By Tom Quiner
Poland had been brutalized by atheism for nearly four decades.
First, Nazism killed one out of five Poles during World War II. Communism wisked in following the war and tried to suck the economic and spiritual life out of a proud, but wounded nation.
As always with collectivist states, the economy tanked. But the Catholic Church refused to bend to the will of the atheists who declared war on religious freedom.
An uneasy truce between Church and State came to a head on June 2nd, 1979.
The first Slavic Pope, Poland’s native son, Cardinal Carol Wojtyla, returned to his homeland. His first stop: Victory Square in the heart of Warsaw to say Mass.
With one million weary, but hopeful and faithful, Catholic Poles in attendance, the future saint invoked the Holy Spirit.
On the eve of Pentecost, John Paul the Great called upon the Holy Spirit to renew the face of the earth. The Spirit responded immediately, pouring undistilled hope into the souls of an awakened nation.
Typically, it’s not nice to interrupt a priest’s homily. At this Mass, the Pope made an exception. The faithful interrupted JPII, crying out “we want God!” and singing “Christus Vincit, Christus Regnant, Christus Imperat!”
The interruption went on for 14 minutes as the new Pope simply smiled. The faithful knew at that moment that God had won, that the atheists, the communists, the totalitarians and all of their subjugating ilk had lost. They knew it was only a matter of time, and in fact, it only took another decade until the Soviet Union was dead, destroyed by the crushing love of the Holy Spirit.
Such a moment in human history.
President Trump paid tribute to this epic slice of 20th century history by referencing the crowd’s chant that day. God bless you, Mr. President.
This moment inspired me to write the musical, “The Pope of the People, the John Paul II Musical,” several years ago. The clip above is called “We want God!” inspired by the events of June 2nd, 1979.
“Send out your Holy Spirit, renew the face of the earth.”
Thank-you most Holy Trinity for another answered prayer.