When the moment to depart arrived
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz
Countless crowds around. There were various personages from distant places. But above all there were his people. His young people. And the meaningful and urgent banners. St Peter’s square was filled with light. Light returned to my soul, too. At the end of his homily Cardinal Ratzinger pointed to the window saying that he certainly was standing there, could see us and he gave his blessing. I turned my head up towards the window. I had to turn my head. But I was not able to look up.
Finally, when those who carried the coffin reached the entrance to the Basilica they slowly turned the coffin towards the faithful so that he could look at the Square for the last time. So that he could say good-bye to the people, to the world. And say good-bye to me as well? No, not to me. I did not think about myself then. I was experiencing those moments with other people. All people were moved and shocked. I will never forget that moment. The procession was slowly entering the basilica. They were to take the coffin to the grottoes, to the grave. And I thought… I had been with him for almost forty years. At first, for twelve years in Krakow, and then for twenty-seven years in Rome. Always with him. Always by his side. And now at his death he went alone. I had always accompanied him and from here he went alone. The most touching moment was that I could not accompany him on this way. He did not leave us at all. We feel his presence. I experience numerous graces through his intercession. And I accompanied him until that moment. Then he went alone. And now? Who is accompanying him on the other side?
From ‘The Testimony’ by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz