Pastoral Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Poland

Author: Pope Benedict XVI

Pastoral Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Poland

1.Warsaw: Arrival Ceremony, 25 May
Benedict XVI arrived, 25 May 2006, in Poland, homeland of Pope John Paul II, to confirm the faith of the country's 36 million Catholics. As he descended from the Alitalia airliner at Warsaw's international airport, Benedict XVI expressed his joy at arriving in the land where he plans to visit Karol Wojtyla's most loved places.

2.Warsaw: Meeting with the Clergy: 25 May
Benedict XVI met with priests in Warsaw's cathedral shortly after he had landed, 25 May 2006. In his address to priests, Benedict XVI said: "In the face of the temptations of relativism or the permissive society, there is absolutely no need for the priest to know all the latest, changing currents of thought; what the faithful expect from him is that he be a witness to the eternal wisdom contained in the revealed word."

3.Warsaw: Ecumenical Meeting, 25 May
The evening of 25 May 2006, the Holy Father delivered a message to representatives of seven churches of the Polish Ecumenical Council and representatives of other religions. The meeting was in the Lutheran church of the Most Holy Trinity in Warsaw. He urged a common charitable effort for the sake of the needy and mutual understanding in the problem of mixed marriages.

4. Piłsudzki Square: Holy Mass, 26 May
In his homily at Mass, May 26, Pope Benedict urged believers to resist the temptation to remove uncomfortable truths from the Gospel. Although many have died for the truth of Christ, "as in past centuries, so also today there are people or groups who obscure this centuries-old Tradition, seeking to falsify the Word of Christ and to remove from the Gospel those truths which in their view are too uncomfortable for modern man."

5. Częstochowa: Meeting with Religious, 26 May
Benedict XVI exhorted the faithful to help humanity discover faith by proclaiming that "God is love." "This is the most important, most central truth about God," the Pope exclaimed today before 200,000 pilgrims at the Polish national shrine of Jasna Gora. Most of the participants at the meeting were men and women religious, seminarians and representatives of movements. The event was held at the shrine of the Black Madonna.

6. Departure from Częstochowa: 26 May
To the faithful, gathered on 26 May, before the Archbishop's residence, the Holy Father commended their custom of meeting on the second day of each month, the day John Paul II died, to pray for the late Holy Father's speedy canonization.

7. Wadowice: Greeting in Rynek Square, 27 May
On 27 May, Pope Benedict made a pilgrimage to the birth place of John Paul II, recalling the importance played in the great Pope's life by his home parish, the Basilica of Wadowice.

8. Kalwaria Zebrzydowska: 27 May
In this short greeting, 27 May, Benedict XVI recalled John Paul II's 1979 request that the faithful pray for him at the Shrine of Our Lady of Kalwaria, during his life and after his death.

9. Krakow - Łagiewniki: 27 May
On 27 May, the Holy Father addressed the sick at the Shrine of Divine Mercy, Kraków, where he spoke on the apparent opposition between Divine Mercy and the mystery of human suffering.

10.Krakow: Meeting with Youth at Błonie Park, 27 May
On 27 May, meeting with young people at Blonie Square, Kraków, Benedict XVI urged them to build their lives on the rock which is Christ.

11.Krakow: Holy Mass at Błonie Park
In his Mass homily on 28 May, celebrating Ascension Day, the Holy Father echoed John Paul II in asking the people "to look up from earth to heaven, to lift your eyes to the One to whom succeeding generations have looked for 2,000 years, and in whom they have discovered life's ultimate meaning."

12. Regina Caeli: 28 May
On May 28, after Mass, before the Regina Caeli and his final blessing, Pope Benedict addressed in particular the young people, who had presented him with a "book of testimonies," promising not to take drugs. He asked them to remain faithful to their promise.

13. Auschwitz: Visit to Concentration Camp, 28 May
On May 28, the Holy Father visited Auschwitz, where he spoke of the mystery of God's silence in the face of so much suffering. He further observed that the Nazis intended not only the destruction of Israel, but of Israel's God, and hence of Christianity.

14. Krakow: Farewell Ceremony, 28 May
As he prepared to end his visit, Benedict XVI asked the Polish people to "remain faithful custodians of the Christian deposit, and to transmit it to future generations," particularly in view of Poland's increasing consolidation in the European Union.