May 29 1983, From far back You are Poland’s Queen, Oh, Mary

[opening remarks]

The month of May is devoted to the Most Holy Mother in a special way. So we put our intentions in the hands of the Mother of God and ask Her to bring them to the throne of God Most High:

– for our Country with its continuing fears and uncertain tomorrows;

– for mothers concerned for the future of their children;

– for the abused youth which has become the main target of abuse and hate;

– for the dead Grzegorz Przemyk, whose tragic death topped up the cup of suffering measured out to the Polish youth;

– for his mother Barbara who, while distraught, bravely bears her loss;

– for those deprived of their freedom and earnings;

– for the Holy Father’s pilgrimage to his Homeland and that it helps towards a uniting of hearts and minds, strengthened by faith, hope and love;

– take everything that hurts us and that which makes us happy, Holy Mother, take it to the Almighty God’s throne.

Holy Mass for the Fatherland on May 29 1983 was celebrated by Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko who delivered the sermon.


The prayer of tortured hearts is always efficacious and fruitful. Today we stand at Christ’s table with a tormented and painful heart. In this, Mary’s, month, our prayer hastens to God through Her hands. In the clumsy words of our prayer we have to enclose everything which makes us happy and that which pains us.

“From far back You are Poland’s Queen, Oh, Mary”. 
From as far back, as centuries. From far back You are our Mother. From far back, because it is since the words of Your Son dying on the cross to St. John: “behold your Mother”.

Our Nation took You as our Mother more than a thousand years ago when Poland was just beginning her statehood.

For centuries You have been our Mother and our Queen. You came with us through the ages of history. This history of our land, so difficult, so magnificent, so tragic and painful. You chose Your throne and Your home when, some 600 years ago, You came to Jasna Gora as the miraculous picture of the Black Madonna. You were in Grunwald when our knights fought the bloody and victorious battle with the Teutonic knights, when Fr.Kordecki undertook the brave defense of Jasna Gora against the Swedes. You made the victory of Jasna Gora give us the patriotic spirit for love of country and for battle with enemy.
You were with king John III Sobieski, who, having fought the Turks before he defeated them near Vienna, knelt before You in Czestochowa and prayed for victory.

You were with us, in a special way, during the long bondage in the days of partition, when everything Polish was being erased. It is about You that our poet wrote: “… my little son, listen, so that you can be a Pole and you can pray in Polish She was defending Poland from enemies for ages”¹.

May 29 1983You were with the Nation when, in 1920, after a century long loss of freedom , anyone alive took up arms and rushed to defend our country, to save it from godless bolshevism. In the uneven battle You performed the miracle which history calls “Miracle on the Vistula”.
You were, in a particular way, with us as our Primate of the Millenium, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski led our church and You helped him in the fight with those who threatened our faith, the fight against atheism, fight against depriving the hearts of our youth of ideals, fight against official elimination of God from our nation’s daily life. You were there and You were winning like a Queen. But You were there and suffered as Mother as well.

Today You are more a Mother than a Queen to us. Because today we need the Mother more than at any other time, a Mother who understands us, who will dry every tear and calm every pain, one who will not allow us to lose hope.

Yet our hope weakens so often when we see the unpunished work of the prince of evil on our Polish soil.

A year ago, in May, the month dedicated to You, we were saying here, in this church, that the wave of new suffering, pain and tears, has passed our land. We had hoped, that in spite of everything, we will see a better future.

However, Satan whom, as if in the convulsion of death, You crush with your foot once again – may this be his last breath!, is persecuting us through those who serve him.

The month of May, this year, from the very first day became, also in Warsaw a time of satanic rule through power,
show of strength and hate, and a lava of lies and accusations.
 And, as if the locking up for 48 hours of those many of our
 sisters and brothers so they do not offend the atmosphere of 
the Day of the Worker, by their freedom and their thinking was not enough , if it did not suffice to bring onto the Palace Square, one drenched with the brave blood of our fathers, the water truck and showing off the motorized units armed with paid for and artificially brought on hate!

On the evening of May 3rd, the feast of Queen of Poland, he, together with a band of brigands attacked the convent of Sisters of St. Francis². He wounded people who devoted their time and strength to bring help to those most wronged by martial law, to bring help to people imprisoned for their believes.

