ARCHBISHOP ZYGMUNT ZIMOWSKI ACCEPTED TO THE ORDER OF THE HOLY SEPULCHER
BEING A PASCHAL MAN
Miechów became a witness of an important even, inscribed in the latest history of the Knights’ Order of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. In this historical place on the Polish land, on 15 June 2014, investiture of archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski from Vatican took place
By the decision of the grand master cardinal Edwin Federick O’Brien, archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski was accepted to the Order of the Holy Sepulcher, in the rank of a commander with a star – an exceptional Polish hierarch from Vatican, appointed a bishop of Radom in 2002 by the Holy Father John Paul II. What is worth noting is the fact that his main consecrator was cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the later pope Benedict XVI. Archbishop Zimowski is the chair of the papal Council for the Ministry of the Ill and the Health Service and a member of the Congregation for Canonization and Congregation for Bishops.
In the heart of the Polish Order of the Holy Sepulcher
The ceremony in Miechów was a significant connection of the past with the present. This place, called Polish Jerusalem remembers the beginning of the foundation of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher in Miechów over 850 years ago, the first foundation created outside the land of Jerusalem. In the beginning of the investiture, that is, the solemn acceptance of a new member to the Order of the Holy Sepulcher, the mozzetta and medallion were sanctified. This rite took place in the headquarter of the Polish Supremacy, situated in the restored post-monastery building from the year 2010, in the neighbourhood of the basilica of the Holy Sepulcher in Miechów. The commander with a star Karol Szlenkier – a superior in Poland of the Knights’ Order of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem called the fact a great recognition and honour for the Order that archbishop Zimowski can be included to the Order of the Holy Sepulcher. He was praying to God for care and help for the new member of the Order, so that he could defend the Church bravely, support the Christians in the Holy Land spiritually and materially and proclaim the truth about the Resurrection of Christ.
Applause for the new member of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher
Next, there was a spectacular point of the investiture, as usually – dames and knights in their majestic outfits, solemnly went from the headquarter of the Polish Supremacy to the basilica of the Holy Sepulcher, and their representatives were carrying the mozetta and the medallion for the new member of the Order, who was being led in the procession to the place of the solemn ceremony of the Holy Mass. Singing the song ‘The winner over death, hell and satan’, participants were engrossed in deep reflection on the mystery of Lord’s Resurrection, whose sign is the empty Sepulcher in Jerusalem, where joyful Easter singing was heard, regardless of the liturgical period in the Church. Here it is important to know that the basilica of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem is called, mainly the basilica of Resurrection by the Orthodox believers. At the altar the commander with a star Karol Szlenkier read out a decree of the grand master, including archbishop Zimowski from Vatican to the Order. After putting on insignia of the Order, archbishop Zimowski was cordially greeted in the Order, also with spontaneous applause. Everybody was greeted by the host of the basilica in Miechów, Fr. Mirosław Kaczmarczyk.
Proclaiming the Great Prayer of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher on the way to the jubilee of 2000 years from Christ’s Resurrection
The investiture was connected with another important unprecedented event. The church master of ceremonies of the Polish Supremacy, Fr. Jerzy Bielecki was proclaiming a great prayer of the Order on the way to the jubilee of 2000 years from Christ’s Resurrection, which is in 2033. The Great Prayer of the Order on the way to the jubilee of the 2000th anniversary of Christ’s Resurrection was started by the Holy Mass celebrated by the new member of the Order archbishop Zimowski. As Fr. Bielecki said, since then, every month till the year 2033, in the basilica of the Holy Sepulcher in Miechów, bishops and priests – the members of the Knights’ Order of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem would celebrate the Holy Masses, as a preparation for the Great Jubilee of 2000 years from Christ’s Resurrection. The complementation of the Eucharist will always be the visitation of the Chapel of the Holy Sepulcher.
The Jubilee program
In the homily archbishop Zimowski noted that the inauguration of the Great Prayer of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher leading to the jubilee year 2033 takes place in a short time after the canonization of two popes – John XXIII and John Paul II. He emphasized that the Polish Pope had often been in the church in Miechów as the archbishop of Cracow. The common prayer of the Order – as archbishop Zimowski noted – is also an expression of gratitude for life and teaching of the saint popes, who taught us how to be authentic witnesses of Resurrected Christ. The archbishop also outlined a program of preparations of the year 2033. He pointed to three characteristic features of a real witness of Resurrection: he should think in a paschal way, live with Passover and wait for fulfillment of Passover, so as to be a man of Christ’s peace. The investiture ended with a solemn passing to the chapel of the Holy Sepulcher where a prayer for peace in Miechów was presided over by archbishop Zimowski. The Polish Order of the Holy Sepulcher said farewell to archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski hoping to meet him soon. He invited them not only to Rome where he works in the Vatican dicasteries but, first of all, to the Holy Land for a common prayer during the World Day of the Ill, planned in 2016 in Nazareth.