S. John Paul II Homil. 120

120 Similar justice and love are needed by the nation, if it is to be inwardly united, if it is to constitute an unbreakable unity. Although it is impossible to compare the nation—that society composed of many millions of people—with the family—the smallest community, as we know, of human society—nevertheless unity depends on justice, a justice that satisfies the needs and guarantees the rights and duties of each member of the nation, so as not to give rise to disharmony and opposition because of the differences brought by evident privileges for some and discrimination against others. From our country's history we know how difficult this task is; all the same we cannot exempt ourselves from the great effort aimed at building up just unity between the children of the same country. This must be accompanied by love for this country, love for its culture and its history, love for its specific values that determine its place in the great family of nations, love, finally, for our fellow-countrymen, people who speak the same language and have responsibility for the common cause to which we give the name of "our country".

As I pray today together with you for the internal unity of the nation of which Saint Stanislaus became Patron, especially in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, I wish to recommend to the Mother of God in Jasna Góra reconciliation between the nations, of which reconciliation we see one mediating in the figure of Saint Hedwig. As inward unity within each society or community, whether a nation or a family, depends on respect for the rights of each of its members, so international reconciliation depends on recognition of and respect for the rights of each nation. Chief of these are the rights to existence and self-determination, to its own culture and the many forms of developing it. We know from our own country's history what has been the cost to us of the infraction, the violation and the denial of those inalienable rights. Let us therefore pray with greater enthusiasm for lasting reconciliation between the nations of Europe and the world. May this be the fruit of recognition of and real respect for the rights of each nation.

4. The Church wishes to place herself at the service of unity among people; she desires to place herself at the service of reconciliation between nations. This belongs to her saving mission. Let us continually open our thoughts and hearts to the peace of which the Lord Jesus so often spoke to the Apostles, both before his Passion and after his Resurrection: "I leave you peace, my peace I give you" (
Jn 14,27).

May this Pope who is today speaking here on the height of Jasna Góra effectively serve the cause of unity and reconciliation in the modern world. In this task keep assisting him with your prayers throughout the land of Poland.


Czestochowa, 6 June 1979

1. Jasna Góra has become Poland's spiritual capital . Pilgrims come from every part of our native soil, in order to find there unity with Christ the Lord through the heart of his Mother. They come not only from Poland but also from beyond her frontiers. The image of our Lady of Jasna Góra has become a sign of spiritual unity on the part of Poles throughout the world. It is also, I would say, a sign by which to recognize our spirituality and also our place in the great family of the Christian peoples gathered in the unity of the Church. For wonderful is the reign of the Mother through her image in Jasna Góra: the reign of the Heart, which is ever more necessary to the world which tends to express everything through cold calculations and purely material ends.

I arrive at Jasna Góra as a pilgrim and I wish to unite myself cordially with all belonging to this spiritual community, this great family spread over the whole of the land of Poland and beyond her

frontiers. I desire us all to meet in the heart of the Mother. I join myself through faith, hope and prayer with all those who cannot come here. I unite myself in particular with all the communities of

the Church of Christ in Poland, with all the diocesan Churches and their Pastors, with all the parishes, with the religious families of men and women.

In a special way I turn to you who have come here today from Silesia and Zaglebie Dabrowskie. Both these lands, both these provinces of ancient and modern Poland, are dear to me. The wealth of present-day Poland is in great part bound up with the natural resources with which Providence has endowed these lands and with the great centres of human labour that have risen there during the last centuries. Historically speaking, both Silesia and Zaglebie—particularly Silesia—have always remained in close union with the see of Saint Stanislaus. As former Metropolitan of Krakow, I wish to express my special joy at this meeting between us today at the foot of Jasna Góra , I have always been close in heart to the Church of Katowice, which contributes special experiences and values to Catholic life in Poland as a whole.

2. Chiefly the experience of immense work. The riches of the earth, both those that appear on its surface and those that we must seek in its depths, become riches for man only at the cost of human labour. This work, in its many forms, both intellectual and manual, is necessary for man to fulfil the magnificent mission that the Creator has entrusted to him, the mission expressed in the book of Genesis with the words "Subdue (the earth) and have dominion" (Gn 1,28). The earth is entrusted to man, and through work man has dominion over it.

121 Work is also the fundamental dimension of man's life on earth. Work has for man a significance that is not merely technical but ethical. It can be said that man "subdues" the earth when by his behaviour he becomes its master, not its slave, and also the master and not the slave of work.

Work must help man to become better, more mature spiritually, more responsible, in order that he may realize his vocation on earth both as an unrepeatable person and in community with others, especially in the fundamental human community constituted by the family. By joining together in this very community, whose character was established by the Creator himself from the beginning., a man and a woman give life to new human beings. Work must make it possible for this human community to find the means necessary for its formation and maintenance.

The reason for the family is one of the fundamental factors determining the economy and policy of work. These keep their ethical character when they take into consideration the needs and the rights of the family. Through work the adult human being must earn the means needed to maintain his family. Motherhood must be treated in work policy and economy as a great end and a great task in itself. For with it is connected the mother's work in giving birth, feeding and rearing, and no one can take her place. Nothing can take the place of the heart of a mother always present and always waiting in the home. True respect for work brings with it due esteem for motherhood. It cannot be otherwise. The moral health of the whole of society depends on that.

My thoughts and my heart open again to you, hard-working people, with whom I have been linked in various ways by my personal life and my pastoral ministry. I wish your work not to cease to be the source of your social strength. Thanks to your work, may your homes be strong. Thanks to your work, may the whole of our motherland be strong.

3. Therefore I turn my gaze once more to industrious Silesia and Zaglebie, towards the blast-furnaces and chimneys of the factories: it is land of great work and of great prayer. These two are linked closely together in the tradition of this people whose usual greeting is given with the words "Szczesc Boze" (May God assist you), words that link the thought of God to human work, referring one to the other.

It is right that I should bless divine Providence today, giving thanks for the fact that the immense development of industry—the development of human work—has gone hand in hand with the building of churches, the erection of parishes and the deepening and strengthening of faith. For the fact that development has not implied de-Christianization, the rupture of the alliance that must be set up in the human soul between work and prayer in keeping with the motto of the Benedictines; "Ora et labora". In every human work prayer sets up a reference to God the Creator and Redeemer and it also contributes to complete "humanization" of work. "Work exists... for resurrection" (C. K. Norwid). Man, indeed, is by his Creator's will called from the beginning to subdue the earth by his work and also has been created in the image and after the likeness of God himself. There is no other way for him to find himself and confirm who he is except by seeking God in prayer. By seeking God, by meeting him in prayer, man is bound to find himself, since he is like God. He cannot find himself except in his Prototype. He cannot confirm his "dominion" over the earth by work except by praying at the same time.

Dear brothers and sisters, hardworking people of Silesia, Zaglebie, and the whole of Poland, do not let yourselves be seduced by the temptation to think that man can fully find himself by denying God, erasing prayer from his life and remaining only a worker, deluding himself that what he produces can on its own fill the needs of the human heart. "Man shall not live by bread alone" (
Mt 4,4). This was said by him who knows the human heart and has given sufficient proof of caring for material needs. The Lord's Prayer includes an invocation for bread, but man shall not live by bread alone. Remain faithful to the experience of the generations that have cultivated this earth and brought its hidden treasures to the surface with God in their hearts and a prayer on their lips. Keep what has been the source of strength for your fathers and forefathers, for your families and for your communities. Let "prayer and work" became a fresh fountain of strength in this generation and also in the hearts of your children, your grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

4. I say to you: "Szczesc Boze"—May God assist you.

I say this prayer through the Heart of the Mother, the Heart of her whose reign in Jasna Góra consists in being a loving Mother for all of us.

I say this prayer through the Heart of that Mother who chose for herself a place closer to your homes, your mines and factories, your villages and cities, the place called Piekary. Add what I say to you today from this height of Jasna Góra to what I have so often said to you, as Metropolitan of Krakow, from the height of Piekary. And remember it.


"Szczesc Boze"—May God assist you!



Brzezinka, 7 June 1979


1. "This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith" (
1Jn 5,4).

These words from the Letter of Saint John come to my mind and enter my heart as I find myself in this place in which a special victory was won through faith; through the faith that gives rise to love of God and of one's neighbour, the unique love, the supreme love that is ready to "lay down (one's) life for (one's) friends" (Jn 15,13 cf. Jn 10,11). A victory, therefore, through love enlivened by faith to the extreme point of the final definitive witness.

This victory through faith and love was won in this place by a man whose first name is Maximilian Mary. Surname: Kolbe. Profession (as registered in the books of the concentration camp): Catholic priest. Vocation: a son of Saint Francis. Birth: a son of simple, hardworking devout parents, who were weavers near Lódz. By God's grace and the Church's judgment: Blessed.

The victory through faith and love was won by him in this place, which was built for the negation of faith—faith in God and faith in man—and to trample radically not only on love but on all signs of human dignity, of humanity. A place built on hatred and on contempt for man in the name of a crazed ideology. A place built on cruelty. On the entrance gate which still exists, is placed the inscription "Arbeit macht frei", which has a sardonic sound, since its meaning was radically contradicted by what took place within.

In this site of the terrible slaughter that brought death to four million people of different nations, Father Maximilian voluntarily offered himself for death in the starvation bunker for a brother, and so won a spiritual victory like that of Christ himself. This brother still lives today in the land of Poland.

But was Father Maximilian Kolbe the only one? Certainly he won a victory that was immediately felt by his companions in captivity and is still felt today by the Church and the world. However, there is no doubt that many other similar victories were won. I am thinking, for example, of the death in the gas chamber of a concentration camp of the Carmelite Sister Benedicta of the Cross, whose name in the world was Edith Stein, who was an illustrious pupil of Husserl and became one of the glories of contemporary German philosophy, and who was a descendant of a Jewish family living in Wrocklaw.

Where the dignity of man was so horribly trampled on, victory was won through faith and love.

Can it still be a surprise to anyone that the Pope born and brought up in this land, the Pope who came to the see of Saint Peter from the diocese in whose territory is situated the camp of Oswiecim, should have begun his first Encyclical with the words "Redemptor Hominis" and should have dedicated it as a whole to the cause of man, to the dignity of man„ to the threats to him, and finally to his inalienable rights that can so easily be trampled on and annihilated by his fellowmen? Is it enough to put man in a different uniform, arm him with the apparatus of violence? Is it enough to impose on him an ideology in which human rights are subjected to the demands of the system, completely subjected to them, so as in practice not to exist at all?

123 2. I am here today as a pilgrim. It is well known that I have been here many times. So many times! And many times I have gone down to Maximilian Kolbe's death cell and stopped in front of the execution wall and passed among the ruins of the cremation furnaces of Brzezinka. It was impossible for me not to come here as Pope.

I have come then to this special shrine, the birthplace, I can say, of the patron of our difficult century, just as nine centuries ago Skalka was the place of the birth under the sword of Saint Stanislaus, Patron of the Poles.

I have come to pray with all of you who have come here today and with the whole of Poland and the whole of Europe. Christ wishes that I who have become the Successor of Peter should give witness before the world to what constitutes the greatness and the misery of contemporary man, to what is his defeat and his victory.

I have come and I kneel on this Golgotha of the modern world, on these tombs, largely nameless like the great tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I kneel before all the inscriptions that come one after another bearing the memory of the victims of Oswiecim in languages: Polish, English, Bulgariam, Romany, Czech, Danish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Yiddish, Spanish, Flemish, Serbo-Croat, German, Norwegian, Russian, Romanian, Hungarian, and Italian.

In particular I pause with you, dear participants in this encounter, before the inscription in Hebrew. This inscription awakens the memory of the People whose sons and daughters were intended for total extermination. This People draws its origin from Abraham, our father in faith (cf. Rom
Rm 4,12), as was expressed by Paul of Tarsus. The very people that received from God the commandment "Thou shalt not kill", itself experienced in a special measure what is meant by killing. It is not permissible for anyone to pass by this inscription with indifference.

Finally, the last inscription: that in Polish. Six million Poles lost their lives during the second world war: a fifth of the nation. Yet another stage in the centuries-old fight of this nation, my nation, for its fundamental rights among the peoples of Europe. Yet another loud cry for the right to a place of its own on the map of Europe. Yet another painful reckoning with the conscience of mankind.

-3. Oswiecim is such a reckoning. It is impossible merely to visit it. It is necessary on this occasion to think with fear of how far hatred can go, how far man's destruction of man can go, how far cruelty can go.

Oswiecim is a testimony of war. War brings with it a disproportionate growth of hatred, destruction and cruelty. It cannot be denied that it also manifests new capabilities of human courage, heroism and patriotism, but the fact remains that it is the reckoning of the losses that prevails. That reckoning prevails more and more, since each day sees an increase in the destructive capacity of the weapons invented by modern technology. Not only those who directly bring about wars are responsible for them, but also those who fail to do all they can to prevent them. Therefore I would like to repeat in this place the words that Paul VI pronounced before the United Nations Organizations:

"It is enough to remember that the blood of millions of men, numberless and unprecedented sufferings, useless slaughter and frightful ruin, are the sanction of the covenant which unites you in a solemn pledge which must change the future history of the world: No more war, war never again. It is peace, peace which must guide the destinies of peoples and of all mankind" (AAS 57, 1965, P. 881).

If however Oswiecim's great call and the cry of man tortured here is to bear fruit for Europe and for the world also, the Declaration of Human Rights must have all its just consequences drawn from it, as John XXIII urged in the encyclical Pacem in Terris. For the Declaration is "a solemn recognition of the personal dignity of every human being; an assertion of everyone's right to be free to seek out the truth, to follow moral principles, discharge the duties imposed by justice, and lead a fully human life. It also recognized other rights connected with these" (John XXIII, Pacem in Terris, IV - 4,4S 55, 1963, PP 295-296). There must be a return to the wisdom of the old teacher Pawel Wlodkowic, Rector of the Jagellonian University at Krakow, and the rights of nations must be ensured: their right to existence, to freedom, to independence, to their own culture, and to honourable development. Wlodkowic wrote: "Where power is more at work than love, people seek their own interests and not those of Jesus Christ, and accordingly they easily depart from the rule of God's law... All the kinds of law are against those who threaten people wishing to live in peace: against them is the civil law... the canon law... the natural law, expressed in the principle 'Do to others what you would have done to you'. Against them is the divine law, in that... the commandment 'Thou shalt not steal' forbids all robbery, and the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill' forbids all violence (Pawel Wlodkowic, Saevientibus (1415), Tract. II, Solutio quaest. 4a; cf. L. Ehrlich, Pisma wybrane Pawla Wlodkowica. Warszawa 1968, t. 1, s. 61; 58-59).

Never one at the other's expense, at the cost of the enslavement of the other, at the cost of conquest, outrage, exploitation and death.

He who is speaking these words is the successor of John XXIII and Paul VI. But he is also the son of a nation that in its history has suffered many afflictions from others. He says this, not to accuse but to remind. He is speaking in the name of all the nations whose rights are being violated and forgotten. He is saying it because he is urged to do so by the truth and by solicitude for man.

4. Holy is God! Holy and strong! Holy Immortal One! From plague, from famine, from fire and from war ... and from war, deliver us, Lord.



Nowy Targ, 8 June 1979

1. "From the Baltic Sea to the mountain peaks..." To the peaks of the Tatra.

In my pilgrimage through Poland, I have occasion today to come near to those mountains, the Tatra Mountains, that for centuries have constituted the southern frontier of Poland. This has been the most closed and most shielded frontier, and at the same time the most open and friendly one. Across this frontier passed the roads towards neighbours, towards like cultures. Even during the last occupation these roads were the ones most often taken by the refugees going south, trying to reach the Polish army, which was fighting for the freedom of the homeland beyond its borders.

With all my heart I wish to greet these places to which I have always been so closely bound. I also wish to greet all those who have come here, both from Podhale and from the lower Carpathians, from the Archdiocese of Krakow and from even further: from the Dioceses of Tarnow and Przemysl. Permit me to appeal to the ancient bond of being neighbours and to greet you all, just as I was accustomed to do when I was Metropolitan of Krakow.

2. Here, in this place at Nowy Targ, I wish to speak of the Polish land, because here it shows itself particularly beautiful and rich in landscapes. Man needs the beauty of nature, and so it is not surprising that people come here from various parts of Poland and from abroad. They come both in summer and in winter. They seek rest. They want to find themselves again through contact with nature. They want to rebuild their energies through the wholesome physical exercise of walking, climbing and skiing. This hospitable region is also a land of great pastoral work, because people come here to regain not only their physical strength but their spiritual strength too.

3. This beautiful land is at the same time a difficult land. Rocky, mountainous. Not as fertile as the plain of the Vistula. And so permit me, precisely from this land of the lower Carpathians and the lower Tatra, to make reference to something that has always been very dear to the heart of the Poles: a love for the land and work in the fields. No one can deny that this represents not only a feeling, an affective bond, but also a great social and economic problem. These parts are especially well acquainted with the problem, because it was precisely from these places, where there was the greatest lack of cultivable soil and sometimes great poverty, that people emigrated far way, beyond Poland, beyond the seas. There they sought work and bread, and they found it. Today I wish to say to all those people scattered throughout the world, wherever they may be: "Szczesc Boze"—May God assist you! Let them not forget their country of origin, family, Church, prayer and everything they took from here. Because even though they had to emigrate for lack of material goods, yet they took with them from here a great spiritual heritage. Let them take care that while they become rich materially they do not become spiritually impoverished: neither they, not their children, nor their grandchildren.

