"We want God!"
This was the rallying cry of the people of Poland on June 2, 1979. A son of Poland had been elevated to the throne of St. Peter, Pope John Paul II.
Poland had been living under decades of oppressive regimes. In a landmark event, the new Polish Pope breached the walls of communism and made one of his first papal visits outside of Vatican walls into his homeland.
His visit sent shockwaves around the world when over a million Poles showed up that day in Victory Square. During his nine-day visit, he returned to his people what their atheistic persecutors tried to steal: their faith, their humanity, their culture, and their identity. He made them realize they were not isolated and alone. And most of all, he let them know that he was their spiritual father and that he was going to battle for them with all his might.
He closed his homily with these poignant words:
I wish to kneel before this tomb to venerate every seed that falls into the earth and dies and thus bears fruit. It may be the seed of the blood of a soldier shed on the battlefield, or the sacrifice of martyrdom in concentration camps or in prisons. It may be the seed of hard daily toil, with the sweat of one's brow, in the fields, the workshop, the mine, the foundries and the factories. It may be the seed of the love of parents who do not refuse to give life to a new human being and undertake the whole of the task of bringing him up. It may be the seed of creative work in the universities, the higher institutes, the libraries and the places where the national culture is built. It may be the seed of prayer, of service of the sick, the suffering, the abandoned—"all that of which Poland is made".
All that in the hands of the Mother of God—at the foot of the cross on Calvary and in the Upper Room of Pentecost!
All that—the history of the motherland shaped for a thousand years by the succession of the generations (among them the present generation and the coming generation) and by each son and daughter of the motherland, even if they are anonymous and unknown like the Soldier before whose tomb we are now.
All that—including the history of the peoples that have lived with us and among us, such as those who died in their hundreds of thousands within the walls of the Warsaw ghetto.
All that I embrace in thought and in my heart during this Eucharist and I include it in this unique most holy Sacrifice of Christ, on Victory Square.
And I cry—I who am a Son of the land of Poland and who am also Pope John Paul II—I cry from all the depths of this Millennium, I cry on the vigil of Pentecost:
Let your Spirit descend. Let your Spirit descend. and renew the face of the earth, the face of this land.
That visit and the response of the Polish citizens were the beginning of the end of communism in their country.
As we approach this historic election, let us remember that our nation was also founded upon the principles of faith and freedom. These are gifts which, if not protected and defended, can be stolen from us, as they have been throughout history.
Please join us this week as we pray together for our upcoming election and the soul of our country. Let us echo the prayer of our Polish brothers and sisters, "We want God!" and let us do all we can to defend and protect our faith and freedom.
This week, we invite you to watch and share the following resources:
Together, we pick up our weapon, the Rosary, and forge ahead in our battle of prayer. We look forward to praying with you this Wednesday at 4PM ET.
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