A prominent figure in the latter days of Karol Wojtyla’s life was (now) Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz. A native son of Poland, born in 1939 in Raba Wyżna, he received his Doctoral degree in Krakow and was appointed Secretary to then Archbishop Wojtyla in 1966.
Among many other duties and offices, the Cardinal serves as head of the WYD Local Organizing Committee in Poland and spoke some timely words in connection to the theme of the Pilgrimage itself:
''Sister Faustina wrote in her diary that a spark will come out from Krakow that will make the world ready for the final coming of Jesus Christ. We would like to pass this secret of Divine Mercy onto youth. May they gather the thought and spark of peace from Krakow. At this time, we have unrest, peace is at risk here in Europe – there is terrorism and a brutal terrorism at that. This is why we would like to create peace, reconciliation, solidarity, mutual kindness, and may this atmosphere cover the whole world, starting from this meeting here in Krakow”
Having just finished the Diary, I know the exact passage to which the Cardinal refers in Paragraph 1732 of Notebook 6. In fact, that same passage about the “Spark” appears in the official WYD prayer as well.
It is a fitting theme as events begin to escalate toward violence aimed specifically at Christians worldwide. I am referring especially to the martyrdom of Fr. Jacques Hamel yesterday during his celebration of the Mass in Normandy, France (a place of great bloodshed in WWII). The Final Coming of the Lord would be much welcomed in the face of increased terrorism by ISIS.
The Cardinal specifically referenced the slain priest in his homily for the opening Mass in Krakow:
“During this Mass, let us pray for all the victims of the recent terrorist attacks. Let us pray for the priest who was murdered today while celebrating the Eucharist in France.”