Polish Surveyed About John Paul II Memories

66% of Catholics Offer Prayers Through Pope’s Intercession

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By Mariusz Frukacz

CZESTOCHOWA, Poland, MAY 19, 2010 (Zenit.org).- On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of Karol Wojtyla’s birth, celebrated Tuesday, a survey was undertaken to find out what people most remember about the Pontiff.

A Catholic newspaper in Poland, Niedziela, published the results of the survey, carried out by the Church’s Statistics Institute, headed by Father Witold Zdaniewicz. Some 500 Polish were surveyed.

When asked about the words of John Paul II that were most imprinted in their memories, 113 people recalled his prayer: «Let your Spirit descend and renew the face of the earth. Of this Earth!» (June 2, 1979).
For 54 persons, his most memorable words were, «You must exact it from yourselves, even if others don’t exact it from you» (June 18, 1983).
Another 34 of the responders said that they were most impacted by the Pontiff’s exclamation: «Do not be afraid! Open the doors to Christ!» (October 22, 1978).
The survey also asked about most significant moment of John Paul II’s pontificate, which 30 people identified as the Polish Pope’s first greeting from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica (October 16, 1978).
Another 28 persons had the most vivid memories of the days of the Pontiff’s death and funeral.
About the same number, 24 Polish, recalled Easter Sunday, March 27, 2005, when the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to give his blessing «urbi et orbi» (to the city and the world), but was unable to speak due to a recent throat operation.
For 19 of those interviewed, the most important scene was that of a suffering John Paul II clasping the cross to himself during the Via Crucis in the Coliseum.
Another 27 of the responders remembers the attack in St. Peter’s Square and the Holy Father’s meeting with Ali Agca, who attempted to assassinate the Pontiff.
According to the results of the survey, 66% of Polish Catholics reported that they pray through the intercession of John Paul II.

Some 21% took part in two pilgrimages of the Holy Father to Poland, while 18% participated in three pilgrimages of the Pope to his native land, and 1.5% of the Catholics surveyed took part in eight pilgrimages.

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