📷 L'Osservatore Romano

He was smiling mysteriously at that time

Suppers were light; a chicken or vegetable soup, but not so heavy, Polish style, but light, Italian style; then, potentially a piece of meat.  Usually, sisters were not serving desert as the Holy Father was trying to lose weight.  But he liked sweets so much, that quite often he gave sisters a sign that he will have a cookie after all. We all knew this sign very well.  He did not have to say anything.  Simply, even not looking towards sisters, he was drawing a circle with his index finger on the tablecloth.   He was making a circle and making, smiling mysteriously at that time.  It looked very funny.  And, sisters did not have a choice, but to serve a cookie.

During supper, they talked about the past day, about what was going on during that day, with whom they met.  The secretaries were talking as the Holy Father usually was listening.   Sometimes, he was asking about the schedule for the next day.  Apparently, it was always the case.  He preferred to listen.  Therefore, Mieciu was talking – about life, about the Church.  As he was describing it by himself – nothing out of the ordinary; just, such everyday problems.  John Paul II was listening carefully; he was smiling, nodding his head.  He was never very talkative.  The closest knew well that he did not need to ask questions, to know and understand, in order to support via prayers.  He was the one, to whom you could bring your concerns.  So, we did.  Mieciu also did.  The Holy Father used to say then:  “well, then we will pray” – recalls the Archbishop.  Neither he was inquiring, asking question or comforting.  Some may think that this is very strict, cold.  But, I always knew that I can count on him, that I can count on the Holy Father as on Zawisza (Zawisza Czarny).  He had us in his care, in his prayers.  He blessed us every day.

With the consent of Archbishop Mokrzycki “He liked Tuesdays the most”

M Publisher, Kraków 2008