maternal solicitude for every soul; for every family; for every human being living in this land, working here, fighting and falling on the battlefield, condemned to extermination, fighting against himself, winning or losing; for every human being who must leave the soil of his motherland as an emigrant; for every human being.

The Poles are accustomed to link with this place, this shrine, the many happenings of their lives: the various joyful or sad moments, especially the solemn, decisive moments, the occasions of responsibility, such as the choice of the direction for one's life, the choice of one's vocation, the birth of one's children, the final school examinations, and so many other occasions. They are accustomed to come with their problems to Jasna Gora to speak of them with their heavenly Mother, who not only has her image here, one of the best known and most venerated pictures of her in the world, but is specially present here. She is present in the mystery of Christ and of the Church, as the Council teaches. She is present for each and every one of those who come on pilgrimage to her, even if only in spirit and heart when unable to do so physically. The Poles are accustomed to do this. It is a custom also with related peoples, with neighbouring nations. More and more people are coming here from all over Europe and outside Europe.

During the great novena, the Cardinal Primate expressed himself as follows with regard to the significance of the shrine of Czestochowa for the life of the Church: "What has happened at Jasna Gora? "We are still unable to give an adequate answer. Something has happened that is beyond our powers of imagining... Jasna Gora has shown itself an inward bond in Polish life, a force that touches the depths of our hearts and holds the entire nation in the humble yet strong attitude of fidelity to God, to the Church and to her Hierarchy... For many of us it was a great surprise to see the power of the Queen of Poland display itself so magnificently."

It is no wonder then that I too should come here today. I have, in fact, taken with me from Poland to the chair of Saint Peter in Rome this "holy habit" of the heart, which has been built up by the faith of so many generations, has been tested by the Christian experience of so many centuries, and is deeply rooted in my soul.

2. Several times Pope Pius XI came here, naturally not as Pope but as Achille Ratti, the first Nuncio in Poland after the recovery of independence. After the death of Pius XII, when Pope John XXIII was elected to the Chair of Peter, the first words of the new Pontiff to the Primate of Poland after the Conclave were a reference to Jasna Gora. He recalled his visits here during his years as Apostolic Delegate in Bulgaria and he asked above all for unceasing prayer to the Mother of God for the intentions involved in his new mission. His request was satisfied every day at Jasna Gora, not only during his pontificate but also during those of his Successors.

We all know how much Pope Paul VI wanted to come here in pilgrimage. He was so closely connected with Poland from the time of his first diplomatic appointment in the Warsaw Nunciature. He was the Pope that did so much for the normalization of the life of the Church in Poland, particularly with regard to the present arrangement of the territories in the west and the north. He was the Pope of our Millennium. It was for the Millennium that he wanted to be here as a pilgrim together with the sons and daughters of the Polish Nation.

After the Lord called Pope Paul VI to himself on the solemnity of the Transfiguration last year, the Cardinals chose his Successor on 26 August, the day on which Poland, and especially Jasna Gora, celebrates the solemnity of Our Lady of Czestochowa. The news of the election of the new Pope, John Paul I, was communicated to the faithful by the Bishop of Czestochowa in the course of the evening celebration.

What must I say of myself, to whom after the barely 33-day pontificate of John Paul I it fell, on 16 October 1978, by the inscrutable decree of Providence to receive his inheritance and the apostolic succession to the Chair of Saint Peter? What must I say, I who am the first non-Italian Pope for 455 years? What must I say, I, John Paul II, the first Polish Pope in the history of the Church? I will tell you: on that 16 October, the day on which the liturgical calendar of the Church in Poland recalls St Hedwig, I went back in thought to 26 August, to the preceding Conclave and the election that took place on the Solemnity of Our Lady of Jasna Gora. I had no need even to say, as my Predecessors said, that I was going to count on the prayers offered at the foot of the image of Jasna Gora. The call of a son of the Polish nation to the Chair of Peter involves an evident strong connection with this holy place, with this shrine of great hope: so many times I had whispered 'Totus tuus' in prayer before this image.

3. And today I am again with all of you, dear brothers and sisters; with you, beloved fellow-countrymen; with you, the Cardinal Primate of Poland; with all the Episcopate to which I belonged for more than 20 years as Bishop, Metropolitan Archbishop of Krakow and as Cardinal. So many times we came here to this holy place with attentive pastoral ear, to listen to the beating of the heart of the Church and of that of the motherland in the heart of the Mother. Jasna Gora is, in fact, not only a place of pilgrimage for the Poles of the motherland and of the whole world but also the nation's shrine. One must listen in this holy place in order to hear the beating of the heart of the nation in the heart of the Mother. For her heart beats, we know, together with all the appointments of history, with all the happenings in our national life: how many times, in fact, has it vibrated with the laments of the historical sufferings of Poland, but also with the shouts of joy and victory! The history of Poland can be written in different ways; especially in the case of the history of the last centuries, it can be interpreted along different lines. But if we want to know how this history is interpreted by the heart of the Poles, we must come here, we must listen to this shrine, we must hear the echo of the life of the whole nation in the heart of its Mother and Queen. And if her heart beats with a tone of disquiet, if it echoes with solicitude and the cry for the conversion and strengthening of consciences, this invitation must be accepted. It is an invitation springing from maternal love, which in its own way is shaping the historical processes in the land of Poland.

The last decades have confirmed and intensified that unity between the Polish nation and its Queen. Before the Virgin of Czestochowa there was pronounced the consecration of Poland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on 8 September 1946. 10 years later the vows of King Jan Kazimierz were renewed at Jasna Gora on the 300th anniversary of the time when he, after a period referred to as one of deluge (the 17th century Swedish invasion), proclaimed the Mother of God Queen of the Polish Kingdom. On that anniversary began the great nine-year novena in preparation for the Millennium of the Baptism of Poland. Finally, in the year of the Millennium itself, on 3 May 1966, in this place the Primate of Poland pronounced the act of total servitude to the Mother of God for the freedom of the Church in Poland and throughout the world. This historic act was pronounced here, before Paul VI, absent in body but present in spirit, as a testimony of that lively and strong faith expected and demanded by the present time. The act speaks of "servitude". It contains a paradox similar to the words of the Gospel according to which one must lose one's life to find it (cf Mt 10, 39). For love constitutes the fulfilment of freedom, yet at the same time "belonging", and so not being free is part of its essence. However, this "not being free" in love is not felt as slavery but rather as an affirmation and fulfilment of freedom. The act of consecration in slavery indicates therefore a unique dependence and a limitless trust. In this sense slavery (non-freedom) expresses the fullness of freedom, in the same way as the Gospel speaks of the need to lose one's life in order to find it in its fullness.

The words of that act, which were spoken with the language of the historical experiences of Poland, the language of her sufferings and also of her victories, receive a response in this very moment of the life of the Church and of the world, after the close of the Second Vatican Council, which, as we rightly think, has opened a new era. The Council began an age of deeper knowledge of man, of his "joy and hope, grief and anguish", as is stated in the first words of the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes. Aware of her great dignity and her magnificent vocation in Christ, the Church wishes to go to meet man. The Church wishes to respond to the eternal yet ever topical queries of human hearts and human history. For that reason she carried out during the Council a work of deeper knowledge of herself, her nature, her mission, her tasks. On 3 May 1966 the Polish Episcopate added to this fundamental work by the Council its own act of Jasna Gora: the consecration to the Mother of God for the freedom of the Church in the world and in Poland. It was a cry coming forth from the heart and the will: a cry of the whole of the Christian being, from the person and the community, for the full right to proclaim the saving message; a cry that willed to have universal effectiveness by striking root in the present age and in the future. Everything through Mary. This is the authentic interpretation of the presence of the Mother of God in the mystery of Christ and of the Church, as is proclaimed by Chapter VIII of the Constitution Lumen Gentium. This interpretation corresponds to the tradition of the saints, such as Bernard of Clairvaux, Grignion de Monfort and Maximilian Kolbe.

4. Pope Paul VI accepted this act of consecration as the fruit of the celebration of the Polish Millennium of Jasna Gora, as is shown by his bull placed close to the image of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa. Today, on coming to Jasna Gora, his unworthy Successor wishes to renew it on the day after Pentecost, the very day on which is celebrated throughout Poland the feast of the Mother of the Church. For the first time the Pope is celebrating this solemnity, expressing together with you, venerable and dear Brothers, his gratitude towards his great Predecessor, who from the time of the Council began to invoke Mary with the title of the Mother of the Church.

This title enables us to enter into the whole of the mystery of Mary from the moment of her Immaculate Conception, passing through the Annunciation, the Visitation and the Birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, to Calvary. It enables us all to be — the scene is recalled in today's liturgy — in the upper room, where the Apostles devoted themselves to prayer, together with Mary the Mother of Jesus, as they waited, after the Lord's Ascension, for the fulfilment of his promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit, in order that the Church might be born. A special participation in the birth of the Church is had by her to whom we owe the birth of Christ. The Church, which was once born in the Pentecost upper room, continues to be born in every upper room of prayer. She is born to become our spiritual Mother in the likeness of the Mother of the Eternal Word. She is born to reveal the characteristics and power of that motherhood (the motherhood of the Mother of God) thanks to which we can "be called children of God; and so we are" (1 Jn 3, 1). For, in his plan of salvation, the holy fatherhood of God used the virginal motherhood of his lowly handmaiden to bring about in the children of man the work of the divine author.

Dear fellow-countrymen, venerable and beloved Brothers in the Episcopate, Pastors of the Church in Poland, illustrious guests, and all of you the faithful: consent that I, as St Peter's Successor present with you here today, should entrust the whole of the Church to the Mother of Christ with the same lively faith, the same heroic hope, with which we did so on the memorable day of 3 May of the Polish Millennium.

Consent that I should bring here, as I did already in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome and later in the Shrine of Guadalupe in Mexico, the mysteries of the hearts, the sorrow and suffering, and finally the hope and expectation of this final period of the twentieth century of the Christian era.

Consent that I should entrust all this to Mary.
Consent that I should entrust it to her in a new and solemn way.
I am a man of great trust.
I learnt to be so here."

John Paul II's Act of Consecration to the Mother of God in Jasna Gora
Czestochowa, Monday 4 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

""Great Mother of God made man, Most Holy Virgin, Our Lady of Jasna Gora..."

With these words the Polish Bishops addressed you so many times at Jasna Gora, bearing in their hearts the experiences and the sufferings, the joy and the sorrow, and, above all, the faith, hope and charity of their fellow-countrymen.

May I be permitted today to begin with the same words the new act of consecration to Our Lady of Jasna Gora. This new act springs from that same faith, hope and charity, and from the tradition of our people shared by me for so many years. It springs at the same time from the new duties that, thanks to you Mary, have been entrusted to me, an unworthy man and also your adoptive son.

How meaningful for me always have been the words that your Son, born from you, Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of man, spoken from the height of the Cross, pointing out John, apostle and evangelist: "Woman, behold, your son!" (Jn 19, 26). In these words I always found the place for every human being and the place for myself.

By the inscrutable designs of Divine Providence I am today present here at Jasna Gora, in my earthly homeland, Poland, and I wish first of all to confirm the acts of consecration and of trust that at various times — "in many and various ways" - were pronounced by the Cardinal Primate and the Polish Episcopate. In a very special way I wish to confirm and renew the act of consecration pronounced at Jasna Gora on 3 May 1966, on the occasion of the Millennium of Poland. With this act the Polish Bishops wished, by giving themselves to you, Mother of God, "in your maternal slavery of love", to serve the great cause of the freedom of the Church not only in their own homeland but in the whole world. Some years later, on 7 June 1976, they consecrated to you all of humanity, all the nations and peoples of the modern world, and their brothers and sisters who are close to them by faith, by language and by the destinies they share in history, extending this consecration to the furthest limits of love as is demanded by your heart, the heart of a Mother who embraces each and every person, always and everywhere.

I desire today, coming to Jasna Gora as the first pilgrim Pope, to renew this heritage of trust, of consecration and of hope, that has been accumulated here with such magnanimity by my Brothers in the Episcopate and my fellow-countrymen.

Therefore, I entrust to you, Mother of the Church, all the problems of this Church, the whole of her mission and of her service, while the second millennium of the history of Christianity on earth is about to draw to a close.

Spouse of the Holy Spirit and Seat of Wisdom, it is to your intercession that we owe the magnificent vision and the programme of renewal of the Church in our age that found expression in the teaching of the Second Vatican Council. Grant that we may make this vision and programme the object of our activity, our service, our teaching, our pastoral care, our apostolate — in the same truth, simplicity and fortitude with which the Holy Spirit has made them known through our humble service. Grant that the whole Church may be reborn by drawing from this new fount of the knowledge of her nature and mission, and not from other foreign or poisoned "cisterns" (cf Jer 8, 14).

Help us in the great endeavour that we are carrying out to meet in an always more mature way our brothers in faith, with whom so many things unite us, although there is still something dividing us. Through all the means of knowledge, of mutual respect, of love, of shared collaboration in various fields, may we be able to rediscover gradually the divine plan for the unity into which we must ourselves enter and introduce to everyone, in order that the one fold of Christ may recognize and live its unity on earth. Mother of unity, teach us constantly the ways that lead to unity.

Allow us in the future to go out to meet all men and all peoples that are seeking God and wishing to serve him on the way of different religions. Help us all to proclaim Christ and reveal "the power of God and the Wisdom of God" (1 Cor 1, 24) hidden in his Cross. You were the first to reveal him at Bethlehem, not only to the simple faithful shepherds but also to the wise men from distant lands. Mother of Good Counsel, show us always how we must serve man, humanity in every nation, how we are to lead them along the ways of salvation. How we are to protect justice and peace in a world continually threatened on various sides. How greatly I desire on the occasion of our meeting today to entrust to you all the difficult problems of the societies, systems and states — problems that cannot be solved with hatred, war and self-destruction but only by peace, justice and respect for the rights of people and of nations.

Mother of the Church, grant that the Church may enjoy freedom and peace in fulfilling her saving mission and that to this end she may become mature with a new maturity of faith and inner unity. Help us to overcome opposition and difficulties. Help us to rediscover all the simplicity and dignity of the Christian vocation. Grant that there may be no lack of "labourers in the Lord's vineyard". Sanctify families. Watch over the souls of the young and the hearts of the children. Help us to overcome the great moral threats against the fundamental spheres of life and love. Obtain for us the grace to be continually renewed through all the beauty of witness given to the Cross and Resurrection of your Son.

How many problems, O Mother, should I not present to you by name in this meeting! I entrust them all to you, because you know them best and understand them.

I entrust them to you in the place of the great consecration, from which one has a view not only of Poland but of the whole Church in the dimensions of countries and continents—the whole Church in your maternal heart.

I who am the first servant of the Church offer the whole Church to you and entrust it to you here with immense confidence, Mother. Amen."

Papa Giovanni Paolo II's words to the Parish of St Zygmunt
Czestochowa, Monday 4 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"1. It is with real joy that I step on to the threshold of this parish which, together with the whole Diocese of Czestochowa, is awaiting the coming visit of the image of Our Lady of Jasna Góra.

