📷Sławomir Kamiński / Agencja Gazeta

He wanted to talk to them; they wanted to listen to him

At the end of Archbishop Mokrzycki’s recollections from pilgrimages to Poland, he recalls a history from the pilgrimage from the next to the last one.  In the year 1999, when John Paul II was spending a night at the nunciature in Warsaw, he slipped in the bathroom and cut his forehead.  When nurses came, to take care of the cut, it turned out that one or two stiches will be necessary.  The doctor wanted to do it very delicately and put up as smallest dressing as possible.  He was putting small pieces of the dressing once, then the second one, third one… and after each piece he was saying “I am sorry”, “I am sorry”, “I am sorry.”  Most likely, his hands were trembling.  So, the Holy Father started to tell a story:  “Well, there was also Jasiu (John) that was very frolicsome and constantly was saying to his mom “I am sorry,” and the mom told him “You, Jasiu (John), do not apologize, just behave.”   The dressing finally was done, and we were happy that the Holy Father despite the issue with his health still has the same keen sense of humor.

As in this story, the mom was educating and bringing up Jaś (John), so the Holy Father was educating and brining up young people; consequently, from the beginning of his pontificate.  He was bringing them up so well that in the Jubilee Year, for the World Youth Days in Rome, two million of young people came and one million of them went to the sacrament of penance.

– Was the Archbishop seeing this from close-by? How did it happen?

–  Just like that.  Everything was very natural. He wanted to talk to them; they wanted to listen to him. And, it is not because his talk was beautiful ad he was promising miracles.  Once, he was an actor.  In his vice, he had the power of the cannon.  However, later on, from year to year his voice became weaker.  While, more and more young people attended the meetings.  That means that the Holy Father was not a pop star for them, but the witness of Christ.  And, that they were coming to the World Youth Days for Christ, for Christ they went to confessions and received Holy Communion.  And, the Pope enjoyed it and demanded.

Archbishop Mokrzycki “He liked Tuesdays the most”

M Publisher, Kraków 2008