MOTHER’S ICON PASSED AWAY
Only a great or saint man can have such a funeral
Suchowola has not seen such a funeral yet! – once people, who were walking a few kilometres on a field, muddy road from the church to a graveyard, were saying so. And, indeed – it was beautiful. Magnificently. A few thousand people from all over Poland. A few hundred priests, a few bishops, a cardinal. There was not even enough place for many of them in a graveyard. Thanksgiving for life of the saint priest’s mother clearly give way to grief and mourning.
First – the body of the late Marianna Popiełuszko was solemnly carried out of the home in Okopy. The funeral procession set off with an orchestra and flags. When the ordinary wooden coffin was being carried to the parish church in a village situated five kilometres away from Suchowola, on the square a few hundred people had already been waiting for the mother of priest Jerzy. Those who were not able to get inside the church, could participate in the Eucharist via a large screen.
The first words which were said in the church, came from pope Francis, who had thanked God for such a beautiful and long life of the late Marianna Popiełuszko: ‘Divine Providence let the fruit of her motherhood, blessed son Jerzy attain the glory of the altar through martyrdom. It came at a price of the suffering of the Mother who, seeing God’s patience, rose over pain, trusting the Creator, as much as she had trusted Him before, carrying bigger and smaller crosses of everyday life. It is concealed holiness which brings blessed fruits - wrote pope Francis. Later we heard that here ‘mother’s icon is passing away from this world, who, marked with suffering, unites herself with Painful Mother and forgives culprits of her Son’ – these words were written by the chairman and the general secretary of the Polish Episcopal Conference.
Archbishop Edward Ozorowski emphasized in the homily that Mrs. Marianna had become a co-martyr of her son-martyr. – She was a witness of faith. Although she did not study theology, she could always answer correctly to questions asked to her and her answers were concise and to the point. One could make theology for beginners out of them.
Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz expressed great gratitude of the whole Poland for the gift of life of blessed priest Popiełuszko: - My dear, loved Mother, we remember Your arrivals at Warsaw to the grave of priest Jerzy and Your presence at the beatification of your son. We trust that now you will intercede to God for us.
And, finally, gathered crowds of ‘Solidarność’, with 146 flags. As the chairman of the Union Piotr Duda said, after the martyr death of priest Jerzy, the whole love to him had been poured for his mother, who had accompanied labour people in pilgrimages to Jasna Góra every year. – Also this time there is going to be an empty armchair for her with white roses - he assured.
Condolences were sent, among the others, by the president of the Polish Republic Bronisław Komorowski and the prime minister of the Polish Republic Donald Tusk.
Could Marianna Popiełuszko expect such a farewell? I remember her saying me once that she would prefer to be one of unknown mothers. Because this ‘popularity’ had been ransomed with great suffering. People appreciated it. And this wonderful and truly royal funeral of an ordinary woman from the village Okopy shows what kind of values really count in life.
There is no doubt that mother of a saint priest passed away. But also a saint mother. Because only a great or a saint man can have such a funeral.