A NAMECARD OF A CHRISTIAN
Fr. Ireneusz Skubiś
Through his first pilgrimage to Homeland awaited by us so much (2-10 June 1979), the Holy Father wanted to emphasize the 900th anniversary of the martyr death of St. Stanislaw - bishop, martyr and a patron of moral order. It was a very important purpose of the papal pilgrimage. For, our difficult situation contributed to the fact that so many values became unstable in our nation, that, moral order was breached because of the long-term anti-Christian policy. Communists were pursuing a systematic fight against the Church, into which directors of workplaces, media and school were involved. Everything was done in order to destroy the teaching of the Church, so that emptiness would start to exist in human hearts. In 1956, in Jasna Góra National Vows submitted on the 300th anniversary of Lvov Vows of Jan Kazimierz, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński undertook a fight for a man and moral harmony in his soul. Their essence included a program of moral renewal, being planned for particular years and over which the Church in Poland was working later. At the same time propaganda of communist ideologists was doing everything to weaken this systematic work of the Church, depreciate and discourage the faithful from the Church. It was devil's and determined fight against the Church and Gospel. Unfortunately, this fight has been going on till now, not only in Poland but also in other countries, especially the countries of the former block of socialist countries where certain rules concerning Christian morality have been breached.
So, it could not have been so not to take an advantage of the occasion which was the 900th anniversary of the martyr death of St. Stanislaw, in order to draw Poles' attention to the most important matters in life. Human morality is a namecard of the quality of human life, and for a Christian, it is also a namecard of his belonging to the Church, to the very Christ. For, the Christians must give a testimony of their faith. If it is weak, the Church has got a reason to worry about the believers of Christ and to make a lot of effort to improve the moral life of the faithful, and, at the same time, bring them closer to God. This is the essence of pastoral ministry.
St. Stanislaw who stood in the defence of moral order in his times as a patron of Poland, points to uncompromising attitude in the field of morality of those who just call themselves Christians. One cannot call himself a Christian if he does not fulfil the commandments of Decalogue and is not trying to live according to the rules of the Gospel. We must see our saint patrons not only in picture in churches. They are an example of behaviour for us. The heroic attitude of the Bishop and Martyr towards the very king shows that there are more important matters than ours 'here and now', and that nobody can trample on Divine truths, even if he represented the supreme authority. Also today nobody has a right to take away a right to live from another human being. 'Do not kill' - or so important today 'Do not commit adultery' - it is God's commandment which obliges all the time and everywhere. In the contemporary times the Christian morality seems to be endangered in a special way, as there are various theories which are functioning in a subtle and exquisite way, causing an impression of natural human searches in the field of science or technology. If they get to the ground of the shallow, naive or magical faith - they may spread a real emptiness.
The defender of moral laws, not only in the dimension of his diocese but also the General Church, was undoubtedly, the successor of St. Stanislaw in the bishop's capital in Cracow, the later Pope John Paul II. Therefore, one of his papal pilgrimages to Homeland also paid attention to Decalogue (in 1991). John Paul II with all his power, not only as a son on this land, but also as Pope, reminded about God's laws so that they would be respected by his compatriots. Therefore, we can bravely say that John Paul II joined the patronage of St. Stanislaw Bishop and Martyr, as a new patron of moral order, whose activity and teaching we remember very well. Today he stands in front of us as Blessed and he supports St. Stanislaw BM in his care for our respecting God's Decalogue. So, when we worship St. Stanislaw, let's remember about this new advocate - defender of God's and human laws. He really cares about us...