Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Pope Asks For Prayers For Poland Trip


In his Wednesday audience, he renewed his request for prayers for his apostolic trip to Poland.

"After giving thanks to God for "the opportunity of fulfilling a desire I have long held in my heart," the Holy Father invited those present "to accompany me with your prayers on this apostolic trip which I undertake with great hope, and which I entrust to the Virgin Mary, so venerated in Poland. May she guide my steps that I may confirm the beloved Catholic community of Poland in the faith, encouraging it to face
the challenges of the present time with incisive evangelical action."

"May Mary," he concluded, "ensure that the entire nation is granted a renewed springtime of faith and civil progress, while conserving the memory of my great predecessor." (VIS)

From another source...

Pope Benedict XVI will be a man on a mission when he begins a visit to the Polish homeland of his predecessor Thursday, paying tribute to a pontiff so loved by his countrymen while pressing to keep the goals of his long papacy alive. With stops at Pope John Paul II's birthplace and his Krakow Archdiocese where millions always turned out to greet Poland's favorite son, Benedict's four-day pilgrimage is a journey down memory lane.

Asking for prayers for his trip during his public audience Wednesday, Benedict turned to Polish pilgrims and proclaimed the motto of the trip, "Remain strong in the faith."

"For a people who feel orphaned by the death of John Paul, he will be welcomed warmly," said the Rev. Adam Boniecki, a Pole who worked for years with the late pontiff at the Vatican. "He is seen as a friend, collaborator and supporter of John Paul."

But there is another side for Benedict, pursuing some of John Paul's aims that were left incomplete upon his death last year. They include making predominantly Roman Catholic Poland an example for secular Europe, further pursuing Polish-German reconciliation from the wounds of World War II, and strengthening sometimes bumpy Catholic-Jewish relations.

In a particularly poignant moment, the visit will be capped by Benedict's stop Sunday at the Auschwitz-Birkanau death camp near Krakow, where Hitler's Nazi regime killed up to 1.5 million people, mostly Jews.

Organizers dropped initial plans for Benedict to ride through the Auschwitz gate under the infamous words "Arbeit Macht Frei" — "Work Sets You Free" — when it was recalled that Nazi soldiers drove through the gate while inmates walked. He will now arrive on foot.

John Paul stopped at Auschwitz during his first trip to Poland as pope in 1979, but a visit by the German pope carries further significance in efforts for closer Catholic-Jewish ties.

"I expect, like his predecessor, he will remind Christians of the unique debt that Christianity owes to its Jewish parent," George Weigel, an American biographer of John Paul, told The Associated Press. (Associated Press)


Blogger Carmel said...

I will be praying for him. I did not know he was going to Poland, I can surely keep up with him here, thank you!!

5:04 PM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

Thank you Carmel! As always, I'm blessed to have you as a prayer partner for the Pope. God bless!

5:49 PM  

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