A brilliant astronomer, a man of faith, a man of the Church both in his convictions and in his hard work: for the diocese of Warmia, for the Bishop and the Chapter, for his small and greater Homeland – archbishop Stanisław Budzik said about Nicolaus Copernicus in the cathedral in Frombork. The Metropolitan of Lublin presided over the Holy Mass and delivered a homily during the celebrations to honor the 480th anniversary of the death of Copernicus, the author of „On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres”.

In his homily, the Metropolitan of Lublin and the chairman of the Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Polish Bishops’ Conference referred to the solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord celebrated that day. He emphasized the importance of two messages: staying faithful to the earth as it is the creation of God and keeping our focus on heaven. „Be faithful to this land and seek what is above. These calls complement each other, like the way and the goal, the work, and the victory,” he said.

He also talked about the life and accomplishments of Nicolaus Copernicus within this context. He noted that he was both a brilliant astronomer and a man of faith. „Copernicus’ deep religiosity is evidenced by the fact that he preceded the basic thesis of his work on the Sun as the center of the planetary system with the invocation of God’s help and ended with admiration for the glory of the Good and Great God. Copernicus dedicated his final work to Pope Paul III, in which he conveyed his belief in the unity of truth stemming from both God’s revelation and the discovery of natural laws,” said Archbishop Budzik. „The brilliant astronomer was a man of the Church both in his convictions and in hard work: for the diocese of Warmia, for the Bishop and the Chapter, for his small and greater Homeland,” he added.

In conclusion, Archbishop Budzik highlighted that Christ is the only one who has perfectly connected heaven and earth. „In the mystery of the Incarnation, he brought heaven to earth. In the mystery of the Ascension, he raised the earth to the heights of heaven,” he said. As he explained, the Solemnity of the Ascension makes us look up to heaven. „To turn one’s gaze to heaven means to pay attention to what is essential, to what is decisive in our lives, that is, to love. Because, as the Holy Scripture says, faith will pass away, hope will be fulfilled, but love will endure forever and everywhere,” he stressed.

At the end of the ceremony, the host of the place, the Metropolitan of Warmia, archbishop Józef Górzyński, pointed out that Nicolaus Copernicus was a man of deep faith and was able to reconcile faith and science.

Representatives from various state and local authorities, the scientific community, and numerous institutions and offices attended the liturgy held during the Year of Nicolaus Copernicus as declared by the Senate. At the Holy Mass, the faithful offered prayers for both scientists and artists.

Nicolaus Copernicus was a canon of Warmia, who collaborated closely with the bishops of the region. He resided in Frombork and Warmia for 40 years. It has been 480 years since he was interred in the cathedral in Frombork.

Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference

Translated by Sr. Amata Nowaszewska / Office for Foreign Communication of the Polish Bishops’ Conference