John Paul II Foundation

I was always at his side and he went away alone

…until the moment of separation came; around us countless crowds. Present were personalities who came from far away; above all; however, his people; his young people; and, these, so meaningful and urgent banners.   The St. Peter’s Square was full of light. The light also returned to my soul.  At the end of the homily, Cardinal Ratzinger pointed out to the window saying that he definitely is standing there; he sees us and is blessing us.  I also turned my head in that direction. How could I not do it? But, I was not able to look up.  At the end, when carrying the coffin reached the entrance to the Basilica, they slowly turned it in the direction of faithful, so he could for the last time have a look at the Square.  So, he could say his last farewell to people, to the world, and also to me…No, not to me.  At that time, I was not thinking about myself.  I was experiencing those moments along with others.  They were all moved, shocked.  For me it was something that I will never forget.  The procession was entering the Basilica.  They were going to take the coffin to the grottos, to the tomb.  And, I was thinking at that time…I was with him for almost forty years; at first, for twenty years in Kraków, and then, for the following twenty seven years in Rome.  Always with him; always by his side.  And now, at the time of his death, he went alone.  I was always by his side and from here he went away alone.  I was touched mostly by the fact that on this path, I will not be able to accompany him.  After all, he did not leave us.  We are feeling his presence. We are experiencing many graces through his intercession.  And I was accompanying him up to this moment.  And, now? At the other side, who is accompanying him…?

Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz – “Testimony”