April 25 1982

[opening remarks] Holy Mass for the Fatherland on April 25 1982 was celebrated by Father Jerzy Popieluszko who delivered the sermon.

Our intention for today’s Mass is the supplication for our country’s well being, for peace in our country.  During the Mass we shall pray especially for those deprived of their liberty, for persons arrested, interned, condemned, and the intentions of their families.  Although, due to the government’s decision, the union “Solidarity” has been suspended, let us permit ourselves, on this day, to mention a special anniversary.  Exactly a year ago the bells of our church joyfully announced with happy chimes the blessing of the NSZZ “Solidarnosc Huta Warszawa” banner.  This celebration was also attended by Rev. Bishop Zbigniew Kraszewski as a personal representative of our deceased Primate.  So we shall pray, in a very special way, for our Warsaw workers and for all the workers of our country.


[homily]april 25 1982

Almighty God, Lord of our fathers!  We stand before your altar begging for freedom in our country.  We are here in the fifth month of martial law and on the 134th day of our country’s anguish.  We humbly bow our heads to beg you for strength to endure and wisdom to attain unity, to ask for your blessing.  We stand before you, o Lord, on this first anniversary of the blessing of our “Solidarity Huta Warszawa” banner.  The banner which, as well as the word “Solidarity” bears the face of your servant, ST. Florian, the patron of miners and firefighters.   This banner, the pride of thousands of hardworking men, today must be hidden from those who are afraid the word “Solidarity”.

A year ago, after the blessing of their banner, the workers made a solemn vow ending with the words “may the Lord support us”.  One of our workers wrote a short poem for this occasion, a prayer, in which, in simple words he turned to You, Lord of Heaven and Earth:

We, the workers, simple people

come to Your church with our banner. 

Bless, O Lord “Solidarity”,

fill the hearts with the fire of love. 

Lord, the whole country today thirsts for your grace

Bless, O Lord, your faithful people, bless us and give us peace!¹

And yes, Lord, you did bless, you blessed “Solidarity”… As the late Cardinal Stanislaw Wyszynski said last year, on April 2nd:  “During these few months <<Solidarity>> achieved so much that not even the most efficient political groups could ever equal”.  ,,Solidarity” allowed us to see the injustice and its works and enabled the you generation to see many of our country’s historical truths which had been silenced.  Lord, we so wanted to work for your glory and the well being of our people.  We so clearly wanted to build Your Kingdom on earth, on this our martyred earth.  But…in the meantime in the meantime something different happened.

Even today, Merciful Father, even today there are so many families broken up.  Even today there are children awaiting the return of their fathers and mothers deprived of their freedom.  Even today there are parents awaiting the return of their children, husbands waiting for their wives to come back, and wives for their husbands.

We especially pray for them, so their time of suffering may end.

Hear, Oh Lord, the cry of your people. 

                To those who are imprisoned, placed together with criminals and evildoers and sentenced to years of imprisonment, Oh Lord, give courage and strength to endure.   Allow them to be faithful to the end to their solemn promise to their banners bearing holy images.

Hear, Oh Lord, the cry of your people.

                We pray Lord, for those who do not know what they do by making their brothers suffer, making them insecure and afraid of their own countrymen,

Hear, Oh Lord, the cry of your people.

We pray, Lord, for those who destroy human minds.  ,,The mind is – as the Holy Father said – the most holy possession and its destruction is worse than death… than murder.” ²

Even you, Lord, do not destroy human minds.  We beg you therefore that our brothers’ minds be not enslaved.

Hear, Oh Lord, the cry of your people.

We pray to You, Our Omnipotent Father, for those responsible for justice and those who have not the courage to oppose lies and to accept falsehood as truth.

Hear, Oh Lord, the cry of your people.

We pray for students and schoolchildren.  Give them, Lord, the power to think and to act righteously.

Hear, Oh Lord, the cry of your people.

We pray for those who have to hide and are being chased after.  Give them strength and allow them, Almighty God, to find help among sincere people.

Hear, Oh Lord, the cry of your people.

We commend to you, Lord, the laborers who, just by asking for their inalienable rights, bled and offered up their lives.  Given them, Lord eternal reward in Your Kingdom.

Hear, Oh Lord, the cry of your people.

We commend all to you care, your power to make human hearts whole.  We want to forgive all who do us wrong just as You forgive us our faults.  And deliver us all from evil.  Show our country the way out of this difficult time.

Hear, Oh Lord, the cry of your people.

Allow us, Lord, to end this service humbly with the words of our national poet, Zygmunt Krasinski asking for a time when:

(…) our hearts will no longer tremble,

and will no longer spend

every day, every moment in longing and worry

awaiting the arrival of wild, naked guests

who pronounce the law of injustice ³.

Hear, Oh Lord, the cry of your people. Amen.


 [closing remarks]

On Saturday, May 1 at 10am we invite all to Holy Mass for ,,the world of work” at our church and other churches: in Krakowskie Przedmiescie, Stare Miasto, and the Three Crosses Square.  We sincerely thank our artists for praying with us and for helping us to experience more fully the liturgy of the Holy Mass.  I ask you, as you leave the church, to remember that you are leaving a meeting with God.  Let us return to our homes in the spirit of prayer, concentration and meditation.  Let us allow no one disturb our prayerful mood.


¹ The handwritten text was give to Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko by an anonymous miner.

  ² John Paul II, Angelus, 1/10/1982, in “L’OR” 1/1982

³ Zygmunt Krasinski, The Prayer, also in Works (Polish Poets Library volume IV) published and explained in a critical introduction by Tadeusz Pini, Warsaw 1934, p. 48.