On the same day that Holy Father consecrated the entire world, peoples and nations to the Heart of the Blessed Mother, we gather at our Church’s altar to bring the prayers for our Country and for those who suffer most for her. So, through the Blessed Mother’s hands we place our prayers before God’s throne enclosing in our clumsy words all the pains, concerns and worries of our Nation. In a special way, in our prayers, we include those who cannot be with us be- cause they are in prison, that is the leaders of “Solidarity”, the Committee of the Defense of the Workers, Confederation of Independent Poland, Dr.Bednarkiewicz, as well as the imprisoned last month for independent thinking, author Marek Nowakowski, and all those imprisoned for their beliefs.
We commend our brothers who paid with their lives for the love of their country.
We commend the school children of Garwolin who bravely stood up in the defense of Christ’s cross.
We place at the altar of Christ, our Lord, with humility and faith, everything that connects us to the Country.
Holy Mass for the Fatherland on March 25 1984 was celebrated by Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko who delivered the sermon.
Holy Mother, we who gather in this Zoliborz church each month at the Mass for Our Country, for those who suffer for her the most, on this day when Holy Father entrusts the entire world to You, all peoples and all nations. We place in your blessed hands, You the best of mothers, all our Nation’s concerns which we have been praying for over the past few years. Allow us then to remind You and once again to entrust You with at least some of them.
We entrust You then, best of mothers, first of all with our brothers imprisoned for their beliefs. Imprisoned for their courage to have ideas other than those imposed on us. Imprisoned for over two years without a hearing, without a sentence. The imprisoned leaders of “Solidarity”. If they are guilty why have they not been sentenced? We know that they can only be judged by those who had democratically elected them. They can only be judged by millions. And yet, for those millions, they are the symbol of yearning for true freedom of our Nation.
We believe that their suffering will bear fruit. We believe, just as they themselves believe when they write:
Today, more than ever we see the need of making sacrifices for the great cause that we have taken up in August 1980. We know that steel cannot be tempered without fire. And how very much all of us need to be tempered…1
We commend to You all those imprisoned in Warsaw, Barczew, Braniew,Strzelina and Lubliniec. They are frequently treated worse than criminals.
This is what Anna Walentynowicz writes from prison:
Perhaps mine, and not only my longing for you and for freedom fulfill the words of the Pope: „Peace to You, Poland”.2
We entrust to You and ask You, Mother of those unjustly imprisoned, come to their aid.
We entrust to You Polish youth who are the future and the hope of our Nation, and who are forever denied conditions in which they could realize the shaping of their personalities on selected principles, and learn of social life in youth organizations which correspond to their thinking.
We entrust to you the young people of the College of Agriculture near Garwolin, who so bravely, and with such maturity stood in the defense of Christ’s cross in their classroom.
The voice of the youth from Garwolin is the voice of all the believing youth of Poland.
They understand that the fight for the right of the crosses in schools is the fight for obeying the constitutional principle of freedom of conscience and belief, and the behavior of the school authorities is yet another proof of the enslavement of national spirit. School is for the students and students are not for the school, just as the government is in service of the nation, not nation in service of government. None of the people who believe want to hang crosses where there are only non-believers, but believers have the right to decide for themselves whether they want to have the cross at their place of work.
We entrust to You, Mother of Christ the bitterness of being powerless and humiliated which many of our sisters and brothers in our nation still experience.
We entrust to You the pain and bitterness of those who had been imprisoned in Darlowek and Jaworz who, in the past few days, wanting to thank the local priests for their spiritual care while they had been interned, donated a religious banner with Your picture Mary, and that of Your servant Maximilian Kolbe. While they were bringing it, street arrests were organized, the majority of those attending were detained with the banner being confiscated by the security guards.
We entrust to You the current and ever painful case of the murder of Grzesiu Przemyk. Injustice is so very painful. Why, in this country, it is so very difficult for an entire year to find those who were on duty, yet it is so easy to accuse the defenders who stayed on the path of truth.
Here we entrust to You, our Best Mother, in a special way, Dr. Bednarkiewicz who has been imprisoned and whose honor and righteousness You know best.
We entrust to You our proud word “Solidarity” and everything which, for us Poles, connects with it.
From the moment when “Solidarity” as a labor union has been dissolved, it became an idea in the nation. And a war with a nation’s idea is a war against windmills. This idea can never be overcome because it is firmly rooted in the hearts of millions. Because it was dearly paid for. The price was blood, hiding away, abuse, prison.
We entrust all the wrongs done to our Nation after the Second World War, and particularly over the past three years of the enslavement of our Nation. The damage which has to be repaired, especially moral damage about which we speak so much during the Masses for Our Country.
To end our prayer which comes from the concern for our Country we express our hope for a better tomorrow. Hope for uniting our Nation in the spirit of love and also justice because we know that love cannot exist without justice.
Mother of Trust, You know best our daily prayers, those often whispered through tears, pain and worries of tortured hearts. All of this, today, on the day of entrusting the whole world
to Your Immaculate Heart, we place all in your hands and ask You to bring it to Your Son, Jesus and to beg for our Country a time of resurrection to true freedom justice and peace.
I ask you humbly for prayers on Wednesday at 9.30 when I shall be attending my hearing. This will be the tenth hearing in the Mostowski Palace. I am sorry about the service being so long today, but that may well be due to the hearings, because they are longer and longer. I have lost the sense of time. Let us accept God’s blessing for our daily toils.
1 Part of a handwritten letter delivered to Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko. Authors could not be determined.
2 Part of a letter of Anna Walentynowicz written in jail in Lubliniec near Czestochowa. Anna Walentynowicz was in 1978 a co-organizer of Committee of Free Unions.