The power of Poland’s “invincible national spirit” and resilience to countless foreign invaders lies not with her government or military, but rather in the nation’s Christian identity, its president said on Friday.
“The Baptism of Duke Mieszko I is the most important event in the entire history of the Polish state and nation. I do not say it was, I say it is, for the decision taken by our first historical ruler had predetermined the whole future to come for our country,” Andrzej Duda, president of Poland, said April 15.
This was the core of his message to the National Assembly’s session commemorating the 1050th anniversary of “Poland’s conversion”: the baptism of Mieszko I on Holy Saturday in 966. Mieszko is regarded as the de facto founder of the nation.
Duda noted that “Our Christian legacy continues to shape the destinies of Poland and of each and every one of us, Polish people, until this very day.”
The Secretary of State of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, celebrated the anniversary of Poland’s conversion by saying Mass in Gniezno, the nation’s ancient Christian capital, on April 14.
He met with the Polish bishops April 15, telling them that the Poles’ “faithfulness to God, to the Gospel and to the Holy See has garnered the respect and esteem of other nations, and made the Church in Poland a bulwark of Christian faith and charity and a light in the darkness that has enshrouded Europe so many times.”