Poland Church Entrusts Nation to St. Joseph

Pope Francis Imparts Apostolic Blessing to Action

Poland Church St. Joseph
photo - opiekun.kalisz.pl

The Catholic Church in Poland has entrusted the nation to St. Joseph.

“Thanking the clergy and the faithful in Poland for the noble initiative of entrusting the Nation and the Church to St. Joseph, I wish all those who will perform this act to grow continuously in holiness and grace, and I heartily impart the Apostolic Blessing,” – Pope Francis wrote in a message addressed to Poles. The ceremony presided over on October 7 by Archbishop Stanislaw Gądecki, president of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, took place at the National Shrine of St. Joseph in Kalisz.

Poland Church St. Joseph
photo – Family News Service

In Kalisz, there is the miraculous image of the Holy Family, but St. Joseph has been especially venerated in this sanctuary for centuries; therefore, the entrustment took place there. The initiative taken by the Polish Church is part of the Year of St. Joseph announced by Pope Francis in December of last year. The Act of Entrustment is an expression of the Poles’ faith in the help and care of Jesus Christ’s earthly Guardian, but also a commitment to live in accordance with the will of God.

Among the priests celebrating the solemn Holy Mass at 6:00 p.m. were the Apostolic Nuncio in Poland, Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, and bishops from all over Poland headed up by the President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Metropolitan Archbishop of Poznan, Msgr. Stanislaw Gądecki, and the Primate of Poland, Metropolitan Archbishop of Gniezno, Msgr. Wojciech Polak. The host of the diocese of Kalisz is Bishop Damian Bryl, and the custodian of the sanctuary is Prelate Jacek Plota.

The special letter from the Holy Father was read by Bishop Lukasz Buzun.

The President of the Polish Episcopate was the main celebrant of the Mass. He also gave the homily. “We meet today in the national sanctuary in Kalisz for an Act of Entrustment of the homeland and the Church in Poland to St. Joseph. The time has come for us to better understand his role and, so, the time also to entrust married couples and families to him, to entrust to him the issue of life, of good human work, to entrust the whole Homeland and the Church to him,” said Archbishop Gądecki signaling at the beginning of his homily the main themes that he developed then in relation to the figure of St. Joseph.

Archbishop Stanislaw Gądecki also reiterated his appeal for material and spiritual assistance to migrants who find themselves on the Polish-Belarusian border. “I, therefore, appeal to all people of goodwill so that we may treat service and assistance to foreigners coming to Poland as an opportunity to practice love of neighbor, which is the cornerstone of our faith,” recalled the Metropolitan of Poznan. A collection for Afghan migrants was held in Poland on one of the Sundays, and Polish border parishes are actively involved in helping those in need. Among other things, Archbishop Gądecki appealed for permission to launch humanitarian corridors, which Caritas Poland has been volunteering to coordinate since 2016.

In his homily, the President of the Polish Episcopate also noted the importance of St. Joseph as the patron of the Foundation, which aims to provide assistance to victims of sexual abuse and prevention “so that no harm is ever again done to children, young people and the disabled.”

At the end of the Mass, Archbishop Gądecki made the solemn Act of entrusting the Nation and the Church in Poland to the care of St. Joseph. He concluded with these words: “Saint Joseph, Protector of the Holy Family and of the Universal Church, drawn by the example of your virtues and trusting in your support, we entrust ourselves to you to be our inspiration and guide in leading a life worthy of Christians. Therefore, we now choose You as our Protector and special Patron, both in life and in death. Amen.”

Thursday’s celebrations were preceded by a National Retreat, which was began on October 3rd. The motto was: “We Trust in the Father’s Heart.” Each day, the retreat instructions dealt with a particular topic in relation to St. Joseph: Guardian of the Church, Marriage, Life, and Paternity.

Family News Service