Closure of the Jubilee at Krakow

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The closure of the eight centenary celebrations of the Rule of Saint Francis of Assisi was marked with a great festival which took place in the Market Square of Krakow on the 4th October. The experience of unity and integration of the three Franciscan families (OFM, OFMConv and OFMCap) seems to have been the most important fruit of the occasion – according to the religious.

In fact, it resulted in bringing together the Franciscan communities. We were born of one unique tree, even though we are three branches. Up until now some made it their part, presently, after eight centuries, we have done something together. The friars declared to continue and begin a common initiative pastoral programme.

We must not invent new initiatives; it is enough to learn well the message of St. Francis and to realize it in the situations and conditions that change. Today, we have a situation which is very similar to that of the thirteenth century. The people expect the same from us: they want to see us humble, poor and open to all people. All which has been done to remember the Polish Franciscans, the preacher of the Pontifical House, Fr Raniero Cantalamessa OFMCap, came from Rome to participate in the Chapter of Mats at Wieliczka.

There was also a football match as part of the celebrations, between the Franciscans and the representatives of three professional football teams from Krakow. The final score was 3 goals to the friars, and 10 goals to the professionals.

The Franciscans opened the fours friaries in Krakow: until late in the afternoon. Groups of citizens of Krakow were able to visit the Bernardine friary (in Via Bernardyńska), our friary (piazza Wszystkich Świętych), the Capuchin friary (via Loretańska) and the Friary of the Reform in (via Reformacka). During the guided visits people were able to see the places of work and rest, the chapel, dining room, the cells and the antique corridors.

On Saturday evening in the Market Square the first Music Recital of the Oratorium on the Life of Death of St Francis took place. This was entitled “Transitus” based on the texts of the Rule and writings of the Poverello (the lyrics: Beata Mencel and the music: Joachim Mencel

A scientific symposium was also organised entitled: Franciscans; the future, the present and the past. The Franciscan Order as creator of culture”. On the theme of Franciscanism, Fr. Celestyn Napiórkowski OFMConv, Fr. Andrzej Derdziuk OFMCap and Mr. Zbigniew Jóźwik discussed “listening to the present and open to new challenges”.

The solemnly closure of the celebrations took place with Mass  at the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy; Mass was presided by Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, Archbishop of Krakow in which he said “you enrich the spiritual culture of Poland. Remind Europe of its Christian roots. Remember its values, with all its history revived the Franciscan movement. You enter with enthusiasm in the new evangelization. Give help to others duc in altum” – the Cardinal said amongst other things.

Between the three Franciscan families there are more than three thousand Polish friars living in Poland and in the Missions in the world.

Communications Officer of the Province of St. Anthony, Krakow