Monday, 16 October, marks the 45th anniversary of the election of Cardinal Karol Wojtyła to the See of Peter. On this occasion, a Mass will be celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome with the participation of the Polish Bishops’ Conference and the President of the Republic of Poland.

A Thanksgiving Eucharist in the Vatican Basilica will begin at 3 p.m. The Mass will be presided over by Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, and Cardinal Grzegorz Ryś, Metropolitan Archbishop of Łódź, will deliver the homily.

The Synod participants, present in Rome at the time, will attend the Mass, as well as priests, consecrated persons, and pilgrims. The President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, and his wife have also announced their participation.

On the same day in the evening, at 7 p.m., a concert by the Song and Dance Ensemble „Mazowsze” will begin in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major.

The Polish Embassy to the Holy See arranges the anniversary celebrations with the Polish Bishops’ Conference.

In addition, on the initiative of the St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyrs’ Church pastoral care for Poles and the John Paul II Foundation at the Vatican, many events are planned to accompany the anniversary and the liturgical commemoration of St. John Paul II, which falls on 22 October.

On the day of the election of the Polish Pope, 16 October, at 7:15 a.m., a Mass will be celebrated at the tomb of St. John Paul II in St Peter’s Basilica, presided over by Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski, Metropolitan Archbishop of Krakow. Then, in the evening, at around 6:44 p.m., to commemorate the moment Cardinal Pericle Felici announced the results of the conclave, the Poles living in Italia and pilgrims would gather in St. Peter’s Square for a shared prayer vigil. The Gaudium Poloniae choir and Polish pastors from the Diocese of Rome will lead it. The day will conclude with a music and spoken word programme, beginning at 8 p.m. in the Church of the Holy Spirit.

On the eve of the liturgical commemoration of St. John Paul II, 21 October, Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski will lecture on the Polish Pope’s theological thought. The speech by the Metropolitan of Kraków will be preceded by a presentation of Karol Wojtyła’s „Theological Works,” published by the John Paul II Institute for Intercultural Dialogue in Kraków and the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Kraków.

On Sunday, 22 October, at noon, a Mass will be celebrated at St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr’s Church for the intention of the Polish community. After the liturgy, students from the St. John Paul II Catholic Polish Primary School, which operates by this church, will present an artistic programme about their Patron.

Polish Bishops’ Conference

Translation: Sr. Ewa Dobrzelecka / Office for Foreign Communication of the Polish Bishops’ Conference