Liberating A Continent:
John Paul II And The
Fall of Communism
On the evening of June 7, our Embassy and the Saint John Paul II National Shrine presented the documentary Liberating a Continent: John Paul II and the Fall of Communism. The event was held at the National Shrine in Washington, DC dedicated to the legacy of Karol Wojtyła. It was part of commemorations of the 40th anniversary of John Paul II’s first pilgrimage to Poland and the 30th anniversary of the 1989 political changes.
In his speech opening the event, Ambassador Wilczek called attention to the enormous role John Paul II played as an inspiration for the end of communism in Central and Eastern Europe. “John Paul II’s message of hope had practical implications for the Polish people, who took up the challenge of building a more humane and just future for our nation. Wojtyła’s words and his entire pontificate demonstrated the inseparability of the political and the moral,” Ambassador Wilczek reflected.
Following the screening, the event concluded with reading part of John Paul II’s famous June 2 homily in Warsaw and a performance of Gaude Mater Polonia. One of the most popular medieval Polish hymns, Gaude Mater Polonia honors Saint Stanislaus, John Paul II’s predecessor as bishop of Krakow. A huge thank you to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine for organizing the event with us! It was a great commemoration of the pontiff’s first visit to his homeland.
Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington, D.C.