Envoy to Poland Entrusts Mission to Mary

Affirms Importance of Our Lady of Czestochowa

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By Father Mariusz Frukacz

CZESTOCHOWA, Poland, SEPT. 21, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The new apostolic nuncio to Poland is placing his mission in the hands of Our Lady of Czestochowa, and is affirming the importance of Marian devotion in this country.

Archbishop Celestino Migliore began his mission with a Sept. 11-12 visit to the National Shrine of the Black Madonna of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa. He had served for eight years as the Holy See’s permanent observer before the United Nations.

The prelate told ZENIT that Jasna Gora is an important place because «the Madonna is Queen of hearts and, in this case, the Queen of Polish hearts.»

Hence, he continued, «at the beginning of my mission as apostolic nuncio in Poland, it is important that I arrive at the heart of the Polish people.»

On the evening of Sept. 11, the archbishop took part in a traditional Marian prayer «the appeal of Jasna Gora,» which took place in the chapel of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa.

The nuncio prayed together with Archbishop Stanislaw Nowak of Czestochowa, the Pauline fathers and other pilgrims «for the sons and daughters of the Polish nation so loved by Mary.»

They requested a «blessing for every son and daughter of this land that you, Mary, have blessed, protected and helped for centuries.» 

Archbishop Migliore also prayed in particular for the intercession of Mary for all families and young people of Poland. 

At the end of the prayer service, the prelate was given a copy of the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa by Archbishop Nowak and Father Sebastian Matecki, vice prior of Jasna Gora.

Dependence on God

The next morning, Archbishop Migliore presided over a Mass in the chapel of the Black Madonna.

Before the Mass, the prelate told ZENIT that he wanted to emphasize the importance of the Holy Father’s prayer «for all sick and suffering persons. All can meet precisely in Mary’s heart.» 

On the importance of Marian spirituality in Poland and the importance of Marian devotion for Europe today, the nuncio noted that «the center of Marian spirituality is the sense of dependence on God.» 

«Precisely this sense of dependence on God is a central question in Europe, if we look at the political, economic and social systems,» he added.

«When we look at the question of human rights,» Archbishop Migliore pointed out, «we see how important this dependence on God is, without which everything collapses, everything disintegrates.»

He concluded, «Mary, and her presence, is not only important but indispensable for our spirituality and for our good peaceful and social coexistence.»

In the long history of apostolic delegates in Poland, Jasna Gora has always been the heart of the Polish people. The national shrine in Czestochowa has been visited by many representatives of the Pope in past centuries. 

These include: Enea Silvio Piccolomini (who became Pope Pius II), Ippolito Aldobrandini (who became Pope Clement VIII), Emilio Bonaventura Altieri (who became Pope Clement X), Benedetto Odescalchi (who became Pope Blessed Innocent XI), Antonio Pignatelli del Rastrello (who became Pope Innocent XII), Achille Ratti (who became Pope Pius XI), Cardinal Lorenzo Lauri, Cardinal Francesco Marmaggi and Archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk.

Achille Ratti was ordained bishop in the capacity of nuncio when he was in Warsaw and Giovanni Battista Montini, later Paul VI, worked in the Warsaw nunciature from June to October of 1923. 

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