|Poland||JOHN PAUL II COMES HOME|
The Pope has begun his seventh, longest and probably last pastoral visit to his native Poland. His first stop was Gdansk, the birthplace of the Solidarity labout movement, where he met with its former chief Lech Walesa.
He told the citizens of Gdansk that their city "opened the doors of freedom to countries enslaved by the totalitarian system, tore down the Berlin wall, and contributed to the unity of Europe after the divisions that followed World War II."
On Sunday he stopped in the cities of Pelplin and Elblag, where he made an act of devotion to the Sacred Heart. Today he is visiting three cities, ending in Torun, where he will beatify Fr Stephen Vincent Frelichowski.
This trip is regarded as significantly diverse, with tomorrow's mass at Elk including faithful from neighbouring Lithuania. On Thursday, the Holy Father will celebrate the Mass in Siedlce in the morning with the Greek Catholic community, and in the afternoon will participate in an ecumenical service in Drohiczyn.
Friday is dedicated to activities in Warsaw, including a visit with the President and a moment of prayer at a monument for victims of the Holocaust. Next Sunday morning is the beatification of 108 martyrs of World War II and two confessors of the faith.
In Krakow next Monday, the Pope will celebrate the Mass in celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the diocese. On Wednesday in Stary Sacz, the Pontiff will formally declare the sainthood of Cunegunda. Then on Thursday next week, he will make a private visit to the tomb of his family in Krakow.
Zenit 12:29pm 7/6/99