John Paul II Foundation

Adoration night in the Sacred Heart Basilica in Montmartre in Paris

At the initiative of the members of the John Paul II Foundation Chapter during Lent an evening adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was organized in the Sacred Heart Basilica in Montmartre.  The Basilica is a symbolic place as many great saints visited it.  Also, Pope John Paul II visited the Basilica in June 1980 to the surprise of all, as this visit was not included in the program.

This year, many people participated in the adoration.  We also had distinguished guest: Stefan Wylężek, Rector of the Polish Catholic Mission in England and Wales and the former administrator of the John Paul II Foundation in Rome.

On Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 9 p.m. after supper, we met with a Benedictine nun who through brief reflections introduced us to the atmosphere of adoration prayers.  After the last Mass, the Basilica closes its doors.  It gets quiet; darkness invites the faithful to prayers and concentration.  Only the Blessed Sacrament and the altar are in full light.  In the chancel on the dome celling, a great representation of Christ dressed in white with His arms wide open, wanting all people.  Impressive silence is filled with prayers, invites into a dialogue with the Son of God.  His eyes gentle, yet penetrating; yes, that is the meeting.  We can present to Him all: sadness, wounds, but also joy.  Not only He accepts it, but also in His infinite mercy, He is always present in our lives.    

The following day, Friday, March 15th is a time of reflections with Prelate Stefan Wylężek, who invites us to mediations on the story about the unforgiving debtor from the Gospel according to St. Matthew.  Father Stefan explained to us the meaning of this story.  At 11:15 a.m. Prelate Stefan Wylężek celebrated a Mass, and then at noon there were the noon devotions (Sexte) with beautiful songs of Benedictine nuns.  After lunch, in a friendly and warm atmosphere we ended our meeting in hopes to continue this beautiful initiative next year.  Before the final departure, we gathered in the “St. John Paul II Chapel” in the Basilica, recalling his touching words: “Give your heart to the one, who will open his heart to you.”

Didier Hérondelle