After it has left the primatial See of Gniezno, it will begin its visit among you. And therefore already today I wish to greet the Mother of the visit in this new stage of her pilgrimage throughout the land of Poland. I do this in cordial spiritual union with my beloved Brother of the Diocese of Czestochowa, with the Bishops who assist him here with all the pastors and diocesan and religious priests, and with the beloved Sisters of so many religious Congregations. I do this with the heart of all God's' people throughout the world who are particularly aware of the presence of Our Lady of Jasna Góra.

2. The visit of the image of Jasna Góra, in the faithful copy of it blessed by the Holy Father Pius XII in 1957, has over twenty years of history. In the summer of 1957 the image began to visit each parish, one after another, going from the Archdiocese of Warsaw to the Diocese of Siedlce, to that of Lomza, to the Archdiocese of Biaystok, to the Lake Region and Pomerania, to the Dioceses of Warmia, Gdańsk and Chelmno; then to the area that was the administrature of Gorzów but is now divided into the three Dioceses of Szczecin-Kamién, Koszalin-Kołobrzeg and Gorzów, within the new boundaries. The visit of the pilgrim image next continued in Silesia—in the Archdiocese of Wrocław and the Diocese of Opole. Then it reached the Diocese of Katowice and the other southern dioceses, namely the Archdiocese of Krakow, the Dioceses of Tarnów and Przemyśl and the territory of the Archdiocese of Lubaczów, and then the Dioceses of Lublin and Sandomierz. After visiting the Diocese of Kielce, the image proceeded to the Diocese of Drohiczyn and that of Łódź, and then turned north to the Dioceses of Włocławek and Płock. From Płock the series of visits passed to the Archdiocese of Poznań and finally to that of Gniezno. Today the Diocese of Czestochowa is added, constituting as it were the last link in that magnificent chain.

I have listed all the stopping places on the visit of the pilgrim image of Our Lady of Jasna Góra, because each one of them developed the blessed idea from which the Servant of God Pope Pius XII and the Polish Episcopate drew inspiration when undertaking twenty years ago this religious practice.

3. I greeted Our Lady of Jasna Góra in her pilgrimage at various stopping places. I did so especially during its visit to the parishes and communities of the People of God in the Archdiocese of Krakow, of which I was the pastor.

Today I wish to greet her, in the inscrutable design of Providence, as the Successor of all the Popes who have lived during this period, from Pius XII to John XXIII, to Paul VI, to John Paul I. I greet Mary, thanking her for all the graces of each stage of the visit. By my personal pastoral experience I know how great and extraordinary are these graces. Through the visits of the pilgrim image of Jasna Góra, in its faithful copy, there has been as it were the start of a new chapter in the history of Our Lady of Jasna Góra in the land of Poland.

This visit has given tangible expression to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council that is contained above all in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. These visits have shown what is the real maternal presence of the Mother of God in the mystery of Christ and of his Church. Going forth from her shrine of Jasna Góra to visit each diocese and each parish in Poland, Mary has shown herself to all of us in a Special way as our Mother. For a mother does not wait at home for her children: she follows them wherever they stay. Wherever they live or work or form their families, wherever they are pinned to a bed of pain, even on whatever path they have strayed, where they are forgetful of God and weighed down by guilt.

I wish therefore today, together with all of you present here, to express immense thankfulness for all of that. I wish to be the principal echo of all hearts, of all families, and communities, of all the pastors, priests and bishops. Of everybody.

At the same time, when I spiritually greet Mary in her pilgrim image at her entrance into every parish of the Diocese of Czestochowa—as the chain of the visit is passed to the Bishop of the Church of Czestochowa with his Brothers in the Episcopate, with the pastors, the priests, the religious families and all the People of God—I wish to be the messenger of a great expectation and an ardent hope. Your hearts are full of this expectation. Mary herself through her image is bringing you the hope. Was not the moment of the Annunciation in Nazareth a great turning point in the history of mankind? Did not Mary bring hope to the house of Zechariah when she went to visit her kinswoman Elizabeth? In our own difficult times did not Pope Pad VI call the Mother of God the beginning of a better world? Did not Blessed Maximilian Kolbe, the Polish "knight" of the Immaculate, also feel the same mystery?

May Mary's stay in every parish of your Diocese of Czestochowa be blessed.

As the Servant of God Pius XII did at the beginning, so today, at the last stage of the pilgrimage of the image of Jasna Góra, I, his unworthy Successor, I, Pope John Paul II, a son of the Polish Nation, wholeheartedly bless those who welcome Mary.

I place this present greeting and blessing in the hands of the Bishop of Czestochowa, so that it may be read—as is customary during the visit to the individual parishes."

Papież Jan Paweł II's words to the Sick gathered at Jasna Gora
Czestochowa, 4 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"My pilgrimage to Poland cannot go without a word to the sick, who are so close to my heart. I know, my dear friends, how in your letters to me you often write that you are offering for my intentions the heavy cross of your illness and suffering, that you are offering it for my mission as Pope. May the Lord reward you.

Every time I recite the morning, midday, and evening Angelus, I feel, dear fellow-countrymen, your special closeness to me. I unite myself spiritually with all of you. In a particular way I renew the spiritual unity that binds me to every person who is suffering, to every one who is sick, to everyone confined to a hospital bed, to every invalid tied to a wheelchair, to every person who in one way or other is meeting his cross.

Dear brothers and sisters, every contact with you, no matter where it has taken place in the past or takes place today, has been a source of deep spiritual emotion for me. I have always felt how insufficient were the words that I could speak to you and with which I could express my human compassion. I have the same impression today also. I feel the same way always. But there remains the one dimension, the one reality in which human suffering is essentially transformed. This dimension, this reality, is the Cross of Christ. On his Cross the Son of God accomplished the redemption of the world. It is through this mystery that every cross placed on someone's shoulders acquires a dignity that is humanly inconceivable and becomes a sign of salvation for the person who carries it and also for others. "In my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions" (Col 1:24), wrote Saint Paul.

Therefore, uniting myself with all of you who are suffering throughout the land of Poland, in your homes, in the hospitals, the clinics, the dispensaries, the sanatoria—wherever you may be—I beg you to make use of the cross that has become part of each one of you for salvation. I pray for you to have light and spiritual strength in your suffering, that you may not lose courage but may discover for yourselves the meaning of suffering and may be able to relieve others by prayer and sacrifice. And do not forget me and the whole of the Church, and the cause of the Gospel and peace that I am serving, by Christ's will. You who are weak and humanly incapable, be a source of strength for your brother and father who is at Your side in prayer and heart.

"Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word" (Lk 1:38).

May these words that Mary is pronouncing by the lips of so many human beings be a light on your path for all of you.

May God reward you, dear brothers and sisters. And God reward all those who are looking after you. Through every manifestation of this care the Word becomes flesh (cf. Jn 1:14). For Christ said: "As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me" (Mt 25:40)."

Jan Paweł II's Address at the 169th Plenary Assembly
of the Polish Episcopal Conference
Czestochowa, Tuesday 5 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"1. First of all, I wish to express my joy and deep emotion at our meeting today. The Polish Bishops' Conference is the community and the setting from which Christ, by his inscrutable plan, called me on 16 October 1978 to the See of Saint Peter in Rome, manifesting his will through the votes of the Sacred College, gathered in Conclave in the Sistine Chapel. As today I have the good fortune to be taking part again in the plenary assembly of the Polish Bishops' Conference at Jasna Góra, I cannot fail to express especially my feelings of gratitude and fraternal solidarity, which go back to the very beginning of my nomination as a bishop in 1958. I remember that the first Conference that I took part in as bishop-elect also took place at Jasna Góra, at the beginning of September.

During the twenty years of my membership and participation in the work of the Polish Bishops' Conference, I have learned a great deal, both from the individual members of this episcopal community, beginning with the eminent Primate of Poland, and also from the community as such. In fact, the quality that particularly characterizes the Polish Bishops' Conference is that unity which is the source of spiritual strength. The Polish Episcopate, precisely through this unity, in a special way serves the Church in Poland and also the universal Church. Society is well aware of this, and has a justified and deserved confidence in the Polish Episcopate. This confidence is shown to the whole of the Episcopate, to all the Archbishops and Bishops in their dioceses, and especially to the Primate of Poland, of whom I wish to say here what I have already expressed several times, namely, that he is a providential man for the Church and for the motherland. This is the opinion not only of Poles but also of people belonging to the other nations of Europe and the world, who together with us thank the Lord for having given such power to man (cf. Jn 1:12).

During the twenty years of my episcopal ministry, in the course of which I have been able to serve the Church in Krakow—first at the side of Archbishop Eugeniusz Baziak of blessed memory (Metropolitan of the orphaned Archdiocese of Lwow), then as the successor of the Metropolitan of Krakow, Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha, in the See of Saint Stanislaus—there have accumulated in my heart great debts of gratitude, debts which I seek to repay, as best I can, with remembrance of and prayer for the Polish Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops, living and dead. Those who have died do not fade from my memory, especially those with whom it has been granted to me to be closest by working with them, in the range of the influence of their personalities—as in the case of the Archbishops of Krakow I have mentioned—the late Cardinal Boleslaw Kominek, Metropolitan of Wroclaw, Archbishop Anthony Baraniak, Metropolitan of Poznan, and so many magnificent and unforgettable Bishops, both Ordinaries and Auxiliaries, men full of human originality and Christian authenticity, whom the Lord has called to himself during these twenty years. I cannot fail to recall the late Cardinal Boleslaw Filipiak, who for many years of his life served the Holy See, and whom I met many times in Rome.

Taking part in the work of the Polish Episcopate has enabled me to study at close quarters the problems of the modern Church in their universal dimension. This has occurred thanks in particular to the Council, in which I had the good fortune to take part from the first day to the last. In entering into all this vast combination of problems, which Vatican II pin-pointed in all its documents, I have been able to realize what a special and responsible place Poland, and especially the Church in Poland, has on the great map of the modern world, that world to which we are all sent, as the Apostles were sent at the moment of Christ's Ascension, with the words: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations" (Mt 28:19). This realization became even deeper during the year following the Council, thanks especially to work in the Synod of Bishops, in the Congregations of the Apostolic See, and thanks also to my meetings with representatives of the various Episcopates, both from Europe and from the other continents. One of the opportunities consisted in the visits to emigré Poles which I made several times in the name of the Polish Episcopate.

Today I remember all this with gratitude. My membership of the Polish Episcopal Conference and my many-sided participation in its work has been confirmed by Providence as the most appropriate means of preparation for that ministry which since 16 October I have had to exercise vis-à-vis the whole universal Church. I wish to say this at the beginning of my address, which is being given to this unusual plenary meeting of the Polish Episcopal Conference taking place here today.

2. In the Church in my motherland, the year 1979 is the year of Saint Stanislaus. Nine hundred years have passed since his death at the hands of King Boleslaw the Bold at Skalka. The death of the Bishop who proclaimed to everyone—not excluding the King—the truth of the faith and of Christian morality had a significance of special witness to the Gospel and to Christ himself. Stanislaus of Szczepanow suffered death in such manner that, in the Church's tradition, he was included among the martyrs. At the beginning of our history, in the second century of Christianity in Poland, that martyr Bishop, blood of the blood and bone of the bone of the nation, was linked with another Bishop, one who belonged to the first missionary generation and the time of the Baptism—Saint Wojciech (Adalbert), who was of Czech origin. I mention him because, in the memory of the People of God on Polish soil, these two figures are linked together and surrounded by a special veneration and devotion.

Stanislaus of Szczepanow was bishop of Krakow and a member of the Polish Episcopate at that time, and therefore the present Polish Episcopate has particular reasons for surrounding his figure with special veneration, and especially the anniversary of his martyrdom. This has been taking place in the Archdiocese of Krakow since 1972, while in the Diocese of Tarnow, where Szczepanow, the Saint's birthplace, is situated, they are celebrating the "Year of Saint Stanislaus". As Bishop and pastor of the See of Krakow, Saint Stanislaus was one of the pillars of that hierarchical order which was established in the lands of the Piasts from the year 1000. We have special reasons for continually thanking God for the solid foundations of that order, instituted during the Congress of Gniezno upon the foundation of the apostolic mission of Saint Wojciech and his martyrdom. It was precisely to that martyred body, which Boleslaw the Bold translated with veneration to Gniezno, that the legates of Pope Sylvester II and the Emperor Otto III came. The Poland of the Piasts, which from as early as 968 cepit habere episcopum at Poznan—relatively early, because it was scarcely thirty-four years after the baptism of Mieszko—gained its own ecclesiastical organization: the metropolitan see at Gniezno with episcopal sees at Krakow, Wroclaw and Kolobrzeg.

These facts are known by everyone. But it is impossible to fail to recall them and to refer to them on this extraordinary occasion that we are experiencing together.

The hierarchical order is a constitutive element of Christ's Church, as the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, authoritatively reminded us. The Church which as the People of God has been built-up upon the mystery of the Incarnation and Redemption, and which is continually born from the descent of the Holy Spirit, is the visible reality of a clearly defined hierarchical order. This order determines the Church as a well defined 'community and society, which through its own hierarchical order forms part of the history of humanity, in the history of the individual peoples and nations. Therefore we rightly venerate Saint Wojciech as the patron of the hierarchical order in our motherland. We rightly recall and appreciate the great leaders of the Assembly of Gniezno. Through the formal hierarchical structure that she gained in Poland at that time, the Church firmly became part of the nation's history. The year 1000 is a date that with good reason we link to the date of the Baptism that took place in 966.

Knowledge of the history of Poland will tell us still more: not only was the hierarchical order of the Church decisively inserted into the history of the nation in 1000, but also the history of the nation was in a providential manner rooted in the structure of the Church in Poland, a structure that we owe to the Assembly of Gniezno. This affirmation finds its confirmation in the various periods of the history of Poland, and particularly in the most difficult periods. When national and state structures were lacking, society, for the most part Catholic, found support in the hierarchical order of the Church. And this helped society to overcome the times of the partition of the country and the times of occupation; it helped society to maintain, and even to deepen its understanding of, the awareness of, its own identity. Perhaps certain people from other countries may consider this situation "untypical", but for Poles it has an unmistakable eloquence. It is simply a part of the truth of the history of our own motherland.

The Episcopate of modern Poland is in a special way the heir and representative of this truth. There is a deep reason for the fact that for a thousand years of history the heritage of the holy martyr bishops Wojciech and Stanislaus has permeated the thoughts and the hearts of the Poles.

3. When in the year 1000 there arose in Poland the fundamental structure of the hierarchical order of the Church, it arose, right from the beginning, in the unity of the hierarchy with the order of the universal Church—that is to say with the Apostolic See. In this relationship the structure of the Church has lasted uninterruptedly in our motherland up till today. Thanks to this, Poland is Catholic and " ever, faithful". The unity of the hierarchical structure, the bond between the Polish Episcopate and the See of Peter, constitutes the basis of this unity in its universal dimension. The Church in Poland, throughout the centuries, has been firmly and unshakeably rooted in that universality which is one of the marks of Christ's Church. The Constitution Lumen Gentium exhaustively studied this fact under various aspects, at the same time showing how the universal dimension of the Church is linked to the mission and ministry of Peter.

