Tonita M. Helton
How can we be fully credible if we stand divided before the Eucharist, if we cannot live our sharing in the same Lord whom we are called to proclaim to the world?
-Orientale Lumen, John Paul II
John Paul II stood on an elevated platform before the shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa and celebrated the Holy Mass before a crowd more than one million strong. The date was August 15, 1991—a day of triumph and joy. This was the first time ever that large numbers of young Eastern Europeans were able to participate in World Youth Day. In addressing the Eastern pilgrims, the Holy Father thanked them for the “precious treasure” of their Christian witness, a witness for which they often suffered persecution, death, and imprisonment behind a geopolitical wall that created “nearly impassable borders.” The collapse of communism in the East, however, had ushered in a new era and he rejoiced that “the Church in Europe [could] now breathe freely with both of her lungs.” [Read more…]