Today, on the 25th anniversary of his first visit to his native Poland as pope, John Paul II greeted the Polish pilgrims present at the weekly general audience with words of gratitude.
He greeted a group of Poles from Shupsk "for their benevolence and for having given me the title of 'honorary citizen'. I want to repay this good will with my prayers.”
“I also want to greet a group, including their president, from the Podhale Association of Chicago on the occasion of its 75th anniversary. I thank you for your commitment for safeguarding the Christian roots of the culture and Polish traditions among immigrants in America,” said the Pope.
"Today" he concluded, "is the 25th anniversary of the day on which for the first time as Pope I kissed my native soil. I always return in my thoughts to those days and I thank God for the breath of the Holy Spirit that crossed that land and caused such a profound change. May God bless our fatherland and all Poles. May God bless you!"