John Paul II's Last Letter Is Read at Czestochowa Shrine

Entrusts Church in Poland to Mary’s Care

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CZESTOCHOWA, Poland, MAY 3, 2005 ( On the feast of the Virgin «Queen of Poland,» the last letter written by John Paul II was read at the Shrine of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa, reported Vatican Radio.

The letter, dated April 1, the day before the Pope’s death, is addressed to Father Izydor Matuszewski, prior general of the monks of St. Paul the Hermit of the monastery of Jasna Gora. The letter arrived with two crowns, the Pope’s gift to the icon of the Black Madonna.

«I entrust our homeland, the whole Church and myself to her maternal protection,» John Paul II said in his letter, read today.

And, at the end, he added «Totus tuus!» — All yours! — the motto in Latin with which he placed his pontificate in Mary’s hands.

In the letter, whose contents were revealed by Vatican Radio, the Holy Father recalled all that God has done in his great mercy over the last 350 years for Poland through the Blessed Virgin, granting victory in defense of the monastery and the country, against a Swedish invasion.

«May these providential events be a call to unity in the building of the common good for the future of Poland and of all Poles,» he wrote.

«May it be a call to care for the treasure of eternal values, so that the exercise of freedom will lead to building, and not to collapse,» the Polish-born Pope stated.

«I entrust to her maternal protection the Church on Polish soil so that, through the testimony of holiness and humility, hope for a better world will always be reinforced in the hearts of all believers,» the Pontiff added.

Finally, John Paul II prayed «for those responsible for Poland’s future, so that they will have the courage to defend every good for the benefit of the republic.»

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