· Twenty-five years ago Pope Wojtyła's Visit to Danzig ·
In the newspaper today we are publishing excerpts from the homily that Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, delivered in the afternoon of 12 June in Oliwa Cathedral, Danzig, [today called Gdansk] on the 25th anniversary of John Paul II's visit to the city and the 20th anniversary of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Gdansk.
Bertone remembers that 25 years ago John Paul II recalled that life on earth becomes more human when we govern with truth and freedom and with justice and love.
At John Paul II's meetings and Eucharistic celebrations unforgettable words were noted, words addressed to all Poles, words linked indissolubly to the history of this nation. On the wharf at Kosciuszko Square in Gdynia, on 11 June 1987, the pilgrim of hope recalled that “the term 'solidarity' was expressed right here before the Polish sea”, as if it were “pronounced here in a new way, with a new meaning that confirms its eternal significance […]. “In the name of the future of mankind and of humanity, the word 'solidarity' (solidarnosc) must be pronounced. Today it fades away like the waves that extend across the world. In view of this we realize we cannot live according to the principle 'all against all', but only according to the other principles, 'everyone with everyone', 'all for all'”. .
At Sopot, on a memorable 5 June 1999, he said: “today the world and Poland need great-hearted men who serve with humility and love, who bless and do not curse, who conquer the land with blessing”.
Today too these words are ever timely. On that occasion John Paul II remembered the birth and importance of Solidarnosc, right here in Gdansk. With great determination he declared: “this event is part of our national heritage. At that time I heard you say in Gdansk: “There is no freedom without solidarity”. Today we need to say: “There is no solidarity without love”. So it was that he traced the path of spiritual construction: “We are therefore called”, he said, “to build the future based on love of God and of our neighbour, establishing the 'civilization of love'”. These are words for all people and for all epochs.
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