– What was served for a dinner?
– The Holy Father was not on a special diet. Mostly, Italian dishes were served, although Polish nuns were preparing meals. They were preparing delicious dishes. Always, some delicate appetizer, for the first course pasta, that is noodles, then some meat. Always, a small dessert.
– Did the Holy Father have some favorite meals?
– It is not easy to say, as when I became the secretary, nuns already knew very well what the Holy Father like to eat and they were serving it. But I saw that he liked sweets.
– Cream puffs…
– These cream puffs were from his childhood. Honestly, he ate everything. He was never choosy; he was never putting anything a side. But, he liked sweets the most. After dinner, a small break and then again work. John Paul II was working in his office. Again, we were writing and reading. As Archbishop Mokrzycki was saying, he was reading his lectures. He was reading biographies of saints; he was reading works of contemporary theologians. Often, he was going back to scientific books, to moral theology, or bioethics. From time to time, he was going back to Sienkiewicz’s “Trilogy.” To recall it… He was living this story. The past was still alive to him. After reading, the Holy Father was seeing us – the Secretaries. It took him around half an hour to go through documents and signing letters, which we prepared for him. From 6 to 7 p.m., he had the audience with the ones who closely worked with him, you could say with the ministers. Each day, a different person was coming. On Monday, there was the Secretary of State, that is, the Prime Minister. On Tuesday, the Undersecretary of State. On Wednesday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. On Thursday, Cardinal from one of the congregations. On Friday, always the President of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. On Saturday – Cardinal for the nomination of bishops.
– And, then supper?
– Before we sat down for supper, the Holy Father was going to the chapel. He was praying breviary, vespers, and his other prayers. Supper was at 7.30 p.m. Sometimes, they were some guests. If not, then just two of us. At supper, the Holy Father was looking at the announcement of the main topics of the Polish news channel “Wiadomości”. If there was something interesting, he was watching it a little longer. If the supper was going on for a longer time, we were also checking Italian news.
– Did he like to watch news?
– Yes, as it was interesting to him. But, not for extended time, only the beginning, to know what was going on in the world.
– Was he giving comments?
– Rarely, but it happened. Human tragedies and misfortunes always moved him. He was entrusting them to the Lord in his prayers.
With the consent of Archbishop Mokrzycki “He liked Tuesdays the most”
M Publisher, Kraków 2008