On the 25th anniversary of the 6th World Youth Days in Częstochowa, on 14 and 15 August this year at Jasna Góra, there was a vigil prayer in the evening and at night, which was a reminder of the great day of the youth with John Paul II a quarter century before. There were also thanks for the 31st World Youth Days in 2016 in Cracow. The Holy Mass celebrated on 15 August at Jasna Góra had the thanksgiving character , too. It was presided over by archbishop Wacław Depo, the metropolitan of Częstochowa.

In the beginning of the vigil prayer archbishop Depo was encouraging: - We thank God for the youth of Church. He reminded that only the way via Mary to Christ is the one which leads to the real destination. – Despite the change of generations, Church is young thanks to Christ’s grace and in the Holy Spirit. After all, it was 25 years ago when we heard words here: ‘You received the spirit of sonship in which we can call out to God . And today we are also calling out from the depth of our hearts with the same faith - he said.The prayer was accompanied by the signs of the meeting of the Polish Pope with the youth 25 years ago. The youth was walking across the Jasna Góra square towards the altar of the Jasna Góra hill and was carrying: the icon of Our Lady, the Easter candle and the Gospels. The image of Mary of Jasna Góra was being carried by representatives of various continents, dressed in robes of various parts of the world. At that time the song ‘Maria Regina mundi’ – ‘Mary, the Queen of the World, Mary Mother of Church, we are with You, we remember about You, we are in vigil’ – in the version from 1991.

The Easter candle and the Gospels were brought by representatives of the Lednica movement. The person of deceased Fr. Jan Góra, a Dominican, initiator of meetings at Lednica, the author of ‘Abba Father’ hymn was mentioned in a particular way. Fr. Wojciech Prus, a Dominican, invited the youth for the annual meetings in Lednica. The testimony on it was given by Danuta Piekarz, who, 25 years ago, during the 6th World Youth Days at Jasna Góra, received a lighted candle for Europe from John Paul II.

Going across the square, to the summit of Jasna Góra, volunteers of this year’s World Youth Days brought in the fire of mercy, brought from Łagiewniki, from the sanctuary of Divine Mercy. The Jasna Góra candle from 1991 was lighted from him, and then candles which participants of the prayer had received. The fire of mercy remained at Jasna Góra, so as to inflame in the Chapel of the Adoration of Blessed Sacrament. The youth also brought an image of Merciful Jesus, in this way referring to this year’s Youth Days and the motto of the pastoral year. Marianna Gurba, a volunteer of the World Youth Days in Cracow, shared her testimony with others. The Hymn of the World Youth Days in Cracow ‘Blessed the Merciful’ was sung.

A great experience for participants of the vigil prayer was a testimony broadcast on a large screens, which Tony Melendez had given, an artist playing the guitar with his feet, during a meeting with John Paul II in 1991. – I send particular greetings to all of you, who are in Częstochowa. I reminiscence the unusual moments during the World Youth Days. I was really impressed there by over one and a half million people, it was a wonderful experience. At that time it was the first time I had participated in the World Youth Days and it was exciting.

I will remember John Paul II forever, his charism, his smile, his fervency of life for Christ and Church. I thank Częstochowa that it gave me a part of it – said Tony Melendez in a special video message.

During the vigil prayer on large screens fragments of the prayer were reminded, which had taken place at Jasna Góra on 14 August 1991 and was presided over by pope John Paul II. There were also reminded the last pictures from the meeting of pope Francis in Cracow. The vigil prayer was crowned with adoration of Blessed Sacrament, presided over by Fr. Marcin Ciechanowski, a Pauline Father. The prayer was ended with a joyful singing the hymn of the World Youth Days at Jasna Góra ‘Abba Father’.

The prayer and then the joyful fun was led by a team ‘Strong in Spirit’. Fanfares were played by the Jasna Góra Wind Instruments Octet. The vigil prayer was organized by the Pauline Fathers: Fr. Michał Legan and Fr. Tomasz Tlałka, and was led by Izabela Tyras from Jasna Góra Radio.

Materials were used from BPJG information.


„Niedziela” 34/2016

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: