"The Polish countryside needs God," said Fr. Janusz Kumala, MIC, custodian of the Lichen sanctuary during the XXIX Polish Pilgrimage of Mayors and Rural Communities to Our Lady of Licheń. He emphasized the role of village leaders who make a huge contribution to building the local community because they are closest to the people of the Polish countryside.
Traditionally, before the Holy Mass Mr. Ireneusz Niewiarowski, the president of the National Association of Mayors, spoke, who welcomed the guests gathered in the Licheń temple, expressing his gratitude that despite the epidemic, the pilgrimage of the Polish village people to Our Lady of Licheń was sustained.
The pilgrimage was attended by representatives of state authorities and local associations, including Grzegorz Przybyło, vice-president of the KSS, Ryszard Papierkowski, one of the founders of the KSS, Ryszard Jałoszyński, editor-in-chief. Gazeta Sołecka. Friends of Fr. Bishop Roman Andrzejewski: Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski, advisor to the President of the Republic of Poland for agriculture and rural areas, Sławomir Siwek and Fr. Msgr. Ireneusz Juszczyński.
In the homily of Fr. Janusz Kumala said that the pilgrimage of the National Association of Mayors to Lichen is many years of witnessing that the Polish countryside needs God.
–The past years have been different. We have witnessed many changes. Also in the countryside. Sometimes they were difficult, painful, requiring commitment, patience and persistence. They have become part of the history of our life, which requires effort, effort and dedication from us. Because we love our village, our environment, and we strive for a better life for everyone, for us to feel happy.
Marianin emphasized that if concern for the common good comes straight from the heart, it is a good direction for the Polish countryside and our homeland. - What is important is the internal motivation that comes from the presence of God in the heart, from entrusting oneself to Him. Only God makes us feel joy and happiness today. And only the future connected with God can be happy.
The homily pointed out the danger of losing and tearing away from God. He said that the presence of people from the Polish countryside in the Lichen basilica showed a desire to gain spiritual strength and to oppose this threat.
– Earlier, before the creation of the National Association of Mayors, the Polish village had long been a pilgrim to this holy image, which we are now looking at, which - according to tradition - came to this place, from a rural field in Lgota, near Częstochowa. First brought to Izabelin, he found himself in the Grąblin forest, where he was hanging on a pine tree. The image was looked after by a man of the Polish countryside, Mikołaj Sikatka, a shepherd.
The priest noted that the tiny image of Our Lady of Licheń, from the very beginning of its presence in the Grąblin forest, attracted crowds of pilgrims who were looking for help after the cholera epidemic in 1852 - Our Lady called for putting God in the first place. This was her message. It was she who brought us here so that we could meet with her God who has revealed himself in the person of Jesus Christ and who is present in the sacrament of the Eucharist.
Quoting Bishop Roman Andrzejewski, a long-standing national chaplain to farmers, Fr. Kumala said that Licheń is a place of spiritual and moral revival of the Polish countryside. - In Lichen, the Polish village gains strength, strengthens itself, revives itself in its spiritual life, to fulfill its obligations, to bear witness to the God who is in our heart.
Continuing his deliberations, the curator emphasized the role of village leaders who make a huge contribution to building the local community, due to the fact that they are closest to people. - They testify to the fact that together we can care for the common good. The village administrator is a symbol of the attitude of the community of people living in the countryside. The mayor, with the attitude of his life, can be a model for others. The village administrator is a man who can listen, talk and dialogue. He must listen to people in order to serve them better. He must also be brave, because he puts the good of the community for which he is responsible first.
Marianin encouraged us to learn the attitude of service in fulfilling our duties, looking at the example of Our Lady.
During today's XXIX Pilgrimage of Sołtysów and Rural Communities to Our Lady of Licheń, 12 flagship posts were present in the basilica, including: the Wolin land, from the Wągrowiec commune, from Krosno Odrzańskie and from the village of Szadów. After the Mass banner posts, priests and guests gathered on the KSS pilgrimage went to the tomb of the late Roman Andrzejewski, where flowers were laid and prayed for his soul. Mr. Ireneusz Niewiarowski also recalled the figure of the charismatic bishop who had always been closely associated with the Polish countryside and acted to improve the quality of life of the people of the Polish countryside.
The celebrations were graced by the Sanctuary Wind Quintet.
Text and photos: Sanctuary Press Office