Intercessor of deep faith
Fr Pawel Rozpiatkowski
What do the Polish practising Catholics most frequently pray for through the intercession of John Paul II? Most of all, they pray for deepening their faith and also for love and harmony in families.
Fulfilling the order of 'Niedziela' the Institute of Statistics of the Catholic Church asked Polish Catholics about love and harmony in families and about prayer through the intercession of the new Blessed. Only 1.3% of people answered that they would not pray through the intercession of John Paul II when they were asked on the day of his beatification. The rest gave a positive response to that question.
The Institute also presented the respondents 25 prayer intentions, asking them to choose five that were most important to them and order them from the most to the least important.
Hierarchy of intentions
17.2 % of respondents chose 'deepening their faith' as the most important prayer intention. A little fewer - 15.4% - placed desire of love and harmony in families as the most important intention. Every tenth respondent (10.6%) chose Poles' faithfulness to the teaching of John Paul II. Only single individuals chose more 'earthy' intentions as the most important ones and these included 'long life' or 'sufficient means for life' or 'work places for university alumni.'
The intentions of 'second choice' included 'love and harmony in families' as the most important - 15 %. Every tenth respondent chose 'healthy children' as their second choice in their hierarchies of needs directed to God through the intercession of Blessed John Paul II. 8.2% of respondents pointed to the skill of deep prayer.
The next place in the hierarchy of prayer requests which Poles would like to pray for through the intercession of Blessed John Paul II was given to general intentions. More than every fifth respondent - 22.9% - would pray for understanding of Christian values by young people and then for good priestly and religious vocations - 21.7% and for harmony in the Polish nation - 18.1%.
The next places in the hierarchy of prayers that Poles would like to present to God through the Blessed Polish Pope show no obvious preferences and the differences in numbers are small. As their fourth choice they (8.2%) would pray for the sick and suffering as well as for eternal life for the dead.
Sex, age, education
Analysing the results of the survey one can see than men chose 'deepening their faith' more frequently than women. In turn, women would be more eager to pray for love and harmony in families. Women, more often than men, would pray for understanding Christian values by young people.
One can conclude that the problem of deepening personal faith is important to adults. The older the more frequent choice of this intention as the most important one. For young people, in the age range till the age of 25 and in the prime of life, the matter of love and harmony in families was more important.
The preference of 'mature faith' increases with the education of the respondents. Those with higher education chose it much more frequently than those with secondary school and post-secondary school education.