Not out of curiosity I came here, but because I love you

He organized the confirmation sacrament for boys from juvenile detention centers, he visited prisons in Rome.  We could say, paraphrasing Fr. Tischner, the Pope from backroads.  In Summer 2000, on the occasion of the Great Jubilee, John Paul II ate dinner with poor and homeless people inviting them to the Paul VI Hall.  During his pilgrimage to Switzerland, he slept in the home for the aged.  Many years earlier, in Brazilian slums, he took off his Bishops’ ring and offered it to the poor. The poor people heard at that time: “Not out of curiosity I came here, but because I love you.”  He was startling people; also, because he was opening his Papacy on people and phenomena, which the Vatican did not notice before.       In front of the John Paul II’s seat, breakdance was danced.  Soccer players were offering him their team/club shirts.  Bono gave him his sunglasses.  I can list the examples endlessly.  The Holy Father was not that affected by the presents. It was not that important to him.  He valued it, but the true joy was coming from the meeting with the man and not from the gift that was presented to him.  He was trying to have time to each person.  These performances of boys spinning on their heads in front of him gave him a great joy.  He respected that.  He respected every sport discipline, art or simply life in which a man could give something.  And he was giving.  Not so much to himself, but to others.  The Pope was impressed by that, as he knew how much this dance, sport, or singing is teaching self-discipline, as it forms a man.  And, how important it is: through a passion to form his/her own character, to be ennobled.  That’s why the performances were so important to him.

Archbishop Mokrzycki “He liked Tuesdays the most”

M Publisher, Kraków 2008