Loading
Pilgrims ask John Paul II for prayers, touch water at base of his statue

.- Pilgrims visiting a newly erected statue of Pope John Paul II, in his hometown of Wadowice, have been taking a bit of the monument with them.  Several have begun to touch the water which flows from a fountain at the base of the statue and take it away in bottles, the Associated Press has reported.

Many of the pilgrims consider the water a way of connecting physically with their beloved shepherd and countryman. "If the water comes from the papal monument, it is holy to us," said Stanislaw Unijewski, a 37-year-old electrician who traveled 120 miles from his hometown of Nysa.

The water, which is piped in as part of the design of the monument, has not been blessed by a priest and it did not appear miraculously as has the healing springs of Lourdes and sights of popular devotion.  Yet, many are happy to use it as an outward sign of their inward prayers asking for the intercession of the great Pope – who they believe to be in heaven.

Slawomir Piotrowski, 46, traveled across Poland from the northern city of Bydgoszcz to visit John Paul's hometown. He, his wife, and their two teenage children planned to visit John Paul's childhood home and St. Mary's Basilica, where John Paul was baptized and served as an altar boy, the AP reported.

But their first destination was the monument, where Piotrowski let the water flow over his hand before pressing it to his chest, convinced it will help cure his ailing heart.

"I am a little sick and I'm looking for strength to keep on going," said Piotrowski. "We all feel this water will give us new strength."

The statue is composed of a granite base, topped by a bronze figure of John Paul wearing papal vestments and a miter, with a staff in his left hand and his right hand raised as if in blessing.

Pilgrims from across Europe and beyond have been seen praying at the monument daily. Many wash their faces and hands in the cool, crystal-clear water that flows over the dark granite.

Wadowice Mayor Ewa Filipiak said the water was connected to the monument simply to enhance the granite's gray-brown color, and that authorities were unaware it would itself become an attraction. It comes from a well in the town's main square that dates back at least to the 16th century.

"It has turned into an additional and very welcome attraction and embellishment of this place linked to John Paul II," she said.

Filipiak said hundreds of people visit the town daily, but the fountain eventually could draw even more people, especially if John Paul, who died on April 2 last year, is declared a saint. Pope Benedict XVI opened the beatification process for John Paul last year, waiving the customary five-year waiting period after his death.

The statue was unveiled by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, the archbishop of nearby Krakow and the longtime personal secretary of John Paul, who is revered in Poland for helping to inspire the pro-democracy Solidarity movement in the 1980s that helped end communist rule.

The Rev. Jakub Gil, the parish priest at the Wadowice basilica, said the church has never declared the water holy, but that it provides a tangible reminder to many of the great personal power of the late pontiff.

"No one is telling the people that this is miraculous water," Gil said. But, he added: "Nothing is impossible for believers, and if this water evokes faith, then great things might happen."


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

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
First meeting of Commission for Protection of Minors
Jul
23

Liturgical Calendar

July 23, 2014

Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Gospel
Date
07/23/14
07/20/14
07/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 1:1, 4-10
Gospel:: Mt 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. John Cassian »

Saint
Date
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Homily
Date
07/23/14
07/21/14
07/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: