Posted: May 23, 2020 12:01 AM
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Do you remember when Pope John Paul II went back to his native Poland, about eight months into his pontificate? The Communist officials couldn’t not let him in — he was too beloved. As Pulitzer Prize winner Peggy Noonan, author of “John Paul the Great,” has written, from the moment he eventually arrived behind the Iron Curtain, “the boundaries of the world began to shift.”
Despite the government’s attempts to keep Poles from getting too emotionally invested in the visit, the people lined the streets to see him. During his first Mass in Warsaw, the crowd thundered, “We want God,” stopping the Pope’s words with a cry from the human heart so deep and insistent — and resilient — that the coming victory over Communism could be envisioned.
The Polish people saw their pope’s visit as a sign like no other that freedom was coming, that God was not leaving them orphaned in their suffering. In his sermon, Pope John Paul II said: “Christ cannot be kept out