Poland honors its greatest son â€“ 3rd Anniversary of JPIIâ€™s death (Feature Article)
By Robert Strybel, "The Polish Answer Man" Poland honors its greatest son â€“ 3rd Anniversary of JPIIâ€™s death (Feature Article)
Third anniversary of John PaulÂ’s death
By Robert Strybel, Our
ul. Kaniowska 24
WARSAWÂ–Millions of people around the globe have marked the recent third anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II, who had shepherded the Roman Catholic Church for nearly 27 years. During that period he set records, established precedents, initiated new pastoral projects, but above all touched the lives of millions of people of different nationalities and faiths. Thanks to a seemingly inexhaustible missionary spirit, he crisscrossed the globe on 104 foreign pastoral pilgrimages and met with more people than any of his predecessors.
More than 17,600,000 pilgrims participated in his more than 1,160 regular Wednesday General Audiences, not counting special audiences and religious ceremonies. His reciprocated love for young people led to his World Youth Days which brought together millions of youths from all over the world on 19 different occasions. His devotion to the family prompted the Polish Pontiff to also initiate World Meetings of Families, which he first introduced in 1994.
A tireless apostle of love, peace and
reconciliation, the traveled to places threatened by civil strife, brought
together the worldÂ’s religious leaders at
But although he was mourned and continues to be remembered around the globe,
nowhere does his memory inspire love and devotion than in his native land
andÂ–by extensionÂ–across the Polish Diaspora. Across
People prayed and lit votive lamps in towns and villages across the country,
but especially turned out in force in localities closely associated with his
life and pastoral ministry. Crowds jammed the square of his birthplace of
Wadowice, and young people gathered beneath the window of
Contrary to predictions that after
On specific moral issues, 71 opposed euthanasia and 68 percent were against abortion, but only 27 percent were totally opposed to contraception. And 68 percent did not accept the late popeÂ’s rejection of capital punishment. But more than 80 percent believe the anniversary of John PaulÂ’s death (April 2nd) should be marked annually, and as many as 47 percent want it to become a legal national holiday.