“Taking up the prayer of St. Pope John Paul II, a special witness of this century, I ask God to bestow the grace of faith, hope, and love on all Poles, so that they may make good use of unity and peace along with the precious gift of freedom”— Holy Father Francis addressed these words to the Poles on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Poland’s regained independence. The letter was sent to the President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki. It is intended for pastoral use on Sunday, November 11th.
In the letter on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Poland’s regained independence, Holy Father Francis recalled that the Polish nation “contributed to the history of Christian Europe a whole wealth of its own noble culture and spirituality.” He noted that the recovered sovereignty was paid for by the sacrifice of many Poles who readily sacrificed their freedom, their own good, and even their lives for the sake of their Homeland.
Pope Francis recalled the words of St. John Paul II who, 20 years ago, on 11 November 1998, stressed that the Poles pursued freedom “founded on hope stemming from deep faith in the help of God, who is the Lord of the history of the peoples and the nations. This faith was also their support when, after independence, they had to seek unity despite differences, in order to rebuild the country together and defend its borders.”
The Holy Father Francis also wrote that, together with the Church in Poland and all Poles, he thanks God “for having supported successive generations with His grace and power and realizing their hope of regaining the freedom lost one hundred years earlier, despite the painful historical experiences associated with II World War, the Nazi Occupation, and the Communist regime.”
At the end of the message, the Pope entrusted Poland to the protection of Mary of Jasna Gora, the Queen of Poland. “May God’s providence give the Polish nation peace and prosperity, now and in the future! May God’s blessing be with you always!ˮ—wrote the Holy Father.