Wyszyński died May 28, 1981. Unable to attend the cardinal’s funeral after suffering an assassination attempt, John Paul II wrote in a letter to the people of Poland, “Meditate particularly on the figure of the unforgettable primate, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński of venerated memory, his person, his teaching, his role in such a difficult period of our history.”
Jan Maria Jackowski, a former photojournalist who is now a Polish senator, recalled that hundreds of thousands of people gathered for the cardinal’s funeral.
“Cardinal Wyszyński was regarded both as a religious and moral leader and a great social authority. He led his homeland and the Church in Poland through the black night of communism with its state atheism and violation of fundamental human rights,” he said, according to a press statement from the Museum of John Paul II and Primate Wyszyński.
The museum in Warsaw has prepared an outdoor exhibition of previously unpublished photos of the funeral, in cooperation with the National Center for Culture.
Museum director Piotr Dmitrowicz said: “Jan Maria Jackowski, then a photojournalist for Tygodnik Solidarność, managed to capture the unity, solidarity, and closeness of people who were united by one thing: the feeling that they had lost someone close to them.”
The exhibition will be on display in front of the Kordegarda Gallery on Warsaw’s Krakowskie Przedmieście until June 8.
The Polish parliament has declared 2021 the Year of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński.