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1050th Anniversary of Poland's baptism

1050th Anniversary of Poland’s Baptism


“Where there is baptism, there is hope” these words of the jubilee song, composed by Leopold Twardowski, will be the main theme of the celebrations of the 1050th Anniversary of Poland’s Baptism. The celebrations, organised under the honorary patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda, will be held on 14-16 April 2016 in Poznan and Gniezno.
 
On the first day of the celebrations, President Andrzej Duda and the Polish Bishops’ Conference and the Papal Legate will give thanks for Poland’s baptism in the Gniezno Cathedral.

For the first time, the Sejm and the Senate will hold a ceremonial session outside Warsaw, during which the President of the Republic of Poland will deliver an address. The event will be attended by representatives of the Polish diaspora and other Christian Churches.
 
From the beginning of March, many religious, cultural and social projects have been organised in connection with this anniversary across Poland. For the participants of the celebrations, there will be conferences and exhibitions devoted to the beginnings of the Polish state, such as, Lux in Oriente – Lux ex Oriente: Poland and the Holy See – 1050 years of history, an exhibition of works on loan from the Vatican and Expo Christianitatis, an exhibition presenting the beginnings of Christianity in Poland. Visitors to Poznan will be able to see underground fragments of the Princess Dobrava Chapel in Ostrów Tumski. There are also plans to present symbolic crosses to the Polish cathedrals. The crucifixes will be made of oak wood taken from the remains of defence fortifications from the early Polish state. The national cerebrations will continue until November 2016.
 
In a special letter on the occasion of the celebrations in Poland, Pope Francis wrote that in his prayers he will be together with “Poland, when the beloved sons and daughters of this noble nation will be solemnly celebrating the beautiful 1050th anniversary of baptism.”
 
The Poznan Archdiocese in turn reminds us that “the 1050th anniversary of Poland’s baptism not only recalls a historical event that began the history of the Church and marked the beginning of Poland’s statehood. The anniversary also calls us to reflect on the consequences of this fact for the present and future.”

The date 14 April, 966, the day the first, historic ruler of Poland, Mieszko I, was baptised, marks the beginning of Polish statehood. By embracing Christianity, Mieszko I became equal with other European rulers. As a result of the process of Christianisation, the clergy began arriving in Poland to build a cradle of Christian culture. Mieszko I was baptised through the mediation of Bohemia, which was Christian at the time and from where his wife Princess Dobrava came.

MFA Press Office



Foto: Jan Matejko 1889, Wikipedia Commons

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