Archive for May, 2020

Centennial of John Paul II’s Birth

ST. JOHN PAUL II
100th Birthday

May 18, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the birthday of Saint John Paul II. He was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years and the first one ever from the Slavic country (born Karol Józef Wojtyła in Wadowice, Poland). Notably, Poland remained behind the Iron Curtain at the time of his birth (May 18, 1920) and election to papacy (October 18, 1978). His pontificate was the third longest in the history (26 years) and his canonization process started just one month after he died on April 2, 2005. Following the canonization on April 27, 2014, his feast day as a saint is celebrated on October 22.

Called often the “Polish Pope,” the “Millennial Pope,” the “Pope Pilgrim” or “”St. John Paul the Great,” he has a special place in the history of Poland and the world. His life mission was to fight for the dignity and respect of every human being. Viewing Polish heritage as a foundation of his openness to the diversity of people, he advocated dialogue between the followers of all religions, and campaigned against political oppression and materialistic attitues plaguing the West. The influence of his teachings still extends well beyond the usual scope of Catholic Church.

NOBODY WILL REPLACE YOU (Nie zastąpi Ciebie nikt): Winner of the competition for hymn commemorating the 100th anniversary of John Paul II’s birthday.

John Paul II made pastoral journeys to 129 countries, attracting huge crowds in every corner of the world he visited. As Polish Americans, we never forget his first pilgrimage to Poland (1979) for it gave rise to the emergence of “Solidarity”, liberation of the nation from the communist rule and reconstruction of the unity of Europe. We also remember his seven visits to the United States and his words directed to Polonia communites around the world:

“Poland and Polonia communities abroad: In certain respects two different yet supplementary, complementary parts of the same realm, the same soul, culture, thinking and feeling, and history, aspirations, disenchantments, victories and defeats. (…) Today I repeat yet again that Polonia is important to Poland, just as Poland is important to Polonia. Both need each other reciprocally. Both need spiritual, moral and religious renewal; a continual renewal that shapes the inner core of a person, core of the family, society, core of the nation. (Holy Mass for representatives of Catholic Polonia community, Vatican, February 26, 1989.).”

FROM 0 TO 84: Life of John Paul II in pictures
(click on the rectangle in right corner for full screen view).

Originally in Polish: “Polska i Polonia zagraniczna. Pod pewnym względem dwie różne, ale uzupełniające się, komplementarne częśći tej samej rzeczywistości, tej samej duszy, kultury, myślenia i czucia, i dziejów, aspiracji, zawodów, zwycięstw i porażek. (…) Dziś powtórzę jedno raz jeszcze, że Polonia jest ważna dla Polski, tak jak Polska jest ważna dla Polonii. Obie są sobie wzajemnie potrzebne. Obie potrzebują duchowej, moralnej, i religijnej odnowy; nieustannej odnowy, bo z niej rodzi się wewnętrzny ład człowieka, ład rodziny, społeczeństwa, ład narodu… (Msza św. dla przedstawicieli katolickich środowisk polonijnych, Watykan, 26 lutego 1989 r.)”

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Friday, May 15th, 2020 Newsletter No Comments

2020 Celebrating Polish Flag, Polonia and Constitution of May 3rd

Polish Flag Day (May 2nd)

“We celebrate the Polish Flag Day today. We look at our national colors and our national symbols that day, remembering their meaning and importance. The white and red flag unites us and reminds us that we are Poles. We look at her with pride and hope, with joy and satisfaction, and when she accompanies us away from homeland, with nostalgia and longing.”

Originally in Polish: “Obchodzimy dziś Dzień Flagi Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej. Spoglądamy tego dnia na nasze narodowe barwy i nasze narodowe symbole, przypominając sobie ich znaczenie i wagę. Biało-czerwona flaga jednoczy nas i przypomina, że jesteśmy Polakami. Patrzymy na nią z dumą i nadzieją, z radością i satysfakcją,
a gdy towarzyszy nam ona z dala od Ojczyzny, także z nostalgią i tęsknotą.”

President Andrzej Duda on May 2, 2020 ……..

National Flag Day was established in 2004 to draw attention of Poles to the importance of the flag and national symbols. The current Polish flag was adopted on February 9, 1990. The white symbolises peace and the red color is believed to symbolise the blood shed in the country’s fight for independence. Read more here

Day of Polish Diaspora and Poles Abroad

“Every year on May 2 we emphasize that Poland does not have 38 million citizens. Poland is 60 million Polish women amd men living all over the world…Dear compatriots, I want to thank you for being and representing Poland so nobly with your work and talent around the globe.”

Originally in Polish: “co roku 2 maja ze szczególną mocą podkreślamy, że Polska nie liczy sobie 38 mln obywateli. Polska to 60 mln Polek i Polaków żyjących na całym świeciem….Drodzy rodacy, chcę wam podziękować za to, że jesteście, za to, że swoją pracą i swoim talentem tak godnie reprezentujecie Polskę na całym globie.”

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on May 2, 2020 ……..

“On this day, Poles throughout the country in a special way connect their thoughts with those who, being part of the Polish nation, found their new home in exile. We think especially of those who stayed in their homes, but already outside the borders of modern Poland. I would like to express my great respect and thanks to all those who, despite the difficulties and remoteness, did not give up contact with their homeland and did not forget about the speech of their ancestors, passing on Polishness to subsequent generations.”

Originally in Polish: “W tym dniu Polacy w całym kraju w sposób szczególny łączą się myślami z tymi, którzy będąc częścią narodu polskiego znaleźli swój nowy dom na obczyźnie. Myślimy zwłaszcza o tych, którzy pozostali w swoich domach, ale już poza granicami współczesnej Polski. Chcialbym wyrazic wielki szacunek i podziękowania dla wszystkich, którzy pomimo trudności i oddalenia nie zaniechali kontaktów z ojczyzną i nie zapomnieli o mowie swoich przodków, przekazując polskość kolejnym pokoleniom.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jacek Czaputowicz, on May 2, 2020 ……..

Day of Polish Diaspora and Poles Abroad was established in May 2002 to recognize the “long-standing achievements and contribution of the Polish diaspora and Poles living abroad in helping Poland regain its independence, of their loyalty and attachment to their Polish identity, as well as of their assistance to the homeland in times of need. Read more here

Polish Constitution Day

Polish Constitution of May 3rd, 1791 was the first written national constitution in Europe and the world’s second, after the Constitution of the United States.


Jan Matejko’s
(1838-1893) painting shows Polish King Stanislaus Augustus, members of the Polish Parliament (Sejm) and Warsaw inhabitants entering
St. John’s Cathedral for swearing in the newly adopted constitution.

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Saturday, May 2nd, 2020 Newsletter No Comments