Beatification watch: The Polish invasion of Rome begins
By David Kerr
Polish pilgrim Kataryna Katarzyna with her parents
Polish pilgrim Kataryna Katarzyna with her parents

.- You don’t have to go far in Rome to know that a Polish invasion is underway.

You can hear Slavic accents on every street corner. There are red and white Polish national flags fluttering in the sun. People are wearing t-shirts and hats emblazoned with image of the country’s most famous son, Pope John Paul II, who will be beatified in St Peter’s Square this weekend.

“I think there will be about 100,000 Polish people here. We know at least 40,000 are arriving with organized groups but there are also lots making their own way here,” Polish radio journalist Dorota Piotrawska tells me in St. Peter’s Square.

“Yesterday I met three men, two of them in their 60s, who’ve walked all the way from Poland just to be here to give thanks for our Pope and for all he gave us. Similarly, I met a young man who’s walked from the town of Bialystok in eastern Poland. That’s over 1600 kilometers (990 miles). When I listen to the stories of Polish pilgrims here in Rome and what they’ve given up just to be here, well, I get very emotional.”

One such pilgrim is Kataryna Katarzyna, a 33-year-old student from the Polish city of Lodz, “I’m of the Pope John II generation. I was born the year he was elected Pope. I came to Rome when he died. So when we heard he was going to be a saint both I and my parents said, ‘we must be there!’” 

Pilgrims such as Kataryna will be joined for Sunday’s beatification ceremony by the Polish president, Bronislaw Komorowski. Also present will be former president Lech Walesa.

The country’s Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, has opted to spend the day in John Paul’s hometown of Wadowice in southern Poland. There about 20,000 people will pack into the town’s main square to watch events live from the Vatican.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 20, 2014


All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:13-35


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Second Reading:: Col 3:1-4
Gospel:: Jn 20:1-9

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:13-35


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: