Vatican City (Fides Service) – “Grow in holiness! Build the house of your life on the rock of divine grace, so that its solidity is founded on fidelity to God and to his commandments!” With these words Pope John Paul II addressed the Catholics of Poland in a letter on the occasion of celebrations for the 750th anniversary, on 11 May, of the canonisation of Poland’s patron Saint Stanislaus, bishop and martyr.
In his letter the Holy Father says “Saint Stanislaus inspired many saints and blesseds in our land of Poland. A strong spiritual bond exists between the figure of this great Patron of Poland and numerous saints and blesseds who made a great contribution of goodness and holiness to the history of our homeland (…). This chain of holiness of which in Poland Saint Stanislaus is the first link, must not be broken. All of us, every son and daughter of Poland, must feel responsible for its prolongation and hand it on to future generations as the most precious treasure. This is the challenge which Saint Stanislaus launches today to all the faithful”.
The Pope writes: “With all my heart I wish to be united with you in the celebration of this jubilee and to express my union with the clergy and the faithful of the Church in Krakow and Catholics from all over Poland who will gather at the tomb of Saint Stanislaus to praise God for the many graces received by the Polish nation through his intercession down through the centuries”.
Recalling the great contribution made to the history of the Polish nation and the Church in Poland by the “Holy Bishop” who “is still the patron of all moral and social order in our homeland” the Pope says: “Still today in fact there is need of courage to hand on and defend the holy deposit of the faith and at the same time of that love of God which is expressed in unceasing concern for mankind, for every child of God exposed to adversity which seems to extinguish the light of hope in the victory of truth, goodness and beauty in a better future in the temporal reality and in the eternal happiness of the Kingdom of God. May the example of the generous love of Saint Stanislaus always illuminate the Pastors of the Church in Poland”. PA (Fides Service 9/5/2003 EM lines 32 Words: 338)