Polish archbishop: Some want to tear John Paul II from our hearts

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Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski held a homily in Wawel Castle in Kraków, Poland on the anniversary of the introduction of martial law in Poland on Dec. 13, 1981, while speaking in reference to a number of attacks directed against the Saint John Paul II.
“With all my strength I remind of his [John Paul’s] person in context of what happened 39 years ago. I do this to understand the monstrosity of what is happening today in Poland, when certain activists are attacking this radiant saint. They want to tear him from our hearts, to defile our memory of him,” he said at a homily.
Jędraszewski noted that on Dec. 13, 1981, John Paul II asked the faithful in Vatican City during the Angelus to pray for Poland and the Polish nation. On Christmas Eve of 1981, he lit a candle in his window to symbolize his thoughts were with Poland and those who were unable to attend their Christmas Eve dinners.
He added that US President Ronald Reagan also carried out such a display of solidarity. The archbishop emphasized that it was John Paul II who spread the good word and brought consolation to Poles.
Jędraszewski also referred to the text of the appeal of former and present activists of the “Solidarity” trade union in defense of the memory of John Paul II, which was published in November 2020.
The priest called the members of Solidarity the “silent soldiers” of the Polish pope and emphasized that without him, Solidarity would not have been able to carry out its historic mission.
“Just as they were his silent soldiers, so was John Paul II their silent general. Today, it is John Paul II who needs them, but not for defense of his own self — he is in heaven. They are needed to defend Poland and the Polish Church,” he declared.
Jędraszewski underlined that as long as the people of Solidarity will fight for the worthy place of John Paul in their hearts and in public spaces, the Christian spirit will be strong in Poland and “we will not fall to the forces of evil”.
Martial law was introduced in Poland on Dec. 13, 1981 and lasted until July 22, 1983. The communist government and army led by Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski attempted to use it to defeat the political opposition and the Solidarity movement in particular. Thousands of activists were imprisoned and hundreds killed.

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