Pope’s visit

One Swiss Guard working in the Vatican, who served in the Apostolic Palace, may speak of awakening. As he recalls it years later in the “National Catholic Register”, it was his first Christmas Eve not at home; and, the first meeting with the Pope from Poland.  It was 1986.  Andreas Widmer was in a bad mood.  He longed to his family who had just sat at the Christmas table.  And here John Paul II on his way to the Midnight Mass stops by him and says: “We probably don’t know each other.”  And, then he asks for his name and whether it was his first Christmas not at home.  Widmer recalls that he felt that at the time nothing else mattered to the Pope; only he.  It surprised him.  And it touched him.  The Pope promised to pray for him that night.  Then they talked many more times.  The Pope visited guards in their barracks.  They were going through photographs together, ate Swiss delicacies and joked.  This way Widmer began to know John Paul II and discover God anew.  Today, he has a large function that fights poverty in the world.  And he says that John Paul II changed his life. Or maybe it’s the power of Christmas that John Paul II spoke of so much and which he had in his heart.

With the permission of Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki, “A place for everybody”

‘Znak’ Publishing House, Krakow 2013