TO THE ARCHBISHOP OF POZNAŃ IN OCCASSION OF THE
100th ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE OF POLAND
To the Venerable Brother
Mons. Stanisław Gądecki
Archbishop of Poznań
President of the Polish Episcopal Conference
One hundred years ago, on 11 November, Poland regained independence. With the end of World War I the period of Russian, Prussian and Austrian domination ended on the nation which, before the partition, had contributed to the development of the history of Christian Europe with all the wealth of its own noble culture and spirituality. The reconquest of sovereignty was paid for by the sacrifice of many sons of Poland, who were ready to offer their personal freedom, their possessions, and even their lives for their lost homeland. The quest for freedom "was based on the hope derived from a profound faith in God's help, which is the Lord of the history of persons and nations. This faith was also a support when, once independence was regained, unity had to be sought in spite of differences, in order to rebuild the country and defend its borders "(St. John Paul II, 11 November 1998).
Together with the Church in Poland and all the Poles, I thank God who has supported the succeeding generations with his grace and his power, and allowed a hundred years ago to fulfill their hope of freedom and not to lose it, despite the further painful historical experiences related to the Second World War, the Nazi occupation and the communist regime.
Taking up again the prayer of St John Paul II, exceptional witness of this century, I ask God for the grace of faith, hope and love for all the Poles, so that, in unity and peace, they make good use of such a precious gift of freedom. The protection of Mary, Queen of Poland of Jasna Góra, always accompanies your country and all the Poles. Divine Providence grants peace and prosperity to the Polish nation now and in the future. God's blessing is always with you.
Vatican, 4 November 2018