Even this did not satisfy Satan, so he moved to a crime which made Warsaw speechless. He stopped an innocent young life. In a most bestial way he took from a mother her only son³. Because it was not enough that he persecuted the Silence fell on the capital, silence of solidarity which united thousands of hearts in pain and in prayer. And a river of tears flowed. It watered anew the, perhaps drying up in some hearts, spring of “Solidarity”.

But beware, all you Caines who pour out the blood of the innocent Abel. Abel’s blood will call for justice to God.

A poet wrote on the day Grzegorz died:

What will you say
when all of us will stand before God on one side
a long row of Polish mothers –
on the other 
their sons executioners?…

We could end our pain filled prayer this way. But allow me, our Dearest Mother, to add something that we often mentioned before. You are the one who suffers when so many of our sisters and so many of our brothers are in prison because of their beliefs. You suffer when prisoners do not have their status and are forever treated as ordinary criminals. When our imprisoned brothers, whom we know and respect for their being true to their ideals, as for example, Seweryn Jaworski ⁵, are being beaten and abused.

You suffer with the mothers whose children are threatened by those who regard themselves as guarantors of order and safety.

You know Mother, that the nation who has suffered so
 much throughout its history, a Nation which contributed so
much to the culture of Europe and the world, who produced 
and still produces so many great people, which finally gave the world a Pope, a Nation which surprises this world – such a nation must not be abused. No satanic power will ever bring such a nation to its knees. This nation has proved that one only bends one’s knees before God. That is why we believe that God Himself will deal with him.

Awaiting the arrival of the Holy Father in our and His Motherland, we are filled with the hope that, through Him the Holy Ghost will come and renew the face of our Poland and that the prayer, our prayer, the prayer of tortured hearts will, under the leadership of the Holy Father be successful and fruitful.


[closing remarks]

Two years ago at the Automobile Carriage Factory, FSO, this here cross was consecrated for its “Solidarity” Center. Today, the cross for which there was no longer room at the Center, we accept into our church.

A request to the gentlemen who come to Holy Mass solely in line of duty. I ask for a tiny bit of honesty with respect to your superiors: please inform them truthfully of what you saw and heard, so they will not need to sound ridiculous re- porting untrue and made up stories.

I thank sincerely all who attended the funeral of Grzegorz Przemyk. I thank you for your solidarity of silence which was so much more meaningful than the outcries and singing. You have proved, once again, that not the people of Warsaw, gathered in these enormous numbers, are the origin of unrest and street disturbance. Needless to say, we must look else- where… Today as well, I ask for peaceful and silent departure for your homes. In prayer, and contemplation. So, everything that is not that silence, can come only from the enemies of our nation, from provokers. We shall leave in absolute silence…

I thank our dear actors who helped us to experience our Mass so very deeply.

Let us accept God’s blessing for the time of strengthening our faith, hope and love with the Holy Father.

1 Teresa Boguszewska (Halina Krolak): That You Should Have a Polish Heart. This piece was included in the pamphlet prepared by Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko and distributed before the Holy Mass on May 29, 1983.

2 Helena Violetta Komorowska describes these sad events in You Must Know (letters from Poland 1980–1986), John Paul II Foundation, Polish In- stitute of Christian Culture, Rome 1989, pp. 159-167.

3 Refers to Barbara Sadowska and her son – Grzegorz Przemyk. Barbara Sadowska a writer, was blacklisted in 1975. She was defending human rights. Was arrested in 1982, but released for health reasons. She died in mother and her son on many occasions, that on the first of May, he held under arrest, for no reason, the mother and the son who was within days of graduating. It was not enough that he had wounded the mother on May 3rd in the attack on the convent.

1986. Grzegorz Przemyk (born 5/17/1964) already while in high school, was writing poetry, singing and composing music. Just before his finals was brutally beaten by the militia and as a result died on May 4 1983.

4 Teresa Boguszewska, For Gragory: And God Came Through the Valley of Evil, Odnowa, London 1985, p. 19.

5 Seweryn Jaworski worker at Huta Warszawa since 1970. Promoter of NSZZ “Solidarnosc” at his workplace. Member of the National Commission of NSZZ “Solidarnosc”.