IN THE NAME OF THE SON….
Over 70 thousand young people from whole Poland and other countries participated in the eighteenth Youth’s Meeting on Pola Lednickie (Fields of Lednica). During this year’s vigil prayer, the young were accompanied by the Cross of the World’s Youth Day and the icon ‘Salus Populi Romani’ which have been making peregrination all over Poland since April 2014
On Saturday 7 June the first pilgrims were reaching to Lednica already in the early morning hours. in the afternoon Pola Lednickie changed into an enormous confessional on which, among grass and dust young people were having confession.
The confessional of the Polish youth
An expiation divine service was presided over by archbishop Konrad Krajewski – the papal almoner. In his reflection he was saying about Divine mercifulness which ‘extracts layers of the good from every man, regardless of how many layers of the evil cover it. God is generous in mercifulness, one can only want to see him like Zacheusz. Mercifulness does not require mutuality but forgives. (…) Jesus wants to come out from the church into streets, to every man ‘because love walks on mud’ – said the papal almoner. Everyone who used this sacrament of penance, was anointed with an oil of joy by a priest, given by the pope Francis/. The young were having their confession till the very evening and at every moment they could also use the chapel of adoration of the Holy Sacrament and the vocation centre.
Not weakening enthusiasm of faith
This year’s meeting was one of the elements of preparation of the young for the forthcoming jubilee of the 1050 years of the Baptism of Poland. It was also an occasion for thanksgiving for life, pontificate and canonization of the Holy Father John Paul II, who was a great advocate of Lednica from the beginning till the end. – Young people come here because they are treated seriously. We must love them as they are, not suck up to them. I was taught so by St. John Paul II. He gave demands to the young in the name of this love which he declared. This year Lednica achieved a full age, gained independence and maturity. It became a permanent element of the Polish pastoral ministry and brought up hundreds thousands young people. But we are going further and we still choose Christ with not weakening enthusiasm and we uncover other aspects of His love – says Fr. Jan Góra OP, the initiator of Lednica.
The official opening of the meeting was proceeded by the Chaplet to Divine Mercifulness and the Procession of Eagles. During the so-called ‘The age of eighteen of Lednica, an airplane flew over the fields, with a parachute jumper who landed while holding a Bible in his hands – he brought it to the very fish-gate. Archbishop Krajewski blessed all pilgrims with the Book of the Bible. When singing the song ‘God’s Mother’ and with sounds of the jubilee bell, symbols of the Cross of the World’s Youth Days, the icons ‘Salus Populi Romani’ and relics of St. Wojciech were brought.
During the first part of the meeting entitled ‘Christ is Son’, the young listened to bishop Edward Dajczak who explained what the Confession of Faith says about Jesus. Next, postmen, nuns and scouts distributed participants letters of the meeting, which the young had written earlier and brought.
I love Lednica!
The Eucharist on Eve of the Day of Pentecost was presided over by the new primate of Poland – archbishop Wojciech Polak, who had arrived in Lednica from the cathedral of Gniezno just after his ingress. In the homily bishop Grzegorz Ryś referred to the person of the prodigal son. – Repeating after St. Paul: ‘We are already sons of God’, and also ‘everything is calling in us: we want to be children of God’. The spirit is calling in us so that this relationship of father and son would be fulfilled. Father is not full of doubts, the obstacle is in us – this relationship is not perfect because of our fault. (…) The call for being a son is not moralizing: behave like children, be children for God, homeland, parents, be good. Nothing else. We tell you: today is the evening of opening up the Spirit. The more holiness Spirit is in us, there are more of us - said bishop Ryś.
The Primate of Poland blessed and gave missionary crosses to 10 volunteers from the Salesian Missionary Centre, who are going for missions for a year soon. On this occasion, he expressed wishes to Fr. Jan Góra on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his priestly ordination. He also appealed to the young so that they would testify their faith and assured them that from the beginning of his bishopric ministry ‘he loves Lednica’. During the ‘Hour of St. John Paul II’ the young listened to the first message of the Polish Pope which he addressed to the young in Lednica in 1997. During the divine service ‘I am a son’ the Provincial of the Dominicans Fr. Paweł Kozacki gave the youth the fire of faith and tradition, brought by boat from Ostrów Lednicki. The whole fields were full of the light of candles held in hands by the young. The last element was adoration of the Holy Sacrament, brought by the Primate of Poland in the three-metre monstrance, with accompaniment of lute. The traditional meeting was finished with a moment of passing through the fish-gate during which Fr. Jan Góra was greeting participants of the meeting.
Symbols of Lednica
Every young person, leaving Lednica, takes not only spiritual experiences, but also symbols of the meeting. This year young people received rings with the inscription: ‘I thee I am well pleased’, being the sign of being God’s son and a banknote of gratitude of denomination of 2000 talents, which they are supposed to give to their parents and carers after their return home, thanking for life, faith and upbringing. Every participant also received an ID card of Lednica, on whose reverse side there is an Act of Christ’s Choice. Organizers counted that for the last 18 years of Lednica, over 60 symbols have been created which are at homes of younger and older inhabitants of Lednica.
– For me it was a wonderful experience which, apart from emotions and impressions there, gave me a lot of strength and power so that I could become a witness of Christ with more faith every day – says Justyna Cupryn from Mileszki, who had been in Lednica for the first time.
Pope Francis to the young
Similarly as St. John Paul II or Benedict XVI, pope Francis addressed his second message to the youth being at the vigil prayer in Lednica, in which he encouraged the young to be brave to respond enthusiastically to God’s love, as beloved children. (we publish the text of the message in whole). The Pope gave his personal blessing via his almoner archbishop Konrad Krajewski. – The Holy Father Francis cuddles all of You. You have become purified of sins and beautiful, you are like spring in our country. If these several thousand people are spread all over Poland with their beauty, Poland will be beautiful – said archbishop Krajewski.
‘In the name of the Holy Spirit’
The next meeting of the young in Lednica will be held on 6 June 2015 under the motto ‘In the name of the Holy Spirit’. – We arranged the topics of the meetings into: ‘In the name of the Father’, ‘and the Son’, ‘and the Holy Spirit’, in order to shout out loudly ‘Amen; by the year 2016. Being God’s Son is the symbol of our humankind, an important aspect of our personality – we are children of our parents and, first of all, God’s children – explains Fr. Jan Góra. But Lednica lives for the whole year. More information about the current initiatives on the website: www.lednica2000.pl.