We are well aware that this fact that the Church in Poland is rooted in its catholicity—from the moment of the Baptism and of the Assembly of Gniezno and throughout history—has a particular meaning for the spiritual life of the nation. And it also has a meaning for the nation's culture, which is marked not only by the tradition of visible links with Rome but also possesses the characteristic of universality proper to Catholicism and the characteristic of openness to everything which in the universal exchange of good things becomes the portion of each of those who take part in it. This affirmation could be confirmed by innumerable instances taken from our history, One of these instances could also be the fact that we are together today, namely that the Polish Episcopate is meeting a Polish Pope.

It is generally stated that the Polish people's sharing in the Church's spiritual heritage, which results from its universal unity, has become an element of unity and security of the nation's identity and unity in the particularly difficult periods. Those periods were also particularly marked by the spreading of the Christian spirit. This is confirmed by the nineteenth century, and for us it is confirmed by the recent decades of the present century. After the period of occupation, which as everyone knows was a terrible and mortal threat for Poland's survival, there began a period of Great transformations which found outward expression, for example, in the completely new definition, of the boundaries of the State.
In this context, the bond between the life of the nation and the activity of the Church, a bond experienced for centuries, has been once more activated before our eyes. The normalization of ecclesiastical relationships in the sphere of the new boundaries of the Polish State, and in particular in the territories of the West and North, has clearly confirmed the meaning of the year 1000 or the times of Saints Wojciech and Stanislaus. The hierarchical order of the State has become not only the centre of her pastoral mission, but also a clear support for the whole life of society, for the nation conscious of its right to exist, which, as a nation that is in the vast majority Catholic, seeks this support also in the hierarchical structures of the Church. Such is the eloquence of the events that began in the pontificate of Pope Pius XII in 1945, shortly after the end of the War and the Occupation, with the memorable mission of Cardinal Augustyn Hlond, Primate of Poland, and concluded with the final decisions of Pope Paul VI in June 1972, when in the Archdiocese of Krakow there began the seven-year jubilee of the pastoral service of Saint Stanislaus. It is significant that it was precisely during the Plenary Conference in Krakow, on 28 June that these important decisions of Paul VI were made public.

The Church's hierarchical order finds its keystone in the mission and ministry of Peter. The Apostolic See draws from this mission and ministry the character that is proper to it. This character is not one of secular and political structure, even though, for reasons that are still valid, there is still linked to the See of Rome a remnant of the old Papal States.

However, as in the case of that State, which in its historical aspect ceased to exist in 1870, so likewise the one which actually remains of it and which is only symbolical, is a guarantee of the sovereignty of the Apostolic See in regard to the world and constitutes a basis to support what is essential for the Apostolic See. This stems solely and exclusively from the nature of the Church, from her apostolic mission, from the evangelical service to truth and love, from the pastoral mission which, above all, the hierarchical order of the Church serves. The chapters devoted to this hierarchical order and its motivation are found in the Constitution Lumen Gentium, after the chapters dealing with the mystery of the Church and the universal mission of the People of God.
It is only if we keep before our eyes this proper and correct image of the Church, and, in its organic whole, the proper image of the Apostolic See, that we can lay down exactly the meaning of the question that for many years has been of great relevance in Poland—the question of the normalization of relations between the Church and the State. It is necessary to speak here about this relevance which has new aspects because the already-mentioned question has behind it, for understandable reasons, a long and complex history which cannot be ignored. The Polish Episcopate, in close collaboration with the Apostolic See, especially during the pontificate of John XXIII and of Paul VI, did a great deal for the cause of this normalization. In the first place, it laid down a series of concrete elements on which to base it. Of fundamental assistance in this pioneering work was the teaching contained in the documents of the Second Vatican Council; and especially the possibility of using the Declaration on Religions Freedom, a document that directly tallies with the principles promulgated in fundamental State and international documents, including the Constitution of the Polish People's Republic. It is clear that the concrete application of these principles can only respond to the idea of "religious freedom" when it takes into consideration the real needs of the Church linked with her many-sided activity.

I spoke about this subject, and also of the Church's readiness to collaborate with all countries and with all people of good will, on 12 January last to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See. Here is a relevant passage:

"Maintaining contacts—among others by means of diplomatic representations—with so many and such different States, the Apostolic See wishes above all to express its deep esteem for each nation and each people, for its tradition, its culture, its progress in every field, as I said already in the letters addressed to Heads of State on the occasion of my election to the See of Peter. The State, as the expression of the sovereign self-determination of peoples and nations, is a normal realization of social order. Its moral authority consists in that. The son of a people with a millenary culture which was deprived for a considerable time of its independence as a State, I know, from experience, the deep significance of this principle.

"The Apostolic See welcomes joyfully all diplomatic representatives, not only as spokesmen of their own governments, regimes and political structures, but also and above all as representatives of peoples and nations which, through these political structures, manifest their sovereignty, their political independence, and the possibility of deciding their destiny autonomously. And it does so without any prejudice as regards the numerical importance of the population: here, it is not the numerical factor that is decisive.

"The Apostolic See rejoices at the presence of so many representatives; it would likewise be happy to see many others, especially of nations and peoples which at times had a centuries-old tradition in this connection. I am thinking here particularly of the nations that can be considered Catholic, but also of others. For, at present, just as ecumenism between the Catholic Church and other Christian Churches is developing, just as there is a tendency to establish contacts with all men by appealing to good will, so this circle is widening... The Apostolic See, in conformity with the mission of the Church, wishes to be at the centre of this brotherly rapprochement. It wishes to serve the cause of peace, not through political activity but by serving the values and principles which condition peace and rapprochement, and which are at the basis of the international common good...

"We see clearly that humanity is divided in a great many ways. It is a question also, and perhaps above all, of ideological divisions bound up with the different State systems. The search for solutions that will permit human societies to carry out their own tasks and to live in justice is perhaps the main sign of our time... Advantage must be taken of mutual experiences...

"The Apostolic See, which has already given proof of this, is always ready to manifest its openness with regard to all countries or regimes, seeking the essential good which is man's real good. A good number of exigencies connected with this good have been expressed in the "Declaration of Human Rights" and in the international Pacts which permit its concrete application" (AAS 70, 1978, pp. 170-179).

The Polish Episcopate has its own experiences in this important field. Basing itself on the teaching of Vatican II, it has worked out a series of documents of theory, which are known to the Apostolic See, and at the same time it has worked out a series of pastoral attitudes that confirm readiness for dialogue. They clearly show that authentic dialogue must respect the convictions of believers, ensure all the rights of citizens and also the normal conditions for the activity of the Church as a religious community to which the vast majority of Poles belong. We are aware that this dialogue cannot be easy, because it takes place between two concepts of the world which are diametrically opposed; but it must be possible and effective if the good of individuals and the nation demands it. The Polish Episcopate must not cease to undertake with solicitude initiatives which are important for the present-day Church. In addition, in the future there must be clarity in the principles of procedure which in the present situation have been worked out within the ecclesial community, regarding both the attitude of clergy and lay people and the status of individual institutions. Clarity of principles, as also their practical putting into effect, is a source of moral strength and also serves the process of a true normalization.

In favour of the normalization of Church-State relations in our time, the cause of fundamental human rights, including the right to religious liberty, has an undoubted significance, which under a certain aspect is fundamental and central. The normalization of Church-State relations constitutes a practical proof of respect for this right and for all its consequences in the life of the political community. Thought of in this way, normalization is also a practical manifestation of the fact that the State understands its mission to society according to the principle of subsidiarity (principium subsidiarietatis), namely that it wishes to express the full sovereignty of the nation. In relation to the Nation, with regard to its special millenary and the present connection with the Catholic Church, this last aspect takes on a particular significance.

4. Throughout this consideration, especially, in its last part, we have penetrated deeply into the sphere of the ethical reasons that make up the fundamental dimension of human life, also in the field of that activity that is called political. In conformity with the tradition of European thought, which goes back to the works of the greatest philosophers of antiquity and which found its full confirmation and deeper development in the Gospel and in Christianity, political activity also— indeed especially—finds its proper meaning in solicitude for people's good, which is a good of an ethnical nature. From here that whole so-called social teaching of the Church derives its deepest premises, a teaching that, especially in our time, beginning from the end of the nineteenth century, has been enormously enriched by all the problems of the present day. This does not mean that the Church's social teaching appeared only at the turn of the century; in fact it existed from the beginning, as a consequence of the Gospel and of the vision of man that the Gospel brought into relationships with other people, and especially in community and social life.

Saint Stanislaus is called the patron of the moral order in Poland. Perhaps it is precisely in him that we see most clearly how deeply the moral order penetrates—the moral order which is so fundamental for man, the humanum—in the structures and levels of the life of the nation as a State, in the structures and levels of political life. We can never meditate too deeply about the way in which that holy Bishop of Krakow, who suffered death at the hand of an eminent representative of the Piast dynasty, was later well received, especially in the thirteenth century, by the successors of that same dynasty, and later, after his canonization in 1253, venerated as Patron of the unity of the motherland, which by reason of dynastic divisions found itself split up. Certainly, this unusual tradition of the cult of Saint Stanislaus throws a special light on the events of 1079, during which the Bishop of Krakow suffered death, while King Boleslaw the Bold lost his crown and was forced to leave Poland. And even though, Gall the Anonymous, writing his chronicle some decades later, used with regard to Bishop Stanislaus the expression traditor, this or similar expressions are found at that time applied to various other Bishops (as for example Saint Thomas Becket in England) and even to Popes (for example Saint Gregory VII) who earned the halo of sainthood. Obviously, the episcopal ministry has sometimes exposed Bishops to the peril of losing their lives and thus of paying the price of proclaiming the truth and the divine law.
The fact that Saint Stanislaus, whom history calls "the Patron of the Poles", has been recognized by the Polish Episcopate especially as Patron of the moral order finds its motivation in the eloquent ethical value of his life and death, and also in the whole tradition that has expressed itself throughout the generations of the Poland of the Piasts, of the Jagellonians, and of the elected kings, down to our own times. The patronage of the moral order that we attribute to Saint Stanislaus is principally linked with the universal recognition of authority, of the moral law, that is to say of the law of God. This law places an obligation upon everyone, both subjects and rulers. It constitutes the moral norm, and is an essential criterion of man's value. Only when we begin from this law, namely the moral law, can the dignity of the human person be respected and universally recognized. Therefore, morality and law are the fundamental conditions for social order. Upon the law are built States and nations, and without it they perish.

The Polish Episcopate, with a deep sense of responsibility for the nation's destiny, always points out, in its pastoral programmes, the sum of threats of a moral nature which the man of our time, the man of modern civilization, fights against. These threats relate both to personal life and to life in society, and they weigh especially heavily upon the family and upon the education of the young. Married people, the family nuclei, must be defended from sin, from grave sin against nascent life. In fact it is well known that the circumstances of that sin weigh upon the morality of society, and its consequences menace the future of the nation. And then one must defend people from the sins of immorality and alcoholic abuse, because these sins bear within them the lowering of human dignity, and have incalculable consequences in the life of society. Watchfulness is always needed, human consciences must always be kept alert, warnings must always be given in the face of violation of moral principles, people must be urged to carry out the commandment of charity, for inner insensitivity easily takes root in human hearts.

This is the eternal problem that has not only not lost its relevance in our times but has become even more clear and obvious. The Church needs a hierarchical order if she is to serve people and society effectively in the field of the moral order. Saint Stanislaus is the expression, symbol and patron of this order. Given that the moral order is at the basis of human culture, the national tradition, rightly sees Stanislaus' place at the basis of Polish culture. The Polish Episcopate must add to its present mission and ministry a particular solicitude for the whole Polish cultural heritage, of which we know to what degree it is permeated by the light of Christianity. It is, also well known that it is precisely culture that is the first and fundamental proof of the nation's identity. The mission of the Polish Episcopate, inasmuch as it is the continuation of the mission of Saint Stanislaus, is in a certain manner marked by his historical charism—and therefore remains in this field clear and irreplaceable.

5. It is hard to think of our great Jubilee of the nine hundredth anniversary of the death of Saint Stanislaus and to prescind from the European context. Just as it is hard to think of and live the Millennium of the Baptism of Poland without referring to that context. Today, that context has widened beyond Europe, especially because the sons and daughters of so many European nations—including the Poles—have populated and formed the life of society in other continents. Yet there the European context is undoubtedly at the very basis. The already mentioned analogies of the cause of Saint Stanislaus with those of other nations and States, of the same historical period, clearly show how the Poland of the eleventh century formed part of Europe and shared in its problems, both in the life of the Church and in the life of the political communities of that time. And so it is that we are rightly living the Jubilee of Saint Stanislaus, a Jubilee that has above all a Polish and native dimension, in the European context. We cannot do otherwise. Therefore, the presence of the Representatives of the many European Episcopal Conferences who have come here for the occasion is highly valued and eloquent.

It providentially happened that on 18 May of this year I took part in the celebration of the thirty-fifth anniversary of the battle of Monte Cassino and the victory won there, a victory to which my fellow-countrymen contributed in great measure. On the same Monte Cassino we paid tribute to Saint Benedict, with reference to the coming 1500th anniversary of his birth—that Saint Benedict who was proclaimed Patron of Europe by Paul VI.

If I may allow myself to make this reference on today's occasion, I do so in relation to the European context of Saint Stanislaus and also of his Jubilee that we are celebrating. Europe, which during its history has been several times divided, Europe, which towards the end of the first half of the present century was tragically divided by the horrible World War, Europe, which despite its present and long-lasting divisions of regimes, ideologies and economical and political systems, cannot cease to seek its fundamental unity, must turn to Christianity. Despite the different traditions that exist in the territory of Europe between its Eastern part and its Western part, there lives in each of them the same Christianity, which takes its origins from the same Christ, which accepts the same Word of God, which is linked with the same Twelve Apostles. Precisely this lies at the roots of the History of Europe. This forms its spiritual genealogy.

This is confirmed by the eloquence of the present Jubilee of Saint Stanislaus, Patron of Poland, in which the first Polish Pope, the first Slav Pope in the history of the Church and of Europe, has the good fortune to be taking part. Christianity must commit itself anew to the formation of the spiritual unity of Europe. Economic and political reasons alone cannot do it. We must go deeper: to ethical reasons. The Polish Episcopate, all the Episcopates and Churches in Europe, have here a great task to perform. In the face of these many-sided tasks, the Apostolic See is aware of its own tasks in conformity with the character and ministry of Peter. When Christ said: "Strengthen your brethren" (Lk 22:32) he meant by this: "Serve their unity"."

Jan Paweł II's words to the Polish Episcopal Conference for Science
Czestochowa, 5 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish  

"It is with great joy that I meet the Polish Episcopate's venerable Council for Science of which, until a short time ago, by reason of the will of the Conference of the same Episcopate, I was the chairman. Today I cordially greet my successor, Bishop Marian Rechowicz, all the dear priests and professors.

I wish to tell you that I now give the same importance as before to the Episcopate's Council for Science. Perhaps, indeed, after the promulgation of the new Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana on university studies, I see more clearly the relevance of our Council for Science and appreciate with greater understanding its function and responsibility.

The Church — particularly in our time — must face this responsibility. It must first of all decide knowledgeably about the problems of its own science at the academic level. It must likewise, with great awareness, participate in the important processes of contemporary science that are linked to the activities of the universities and the various institutes, especially its own universities and its own Catholic institutes.

The Episcopate's Council for Science, which comprises the representatives of all the Catholic Athenaea of an academic character in Poland, must precisely in this field be useful to the Episcopate and to the Church in our motherland. I do not exaggerate if I say that upon it falls in great part the responsibility for Christian Polish culture today and tomorrow.

And taking account therefore of all this, I recommend the future activities of all of you, Bishops and Professors, to Mary, Seat of Divine Wisdom, and with all my heart I bless you."

St John Paul II's Homily at Mass with women religious at Jasna Gora
Czestochowa, 5 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish    

"1. Dear Sisters,
I rejoice with all my heart at this meeting, disposed for us by Divine Providence, today at the feet of Our Lady of Jasna Gora. You have come in such great numbers from all over Poland to participate in the pilgrimage of your fellow-countryman whom Christ in his inscrutable mercy has called, as he once called Simon of Bethsaida, and has commanded him to leave his native land to take upon himself the succession of the Bishops of Rome. Since he has now been given the grace to return again to these parts, he wishes to speak to you with the same words that he used in speaking to you more than once as successor of Saint Stanislaus at Krakow. Those words now take on a different dimension, a universal dimension.

The theme of "religious vocation" is one of the most beautiful of which the Gospel has spoken and continues to speak to us. The theme was given a particular incarnation in Mary, who said of herself: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word" (Lk 1, 38). I think that these words have been echoed in the depths of the religious vocation and profession of each one of you.

2. While this opportunity to speak to you is being presented to me today, the splendid chapters of the Church's teaching in the last Council come to my mind, as do the very numerous documents of the last Popes.

I would like however, on the basis of all this wealth of teaching by the Church, to refer to some modest statements made by myself. I do so because these statements were echoes of my very numerous past meetings with religious in Poland. These meetings, as a "resource" of my personal experience, went with me to Rome. It will therefore be perhaps easier for you to find yourselves in those words, for, in spite of having been addressed in other surroundings, they speak in a way of you—of the Polish Sisters and of the Polish religious families.

3. Soon after my new ministry began I had the good fortune to meet almost twenty thousand Sisters from the whole of Rome. Here is a part of the talk that I gave them on that occasion:
Your "vocation is a special treasure of the Church, which can never cease to pray that the Spirit of Jesus Christ will bring forth religious vocations in souls. They are, in fact, both for the community of the People of God, and for the world, a living sign of the future life: a sign which, at the same time, is rooted (also by means of your religious habit) in the everyday life of the Church and of society, and permeates its most delicate tissues...

"(Your presence) must be a visible sign of the Gospel for all. It must also be the source of a particular apostolate. This apostolate is so varied and rich that it is even difficult for me to list here all its forms, its fields, its orientations. It is united with the specific charism of every Congregation, with its apostolic spirit, which the Church and the Holy See approve with joy, seeing in it the expression of the vitality of the Mystical Body of Christ! This apostolate is usually discreet, hidden, near to the human being, and so is more suited to a woman's soul, sensitive to her neighbour, and hence called to the task of a sister and mother.

"It is precisely this vocation which is at the very 'heart' of your religious being. As Bishop of Rome I beg you: be spiritually mothers and sisters for all the people of this Church which Jesus, in his ineffable mercy and grace, has wished to entrust to me" (Address to Women Religious of the Diocese of Rome, 10 November 1978).

4. On 24 November last I had the occasion to meet the large group of Superiors General gathered in Rome under the leadership of the Cardinal Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes. I would like to repeat some phrases from the address I gave on that occasion.

"The religious vocation...belongs to that spiritual fullness which the Spirit himself — the Spirit of Christ — brings forth and moulds in the People of God. Without religious orders, without 'consecrated' life, by means of the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, the Church would not be fully herself... Your houses must be, above all, centres of prayer, meditation and dialogue — personal and of the whole community — with him who is and must remain the first and principal interlocutor in the industrious succession of your days. If you are able to nourish this 'climate' of intense and loving community with God, it will be possible for you to carry forward, without traumatic tensions or dangerous confusion, that renewal of life and discipline, to which the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council committed you" (Address to Superiors General of Men's Religious Orders, 24 November 1978, L'Osservatore Romano).

5. Finally, Mexico. The meeting I had in that country's capital, remains indelibly inscribed in my memory and my heart. It could not be otherwise, since Sisters always create in these meetings a particularly cordial atmosphere and receive with joy the words spoken to them. Here then are some thoughts from the meeting in Mexico:

"Your vocation is one that deserves the highest esteem on the part of the Pope and of the Church, today no less than yesterday. For this reason I wish to express my joyful confidence in you and to encourage you not to lose heart on the way that you have undertaken and which is worth continuing on with fresh spirit and enthusiasm... What a lot you can do today for the Church and for humanity! They are waiting for your generous gift, the giving of your free hearts, so that your hearts may broaden their unsuspected potentialities for love in a world that is losing the capacity for altruism, for self-sacrificing and disinterested love. Remember, in fact, that you are mystical brides of Christ and of Christ crucified" (Meeting with the Women Religious of Mexico, 27 January 1979).

Now let my thoughts and yours turn once again in this place to Our Lady of Jasna Gora, who is the source of living inspiration for each one of you. Let each one of you, as she hears the words spoken at Nazareth, repeat with Mary: "Behold, I am handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word" (Lk 1, 38). These words contain in a way the prototype of every religious profession, the profession by which each one of you embraces with her whole being the mystery of the grace transmitted to her in her religious vocation. Each one of you, like Mary, chooses Jesus, the Divine Spouse. By fulfilling her vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, she wishes to live for him, for love of him. Through these vows each one of you wishes to give witness to the eternal life that Christ has brought us in his Cross and Resurrection.

Dear Sisters, this living sign that each one of you constitutes in the midst of humanity is beyond price. Embracing with faith, hope and charity your Divine Spouse, you embrace him in the many people you serve: in the sick, the old, the crippled, the handicapped, people of whom nobody but you is capable of taking care, because this demands a truly heroic sacrifice. Where else do you find Christ? In the children, in young people receiving catechetical instruction, in pastoral service with the priests. You will find him in the simplest service as well as in the tasks that at times demand deep preparation and culture. You will find him everywhere, like the bride of the Song of Solomon: "I found him whom my soul loves" (Song 3:4).

May Poland ever rejoice, in your evangelical witness. Let there be no want of warm hearts that bring evangelical love to their neighbour. As for you, rejoice always with the joy of your vocation, even when you will have to endure inward or outward suffering or darkness.

Pope John Paul II wishes to pray with you for all this during this Holy Sacrifice."

Papa San Giovanni Paolo II's words at the Angelus in Jasna Gora
Marian Shrine of Czestochowa, Tuesday 5 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish    

"1. In Rome there is a beautiful custom that on every Sunday and holy day the Pope recites the Angelus with the faithful gathered in Saint Peter's Square. I inherited this custom from my venerable predecessors and I continue it with great joy. The prayer is preceded by a short meditation and a mention of certain events which need to be particularly recommended to God in prayer, and we conclude with a blessing.

My fellow-countrymen in Poland are acquainted with this Roman practice. In fact, from the time I was called to the Chair of Peter, they began spontaneously to join with me in reciting the Angelus every day at the usual hours of the morning, at midday and in the evening. The recitation of this prayer has become a universal practice, testified to by numerous letters and frequent mention in the press. Through the Angelus we are spiritually linked together, we remember each other and we share the mystery of salvation and our hearts also.

Today, while reciting the Angelus at Jasna Gora, I wish to thank all my fellow-countrymen in all of Poland for their worthy initiative. I have always been deeply moved by your constant remembrance of me and now I wish to express this feeling publicly.

2. At the same time, I wish, together with you my dear brothers and sisters, to ask our Most Holy Mother that the praying of the Angelus may be a constant reminder to one and all of how great is the dignity of man. This, in fact, is the fruit and the goal of this prayer. Remembering that "the Word became flesh", that is, that the Son of God became man, we must become conscious of how great each man has become through this mystery, through the Incarnation of the Son of God! Christ, in fact, was conceived in the womb of Mary and became man to reveal the eternal love of the Creator and Father and to make known the dignity of each one of us.

If we regularly pray the Angelus, this prayer must influence all our conduct. We cannot recite it only with our lips; we cannot repeat the Angelus and at the same time act in a way which clashes with our human and Christian dignity.

I shall not now speak in detail of everything in the attitude of Poles that is opposed to the dignity of "God's image and likeness", the dignity that was confirmed by the mystery of the Incarnation. We know very well the vices that at times become real plagues threatening the spiritual and biological life of the nation. Think of it, dear brothers and sisters.. I heartily beg you to do so.

Continue, then, to recite the Angelus with the Pope. May it bear fruit in every aspect of the life of the Polish people, not only on holy days but every day of their lives."

St John Paul II's homily at Mass for Pilgrims from Lower Silesia & Silesia
Czestochowa, Tuesday June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish    

"1. From Jasna Góra I wish to present a special votive offering to the shrine of Saint Hedwig in Trzebnica near Wrocklaw. I have a special reason for doing so. In its inscrutable designs Divine Providence chose 16 October 1978 as a turning point in my life. On 16 October the Church in Poland celebrates St Hedwig, and for that reason I feel specially bound to make this votive offering today to the Church in Poland for the Saint who, as well as being the patroness of reconciliation between the neighbouring countries, is also the saint honoured on the day of the election of the first Pole to the Chair of Peter. I place this votive offering directly in the hands of all the pilgrims who have come today in such large numbers to Jasna Góra from all over Lower Silesia. I ask you, after your return to your province, to take this votive offering from the Pope to the shrine of Trzebnica, which became the new homeland that she chose for herself. Let it thus complete the long history of human events and works of divine Providence connected with Trzebnica and all your region.

2. Saint Hedwig, the wife of Henry the Bearded, of the Piast dynasty, came from the Bavarian family Andechs. She entered our country's history, and indirectly the history of the whole of Europe in the 13th century, as the "good wife" (Prov 31, 10) of which Scripture speaks. Our memories have specially engraved on them the event dominated by the figure of her son, Prince Henry the Pious. He it was who put up a strong resistance to the Tartar invasion that passed in 1241 through Poland from the East, from Asia, and stopping only in Silesia near Legnica. Henry the Pious fell, it is true, on the battlefield, but the Tartars were forced to retire and they never again came so close to the West in their raids. Behind the heroic son was his mother, who gave him courage and recommended to the Crucified Christ the battle of Legnica. Her heart paid with the death of her son for the peace and security of the lands subject to her and also of the neighbouring lands and the whole of Western Europe.

During these occurrences Hedwig was already a widow, and as a widow she consecrated the rest of her life exclusively to God, entering the abbey of Trzebnica, which had been founded by her. Here she ended her holy life in 1243. Her canonization took place in 1267. This date is very close to that of the canonization in 1253 of St Stanislaus, the saint venerated by the Church in Poland for centuries as its principal Patron.

This year, on the occasion of the ninth centenary of his martyrdom at Skalka in Krakow, I, as the first Pope who am a son of the Polish nation, who was formerly St Stanislaus's successor on the Chair of Krakow and have now been elected to the Chair of Saint Peter, on Saint Hedwig's Day — I wish to send to her shrine of Trzebnica this votive offering from me marking a further stage in the centuries of history in which we all share.

3. To my votive offering I add my specially cordial good wishes for all taking part in this Sacred Eucharist that I am celebrating today at Jasna Góra. The Saints whom we are commemorating here today before Our Lady of Jasna Góra, offer us across the centuries a witness of unity between fellow-countrymen and of reconciliation between nations. I want to express my good wishes for this unity and reconciliation. For this I pray ardently.

Unity strikes root in the life of the nation, as in the difficult historical period for Poland it struck root through St Stanislaus, when human life at the various levels responds to the demands of justice and love. The family constitutes the first of these levels. And I wish to pray today with all of you, dear fellow-countrymen, for the unity of all the families of Poland. This unity has its origin in the sacrament of marriage, in the solemn promises with which a man and a women become united with each other for the whole of life, repeating the sacramental "till death do us part". This unity comes from love and mutual trust, and bears fruit in the love and trust of the children towards their parents.

What a misfortune it would be if love and trust between husband and wife or between parents and children should weaken or crumble. Aware as we are of the evil brought by the falling apart of the family, let us today pray that nothing may happen which can destroy its unity, so that the family may continue to be truly "the seat of justice and love".

Similar justice and love are needed by the nation, if it is to be inwardly united, if it is to constitute an unbreakable unity. Although it is impossible to compare the nation — that society composed of many millions of people — with the family — the smallest community, as we know, of human society— nevertheless unity depends on justice, a justice that satisfies the needs and guarantees the rights and duties of each member of the nation, so as not to give rise to disharmony and opposition because of the differences brought by evident privileges for some and discrimination against others. From our country's history we know how difficult this task is; all the same we cannot exempt ourselves from the great effort aimed at building up just unity between the children of the same country. This must be accompanied by love for this country, love for its culture and its history, love for its specific values that determine its place in the great family of nations, love, finally, for our fellow-countrymen, people who speak the same language and have responsibility for the common cause to which we give the name of "our country".

As I pray today together with you for the internal unity of the nation of which St Stanislaus became Patron, especially in the 13th and 14th centuries, I wish to recommend to the Mother of God in Jasna Góra reconciliation between the nations, of which reconciliation we see one mediating in the figure of St Hedwig. As inward unity within each society or community, whether a nation or a family, depends on respect for the rights of each of its members, so international reconciliation depends on recognition of and respect for the rights of each nation. Chief of these are the rights to existence and self-determination, to its own culture and the many forms of developing it. We know from our own country's history what has been the cost to us of the infraction, the violation and the denial of those inalienable rights. Let us therefore pray with greater enthusiasm for lasting reconciliation between the nations of Europe and the world. May this be the fruit of recognition of and real respect for the rights of each nation.

4. The Church wishes to place herself at the service of unity among people; she desires to place herself at the service of reconciliation between nations. This belongs to her saving mission. Let us continually open our thoughts and hearts to the peace of which the Lord Jesus so often spoke to the Apostles, both before his Passion and after his Resurrection: "I leave you peace, my peace I give you" (Jn 14:27).

