A MONUMENT OF ST. JOHN PAUL II IN PARIS
On 25 October this year, in Paris the first monument of St. John Paul II in the capital city of France was unveiled and sanctified. It was placed on the square of the pope – St. John XXIII, near the cathedral Notre Dame, in a historical place which is visited by about 7 million tourists from all parts of the world every year. Both priests and laymen, from the Polish Catholic Mission in France directed by its rector – prelate priest Stanisław Jeż, have been applying for placing the monument of St. John Paul II in this place for years. The creator of the 3-5 meter monument is a sculptor of Georgian origin Zurab Tsereteli. Since the year 2012 the monument has been in the cloister of Visitation Sisters by the avenue Denfert-Rochereau, because authorities of Paris did not want to agree to its unveiling in the city.
The monument of St. John Paul II unveiled and sanctified in Paris is the second one who was built in France thanks to efforts of the Polish Catholic Mission. The first one – whose creator is prof. Czesław Dźwigaj – was built on 8 May 2008 in Lourdes.
The ceremony of sanctifying the monument in Paris began in the cathedral Notre Dame with the Holy Mass presided over by archbishop Marek Jędraszewski, the metropolitan of Łódź, the delegate of the Polish Episcopal Conference for the ceremony, and bishop Wiesław Lechowicz, the delegate of the Episcopal Conference. After the Holy Mass of unveiling the pedestal was performed by the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo. The speeches were given by: card. Vingt-Trois, archbishop Marek Jędraszewski, Anne Hidalgo and Paweł Kostka de Sztemberg from the Polish Catholic Mission in France.