THUR-FRI-SAT-SUN
May 4-7, 2000
volume 11, no. 87
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POLISH CATHOLICS SHOULD REMEMBER HISTORY: POPE

    VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II has encouraged his fellow Poles to keep alive the country's Christian heritage, and to make sure that young people are acquainted with the saints who have played important roles in Polish history.

    The Pope made his remarks on May 3, when Polish Catholic celebrates the feast of the Virgin, Queen of Poland. Pope John Paul recalled that the Polish constitution of 1791 was adopted on that national feast day, after King Jan Casimir placed the entire country "under the protection of the Mother of God" in 1656.

    The Polish people must never forget "these events, so deeply rooted in the history of the nation," the Pontiff argued. "They are so strongly impressed on the conscience of the Polish people that their memory shines through all the most difficult times the country has undergone: the more than 100 years of partition, the times of great wars and persecutions, and domination for so many years by a Communist system."

    The Pope particularly cited the importance of several saints whose influence shaped Polish history. First he mentioned St. Albert, the bishop of Prague, and St. Stanislas, the bishop of Krakow. Both bishops were martyred, in the 10th and 11th centuries respectively, for opposing the immoral dictates of the reigning monarchs. "The witness of their martyrdom, a thousand years ago in our land, has endured down the centuries, from one generation to another, bearing abundant fruits," the Pope said.

    From more recent times, the Pope mentioned St. Faustina, whose canonization he had formally pronounced just a few days earlier. "This simple nun recalled to the world that God is love, and rich in mercy-- that his love is stronger than death, stronger than sin and every other evil," the Pontiff said.

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May 4-7, 2000
volume 11, no. 87
NEWS & VIEWS

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