Lent was visible on every step: on the table, in the Papal apartments. There were less flowers – said the Archbishop. – On the altar the tablecloth was already purple; the Tabernacle’s curtain, the vestments have changed color. The atmosphere of not so much sadness, but rather contemplation, was also present at our house. Every Friday, we were praying Stations of the Cross on the terrace or in the chapel. Every Sunday – we were singing Lamentations. We were singing alone as there were no guests at that time. The Holy Father wanted it to be intimate. He was going through the Stations of the Cross alone. This was his favorite way; mostly at the terrace. He, himself asked to hang the Stations of the Cross over there; and, to place kneeler. He wanted to have such a place where he could be alone with God. It was green at the terrace; he had a place to walk. After all, the Holy Father always liked to pray under the open sky. He did not have Tatra or Bieszczady Mountains in Vatican. However, he had his terrace. He was going over there always when he had some problem which he wanted to pray over and over. The Archbishop recalls that the Stations of the Cross were made by an artist from Milan. All Stations of the Cross were on one wall- he says; all to them made in bronze. A unique item was that on one of the Stations of the Cross instead of Simon of Cyrene had John Paul II who was helping Jesus to carry the cross. The XIII Station of the Cross: ‘Jesus is taken down from the Cross’ was also different. Jesus Christ is taken down from the Cross by Padre Pio and Mother Teresa. How this everything was so symbolic. During their lives, they provided a great support to the Holy Father, he had a remarkable relationship with them; he put both of them to the altars…and probably, they waited for him when he went to the Father’s Hose. They took him down from the cross… the same way as they were taking down Jesus Christ from the Cross at the Stations of the Cross at our terrace. Archbishop Mokrzycki regrets that he does not have many photographs of this terrace, of this Stations of the Cross. Archbishop was saying that Adam Bujak took a very nice photograph of the Holy Father over there. It depicts the Pope kneeling in front of the Stations of the Cross – he says. – The Holy Father was very affected by this Stations of the Cross. He always wanted to be alone at that time. It was his personal meeting with Jesus Christ, who was going to be crucified. He never invited us. I have never seen him inviting anyone.
With the consent of Archbishop Mokrzycki – “A place for each of us”
Znak Publisher, Krakow 2013