April 2nd has a special meaning to all who love St. John Paul II. Exactly twelve years ago, on Saturday before the Feast of Divine Mercy of 2005 at 9:37 p.m. Archbishop Leonardo Sandri announced to the crowd of people gathered at the St. Peter’s Square and to the millions who were watching TV that “Our beloved Holy Father John Paul II returned to the House of the Father.”
To commemorate the next anniversary of St. John Paul II death, a group of over 50 students of the John Paul II Foundation went to Warsaw. The trip was organized by the Centre for the Thought of John Paul II and the Chapter of the John Paul II Foundation, both located in Warsaw. Upon arrival to Warsaw, young people visited the Pantheon of Famous Poles in the Temple of Divine Providence, and then attended a Mass. Students actively participated in the liturgy by e.g. reading the Word of God and singing the response psalm. After the Eucharist, students we invited for a delicious dinner. Then, at 3 p.m. a beautiful Papal concert took place during which for the first time an oratorio of the Litany of St. John Paul II was presented in Warsaw. The oratorio composed by Jan Krutul was performed by soloist: Inga Poškutė, Robert Gierlach and the Choir of the Centre for the Thought of John Paul II along with the orchestra under the baton of the composer. After the concert, students went to the Warsaw Uprising Museum where they heard how Poles fought for the liberation of the capital.
From 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. fellowship recipients had a free time during which they could visit the Old Town and go for a coffee and delicious ice creams. At that time, they could also visit the headquarters of the Centre for the Thought of John Paul II to learn more about this year’s events commemorating the death of John Paul II.
A vigil prayer started around 9:15 p.m. at the Square of the Marshal Józef Piłsudski. Faithful who gathered in a great number listened, at first, to the excerpts from the Holy Father’s John Paul II speeches and then listened to the songs performed by the Choir of the Centre for the Thought of John Paul II. On the wall of one of the buildings adjacent to the Square, an image of St. John Paul II was presented along with the theme of this year’s celebrations: “Remember about man.” A representative of the Polish Army performed also the piece “Silence.”
At the end, Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz thanked organizers of this exceptional prayer and gave his gratitude to all participants. Cardinal gave his pastoral blessing. With the song “Barge” (“Barka”) meditating participants of this event started to leave the Square from which thanks to the words of John Paul II, stared the journey of Poland and Europe to freedom. Late at night, the fellowship recipients returned to Lublin. A little bit tired, but very happy that they were able to spent this special day in such wonderful way.
To All thanks to whom this special trip was possible, fellowship recipients would like to express their gratitude and ensure about their prayers.