This is the great and fundamental right of man: the right to work and the right to the land. Although economic development may take us in another direction, although one may value progress based upon industrialization, although the generation of today may leave en masse the land and agricultural work, still the right to the land does not cease to form the foundation of a sound economy and sociology.

During my visit it is only right that I offer some good wishes, and I therefore express to my native land my heartfelt wish that what has always constituted the strength of the Polish people—even-during the most arduous periods of history—namely the personal bond with the land, may not cease to be so even in our industrialized generation. Hold in great esteem the work of the fields; appreciate it and value it! And may Poland never want for bread and food!

125 4. This good wish is united to another. The Creator has given the earth to man so that "he may subdue" it—and upon this dominion of man over the earth he based man's fundamental right to life. This right is closely bound up with man's vocation to family life and to procreation. "This is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife, and they will become one flesh" (Gn 2,24). Just as the earth, by the providential decree of the Creator, bears fruit, so too this union in the love of two persons: man and woman, bears fruit in a new human life. Of this lifegiving unity of persons the Creator made the first sacrament, and the Redeemer confirmed this never-ending sacrament of love and of life, giving it a new dignity and impressing on it the seal of its holiness. Man's right to life is linked, by the will of the Creator and in virtue of the Cross of Christ, to the indissoluble sacrament of matrimony.

And so, beloved fellow-Countrymen, on this visit of mine I express the wish that this sacred right may not cease to form the life of the Polish land; both here, in the lower Tatra, in the lower Carpathians, and everywhere. It is rightly said that the family is the fundamental cell of social life. It is the fundamental human community. As goes the family, so goes the nation, because such is man. So I express the wish that you may be strong, thanks to families deeply rooted in the strength of God, and I express the wish that man may be able to develop fully on the basis of the indissoluble bond of spouses who are parents, in the family atmosphere that nothing can replace. Again I express the wish and I always pray for this, that the Polish family may beget life and may be faithful to the sacred right to life. If man's right to life is violated at the moment in which he is first conceived in his mother's womb, an indirect blow is struck also at the whole of the moral order, which serves to ensure the inviolable goods of man. Among those goods, life occupies the first place. The Church defends the right to life, not only in regard to the majesty of the Creator, who is the First Giver of this life, but also in respect to the essential good of man.

5. I also wish to speak to the young people, who love these places in a special way and seek here not only physical but also spiritual rest. "To rest," once wrote Norwid, "means 'to begin anew'" (a play on words in Polish). Man's spiritual rest, as many groups of young people correctly realize, must lead to discovering and working out in oneself that "new creature" that Saint Paul speaks of. To this end leads the path of the Word of God, read and celebrated with faith and love, participation in the Sacraments and especially in the Eucharist. To this end leads the way of understanding and realization of community, that is, the communion with people that stems from Eucharistic Communion, and also the understanding and realization of evangelical service, that is, of diaconia. Dear friends, do not give up that noble effort that enables you to become witnesses to Christ. A witness, in biblical language, means "martyr".

I entrust you to the Immaculate Virgin, to whom Blessed Maximilian Kolbe continually entrusted the whole world.

I entrust everyone to the Mother of Christ who reigns not far from here as'Mother in her shrine at Ludmierz, and also in that shrine that rises in the heart of the Tatra at Rusinowa Polana (how much the Servant of God, Brother Albert loved that place, how much he admired and loved it from his hermitage at Kalatowki), and in many other shrines built at the foot of the Carpathians, in the Dioceses of Tarnow and Przemysl—to the East and to the West. And in the whole land of Poland.

May the heritage of the faith of Christ and of the moral order be guarded by Saint Stanislaus, Bishop and martyr, patron of the Poles, witness to Christ for so many centuries in our native land.


Wawel Cathedral, Krakow 8 June 1979

Beloved Metropolitan of Krakow,

Revered Bishops,
Dearest brothers and sisters,

1. Today the ardent desire of my heart is fulfilled. The Lord Jesus, who called me from this See of Saint Stanislaus, on the vigil of his ninth centenary, permits me to participate at the closing of the Synod of the Archdiocese of Krakow, a Synod that has always been bound, in my mind, to this great jubilee of our Church. All of you know this very well, because I have dealt with this theme many times, and so I have no need to repeat it today. Perhaps I would not even be capable of saying everything which, in relation to this Synod, has passed in my mind and in my heart—just what hopes and plans I have tied to it in this decisive period of the history of the Church and of the motherland.

