A REAL STORY OF SAVING POLAND AND THE WORLD
‘If you think that dictators, politicians, businessmen decide about the fates of the world, this film will snatch you from illusion’ – I read these words in previews before I was in front of the screen in order to see the ‘Mystery of mysteries’
A Polish soul definitely has got the image of Mary. Film-makers of the film entitled ‘Mystery of mysteries. A real story of saving Poland and the world’ managed to show it clearly. The film was screened for the first time on 2 February this year in the Chapel of Rosary at Jasna Góra.
Without Our Lady we would not be on the map of the world
This film should be watched on knees with a rosary in hands, trying to understand its great message. A famous historian – prof. Jan Żaryn, after uncovering the ‘Mystery of mysteries’ wrote: ‘Experience of the Polish history suggests that without Our Lady we would not be a nation present on the map today. This film perfectly helps us to see two truths: Mariological character, deeply rooted in the Polish nation and indeed present in the history of the world’.
Having watched this documentary film, one can see that the Polish nation was not killed at the curves of the difficult history because it chose the path to Jasna Góra. The film presents the situation of Poland and the world and the Church in the second half of XX century. These times have been described from the perspective of actions of two great men of the spirit: cardinal Stefan Wyszyński and cardinal Karol Wojtyła, later pope John Paul II. Their complete entrustment to Our Lady, in the extremely difficult period of the murky communism decided about the fates of Poland and the world which led to the victory in a battle for the soul of the nation. And this is the victory of Mary. One can feel here also the spirit of cardinal August Hlond, whose prophecy was used by both of them. We have an occasion to see unique film materials and photos of the 50s and 60s of the last century and hear the archival records of voices of the great Polish men of faith – cardinal Wyszyński and John Paul II.
Reliable paths of Jasna Góra
Understanding the Polish path of entrustment to Mary, running effectively through painful historical events to spiritual and political saving the nation, is supported by commentators and narrators of the film. Among them: cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, cardinal Stanisław Nagy, bishop Józef Zawitkowski, Fr. Feliks Folejewski – a cooperator of the Primate of Millennium, prof. Gabriel Turowski, Wincenty Łaszewski – a Mariology expert, Janusz Kotański – a historian, poet, and, first of all, Fr. Jerzy Tomziński – a participant in ministry of the main characters of the film. It is him, who, as the prior of Jasna Góra at that time, was trying to get to cardinal Wyszyński imprisoned in Comanche. He was sure that God gave us the great Primate for a particular purpose, and that he would save Poland. Indeed Fr. Tomziński was not able to arrive for the film promotion at Jasna Góra, but Fr. Jan Pach passed his message, emphasizing that Fr. Jerzy in his prayer considers his concern about Poles, so that they would wake up and see clearly and ‘return to the reliable paths of Jasna Góra’, as it was expressed many times by John Paul II.
- We must not forget great works of God – Fr. Nikodem Kilnar was saying during the presentation of the film, emphasizing that the two great Poles had gained power from Our Lady. And this documentary, being a testimony of their faith, helps to explore mysteries of God’s acting in our history.
Examples of particular God’s works in the Polish history were shown by Stanisława Nowicka from the Institute of the Primate Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński. She told nearly sensational events, connected with the beginning of Jasna Góra Vows of the Polish Nation in 1956. At that time an unacceptable fact was calling for crowds of million Poles to Częstochowa, despite the communist captivity, persecution of the nation and the Church. Poles arrived at Jasna Góra on 26 August 1956 and expressed the vows of the nation to Our Lady. – What happened by the Great Novena on the way to celebrations of the Millennium in 1966 – said Stanisława Nowicka – was a program realizing the vows of the nation which were preparing for the greatest spiritual act after the baptism of Poland – to entrust the nation to Mary for the sake of the freedom of the Church in the contemporary world. It was a consequence of Marian path of cardinal Wyszyński and cardinal Wojtyła.
Fr. Zachariasz Jabłoński, the General Definitor of the Pauline Fathers’ Order, told us a story of arresting the image by the communist authorities. Because of that, empty frames without the image were peregrinating throughout Poland. He mentioned that at that time Fr. Karol Wojtyła organized a diocesan pilgrimage to Jasna Góra. He was seen moving on his knees around the Miraculous Image in the Chapel. – This is a simple form of expressing our folk religiousness – emphasized Fr. Zachariasz.
The desire of film-makers was to follow the path of the two great Poles, who had entrusted themselves to Mary and let Her lead them.
Poles carry a rosary in their pockets
Jan Pospieszalski was wondering if we are able to behave in the way which is shown in the film. Does such Poland exist, do we have such Poland? In his opinion, in the recent years we have experienced many exceptional agitating moments like John Paul’s II passing away to Father’s Home, when the nation was united, or the tragedy at Smoleńsk when we were experiencing the national mourn. At the moment of the catastrophe Pospieszalski was on the graveyard in Katyń. Similarly as others, he was waiting for the moment of the arrival of president Lech Kaczyński with his delegation. The news about the air crash immediately aroused a reaction of a prayer among everybody. A man stood on a chair and started shouting: ‘We resort to Your defence…’Others joined. This is the Polish soul….And later the Chaplet to Divine Mercy was said. So, in a situation of a danger the first natural reaction of a Pole is a prayer to Our Lady. And, what is more – it turns out that Poles carry rosaries in their pockets. In such moments they take them out and start praying.
