Just as the attack on John Paul II united all believing Poles in prayer, so now the attack on the memory of this great and holy pope unites various Catholic circles in Poland around his teachings. On April 2, the 1st Papal March will pass through the streets of Warsaw, attended by numerous organizations, including the Institute of Schuman’s Thought.
The march will start under the Papal Cross at Józef Piłsudski Square in Warsaw at 11. Its participants will go to the Archcathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist at ul. Świętojańska, where at 12.30 they will take part in a solemn Holy Mass.
The originator of this form of celebrating the Polish Pope is Małgorzata Żaryn, a journalist and author of books. As the organizers emphasize, the march is not a response to the campaign against John Paul II, but an invitation to the legacy of this great Pole.
“The idea of the march is very good, the more so that it will have its continuation. It will be a cyclical event, which seems to be an important element in recalling the values and content proclaimed by John Paul II” – the chairman of the Program Council and founder of the Institute of Schuman’s Thought Prof. Zbigniew Krysiak said in the interview with AWPE. He also expressed the hope that participation in the march will mobilize Poles to return to this content, “so that the ideologies that are now attacking John Paul II will crash against the solid walls of the formation that this great saint of the Catholic Church gave”.
Prof. Krysiak also pointed out that contemporary attackers of John Paul II did not question him or his teaching when the Polish Pope came to his homeland. “John Paul II spoke the truth about the young, about the elderly, about workers, about politicians, about scientists” – he reminded. “I think that in the face of this attack and the destruction of the civilization of Christian values, young people can be very vulnerable – because of this distortion, because of lies – especially these, who were born after the death of John Paul II” – he predicted. “Ideologists of supestate and uniform want to destroy this youth, to destroy the family, tradition, patriotism, everything that is related to a certain normality” – he noted.
“The success in rebuilding Poland, the return to patriotism, to the roots are very disliking to those who see that they are losing, who after the transformation in Poland still had some strength to rule. There were post-communist circles that ruled. But in the face of what what has been happening in recent years, we see that young people, Poles want to go back to their roots. When they get to know these roots, they are delighted with them, and this turns out to arouse dissatisfaction in those circles that want to destroy monuments. It is bizarre – to destroy monuments, erase the streets of John Paul II, the one who led to freedom, solidarity in Poland, who is an authority for the whole world. It would be something incredible for attacks on John Paul II to come from Poland. The world would certainly not understand it” – Prof. Krysiak said.
Why does the Institute od Schuman’s Thought want to be an ambassador and participant in this march? Because this initiative is very closely related to the ideas promoted and implemented by the Venerable Servant of God Robert Schuman. “Some say that if John Paul II were still alive, perhaps Schuman would already be blessed. Perhaps this is a bit of an exaggeration, but Schuman’s beatification began at the time when John Paul II’s pontificate lasted. The Servant of God Robert Schuman was a disciple of Christ in politics and John Paul II in his various documents spoke about forming such politicians in the manner of Robert Schuman, about the mission of politicians to care for the common good, being a disciple of Christ and bearing witness to the truth. This idea of thinking of John Paul II is very much connected with the idea of thinking about the community of European nations, about which Robert Schuman spoke. John Paul II encouraged Poles to enter the European community not to enjoy wealth, but to transform Europe, shape its spirit, spiritual, mental and moral condition. This is consistent with what Robert Schuman pointed out” – the chairman of the Program Board of the Institute of Schuman’s Thought explained.
Prof. Krysiak announced that the Institute of Schuman’s Thought would take part in the march with flags “which in their colors combine two important values: the colors of the papal flag and the colors of Mary”. “John Paul II gave himself to Mary – Totus Tuus – in the spirit of Saint Louis de Montfort. Schuman did the same, at the age of 17 he entrusted himself to Mary and from that moment he was subject to Mary until the end” – he said. “The mission of the Institute of Schuman Thought is in a close relationship between Schuman and John Paul II. We are convinced that both John Paul II and Robert Schuman are fighting in prayer for order, for reducing this chaos on earth, and they are at our disposal to intercede for us” – he emphasized.
“Schuman’s mission was the same mission that John Paul II had, that is, to turn people towards Christ. We want to take a course of systematic marches, and in between marches, make formations in various environments, especially among young people. The Institute of Schuman’s Thought has been taking action for some time in the field of building Schuman Youth Groups, so that this formation neutralizes the poison spread by opponents of normality. These are not only environments in Poland, but also internationally, in the Three Seas Region” – Prof. Krysiak announced.
“With John Paul II and the Venerable Servant of God Robert Schuman, we will surely win, but as Cardinal Hlond said, Poland will win, it will form Europe – this is the task of Poles, our spirit, solidarity – provided that we take action, that we will not be passive. Prayer is not enough, as Cardinal Hlond said, but action is needed, because in His plan, in His action, God must have us as tools at His disposal. This is precisely this mission” – the founder of the Institute of Schuman’s Thought concluded.