May this Pope who is today speaking here on the height of Jasna Góra effectively serve the cause of unity and reconciliation in the modern world. In this task keep assisting him with your prayers throughout the land of Poland."

Papież Jan Paweł II's recitation of the "Call of Jasna Gora"
Czestochowa, Tuesday 5 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish    

"1. "Mary, Queen of Poland, I am close to you, I remember you, watch!"

Within a short time we shall repeat these words which, from the time of the Great Novena in preparation for the Millennium of the Baptism, have become the call of Jasna Gora and of the Church in Poland.

I shall repeat them today with you as the pilgrim Pope in his native land.

How greatly these words correspond to the invitation which we hear so often in the Gospel: "Be watchful!" By answering this invitation of Christ himself we desire today, as every evening at the hour of the call of Jasna Gora, to say to Mary: "Mary, Queen of Poland, I am close to you, I remember you, I watch".

These words, simple yet forceful, express what it means to be a Christian in Poland at all times, but in a special way during this decisive millenary period of the history of the Church and of the nation. To be a Christian is to be watchful, as the soldier is watchful, as a mother is with her child, a doctor with his patient.

To be watchful means to protect something of great value.

On the occasion of the Millennium of the Baptism we have become aware, to an even greater extent, of the great good which is our faith and of all that spiritual heritage which has come from it in the course of our history. To be watchful means to guard all of this. It means to have an acute awareness of the values which are inherent in the life of every man for the simple fact of being man, of having been created in the image and likeness of God and of having been redeemed by the Blood of Christ. To be watchful means to remember all of this. To remember it for ourselves and often also for others, for our fellow-citizens, for our neighbour.

2. We must be watchful, dear brothers and sisters, we must be watchful and solicitous for every good of man, because this is the great task incumbent on all of us. We cannot permit the loss of what is human, Polish, and Christian on this earth.

"Be sober, be watchful" (1 Pt 5, 8), says Saint Peter; and I today, at the hour of the Call of Jasna Gora, repeat his words. Indeed, I find myself here in order to keep vigil with you in this hour and to show you how deeply I feel every threat against man, against the family and the nation. A threat that always has its source in our human weakness, in a fragile will and in a superficial way of looking at life.

And therefore, dearest fellow-countrymen, in this hour of particular sincerity, in this hour of the opening of our hearts before Our Lady of Jasna Gora, I am speaking to you about this, and this is what I am entrusting to you. Do not succumb to weakness! "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Rom 12, 21). If you see that your brother is falling, help him; do not leave him exposed to the risk!

Sometimes it is difficult to support the other person, especially if "he is slipping from our hands". But can this be done? It is God himself, it is Christ himself who entrusts to us each one of our brothers and sisters, each one of our fellow-countrymen. saying "... as often as you did it for one of my least brethren, you did it for me" (Mt 25, 40). Be careful not to make yourselves responsible for the sins of others! Christ addresses severe words to those who give scandal (cf Mt 18, 6-7). Reflect, therefore, dear brother or sister, in this hour of national sincerity, in the presence of the Mother and her heart full of love, whether you do not give scandal, whether you do not induce someone to evil, whether through a lack of responsibility you do not burden your conscience with vices and with bad habits that others contract because of you... the young people... perhaps your own children.

"Be sober and be watchful!"

To be watchful and to remember in this way is to stand next to Mary. I am close to you! I cannot be close to you, to Our Lady of Jasna Gora, unless I am watchful and I remember in this way. If I watch and I remember, then I am close to her. And because she has so penetrated into our hearts it is easier for us to be watchful and remember what is our heritage and our duty, standing next to Mary. "I am near you."

3. The call of Jasna Gora has not ceased to be our prayer and our programme! The prayer programme of all! May it be in particular the prayer and the programme of Polish families!

The family is the first and basic human community. It is a sphere of life, it is a sphere of love. The life of every society, nation and State depends on the family, on whether the family is a true sphere of life and love in their midst. Much has to be done; indeed, everything possible has to be done, to give to the family those means that it needs: means for employment, means for housing, means to support itself, care for life which has been conceived, social respect for fatherhood and motherhood, the joy given by children born into the world, the full right to education and at the same time the various types of help needed for education... Here is a vast and rich programme on which depends the future of the individual and of the nation.

How I desire today, my dear fellow-countrymen, how ardently I desire that in this programme there should be fulfilled day after day, year after year, the call of Jasna Gora, the prayer of Polish hearts.

How ardently I desire, I who owe my life, my faith, my language to a Polish family, that the family should never cease to be strong with the strength of God. May it overcome whatever weakens it or tears it asunder; may it overcome whatever does not permit it to be a true sphere of life and love. For this I pray for you now with the words of the call of Jasna Gora. And I wish to pray also in the future, repeating: "I am close to you, I remember you, I watch", until this cry before the Mother of God rebounds and becomes a reality where it is needed most.

There where, from fidelity to these words repeated at the end of the first millennium, will depend to a great extent the new millennium."

Papa San Juan Pablo II to Seminarians at the Shrine of Jasna Gora
Czestochowa, Wednesday, 6 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish    

"My dear friends!
1. The Gospel which we often hear read when we are present here at Jasna Gora is that which recalls the wedding feast at Cana of Galilee. Saint John as an eye witness has described that event in all its particulars—an event which took place at the beginning of the public life of Christ the Lord. This is the first miracle—the first sign of the saving power of Christ—performed in the presence of his Mother and his first disciples, the future Apostles.

You also are gathered here as disciples of Christ the Lord. Each one of you has become his disciple through holy Baptism, which requires a solid preparation of our minds, our wills and our hearts. This is done by means of catechesis, first of all in our families, then in the parish. By catechesis we search ever more deeply into the mystery of Christ and we discover the meaning of our participation in it. Catechesis is not only learning religious concepts; it is an introduction to the life of participation in the mystery of Christ. Thus, knowing Christ—and through him also the Father: "He who has seen me has seen the Father" (Jn 14:9)—we become, in the Holy Spirit, participants in the new life which Christ has grafted into us from the moment of Baptism and which he has strengthened with Confirmation.

2. This new life which Christ has given us becomes our spiritual life, our interior life. We therefore discover within ourselves the interior person with its qualities, talents, worthy desires and ideals; but we also discover our weaknesses, our vices, our evil inclinations: selfishness, pride and sensuality. We perfectly understand how much the first of these aspects of our humanity needs to be developed and strengthened, and how much instead the second one must be overcome, combatted and transformed. In this way—in living contact with Jesus, the contact of the disciple with the Master—there begins and develops the most sublime activity of man: work on himself that aims at the formation of his own humanity. In our lives we prepare ourselves to perform various activities in one or other profession; our interior task, on the other hand, tends solely to form the human person himself—that human person which is each one of us.

This task is the most personal collaboration with Jesus Christ, similar to that which occurred in his disciples when he called them to intimate friendship with him.

3. Today's Gospel speaks of a banquet. We know that the Divine Master, calling us to collaborate with him—a collaboration which we as his disciples accept in order to become his apostles—invites us as he did at Cana of Galilee. In fact, he presents to us, as the Fathers of the Church have described in an expressive and symbolic way, two tables: one of the word of God, the other of the Eucharist. The work that we take on ourselves consists in approaching these two tables in order to be filled.

I know how many young people in Poland, boys and girls, who with joy, with trust, with an interior desire to know the truth and to find pure and beautiful love, approach the table of the word of God and the table of the Eucharist. On this occasion today I wish to emphasize the great significance of the various forms of that creative work which allows us to discover the deep value of life, the true attraction of youth, living in intimacy with Christ the master, in his sanctifying grace. One discovers in this way that human life, on whose threshold youth still finds itself, has a rich meaning and that it is—always and everywhere—a free and conscious answer to the call of God, a well-defined vocation.

4. Some of you have discovered that Christ has called you in a particular way to his exclusive service, and that he wishes to see you at the altar as his ministers, or on the path of evangelical consecration through the religious vows. This discovery of a vocation is followed by a particular preparation of some years either in seminaries or in religious novitiates. These institutions—worthy of praise in the life of the Church—never cease to attract young people who are ready to give themselves exclusively to the Redeemer, so that there is fulfilled what you so spontaneously sing: "Come with me to save the world, it is already the twentieth century..."

Remember that I rejoice for every priestly and religious vocation, as a particular gift of Christ the Lord for the Church, for the People of God, as a singular witness of the Christian vitality of our dioceses, parishes, families. Here, today, with you, I entrust every young vocation to Our Lady of Jasna Gora and I offer it to her as a particular gift.

5. During the banquet at Cana of Galilee, Mary asked the first sign from her Son on behalf of the young newly-weds and those in charge of the house. Mary does not cease to pray for you, for all the young people of Poland and of the whole world, so that there will be manifested in you the sign of a new presence of Christ in history.

And you, my dearest friends, remember well these words which the Mother of Christ spoke at Cana, turning to those who were to fill the water jars. She said then, pointing to her Son, "Do whatever he tells you!" (Jn 2:5).

To you also she says the same thing today.
Accept these words
Remember them.
Put them into practice."

Pape Saint Jean-Paul II Address to Diocesan Priests and Religious
Cathedral of the Holy Family, Czestochowa, Wednesday 6 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish    

"1. My dear brothers in the priesthood, and at the same time, in the same priesthood of Christ, beloved sons.

We meet here at the feet of the Mother of God, before the face of our Mother: The Mother of priests. We meet in unusual circumstances, by which you certainly, like me, are deeply moved. And yet this first Polish Pope who today stands before you received the grace of a priestly vocation on Polish soil; he passed through the Polish Major Seminary (for the most part when it was underground, because it was during the Occupation); he studied at the Theology Faculty of the Jagellonian University; he received priestly ordination from the Polish bishop and inflexible prince of unforgettable memory, Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha; and, with you, he shared in the same experiences of the Church and the nation.

This in particular I want to say to you at today's meeting. Everything that was formed in me here, everything I have taken away from here, echoes in all the meetings I have had with priests since 16 October 1978. And so today, in this meeting with you, I wish especially to refer to the words that I have said on those various occasions. In fact I believe that you all have some share in their formation, and in part you have authorship rights. I also hold that though these words have been already said in Rome or elsewhere, they refer to you in Poland.

2. Here is a part of the talk I gave to the diocesan and religious priests of the Diocese of Rome last November 9:

I said: "I remember the admirable, zealous and often heroic priests with whom I was able to share the concern and the struggles... In my previous episcopal work the Priests' Council rendered me great service, both as a community and as a meeting-place for sharing, together with the Bishop, common solicitude for the whole life of the presbyterium and for the effectiveness of its pastoral activity... As I meet you here for the first time and greet you with sincere affection," I also said to the priests and religious of Rome, "I still have before my eyes and in my heart the presbyterium of the Church in Krakow—all our meetings on various occasions—the many talks that began right from the years in the Seminary—the meetings of priests—ordination groups of the individual seminary courses, to which I always went and in which I took part with joy and benefit!" (L'Osservatore Romano, 10 November 1978, p. 1, nos. 2-3).

3. And now let us return together to the great meeting with the Mexican priests at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I said this to them:

"Servants of a great cause, on you largely depends the destiny of the Church in the spheres entrusted to your pastoral care. This imposes upon you the duty to have a deep awareness of the greatness of the mission that you have received, and an awareness of the need to make yourselves ever more fit for it. In fact, it is a question... of Christ's Church—with what respect and love this ought to fill us!—which you must serve with joy in holiness of life (cf. Eph 4:13). This lofty and .demanding service cannot be rendered unless you have a clear and firmly-rooted conviction of your identity as priests of Christ, stewards and ministers of God's mysteries, instruments of salvation for people, witnesses to a kingdom that begins in this world but reaches fulfilment in the world to come" (nos. 2-3; AAS 71 (1979), p. 180).

4. Finally, the fourth statement, and perhaps the best known one: the Letter to all the priests of the Church on the occasion of Holy Thursday 1979. I felt the particularly strong need to address the priests of the whole Church precisely at the beginning of my pontificate. I wanted this to happen on the occasion of Holy Thursday, on the occasion of the "feast of priests", I had before my eyes that day in the Cathedral at Wawel, when we renewed together our faith in the priesthood of Jesus Christ and dedicated to him anew, at his complete disposal, our whole being, soul and body, so that he might be able to work through us and carry out his salvific work.

"Our pastoral activity demands," I wrote, "that we should be close to people and all their problems, whether these problems be personal, family or social ones, but it also demands that we should be close to all these problems 'in a priestly way'. Only then, in the sphere of all these problems, do we remain ourselves. Therefore if we are really of assistance in those human problems, and they are sometimes very difficult ones, then we keep our identity and are really faithful to our vocation. With great perspicacity we must seek, together with all men, truth and justice, the true and definitive dimensions of which we can only find in the Gospel, or rather in Christ himself" (no, 17 A AS 71 (1979), p. 404).

5. Dear Polish priests gathered today at Jasna Gora, those are the thoughts that I wanted to share with you. The priests of Poland have their own history, a history that has been written, in close connection with the history of the motherland, by the entire generations of the "servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God" (1 Cor 4:1) whom our land has given.

We have always felt a profound bond with the People of God, with this people from the midst of which we have been "chosen", and for which we have been "appointed" (cf. Heb 5:1). The witness of living faith that we draw from the Upper Room, from Gethsemane, from Calvary, from the faith that we absorbed with our mothers' milk; from the faith that was strengthened amid the hard trials suffered by our fellow countrymen—this is our spiritual hallmark; the foundation of our priestly identity.

In today's meeting, could I fail to recall the thousands of Polish priests who lost their lives in the last war, especially in the concentration camps?

But allow me to limit the memories that crowd into my mind and heart.

I shall say only that this heritage of priestly faith, service and solidarity with the nation in her most difficult periods, which constitutes in a sense the foundation of the historical trust of society in the Polish priests, must always be developed by each of you and must, I would say, always be won again. Christ the Lord taught the Apostles what idea they were to have of themselves and what they were to demand of themselves: "We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty" (Lk 17:10). Dear brothers, Polish Priests, as you recall these words and the experiences of history, you must always keep before your eyes the demands arising from the Gospel that are the measure of your vocation. It is a great blessing this trust that the Polish priest has to his credit with society when he is faithful to his mission and his attitude is clear and in keeping with the style developed by the Church in Poland in the last decades: namely, the style of the evangelical witness of social service. May God assist us in order that this style may not be exposed to any "hesitation"."

Saint JPII's Homily at Mass for Workers from Upper Silesia & Zaglebie
Czestochowa, 6 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish    

"1. Jasna Góra has become Poland's spiritual capital . Pilgrims come from every part of our native soil, in order to find there unity with Christ the Lord through the heart of his Mother. They come not only from Poland but also from beyond her frontiers. The image of our Lady of Jasna Góra has become a sign of spiritual unity on the part of Poles throughout the world. It is also, I would say, a sign by which to recognize our spirituality and also our place in the great family of the Christian peoples gathered in the unity of the Church. For wonderful is the reign of the Mother through her image in Jasna Góra: the reign of the Heart, which is ever more necessary to the world which tends to express everything through cold calculations and purely material ends.

