John Paul Window

“To understand the Polish, one must know two things. First, from the mid to late 1700s to the 1950s— Poland was occupied by one invader after another. It had lost one third of its population every thirty years from conflict. Second, its people’s identity is and has been for centuries, deeply rooted in and inter-connected to their Christian faith.”

Those on Gov. Mike Huckabee’s Journey first arrived in Kraków, Poland, home of Pope John Paul II, to learn how its most influential agent for political change during pre and post Nazi and Communist occupied Poland, was its religious leader. To the Polish people, their Pope, Karol Józef Woityla, is the most significant man in modern history who led them to freedom after suffering generations of oppression.

Wojtyla, the former archbishop of Kraków, lived through both eras of occupation and witnessed and identified with his people’s suffering and despair. Today, he is known among the generations of young people as the one who made it possible for them to be born in “free Poland,” where they can watch movies, text on smartphones, or choose their education or profession. They learned from their parents who were among more than 800,000, who in 1990 went to Kraków’s local theatre to watch Gone with the Wind, a film none had been allowed to view. To this new generation, the Pope represents the spirit of freedom and opposition to evil of their “free Poland.” …


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