The Synod has been linked, for me and for all of you, to the anniversary of the ninth centenary of the ministry of Saint Stanislaus, who for seven years was Bishop of Krakow. The work programme thus foresaw a period from 8 May 1972 to 8 May 1979. During this whole time, we wanted to honour the Bishop and Pastor (of nine centuries ago) of the Church in Krakow, and to try to express—according to our times and our needs—our concern for the salvific work of Christ in the souls of our contemporaries. Just as Saint Stanislaus of Szczepanow did it nine centuries ago, so too we want to do it nine centuries later. I am convinced that this way of honouring the memory of the great Patron of Poland is the most suitable. It corresponds both to the historical mission of Saint Stanislaus and to those great tasks facing today's Church and modern Christianity after the Second Vatican Council. The initiator of the Council, the Servant of God John XXIII, specified this task with the word aggiornamento. The aim of the work of seven years of the Synod of Krakow—in response to the essential goals of Vatican II—was to be the aggiornamento of the Church of Krakow, the renewal of the understanding of its salvific mission, as well as the exact programme for its accomplishment.

2. The path that has led to this end has been marked out by the tradition of particular synods of the Church; suffice it to recall the two preceding synods during the ministry of Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha. The rules for conducting the synodal activity were laid out by the Code of Canon Law. However, we have taken into consideration the fact that the teaching of the Second Vatican Council o pens new perspectives here and, I would say, creates new tasks. If the Synod was to serve the realization of the teaching of Vatican II, it was to do so above all with the same idea and with the same system of work. This explains the whole plan of the pastoral Synod and its subsequent realization. One can say that for the formulation of the resolutions and of the documents, we have travelled over a longer, but a more complete path. This path has passed through the activity of hundreds of synodal study groups, in which large numbers of the faithful of the Church of Krakow have been able to express themselves. These groups, as is well known, were in the greater part made up of Catholic lay people, who have had on the one hand the opportunity to penetrate deeply into the teaching of the Council, and on the other hand to express in this regard their own experiences, their own proposals that manifested their love for the Church, their sense of responsibility for the whole of the Church's life in the Archdiocese of Krakow.

During the preparatory stage of the final documents of the Synod, the, study groups became centres where extensive consultations took place; in fact, the General Commission that coordinated the activity of all the working commissions turned to them, as did the commissions of experts that had been summoned right from the beginning of the Synod. In this way, those matters matured, which the Synod, linking itself again to the teaching of the Council, wished to transfer into the life of the Church of Krakow. It wished to form, in accordance with those matters, the future of the Church.

3. Today, all that work, this journey of seven years, is already behind you. I never thought that at the close of the work of the Synod of Krakow I would take part as a guest coining from Rome. But if such is the will of God, permit me, at this time, to assume once again the role of that Metropolitan of Krakow who through the Synod had wished to pay back the great debt which he had contracted towards the Council, towards the universal Church, towards the Holy Spirit. Permit me also in this role—as I have said—to thank all the people who have built up this Synod, year after year, month after month, by their work, by their advice by their creative contributions, by their zeal. In a way, my gratitude goes to the whole community of the People of God of the Archdiocese of Krakow, both ecclesiastics and laity: to the priests, to the men and women religious. Especially to all here present: to the Bishops, headed by my revered successor as the Metropolitan of Krakow; in a particular way to Bishop Stanislaw Smolenski, who as chairman of the General Commission has directed the work of the Synod. To all the members of the Commission, and once again to the Preparatory Commission, which in 1971 and 1972, under the direction of Monsignor Prof. E. Florkowski, prepared the constitution, the regulations and the programme of the Synod. To the Working Commissions, the Commissions of Experts, to the tireless Secretariat, to the Editorial Groups, and finally to all the Study Groups.

In this circumstance, perhaps I ought to have spoken differently, but it is not possible for me. I have been too personally connected with this work.

I wish, then, in the name of all of you, to lay this finished work before the sarcophagus of Saint Stanislaus in the centre of the Cathedral of Wawel; the work had in fact been undertaken in view of his jubilee.

And together with all of you I ask the Most Holy Trinity that this work may bear fruit a hundredfold. Amen.

S. John Paul II Homil. 120