I arrive at Jasna Góra as a pilgrim and I wish to unite myself cordially with all belonging to this spiritual community, this great family spread over the whole of the land of Poland and beyond her
frontiers. I desire us all to meet in the heart of the Mother. I join myself through faith, hope and prayer with all those who cannot come here. I unite myself in particular with all the communities of
the Church of Christ in Poland, with all the diocesan Churches and their Pastors, with all the parishes, with the religious families of men and women.
In a special way I turn to you who have come here today from Silesia and Zaglebie Dabrowskie. Both these lands, both these provinces of ancient and modern Poland, are dear to me. The wealth of present-day Poland is in great part bound up with the natural resources with which Providence has endowed these lands and with the great centres of human labour that have risen there during the last centuries. Historically speaking, both Silesia and Zaglebie—particularly Silesia—have always remained in close union with the see of Saint Stanislaus. As former Metropolitan of Krakow, I wish to express my special joy at this meeting between us today at the foot of Jasna Góra , I have always been close in heart to the Church of Katowice, which contributes special experiences and values to Catholic life in Poland as a whole.

2. Chiefly the experience of immense work. The riches of the earth, both those that appear on its surface and those that we must seek in its depths, become riches for man only at the cost of human labour. This work, in its many forms, both intellectual and manual, is necessary for man to fulfil the magnificent mission that the Creator has entrusted to him, the mission expressed in the book of Genesis with the words "Subdue (the earth) and have dominion" (Gen 1:28). The earth is entrusted to man, and through work man has dominion over it.

Work is also the fundamental dimension of man's life on earth. Work has for man a significance that is not merely technical but ethical. It can be said that man "subdues" the earth when by his behaviour he becomes its master, not its slave, and also the master and not the slave of work.

Work must help man to become better, more mature spiritually, more responsible, in order that he may realize his vocation on earth both as an unrepeatable person and in community with others, especially in the fundamental human community constituted by the family. By joining together in this very community, whose character was established by the Creator himself from the beginning., a man and a woman give life to new human beings. Work must make it possible for this human community to find the means necessary for its formation and maintenance.

The reason for the family is one of the fundamental factors determining the economy and policy of work. These keep their ethical character when they take into consideration the needs and the rights of the family. Through work the adult human being must earn the means needed to maintain his family. Motherhood must be treated in work policy and economy as a great end and a great task in itself. For with it is connected the mother's work in giving birth, feeding and rearing, and no one can take her place. Nothing can take the place of the heart of a mother always present and always waiting in the home. True respect for work brings with it due esteem for motherhood. It cannot be otherwise. The moral health of the whole of society depends on that.

My thoughts and my heart open again to you, hard-working people, with whom I have been linked in various ways by my personal life and my pastoral ministry. I wish your work not to cease to be the source of your social strength. Thanks to your work, may your homes be strong. Thanks to your work, may the whole of our motherland be strong.

3. Therefore I turn my gaze once more to industrious Silesia and Zaglebie, towards the blast-furnaces and chimneys of the factories: it is land of great work and of great prayer. These two are linked closely together in the tradition of this people whose usual greeting is given with the words "Szczesc Boze" (May God assist you), words that link the thought of God to human work, referring one to the other.

It is right that I should bless divine Providence today, giving thanks for the fact that the immense development of industry—the development of human work—has gone hand in hand with the building of churches, the erection of parishes and the deepening and strengthening of faith. For the fact that development has not implied de-Christianization, the rupture of the alliance that must be set up in the human soul between work and prayer in keeping with the motto of the Benedictines; "Ora et labora". In every human work prayer sets up a reference to God the Creator and Redeemer and it also contributes to complete "humanization" of work. "Work exists... for resurrection" (C. K. Norwid). Man, indeed, is by his Creator's will called from the beginning to subdue the earth by his work and also has been created in the image and after the likeness of God himself. There is no other way for him to find himself and confirm who he is except by seeking God in prayer. By seeking God, by meeting him in prayer, man is bound to find himself, since he is like God. He cannot find himself except in his Prototype. He cannot confirm his "dominion" over the earth by work except by praying at the same time.

Dear brothers and sisters, hardworking people of Silesia, Zaglebie, and the whole of Poland, do not let yourselves be seduced by the temptation to think that man can fully find himself by denying God, erasing prayer from his life and remaining only a worker, deluding himself that what he produces can on its own fill the needs of the human heart. "Man shall not live by bread alone" (Mt 4:4). This was said by him who knows the human heart and has given sufficient proof of caring for material needs. The Lord's Prayer includes an invocation for bread, but man shall not live by bread alone. Remain faithful to the experience of the generations that have cultivated this earth and brought its hidden treasures to the surface with God in their hearts and a prayer on their lips. Keep what has been the source of strength for your fathers and forefathers, for your families and for your communities. Let "prayer and work" became a fresh fountain of strength in this generation and also in the hearts of your children, your grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

4. I say to you: "Szczesc Boze"—May God assist you.

I say this prayer through the Heart of the Mother, the Heart of her whose reign in Jasna Góra consists in being a loving Mother for all of us.

I say this prayer through the Heart of that Mother who chose for herself a place closer to your homes, your mines and factories, your villages and cities, the place called Piekary. Add what I say to you today from this height of Jasna Góra to what I have so often said to you, as Metropolitan of Krakow, from the height of Piekary. And remember it.
Amen.

"Szczesc Boze"—May God assist you! Amen."

Saint John Paul II's words at the farewell ceremony at Jasna Gora
Czestochowa, Wednesday 6 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish    

"Our Lady of Jasna Góra!
1. There is a custom — a beautiful custom — for pilgrims whom you have welcomed at Jasna Góra to make a farewell visit to you before leaving here. I remember very many of these farewell visits, these special audiences that you, Mother of Jasna Góra, have granted me, when I was still a high-school student and came here with my father and the pilgrimage from the whole of my native parish of Wadowice. I remember the audience that you granted to me and to my companions when we came here clandestinely, as representatives of the university students of Krakow, during the terrible Occupation, in order not to interrupt the continuity of the university pilgrimages to Jasna Góra, pilgrimages begun in the memorable year 1936. I remember so many other farewell visits to you, so many other moments of parting, when I came here as chaplain to young people, later as Bishop, leading pilgrimages of priests from the Archdiocese of Krakow.

2. Today I have come to you, Our Lady of Jasna Góra, with the venerable Primate of Poland, with the Archbishop of Krakow, with the Bishop of Czestochowa and with the whole of the Episcopate of my motherland, to bid you farewell once more and to ask your blessing for my journey. I come here, after these days that I have spent with them — as the first servant of your Son and as the successor of Peter in the See of Rome. The meaning of this pilgrimage is quite inexpressible. I shall not even try to find the words to express what it has been for me and for us all, and what it will never cease to be. And so, Mother of the Church and Queen of Poland, forgive us all if we thank you only with the silence of our hearts; and if with this silence we sing you our "preface" of farewell.

3. I just wish, in your presence, to thank once more my beloved brothers in the Episcopate: the Cardinal Primate, the Archbishops and Bishops of the Church in Poland, from the circle of whom I have been called, and with whom I have been profoundly linked from the beginning and continue to be so. Here are those who becoming, in St Peter's words, models of the flock (forma gregis) (cf 1 Pet 5:3), with all their hearts serve the Church and the motherland, without sparing their energies. Revered Brothers, I wish to thank all of you, and in a special way you, the Eminent and beloved Primate of Poland, repeating once more (perhaps also without words) what I have already said in Rome on 22 and 23 October of last year. Today I repeat the same things — with my thoughts and with my heart — here, in the presence of Our Lady of Jasna Góra.

I express my cordial thanks to all who have been pilgrims with me here during these days — in particular the custodians of the Shrine, the Pauline Fathers, led by their Superior General and Guardian of Jasna Góra.

4. Our Lady of the Bright Mountain, Mother of the Church! Once more I consecrate myself to you in your maternal slavery of love": Totus tuus! — I am all yours! I consecrate to you the whole Church— everywhere and to the ends of the earth! I consecrate to you Humanity; I consecrate to you all men and women, my brothers and sisters. All the Peoples and the Nations. I consecrate to you Europe and all the continents. I consecrate to you Rome and Poland, united, through your servant, by a fresh bond of love.

Mother, accept us!
Mother, do not abandon us!
Mother, be our guide!"

Święty Jan Paweł II's address at the Welcoming Ceremony in Kraków
Krakow, Wednesday, 6 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish    

"Beloved Brothers and Sisters!
By the inscrutable design of Providence I had to leave the episcopal see of Saint Stanislaus at Krakow, and from 16 October 1978 to occupy that of Saint Peter in Rome. The choice of the Sacred College was for me an expression of the will of Christ himself. To this will I desire to remain always submissive and faithful. I desire furthermore to serve, with all my strength, the great cause to which I was called, that is, the proclaiming of the Gospel and the work of salvation. I thank you because you have helped me spiritually, above all with your prayers.

If I say this with the first words with which I greet you, it is because Christ writes his calls in the living heart of man. And my heart was and has not ceased to be united with you, with this city, with this patrimony, with this "Polish Rome".

Here, in this land, I was born.

Here, in Krakow, I spent the greater part of my life, beginning with my enrolment in the Jagellonian University in 1938.

Here, I received the grace of my priestly vocation.

I was consecrated Bishop in the Cathedral of Wawel, and in January 1964 I inherited the great patrimony of the Bishops of Krakow.

Krakow, from the tenderest years of my life, has been for me a particular synthesis of all that it means to be Polish and Christian. She has always spoken of the great historic past of my Motherland. She always represented for me in a sublime way the spirit of my country.

I remember the old Krakow of the university years of my youth—and the new Krakow which, with the construction of Nowa Huta, has almost tripled in size. This Krakow, in whose problems I participated as pastor, as Bishop, as Cardinal.

Today, I greet my beloved Krakow as a pilgrim.

I greet all that which constitutes it: the witness of history, the tradition of the kings, the cultural and scientific patrimony and, at the same time, the modern metropolis.

I especially greet you, the residents of Krakow, all of you and each one of you. I come back to you for the few days of the jubilee of Saint Stanislaus, as to a great family.

You are so close to me. Because of the separation to which the Lord has called me, I feel even closer to you. I wish to express my sentiments and good wishes with the words of Saint Ignatius of Antioch. "May the grace of the Lord now give you everything in abundance... Just as you have comforted me in every way, so may the Lord Jesus, give you consolation. You have shown me your love both when I was present and when I was absent; may the Lord reward you for this." (Letter to the faithful of Smyrna, IX, 2: Sources Chrétiennes X, 164.)

During these few days that I will be spending with you I wish to do the same things that I have always done: proclaim "the great works of God" (Acts 2:11), give witness to the Gospel and serve the dignity of man. As Saint Stanislaus did so many centuries ago."

Papa Saint John Paul II to the Faithful in Wawel Cathedral, Krakow
Wednesday, 6 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish      

"After arriving in Krakow, I have directed my first steps to the Cathedral, in order to meet you who were waiting here at the tomb of Saint Stanislaus, of the blessed Queen Hedwig, and of our kings, of our military commanders, and of our inspired national poets. You all know very well what this Wawel cathedral has been and is for me.

I greet the whole of the well-loved presbyterium of the Church of Krakow, gathered around the relics of its Patron, its Bishop of nine centuries ago, and also his successor of the present day, the Metropolitan of Krakow, and his brothers in the Episcopate.

I greet you all.

Since 1972 I prepared, together with you, my dear Brothers, this Jubilee that I am now celebrating with you, although it is in a way different from what I expected. Inscrutable are the designs of God! Inscrutable his ways!

We planned together that during this year visits should be made in all the parishes of the Archdiocese of Krakow with the relics of Saint Stanislaus, and I know that this plan is being carried out. I would like to add to this series of visits my own present visit in the Wawel basilica, which, as the Cathedral, is the mother church of all the churches and parishes of the Archdiocese. Through my visit to the holy relics here in the Cathedral I am indirectly visiting every parish. In this way I am also visiting each one of you, dear brothers and sons, each one in his place of work. I am visiting all the communities of the People of God of which you are the pastors. Please greet for me your parishes, your churches, your chapels. Greet all the shrines, which are always so dear to my heart.

Greet the families, the parents, the young people.

Now, as then, I pray every day for my beloved Archdiocese:
for the families;
for the parishes and deaneries;
for the Religious Congregations of men and women;
'for the Krakow Seminary and all the Seminaries situated in the City;
for the Theological Athenaeum, heir to the most ancient Faculty in Poland, belonging to the Jagellonian University, which we owe to the Blessed Queen Hedwig;
for the Council of Priests;
for the Metropolitan Chancery;
for the Chapter responsible for the care of Wawel;
for the Synod of the Archdiocese and metropolis.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with the gift of a special unity in his service. Amen."

Papa St JPII's Address at the Marian Shrine of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska
Thursday 7 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish    

"1. I really do not know how to thank Divine Providence for granting me to revisit this place: Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, the Shrine of the Mother of God, the holy places of Jerusalem connected with the life of Jesus and that of his Mother reproduced here, the "little ways", as they are called. I visited them often as a boy and as a young man. I visited them as a priest. Especially, I often visited the Shrine of Kalwaria as Archbishop of Krakow and Cardinal. Many times we came here, the priests and I, to concelebrate before the Mother of God. We came in the yearly pilgrimage in August and in the pilgrimage of certain groups in the spring and the autumn. More frequently, however, I came here alone and, walking along the little ways of Jesus Christ and his Mother, I was able to meditate on their holy mysteries and recommend to Christ through Mary the specially difficult and uniquely responsible problems in the complexity of my ministry. I can say that almost none of these problems reached its maturity except here, through ardent prayer before the great mystery of faith that Kalwaria holds within itself.

It is a mystery with which you are all quite familiar, you the Bernardine (Franciscan) Fathers and Brothers who are guardians of this Shrine, you the people who live here, who are members of the parish, and you the many, many pilgrims who come here at different times and in various groups from all over Poland, especially from the area close to the Carpathians, from both sides of the Tatra, some of you coming several times. Kalwarla has something in it that attracts a person. What produces this effect? Perhaps part of it is the natural beauty of the landscape extending to the foot of the Polish Beskid Mountains. It certainly reminds us of Mary going into the hill country to visit Elizabeth (Lk 1:39). But what chiefly draws a person here again and again is the mystery of the union of the Mother with the Son and of the Son with the Mother. This mystery is recounted in abundant artistic fashion by all the chapels and little churches extending around the central Basilica reigned over by the image of Our Lady of Kalwaria, which was crowned with the diadem of Pope Leo XIII on 15 August 1887 by Cardinal Albin Dunajewski. For the centenary of the act, which will take place in 1987, you will prepare yourselves during the coming nine years. May these be years of deeply-lived preparation by you, and may they bring you still closer to the mysteries of the Mother and the Son, which have been so strongly lived and meditated upon in this holy place.

