📷 Paweł Kopczyński/PAP

“Brother, welcome among us”

It was a cold, December afternoon, when he returned there as the Pope (we are talking about the St. Francis Xavier Church, where the Holy Father prayed and heard confessions as a young priest at the time of his studies in Rome), and yet, the entire neighborhood was waiting for him and many of them were forced to stay outside, in front of the Church.  From the parish’s balcony, he addressed children standing in the parish’s courtyard.  A young girl from the Catholic Action very warmly greeted him: “Brother, welcome among us”, and instantly he felt the atmosphere and responded in accordance with their mood, to their enthusiasm, and he was talking to them.  And they did not want him to leave.  The Mass started.  Many of them were surprised with its “innovative” character.  At one point, John Paul II asked spouses who were present at the Mass to take each other hand and renew the oath they made on their wedding day, now, in the presence of the Bishop of Rome.  He used to do it already in Krakow, each time he visited a parish.

Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz “Testimony”