When the plane was preparing for landing, John Paul II saw through the window as his Homeland is getting closer. He was focused, touched. He was speaking so softly, that I hardly could hear his voice. He was depicting the trip as a duty: “I had to visit Poland! I have to support Polish people!” He was the first Pope who crossed into the communist country. It was in June 1979, when the heart of Europe still was broken by the iron curtain, and the world was ideologically divided. An international order, determined by the confrontation between two world power countries: the United States and Soviet Union – was based on the balance of terror, on fear that a nuclear war can break out. The Kremlin did everything to prevent John Paul II from coming to Poland. For many days Brezhnev was repeating: “This man will bring only troubles!” To the objection of the Polish government which was trying to explain how awkward it will be to deny entrance permission to the Polish Pope, Brezhnev made an unexpected suggestion: “Tell the Pope, who is a reasonable man, to send a public note that he is not able to make a visit as he is not feeling well.” The Moscow government absolutely did not want this trip to happen. The regime in Poland had another problem. Saint Stanislaus was killed by the tyrant King, as he spoke up for his nation. The communist historiography presented him in a bad light, as a betrayer of the king and nation. The regime was frightened of the prospect that the Papal visit can coincide with the 900thanniversary of the martyrdom of saint Stanislaus. Changing the time of the visit as far as possible from May 8th, the date which was creating so much fear, would make it easier to obtain the consent of the government in Warsaw. Poland was in disbelief, when Karol Wojtyła standing in the special white-yellow outdoor car, called papamobile, was passing through the streets of Warsaw. A rain of flowers was coming from windows and touched people were crying.
Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz – “Testimony”
TBA Publisher, Warszawa 2007