The mystery of the union of the Mother with the Son and of the Son with the Mother on the Way of the Cross and the path of her funeral from the Chapel of the Dormition to the Tomb of Our Lady. Finally, the mystery of their union in glory, recalled by the little ways of the Assumption and the Coronation. The whole of this, well laid out in time and space and covered with the prayer of so many hearts, of so many generations, constitutes a unique living treasury of the faith, hope and charity of the People of God in this land. Every time that I came here I was aware of drawing from that treasury. And I was always aware that the mysteries of Jesus and Mary on which we meditate while praying for the living and the dead are truly inscrutable. We keep coming back to them, and each time we encourage ourselves to return here again and again in order to immerse ourselves in them. In these mysteries is expressed a synthesis of all that is part of our earthly pilgrimage, of all that is part of our "little ways" of daily life. All of this was assumed by the Son of God, and through his Mother it is restored to man again: it is permeated by a new light, without which human life is senseless and remains in the darkness. "He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (Jn 8:12). That is the fruit of my many years of pilgrimage through. the little ways of Kalwaria. The fruit that I am sharing with you today.

3. That for which I want to give you courage and enthusiasm in this: keep visiting this Shrine. Even more do I want to say this to all of you, but especially to the young people (for it is the young who are particularly fond of this place): keep praying; we "ought always to pray and not lose heart" (Lk 18:1), as Jesus taught. Pray, and through prayer shape your lives.

"Man shall not live by bread alone" (Mt 4:4), and it is not by the temporal alone nor merely by the satisfaction of material needs, by ambition, or by desire that man is man. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Mt 4:4). To live by this Word, the Divine Word, we ought to pray "and not lose heart".

From this place I send to every one who is listening to me here or anywhere this simple fundamental invitation, from the Pope, to pray.

It is the most important invitation.

It is the most essential message.

May the Shrine of Kalwaria continue to gather pilgrims, and to serve the Archdiocese of Krakow and the whole of the Church in Poland. May a great work of renewal be accomplished here for men, women, young people, liturgical service of the altar, and for everyone.

And I ask all those who will continue to come here to pray for one of the pilgrims of Kalwaria whom Christ has called with the same words that he spoke to Simon Peter: "Feed my lambs... Feed my sheep" (Jn 21:15-19).

1 ask you to pray for me here during my life and after my death. Amen."

Święty Jan Paweł II's words in the Parish Church of Wadowice
Wadowice, Thursday 7 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish    

"Dear People of Wadowice,
It is with deep emotion. that I arrive today in the town of my birth, in the parish in which I was baptized and accepted as part of the ecclesial community, and in the surroundings to which I was linked for eighteen years of my life, from when I was born to when I left school.

I want to thank you for greeting me, and also to greet and welcome all of you cordially. Many years have gone by since I lived in Wadowice and there have been changes. So I greet the new inhabitants of Wadowice, but I do so while thinking of the former inhabitants, that generation that lived its youth here in the period between the first world war and the second. In mind and heart I go back to the elementary school in Rynek ( Market Square) and to the Wadowice secondary school dedicated to Marcin Wadwita that I went to. In mind and heart I go back to those who grew up with me, the boys and girls who where with me in school, and to our parents and teachers. Some of those who grew up with me are still here and I greet them with special cordiality. Others are scattered throughout Poland and the world, but they too will come to know of this meeting between us.
We know how important are the first years of life, of childhood and of youth for the development of human personality and character. These are the very years that bind me inseparably to Wadowice, to the town and the area around it, to the River Skawa and the Beskid Range. For that reason I have wanted very much to come here, in order to thank God with you for all the blessings that I have received. My prayer is for so many people who have died, beginning with my parents, my brother and my sister, whose memory is linked for me with this city.

On the human level, I want to express my feelings of deep gratitude to Monsignor Edward Zacher, who was my religion teacher in the Wadowice secondary school, who later gave the talk at my first Mass and at my first celebrations as Bishop, Archbishop and Cardinal here in the Church of Wadowice, and who finally has spoken again today on the occasion of this new stage in my life, which cannot be explained except by the boundless mercy of God and the exceptional protection of the Mother of God.

When in thought I look back over the long path of my life, I reflect on how the surroundings, the parish and my family brought me to the baptismal font of the church of Wadowice, where I was, given on 20 June 1920 the grace to become a son of God, together with faith in my Redeemer. I have already solemnly kissed this font in the year of the Millennium of the Baptism of Poland, when I was Archbishop of Krakow. Today I wish to kiss it again as Pope, successor of Saint Peter.

I wish to fix my gaze on the face of the Mother of Perpetual Help in her image at Wadowice.

I ask all of you to surround me with unceasing prayer before the image of this Mother."

Pope John Paul II's Homily at Mass at Brzezinka Concentration Camp
Brzezinka, 7 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish    

"1. "This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith" (1 Jn 5:4).
These words from the Letter of Saint John come to my mind and enter my heart as I find myself in this place in which a special victory was won through faith; through the faith that gives rise to love of God and of one's neighbour, the unique love, the supreme love that is ready to "lay down (one's) life for (one's) friends" (Jn 15:13; cf. 10:11). A victory, therefore, through love enlivened by faith to the extreme point of the final definitive witness.

This victory through faith and love was won in this place by a man whose first name is Maximilian Mary. Surname: Kolbe. Profession (as registered in the books of the concentration camp): Catholic priest. Vocation: a son of Saint Francis. Birth: a son of simple, hardworking devout parents, who were weavers near Lódz. By God's grace and the Church's judgment: Blessed.

The victory through faith and love was won by him in this place, which was built for the negation of faith—faith in God and faith in man—and to trample radically not only on love but on all signs of human dignity, of humanity. A place built on hatred and on contempt for man in the name of a crazed ideology. A place built on cruelty. On the entrance gate which still exists, is placed the inscription "Arbeit macht frei", which has a sardonic sound, since its meaning was radically contradicted by what took place within.

In this site of the terrible slaughter that brought death to four million people of different nations, Father Maximilian voluntarily offered himself for death in the starvation bunker for a brother, and so won a spiritual victory like that of Christ himself. This brother still lives today in the land of Poland.

But was Father Maximilian Kolbe the only one? Certainly he won a victory that was immediately felt by his companions in captivity and is still felt today by the Church and the world. However, there is no doubt that many other similar victories were won. I am thinking, for example, of the death in the gas chamber of a concentration camp of the Carmelite Sister Benedicta of the Cross, whose name in the world was Edith Stein, who was an illustrious pupil of Husserl and became one of the glories of contemporary German philosophy, and who was a descendant of a Jewish family living in Wrocklaw.

Where the dignity of man was so horribly trampled on, victory was won through faith and love.

Can it still be a surprise to anyone that the Pope born and brought up in this land, the Pope who came to the see of Saint Peter from the diocese in whose territory is situated the camp of Oswiecim, should have begun his first Encyclical with the words "Redemptor Hominis" and should have dedicated it as a whole to the cause of man, to the dignity of man„ to the threats to him, and finally to his inalienable rights that can so easily be trampled on and annihilated by his fellowmen? Is it enough to put man in a different uniform, arm him with the apparatus of violence? Is it enough to impose on him an ideology in which human rights are subjected to the demands of the system, completely subjected to them, so as in practice not to exist at all?

2. I am here today as a pilgrim. It is well known that I have been here many times. So many times! And many times I have gone down to Maximilian Kolbe's death cell and stopped in front of the execution wall and passed among the ruins of the cremation furnaces of Brzezinka. It was impossible for me not to come here as Pope.

I have come then to this special shrine, the birthplace, I can say, of the patron of our difficult century, just as nine centuries ago Skalka was the place of the birth under the sword of Saint Stanislaus, Patron of the Poles.

I have come to pray with all of you who have come here today and with the whole of Poland and the whole of Europe. Christ wishes that I who have become the Successor of Peter should give witness before the world to what constitutes the greatness and the misery of contemporary man, to what is his defeat and his victory.

I have come and I kneel on this Golgotha of the modern world, on these tombs, largely nameless like the great tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I kneel before all the inscriptions that come one after another bearing the memory of the victims of Oswiecim in languages: Polish, English, Bulgariam, Romany, Czech, Danish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Yiddish, Spanish, Flemish, Serbo-Croat, German, Norwegian, Russian, Romanian, Hungarian, and Italian.

In particular I pause with you, dear participants in this encounter, before the inscription in Hebrew. This inscription awakens the memory of the People whose sons and daughters were intended for total extermination. This People draws its origin from Abraham, our father in faith (cf. Rom 4:12), as was expressed by Paul of Tarsus. The very people that received from God the commandment "Thou shalt not kill", itself experienced in a special measure what is meant by killing. It is not permissible for anyone to pass by this inscription with indifference.
Finally, the last inscription: that in Polish. Six million Poles lost their lives during the second world war: a fifth of the nation. Yet another stage in the centuries-old fight of this nation, my nation, for its fundamental rights among the peoples of Europe. Yet another loud cry for the right to a place of its own on the map of Europe. Yet another painful reckoning with the conscience of mankind.

-3. Oswiecim is such a reckoning. It is impossible merely to visit it. It is necessary on this occasion to think with fear of how far hatred can go, how far man's destruction of man can go, how far cruelty can go.

Oswiecim is a testimony of war. War brings with it a disproportionate growth of hatred, destruction and cruelty. It cannot be denied that it also manifests new capabilities of human courage, heroism and patriotism, but the fact remains that it is the reckoning of the losses that prevails. That reckoning prevails more and more, since each day sees an increase in the destructive capacity of the weapons invented by modern technology. Not only those who directly bring about wars are responsible for them, but also those who fail to do all they can to prevent them. Therefore I would like to repeat in this place the words that Paul VI pronounced before the United Nations Organizations:

"It is enough to remember that the blood of millions of men, numberless and unprecedented sufferings, useless slaughter and frightful ruin, are the sanction of the covenant which unites you in a solemn pledge which must change the future history of the world: No more war, war never again. It is peace, peace which must guide the destinies of peoples and of all mankind" (AAS 57, 1965, P. 881).

If however Oswiecim's great call and the cry of man tortured here is to bear fruit for Europe and for the world also, the Declaration of Human Rights must have all its just consequences drawn from it, as John XXIII urged in the encyclical Pacem in Terris. For the Declaration is "a solemn recognition of the personal dignity of every human being; an assertion of everyone's right to be free to seek out the truth, to follow moral principles, discharge the duties imposed by justice, and lead a fully human life. It also recognized other rights connected with these" (John XXIII, Pacem in Terris, IV - 4,4S 55, 1963, pp. 295-296). There must be a return to the wisdom of the old teacher Pawel Wlodkowic, Rector of the Jagellonian University at Krakow, and the rights of nations must be ensured: their right to existence, to freedom, to independence, to their own culture, and to honourable development. Wlodkowic wrote: "Where power is more at work than love, people seek their own interests and not those of Jesus Christ, and accordingly they easily depart from the rule of God's law... All the kinds of law are against those who threaten people wishing to live in peace: against them is the civil law... the canon law... the natural law, expressed in the principle 'Do to others what you would have done to you'. Against them is the divine law, in that... the commandment 'Thou shalt not steal' forbids all robbery, and the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill' forbids all violence (Pawel Wlodkowic, Saevientibus (1415), Tract. II, Solutio quaest. 4a; cf. L. Ehrlich, Pisma wybrane Pawla Wlodkowica. Warszawa 1968, t. 1, s. 61; 58-59).

Never one at the other's expense, at the cost of the enslavement of the other, at the cost of conquest, outrage, exploitation and death.

He who is speaking these words is the successor of John XXIII and Paul VI. But he is also the son of a nation that in its history has suffered many afflictions from others. He says this, not to accuse but to remind. He is speaking in the name of all the nations whose rights are being violated and forgotten. He is saying it because he is urged to do so by the truth and by solicitude for man.

4. Holy is God! Holy and strong! Holy Immortal One! From plague, from famine, from fire and from war ... and from war, deliver us, Lord. Amen."

Papa San Giovanni Paolo II's Homily at Holy Mass in Nowy Targ
8 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish    

"1. "From the Baltic Sea to the mountain peaks..." To the peaks of the Tatra.

In my pilgrimage through Poland, I have occasion today to come near to those mountains, the Tatra Mountains, that for centuries have constituted the southern frontier of Poland. This has been the most closed and most shielded frontier, and at the same time the most open and friendly one. Across this frontier passed the roads towards neighbours, towards like cultures. Even during the last occupation these roads were the ones most often taken by the refugees going south, trying to reach the Polish army, which was fighting for the freedom of the homeland beyond its borders.

With all my heart I wish to greet these places to which I have always been so closely bound. I also wish to greet all those who have come here, both from Podhale and from the lower Carpathians, from the Archdiocese of Krakow and from even further: from the Dioceses of Tarnow and Przemysl. Permit me to appeal to the ancient bond of being neighbours and to greet you all, just as I was accustomed to do when I was Metropolitan of Krakow.

2. Here, in this place at Nowy Targ, I wish to speak of the Polish land, because here it shows itself particularly beautiful and rich in landscapes. Man needs the beauty of nature, and so it is not surprising that people come here from various parts of Poland and from abroad. They come both in summer and in winter. They seek rest. They want to find themselves again through contact with nature. They want to rebuild their energies through the wholesome physical exercise of walking, climbing and skiing. This hospitable region is also a land of great pastoral work, because people come here to regain not only their physical strength but their spiritual strength too.

3. This beautiful land is at the same time a difficult land. Rocky, mountainous. Not as fertile as the plain of the Vistula. And so permit me, precisely from this land of the lower Carpathians and the lower Tatra, to make reference to something that has always been very dear to the heart of the Poles: a love for the land and work in the fields. No one can deny that this represents not only a feeling, an affective bond, but also a great social and economic problem. These parts are especially well acquainted with the problem, because it was precisely from these places, where there was the greatest lack of cultivable soil and sometimes great poverty, that people emigrated far way, beyond Poland, beyond the seas. There they sought work and bread, and they found it. Today I wish to say to all those people scattered throughout the world, wherever they may be: "Szczesc Boze"—May God assist you! Let them not forget their country of origin, family, Church, prayer and everything they took from here. Because even though they had to emigrate for lack of material goods, yet they took with them from here a great spiritual heritage. Let them take care that while they become rich materially they do not become spiritually impoverished: neither they, not their children, nor their grandchildren.

This is the great and fundamental right of man: the right to work and the right to the land. Although economic development may take us in another direction, although one may value progress based upon industrialization, although the generation of today may leave en masse the land and agricultural work, still the right to the land does not cease to form the foundation of a sound economy and sociology.

During my visit it is only right that I offer some good wishes, and I therefore express to my native land my heartfelt wish that what has always constituted the strength of the Polish people—even-during the most arduous periods of history—namely the personal bond with the land, may not cease to be so even in our industrialized generation. Hold in great esteem the work of the fields; appreciate it and value it! And may Poland never want for bread and food!

