YEAR 2016- THE JUBILEE YEAR OF THE 1050TH ANNIVERSARY OF POLAND BAPTISM
CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY
The Polish Seym unanimously decided that the year 2016 is the Jubilee Year of the 1050th anniversary of Poland baptism. ‘This act had a decisive importance for the process of uniting Polish generations under the reign of the Piasts and forming Christian identity of our nation’ – says the provision. It was supported by 413 MPs. There was no opposing vote, and nobody withheld his vote. In the act MPs expressed their hope that celebrations of the anniversary would be an occasion for reconciliation and rebuilding the Polish community.
The document emphasizes the significance of accepting baptism by Mieszko I and reminds the words said by John Paul II to Polish bishops on 14 February 1998: ‘Poland has entered the group of the Christian West and started building its future on the fundament of the Gospel. Since those times we have become legal members of the European family of nations with all consequences resulting from it. Together with other nations of Europe we are co-creators and also heirs of this rich history and culture’.
The central anniversary events were planned in Poznań and Gniezno on 14-16 April 2016. They will be accompanied by religious, cultural and social initiatives. The anniversary celebrations will begin with the Holy Mass with participation of the Episcopate in the cathedral in Gniezno. In the afternoon bishops will go to Ostrów Lednicki at Lednica lake, where in the times of the first Piasts there was one of defensive and administrative centres of Poland of those times.
For the next two days, the ceremonies will be moved to Poznań. On Friday 15 April, in the place of the International Fairs in Poznań, solemn debates of the Seym and Senate are planned. In the evening in the cathedral in Poznań, the solemn Holy Mass will be celebrated, with participation of Polish bishops and representatives of episcopates from abroad.
Next day, on 16 April, in the building of the Seminary in Poznań, there will be a plenary meeting of the Polish Episcopal Conference. On the Poznań stadium the Holy Mass will be celebrated and baptism vows will be renewed.
Before that, on 11-13 March 2016 there will be X Meeting in Gniezno, under the motto: ‘Europe of new beginnings. Liberating power of Christianity’.