Pospieszalski gave an example of the recent social actions, when Poles stood together in the defence of righteous matters. On the same day of the film promotion, there was a manifestation in Warsaw, in solidarity with the European capital cities: Madrid, Paris, Rome and Brussels in the defence of the natural family, two days before the threat of granting special privileges by the European Commission to homosexual groups. Next – these were Poles who collected half a million signatures in the defence of right to life among children in which disability had been diagnosed before their birth, these were Poles who collected a million signatures in the defence of six-year-olds. –There are many such facts but are not visible because Poland is not described – says Pospieszalski, giving an example of the defence of the cross 30 years ago in the Complex of Agricultural Schools in Mętno, about which only few Poles remember.
Contemporary slaves of Mary
The film ‘Mystery of mysteries’ has also another trend – the personal one. – It was made thanks to Our Lady for saving life, for birth, for conversion and for care – said the producer Rafał Porzeziński, happy that the screening takes place at Jasna Góra, in the neighbourhood of the Chapel of the Miraculous Image of Our Lady. – Everyone working on this film has personal reasons to be grateful to Mary – he explained. It turns out that the first impulse of making this film was a media fact which took place a few days after the death of John Paul II, when in a publicistic program on TV terrible words were said about how ‘miserable and unleavened Mary’s road to God is’. This ‘religious naivety’ would make us distort what is beautiful in the message of John Paul II – he heard on TV in 2005. At that moment he felt as if he had been slapped on face. After all, John Paul II chose the motto of his pontificate ‘TotusTuus’ of Ludwik Maria Grigniona de Montfort and was a heir and a follower of the path of cardinal Stefan Wyszyński who said: ‘I entrusted everything to Mary’. And they both were following the path of cardinal August Hlond saying that ‘when a victory comes, it will be the victory of Mary’. – Therefore, there was a necessity to make this film, in order to show the presence of Mary in the Polish history and faith of the three great Polish cardinals, following Mary’s path – explained Porzeziński.
Exploring the personal thread included in the film, it is necessary to quote the statement of the film-maker Paweł Sobczyk. He gave a testimony about his search for God and conversion, whose crown was becoming a slave of Mary. – In 2010 I entrusted myself to Our Lady in the act of St. Ludwik Maria Grignion de Montfort. It is an answer to the question what to do now – admitted the film-maker. I will dare to give you advice: entrust your children and your grandchildren to Mary, and She can act then. During the meeting it turned out that not only the film-director but also the film producer is a slave of Mary.
And how much Our Lady was acting through them during making the film….they gave many evidences for it. One of them made Fr. Michał Legan, a film expert, express his opinion, who noted that the film shows beautiful faces – beginning with the face of Our Lady, through faces extracted from film documentaries to the faces of contemporary pilgrims and people with whom film-makers had talked.
The voice met with the answer that among the people shown on the screen in an accidental way, as it might seem, there was young Maria Okońska, the founder of the Institute of the Primate, who was standing in the centre of the history told in the film. The team making the ‘Mystery of mysteries’ and consisting of young people, not knowing those times and those people, did not realize it. Being asked the question if he felt the presence of the Holy Spirit and Mary’s help during making this film, the film-director answered it definitely and positively. – I did not know that it was Marysia. Why did she attract my eyes? Because God was able to direct my talent, because in the state of grace I had entrusted to Our Lady and she could act while I was working on this film – he admitted.
A man among rosary mysteries
During the promotion meeting there was also Paweł Kęska – a creator of sound. It was thanks to him birds of Częstochowa are heard on the sound track. He also emphasized that the ‘Mystery of mysteries’ is a national and private film consisting of experiences of particular people. ‘Hail Mary’ which is heard in the beginning of the film is a whisper of Zosia – the daughter of the film-director. The whole film team recorded the ‘Hail Mary’ very quietly and due to the imposition of voices a noise of the prayer was created in a scene of a crowd in the Miraculous Chapel of Our Lady. It was just the prayer of people who were working on this film.
The ‘Mystery of mysteries’ shows how we can see our life among rosary mysteries. It is not only a real history of Poland saved by Mary acting through the great men of faith, but it is also a history of each of us. – The title appeared when we were recording testimonies with various people – explained Rafał Porzeziński. – The purpose was to tell the history of one’s life in the light of rosary mysteries. Hence the title ‘Mystery of mysteries’. The producer concentrated on human histories because he knew that among various captivities, among the others, atheism, he was saved by Our Lady with the Rosary said by his mum, grandmother and sister. Quoting of his grandmother’s words was very picturesque and convincing, who showed to her adult and impenitent grandson that God had given the man ten fingers to carry a rosary with himself, that is, count the tens of ‘Hail Mary’ of the rosary – the Mysteries of the Rosary are mysteries of life for me – he said.
Through Mary to Jesus
- This film shows the path to Jasna Góra, in silence. Everyone knows that we are going to Jasna Góra – emphasized Fr. Jan Pach who also noted the new rosary initiative of ‘Niedziela’ which started editing a special supplement devoted to the Rosary prayer, in connection with various groups cultivating this prayer on the Polish land. Bishop Antoni Długosz from Częstochowa, listening to the statements of the film-makers and critics of the film, summed up the whole deep theological truth that without understanding Mary’s mission in the history of salvation, we will not understand the mission of Christ.
‘Mystery of mysteries’ – directed by: Agnieszka Porzezińska, Paweł Sobczyk, scenario: Agnieszka Porzezińska, Rafał Porzeziński. Producer of the film: Rafał Porzeziński