4. This good wish is united to another. The Creator has given the earth to man so that "he may subdue" it—and upon this dominion of man over the earth he based man's fundamental right to life. This right is closely bound up with man's vocation to family life and to procreation. "This is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife, and they will become one flesh" (Gen 2:24). Just as the earth, by the providential decree of the Creator, bears fruit, so too this union in the love of two persons: man and woman, bears fruit in a new human life. Of this lifegiving unity of persons the Creator made the first sacrament, and the Redeemer confirmed this never-ending sacrament of love and of life, giving it a new dignity and impressing on it the seal of its holiness. Man's right to life is linked, by the will of the Creator and in virtue of the Cross of Christ, to the indissoluble sacrament of matrimony.

And so, beloved fellow-Countrymen, on this visit of mine I express the wish that this sacred right may not cease to form the life of the Polish land; both here, in the lower Tatra, in the lower Carpathians, and everywhere. It is rightly said that the family is the fundamental cell of social life. It is the fundamental human community. As goes the family, so goes the nation, because such is man. So I express the wish that you may be strong, thanks to families deeply rooted in the strength of God, and I express the wish that man may be able to develop fully on the basis of the indissoluble bond of spouses who are parents, in the family atmosphere that nothing can replace. Again I express the wish and I always pray for this, that the Polish family may beget life and may be faithful to the sacred right to life. If man's right to life is violated at the moment in which he is first conceived in his mother's womb, an indirect blow is struck also at the whole of the moral order, which serves to ensure the inviolable goods of man. Among those goods, life occupies the first place. The Church defends the right to life, not only in regard to the majesty of the Creator, who is the First Giver of this life, but also in respect to the essential good of man.
5. I also wish to speak to the young people, who love these places in a special way and seek here not only physical but also spiritual rest. "To rest," once wrote Norwid, "means 'to begin anew'" (a play on words in Polish). Man's spiritual rest, as many groups of young people correctly realize, must lead to discovering and working out in oneself that "new creature" that Saint Paul speaks of. To this end leads the path of the Word of God, read and celebrated with faith and love, participation in the Sacraments and especially in the Eucharist. To this end leads the way of understanding and realization of community, that is, the communion with people that stems from Eucharistic Communion, and also the understanding and realization of evangelical service, that is, of diaconia. Dear friends, do not give up that noble effort that enables you to become witnesses to Christ. A witness, in biblical language, means "martyr".

I entrust you to the Immaculate Virgin, to whom Blessed Maximilian Kolbe continually entrusted the whole world.

I entrust everyone to the Mother of Christ who reigns not far from here as'Mother in her shrine at Ludmierz, and also in that shrine that rises in the heart of the Tatra at Rusinowa Polana (how much the Servant of God, Brother Albert loved that place, how much he admired and loved it from his hermitage at Kalatowki), and in many other shrines built at the foot of the Carpathians, in the Dioceses of Tarnow and Przemysl—to the East and to the West. And in the whole land of Poland.
May the heritage of the faith of Christ and of the moral order be guarded by Saint Stanislaus, Bishop and martyr, patron of the Poles, witness to Christ for so many centuries in our native land."

JPII's Homily at Mass for closing of Archdiocesan Synod of Krakow
Wawel Cathedral, Krakow, 8 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish    

"Beloved Metropolitan of Krakow, Revered Bishops, Dearest brothers and sisters,
1. Today the ardent desire of my heart is fulfilled. The Lord Jesus, who called me from this See of Saint Stanislaus, on the vigil of his ninth centenary, permits me to participate at the closing of the Synod of the Archdiocese of Krakow, a Synod that has always been bound, in my mind, to this great jubilee of our Church. All of you know this very well, because I have dealt with this theme many times, and so I have no need to repeat it today. Perhaps I would not even be capable of saying everything which, in relation to this Synod, has passed in my mind and in my heart—just what hopes and plans I have tied to it in this decisive period of the history of the Church and of the motherland.

The Synod has been linked, for me and for all of you, to the anniversary of the ninth centenary of the ministry of Saint Stanislaus, who for seven years was Bishop of Krakow. The work programme thus foresaw a period from 8 May 1972 to 8 May 1979. During this whole time, we wanted to honour the Bishop and Pastor (of nine centuries ago) of the Church in Krakow, and to try to express—according to our times and our needs—our concern for the salvific work of Christ in the souls of our contemporaries. Just as Saint Stanislaus of Szczepanow did it nine centuries ago, so too we want to do it nine centuries later. I am convinced that this way of honouring the memory of the great Patron of Poland is the most suitable. It corresponds both to the historical mission of Saint Stanislaus and to those great tasks facing today's Church and modern Christianity after the Second Vatican Council. The initiator of the Council, the Servant of God John XXIII, specified this task with the word aggiornamento. The aim of the work of seven years of the Synod of Krakow—in response to the essential goals of Vatican II—was to be the aggiornamento of the Church of Krakow, the renewal of the understanding of its salvific mission, as well as the exact programme for its accomplishment.

2. The path that has led to this end has been marked out by the tradition of particular synods of the Church; suffice it to recall the two preceding synods during the ministry of Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha. The rules for conducting the synodal activity were laid out by the Code of Canon Law. However, we have taken into consideration the fact that the teaching of the Second Vatican Council o pens new perspectives here and, I would say, creates new tasks. If the Synod was to serve the realization of the teaching of Vatican II, it was to do so above all with the same idea and with the same system of work. This explains the whole plan of the pastoral Synod and its subsequent realization. One can say that for the formulation of the resolutions and of the documents, we have travelled over a longer, but a more complete path. This path has passed through the activity of hundreds of synodal study groups, in which large numbers of the faithful of the Church of Krakow have been able to express themselves. These groups, as is well known, were in the greater part made up of Catholic lay people, who have had on the one hand the opportunity to penetrate deeply into the teaching of the Council, and on the other hand to express in this regard their own experiences, their own proposals that manifested their love for the Church, their sense of responsibility for the whole of the Church's life in the Archdiocese of Krakow.

During the preparatory stage of the final documents of the Synod, the, study groups became centres where extensive consultations took place; in fact, the General Commission that coordinated the activity of all the working commissions turned to them, as did the commissions of experts that had been summoned right from the beginning of the Synod. In this way, those matters matured, which the Synod, linking itself again to the teaching of the Council, wished to transfer into the life of the Church of Krakow. It wished to form, in accordance with those matters, the future of the Church.

3. Today, all that work, this journey of seven years, is already behind you. I never thought that at the close of the work of the Synod of Krakow I would take part as a guest coining from Rome. But if such is the will of God, permit me, at this time, to assume once again the role of that Metropolitan of Krakow who through the Synod had wished to pay back the great debt which he had contracted towards the Council, towards the universal Church, towards the Holy Spirit. Permit me also in this role—as I have said—to thank all the people who have built up this Synod, year after year, month after month, by their work, by their advice by their creative contributions, by their zeal. In a way, my gratitude goes to the whole community of the People of God of the Archdiocese of Krakow, both ecclesiastics and laity: to the priests, to the men and women religious. Especially to all here present: to the Bishops, headed by my revered successor as the Metropolitan of Krakow; in a particular way to Bishop Stanislaw Smolenski, who as chairman of the General Commission has directed the work of the Synod. To all the members of the Commission, and once again to the Preparatory Commission, which in 1971 and 1972, under the direction of Monsignor Prof. E. Florkowski, prepared the constitution, the regulations and the programme of the Synod. To the Working Commissions, the Commissions of Experts, to the tireless Secretariat, to the Editorial Groups, and finally to all the Study Groups.

In this circumstance, perhaps I ought to have spoken differently, but it is not possible for me. I have been too personally connected with this work.

I wish, then, in the name of all of you, to lay this finished work before the sarcophagus of Saint Stanislaus in the centre of the Cathedral of Wawel; the work had in fact been undertaken in view of his jubilee.

And together with all of you I ask the Most Holy Trinity that this work may bear fruit a hundredfold. Amen."

Papa San Juan Pablo II to the University Students of Krakow
Krakow, Friday, 8 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish    

"Dear Young Friends,
1. Allow me to begin with city recollections, since it is still only a short time ago that I used to meet you regularly in the many pastoral centres for the university students of Krakow. We saw each other on various occasions and I think that we understood each other well. I shall never forget our exchange of Christmas good wishes with the shared Eucharist, the Advent and Lenten spiritual exercises and our other meetings.

This year I had to spend Lent in Rome and for the first time I spoke not to the Polish university students of Krakow but to the Roman university students. I shall quote you some passages of what I said to them in the Basilica of Saint Peter:

"Christ is... the One who made a radical change in the way of understanding life. He showed that life is a passing over, not only to the limit of death, but to a new life. Thus the Cross became for us the supreme Chair of the truth of God and of man. We must all be pupils no matter what our age is—of this Chair. Then we will understand that the Cross is also the cradle, of the new man.

"Those who are its pupils look at life in this way, perceive it in this way. And they teach it in this way to others. They imprint this meaning of life on the whole of temporal reality: on morality, creativity, culture, politics, economics. It has very often been affirmed—as, for example, the followers of Epicurus sustained in ancient times, and as some followers of Marx do in our times for other reasons—that this concept of life distracts man from temporal reality and that it cancels it in a certain sense. The truth is quite different. Only this conception of life gives full importance to all the problems of temporal reality. It opens the possibility of placing them fully in man's existence. And one thing is certain: this conception of life does not permit shutting man up in temporary things, it does not permit subordinating him completely to them. It decides his freedom.

"Giving human life this 'paschal' meaning, that is, that it is a passing over, a passing over to freedom, Jesus Christ taught with his word and even more with his own example that it is a test... the test of thought, of the 'heart' and of the will, the test of truth and love. In this sense, it is at the same time the test of the Covenant with God...

"The concept of 'test' is closely connected with the concept of responsibility. Both are addressed to our will, to our acts. Accept, dear friends, both these concepts—or rather both realities—as elements of the construction of one's own humanity. This humanity of yours is already mature and, at the same time, is still young. It is in the phase of the definitive formation of one's life project. This formation takes place particularly in the 'academic' years, in the time of higher studies...

"It is necessary to undertake this test with all responsibility. It is at the same time a personal responsibility—for my life, for its future pattern, for its value—and also a social responsibility, for justice and peace, for the moral order of one's own native environment and of the whole of society. It is a responsibility for the real common, good. A man who has such an awareness of the meaning of life does not destroy, but constructs the future. Christ teaches us this."

After the evening I spent with the youth of Rome, during which nearly all received their Easter communion, I thought to myself: How alike students are everywhere! Everywhere they listen to the Word of: God and participate in the liturgy with the same attention. I then thought of you, of the spiritual retreats of the Polish university students of Krakow, of the similar moment of recollection, reflection and living the silence in the Church of Saint Ann, or in that of the Mother of God at Nowa Wies, or in that of the Dominicans or of the Jesuits, during like encounters.

2. I thought of you also in Mexico, when I met the local university students in the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Allow me to quote also some phrases from the letter that after my return from Mexico I wrote specially to the university students of Latin America:

"During my meeting with you I saw that you feel very deeply the evil that weighs upon the social life of the nations whose sons and daughters you are. Your are troubled by the need of change, the need to build a better world, One that is more just and also more worthy of man. In this matter your desires coincide with the outlook that has become more and more marked through the teaching and apostolate of the present-day Church. The Second Vatican Council often responds to this aspiration to make life on earth more human, more worthy of man. This basically has reference to each human being and so to all human beings. It cannot lead to restrictions, exploitation, falsification or discrimination of any kind. It must bring with it the full truth concerning man and lead to full actualization of human rights. The correct actualization of this noble inspiration beating in the heart and will of the young requires that man be seen in the whole of his human dimension. Man must not be reduced to the sphere of his merely material needs. Progress cannot be measured by economic categories alone. The spiritual dimension of the human being must be given its right place.

"Man is himself through the maturity of his spirit, his conscience and his relationship with God and neighbour.

"There will be no better world no better arrangement of social life, unless preference is first given to the values of the human spirit. Remember this well, you who are justly longing for changes bringing a better and more just society, you who rightly oppose every kind of evil, of discrimination, of violence and of torture inflicted on human beings. Remember that the order that you desire is a moral order and you will not attain it in any way, if you do not give first place to all that constitutes the strength of the human spirit—justice, love and friendship" (AAS  71 [1979] 253-254).

3. I rejoice today in meeting you again in the context of the jubilee of Saint Stanislaus in which I have the good fortune to participate. When we listen to the Gospel that the liturgy of the solemnity of Saint Stanislaus each year recalls to us, we see in our mind's eye Christ, the Good Shepherd who " lays down his life for the sheep" (Jn 10:11), who knows his own sheep and his own know him (cf. Jn 10:14), who goes after the lost sheep and, when he has found it, "he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing" (Lk 15:5), and brings it back with joy to the fold.

All that I can say to you is summed up in the words: Get to know Christ and make yourselves known to him. He knows each one of you in a particular way. It is not a knowledge that arouses opposition and rebellion, a knowledge that forces one to flee in order to safeguard his own inward mystery. It is not a knowledge made up of hypotheses and reducing man to his dimensions of social utility. The knowledge of Christ is a knowledge full of the simple truth about 'man' and, above all, full of love. Submit yourselves to this simple and loving knowledge of the Good Shepherd. Be certain that he knows each one of you more than each one of you knows himself. He knows because he has laid down his life (cf. Jn 15:13).

Allow him to find you. A human being, a young person, at times gets lost in himself, in the world about him, and in all the network of human affairs that wrap him round. Allow Christ to find you. Let him know all about you and guide you. It is true that following someone requires also making demands on ourselves. That is the law of friendship. If we wish to travel together, we must pay attention to the road we are to take. If we go walking in the mountains, we must follow the signs. If we go mountain climbing, we cannot let go of the rope. We must also preserve our unity with the Divine Friend whose name is Jesus Christ. We must cooperate with him.

Many times I have spoken of this and have done so more amply and in greater detail than today. Remember, what I said before and am saying now. I said it and I am saying it from personal experience. I have always been amazed at the wonderful power that Christ holds over the human heart: he holds it not for just any reason or motive, not for any kind of career or profit, but only because he loves and lays down his life for his brethren (cf. Jn 15: 13).

4. You are the future of the world, of the nation, of the Church. "Tomorrow depends on you." Accept with a sense of responsibility the simple truth contained in this song of youth and ask Christ, through his Mother, that you may be able to face it.

You must carry into the future the whole of the experience of history that is called "Poland". It is a difficult experience, perhaps one of the most difficult in the world, in Europe, and in the Church. Do not be afraid of the toil; be afraid only of thoughtlessness and pusillanimity. From the difficult  experience that we call "Poland" a better future can be drawn, but only on condition that you are honourable, temperate, believing, free in spirit and strong in your convictions.

Be consistent in your faith.

Be faithful to the Mother of Fair Love. Have trust in her, as you shape your love and form your young families.

May Christ always be for you "the way, and the truth, and the life"."