Relics of John Paul II
On Saturday, May 3rd, 2014, on the feast day of the Most Holy Virgin Mary The Queen of Poland, the Blood Relic of St. John Paul II was brought in and installed in the parish of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Spycimierz. Thus, we joined the group of parishes which can enjoy this very real presence of our Pope.
Since 2001, our temple has had a peculiar “relic”, i.e. a beautiful marble bust of John Paul II, made by an Italian artist, Albino Sirsi, and presented to the parish of Spycimierz personally by the Pope. Besides, before that, i.e. on May 25th, 1986, our compatriot consecrated the cornerstone for our temple. These circumstances prompted us to approach His Eminence Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz for first-class relics. To our great joy, the custodian of the relics presented to us this priceless gift accompanied by an authentication document with the following wording:
To all and individual persons viewing this letter, I hereby certify and confirm that, for the greater glory of God and to honour the Saints, I have placed this portion of the blood of Blessed Pope John Paul II in a round vessel made of silver and plated with gold, which is properly locked, tied with a silk string in red colour and provided with the Postulator’s stamp, and handed it over with the power to possess and exhibit for public adoration by the believers, in accordance with the standards of the canon law. I hereby confirm the authenticity of this document with my personal signature and the signature and stamp of the Postulator.
Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, prelate Sławomir Oder – Rome, May 1st, 2011.
At 5 p.m., a liturgical procession with the relics set out from the rectory towards the church of Spycimierz. The bishop was accompanied by priests from the Deanery of Uniejów and two priests from the parish of Spycimierz: Father Florian Pełka SJ and Rev. Zbigniew Łukasik concelebrating Mass on behalf of the parishioners and firefighters starting the celebrations of their patronal feast.
The guests participating at Mass were the parishioners and representatives of state and local authorities, and the parliament invited by the Mayor of the Town and Commune of Uniejów, Józef Kaczmarek, the Chairman of the local unit of the Voluntary Fire Brigade and the parish priest, who were headed by Mrs. Jolanta Chełmińska, the Voivode of the Łódź Voivodeship, as well as firefighters, who came here in large numbers, with standard-bearers and delegations from 16 units. Among the invited firefighters, there was Mrs. Krystyna Ozga from the Executive Council of the Association of Voluntary Fire Brigades of the Republic of Poland in Warsaw.
The pastor of the Diocese of Włocławek, referring to the readings of the Word of God from the feast day of the Most Holy Virgin Mary The Queen of Poland, and presenting as an example the testimony of life of St. John Paul II, said the following: ‘The aspect which is associated with today’s celebration has been clearly emphasised by way of bringing in the relics of Holy Father John Paul II. After all, He was Totus Tuus, Totus Tuus, meaning “Totally Thine, Mary”. I think that the relics of Holy Father ceremoniously brought in here today teach us, on this feast day, such trust and such devotion to the Most Holy Mother of God. Whenever we are here to attend a church service, we will be looking at and praying in front of these relics of John Paul II, and, at the same time, trying to repeat this act of his trust and devotion to the Mother of God, bearing in mind the following words of the Gospel: “Behold Your Son (…)”’.
In the service of little homeland
When referring to St. Florian and his faithful worshipers, the pastor spoke to firefighters: ‘Firefighters have always been with the Church…, firefighters have always been there, even at the toughest moments of the Stalinist night… This faithfulness of firefighters and their loyalty to the Church deserve emphasis and clearance today, as this is a form of serving little homelands. At this very moment we have here many representatives of local and voivodeship authorities. You cannot love the great homeland if you do not love a little one…’.
After the blessing with the relics of St. John Paul II and the Mass end, the second part of the celebration took place in the square in front of the rectory. This part was connected with handing over to the Voluntary Fire Brigade unit in Spycimierz and consecrating by the bishop of a new rescue and firefighting vehicle, which was characteristically named John Paul II.