KEEP TO THE ROSARY
LIDIA DUDKIEWICZ: – You come from Częstochowa – once, presenting the person of Jan Pospieszalski in ‘Niedziela’ and we let ourselves entitle the article ‘A boy from Jasna Góra’. Your family lived in a rectory of the parish of St. Barbara (the Pauline Fathers’ one at present), at the feet of the monastery. I used to meet with your parents personally years ago – Donata and Stanisław Pospieszalscy. In the 80s and 90s, Your father used to bring even articles for edition in ‘Niedziela’ and I and Your mum used to listen to lectures in the sphere of sacral art. It often happened that our lecturer was Stanisław Pospieszalski. I also had an occasion to get to know some family secrets, among the others, concerning religious upbringing a big group of children. Looking for people, who can testify the power of the rosary prayer, I found You. So, I have a request to You to share your memories with us, about religious character of Your family home in Częstochowa.
JAN POSPIESZALSKI: – I can share my experience of family entrustment to Our Lady. I remember when at home in St. Barbara street in Częstochowa there appeared a picture with a text of the entrustment act to Our Lady of our whole family, to the example of entrusting the whole Polish nation by cardinal Stefan Wyszyński. At that time our family contacts with the Primate’s Institute at Jasna Góra began. We also belonged to the Family of Families and we took part in formative meetings. Surely, being close to Jasna Góra and the parish, in whose rectory we had lived for years, influenced our religious life. And we were formed by the common prayer for the whole life. At home the natural element, accompanying us every day, was the Rosary prayer in the evening. I have always seen it as a reality functioning from the earliest moments of life, when as a small man I was learning a language when I was growing. So, we had to kneel to pray. It seemed terribly long for us, children….And because parents had nine of us, they had an idea one day that every child would say one ‘Hail Mary..’: Antek, as the first one, and later one by one: Joanna, Janek, Elka, Paweł, Karol, Tereska, Marcin, Mateusz. We used to say the last ‘Hail Mary…’ together. In order to make it more complicated, mum used to divide saying the Rosary prayer into nine angel’s choirs. Each of us had a Heavenly choir, which he invoked during saying ‘Hail Mary…’, and the last one was said with the whole host of angels. Whereas, in the morning during a prayer the Decalogue was said together. Thanks to it, today I belong to people who know the content of commandments, and I know exactly which one is which.
– I am impressed by the words which You said at Jasna Góra on 2 February 2014 during the promotion of the film ‘Mystery of mysteries’ by Rafał Porzeziński. In the overcrowded chapel You said then that Poles are Mary’s nation and in the situation of a danger, our natural reaction if a prayer to Our Lady. Then there were more valuable words but, first of all, you passed important information that Poles carry rosary in their pockets. And how do You know it?
– One of the most moving life religious experiences for me was the event of 10 April 2010. We were waiting at Katyń Graveyard for the arrival of the delegation with president Lech Kaczyński at helm. And then we received the news that in Smoleńsk the airplane with the Polish delegation had crashed. We faced the reality which was absolutely beyond our mind. Shock and disbelief. Unfortunately, various informers started confirming that in Smoleńsk there had been the crash and this tragic truth was slowly reaching our awareness. Suddenly, one of men jumped onto a podium, his head appeared over the crowd of terrified people. He started shouting: ‘We resort under your defence, our Holy Mother of God…’. The shout of prayer of the Pole on that inhuman place, this desperate begging the Holiest Mother and calling for Her help was the first natural reaction of the man hurt by such a terrible news. I had a sad duty to pass the tragic news about the catastrophe to everyone through a microphone. I was to confirm that the airplane had crashed and people were killed. A rush of thoughts…When I was thinking so quickly how to do it, I looked into the program of the ceremony and noticed that the whole scenario was useless but one point remained actual, possible to realize – the Eucharist. I thought that the Holy Mass, celebrated everyday on the altars of the world – in one big parish church or in a small church, and even in a private chapel, celebrated by one priest – is the strongest reality which is impossible to be confronted with a tragic catastrophe. So, I could only say that the most important point of our ceremony was saved – the Holy Mass. And then, behind my back, I heard a man’s voice. Somebody started saying words loudly to a microphone like a command: ‘Oh, blood and water, which gushed from the Holiest Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us – we trust you!’ It was the voice of Fr. Konrad Zawiślak – a young chaplain of Scout’s Flag in Skierniewice, but also a chaplain of the Polish Army. At that terrible painful moment he started lead the prayer of the Divine Merciful Chaplet. People who were holding their phones waiting for a good news that some hope would appear in messages, hid their mobiles like to a command and took out their rosaries and in such moment our natural reaction is taking out rosary. This is our Polish soul.
