In the Spring of 1994, the four of us from Holy Family Mission had just arrived in Rome for an audience with Blessed Pope John Paul II.
We had previously been traveling throughout Poland gathering information and taping the lives of the Polish Saints and Martyrs. Saints like Faustina Kowalska and Martyrs like Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko and the Nuns of Nowogrodek were part of the schedule. In addition we had traveled throughout Poland and Lithuania gathering information on Shrines like Our Lady of Czestochowa and Saint Maximilian Kolbe.
We even had the fortunate experience to go to Mass with President Lech Walesa in his private chapel during the trip.
While we were there we had an audience with Cardinal Glemp, the Primate of Poland and he told us a lot about the Polish people and his friend Pope John Paul II. We went to Wadowice the hometown of Pope John Paul II and gathered information and tape on his early years and childhood in Wadowice. Subsequently, we made a documentary on his life.
Cardinal Glemp explained how Blessed Pope John Paul understood the soul of the Polish people and also understood the workings and minds of the Soviet enforcers.
One particular account comes to mind to clearly point out the situation at that time. John Paul as the Cardinal of Kradow was kept up to date about the plans of the authorities in regards to his flock. On one occasion, he was informed that the authorities wanted to reduce the number of Catholic Churches in Poland by 50%. So John Paul devised a plan. He immediately asked for a meeting with the top level authorities to talk about the Catholic Churches in Poland. The authorities were jubilant – those in charge believed this would be their chance to accomplish the goal. At the start of the meeting John Paul immediately asked for an additional 1000 Catholic Churches to be built right away. The authorities were upset and proceeded to do what they always did compromise – compromise! They negotiated John Paul down to 500 additional Catholic Churches to be built! Blessed John Paul was a genius and the authorities thought they won that battle!
Let us now share one more account before returning to the account of the audience: This account will give you great incites into the Polish mindset. The Catholics in Czestochowa wanted to have a procession with the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa. The authorities did not want to permit the procession, but also knew they had to obey the laws. Next the Catholics petitioned the authorities for a permit to process the Image in the back of a truck. The authorities were jubilant again, and this time they issued the permit, then refused to permit a driver for the truck. The Catholics simply placed two large wooden poles under the truck and carried the truck with the Image of Our Lady of Czestochowa processing through the streets as planned.
Now back to the audience. We had arranged to be in the Polish group for the audience and were very excited with the Archbishop asked us to step out of the crowd and go to a special place where Pope John Paul II would greet each one of us individually.
Our most memorable moment is when he spoke to each one of us individually. He told the four of us to continue to make television programs for Mother Angelica and EWTN Eternal Word Global Television Network. He stated that television and media was very important.
He stated over and over how important television and media was and we responded that we would heed his advice. Since then we have produced over 200 television ready programs and to this day we continue with that commitment.
The meeting was literally out of this world! Wow!!
We have never lost the determination to produce more media for evangelization.
Copyright (c) 2011 Bob and Penny Lord’s Site
About The Author
Bob and Penny Lord are renowned Catholic authors and television hosts on EWTN, Global Catholic television. They are prolific writers about the Catholic faith, especially the Saints for which they have been dubbed “experts on the Saints.” For more information about Saints in the Catholic Church like Blessed John Paul II go here http://www.bobandpennylord.com
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