Groundbreaking for Polish Shrine Ends a 200-Year Wait

WARSAW, Poland, NOV. 25, 2002 ( Cardinal Jozef Glemp, archbishop of Warsaw, culminated two centuries of hopes and plans by breaking ground on the Temple of Holy God’s Providence, the Associated Press reported.

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A letter from John Paul II stated that the church would stand as a «symbol of patriotism, of love for the homeland,» the Euroscrapers architectural site reported.

«We count on God’s providence to watch over the construction,» said Cardinal Glemp.

First planned in 1791 and revived in 1918, the shrine project was scuttled by Poland’s history of military and economic woes. Plans for the current construction have evolved since the Communist regime was toppled in 1989, the AP said.

The shrine reflects how Poles «never consented to captivity and stubbornly aspired to freedom,» President Aleksander Kwasniewski said Saturday, after joining Cardinal Glemp in setting the cornerstone for the Temple of Holy God’s Providence in a meadow near the Wilanow neighborhood.

The cornerstone, a gilded metal tube blessed by the Pope in 1999, includes fragments of the 1791 cornerstone and of Warsaw Cathedral, destroyed during World War II, Euroscrapers reported.

An earlier, $55 million design was deemed too expensive; the new, privately financed version is expected to cost about half as much.

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