– Listening to various media news concerning the last events in Majdan in Kiev, when determined Ukrainians were giving even their lives in the fight for the future in dignity for themselves and the next generations, for the first time, I heard from You on radio, that in Majdan in Kiev there is God. During a discussion various journalists were analyzing the political situation and You were enthusiastically emphasizing that Majdan was praying , that people were showing much love to one another and were ready to any kind of devotion. Catholic media informed that in Majdan at least 700 thousand rosaries had been distributed among people and on barricades crosses had been placed. Could You share Your observations with us?
– I was watching the events in Majdan, especially at night, directly via internet in Espreso TV, where there was news transmission from Ukraine online for 24 hours. I saw that the prayer was lasting near the barricades all the time. One of tents was being used as a chapel. Unfortunately, on 18 February Berkut burnt it. When at the critical moment people’s bodies were being brought to Majdan, for the first time I heard ‘Hail Mary’ in Ukrainian. From various sides one could hear ‘Hospody pomyłuj’ and ‘SławaIsusu Chrystu’. The majestically flowing song-prayer like a sound track to fights on the barricade. On a stage icons had been hung and there was also the figure of Our Lady of Fatima. At every full hour at night, priests were coming up to a microphone in order to preside the rosary prayer. Even in the most critical moment on barricades, one could see priests with icons and crosses in their hands, wearing cassocks or robes and with helmets on their heads. On Saturday 22 February a Catholic auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Kiev and Żytomierz Stanisław Szyrokoradiuk OFM arrived in Majdan, bringing a big cross sanctified in 2004 by John Paul II. This cross is in a pilgrimage in the intention of peace, is visiting cities of the whole world. And now, Kiev has just appeared on its route.
At night, after the massacre which took place on Thursday, a boy appeared on the stage and asked everyone protect their hearts from hatred, despite so many killed people, so much pain. There was a very important statement of a girl who quoted the words of French journalists: ‘Ukraine thinks it needs the European Union. Nothing more wrong! These are us – said the journalists – aging Union, deprived of any values and ideas, we need Ukraine! This Ukraine which appeared in Majdan’. Here I remember the words of John Paul II from a homily in Kiev, preached on 24 June 2001: ‘Ukrainian land, bathed in blood of martyrs, thank you for the example of faithfulness to the Gospel which you gave to the Christians in the whole world!’. For the Ukrainians, participants, observers, Majdan became a new founding act of the country and the nation.
– At present, facing the endangered peace in Europe, because of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, we need a prayer. We know many rosary miracles. Let’s remember that pope Pius IX said: ‘Give me an army saying millions of rosary prayers a day, and I will win over the world’.
– In the history of the world miraculous rosary events have been confirmed. For example, how to explain the Austrian miracle which was described even by historians. A humble Franciscan monk Petrus Pavlicek shocked whole Austria. This great prayer of the Austrians made the Soviet armies retreat from Austria in 1955. In 1986 the Philippines also won thanks to the rosary, when 2 million people went out with rosaries into streets of Manilla against battle tanks of Marcos’ army. I had a particular experience in Budapest on 21 January 2012, when I saw the biggest protest in the street in my life – certainly, apart from prayer meetings with John Paul II. At that time, in Budapest half a million people were marching with their rosaries and crosses, so 5 per cent of the nation of 10 million population. In order to keep this proportion, in Poland 2 million people would have to come out with rosaries into streets. Today in Hungary one can see the fruits of the rosary crusade for Homeland. Hungary is coming out of crisis, despite the tragedy of terrible debts, economic troubles, despite hatred to Viktor Orban from the governing coalition, euro-leftist party, EU bureaucracy.
– Could we ask You for Your words to editors and readers of the rosary ‘Niedziela’, edited every second week entitled: ‘Rosary for Homeland’?
– A prayer can do miracles. My practical advice is: Do not leave your home without a rosary, have one by your bed and another one in your pocket of a coat, jacket or in a bag. And keep to rosary which is like a rescue line for an alpinist, thrown downwards at the moment when he is standing at a precipice. Then he can catch the line and go upwards. Every bead of a rosary is like a knot of a rope on which one can climb like on a ladder and – be rescued.