Wadowice says 'goodbye' to the Pope

 A notice with a writing "You are already home" and a drawing of heart was placed on the gate of family house of John Paul II in the Sunday morning. Hereby citizens of Wadowice, the city of Pope's birth and childhood, said goodbye to our Holy Father. The late Holy Father's former home is now a museum run by the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth. Last night on the yard behind the gate the sisters arranged a large cross of candles and flowers which had been brought there by the people of the town. There are Polish and Pope's flags hanging from all Wadowice's offices - each of them with black ribbon. Candles burn in In front of basilica in Wadowice, where John Paul II was baptized. The churches are crowded. "We will pray for him, during all services and evening vigils. As any family watching over the deceased, we are the family of the Holy Father" - said Fr. Jakub Gil, parson of the basilica. He also asked the citizens of Wadowice to put portraits of the Pontiff, decorated with black ribbon in the windows of their houses, light the candles and at 9.00 p. m. "stand all by the side of the Holy Father and pray." "The pontificate of John Paul II was the Holy Spirit's answer on the quests of contemporary times" added Fr. Gil. "The Holy Father was an exact voice of this, what is needed today: He was defending a man from a man, a man from himself alone, a man from his beginning until his senility, even the one, who cannot protect himself because of his disability as well as the one endangered by various wars and cataclysms. He was also defending God in the present-day world, which wants to live as there is no God. These two matters were the most important ones in His pontificate". Fr. Gil described the Polish church as being left bereft with Pope John Paul II's passing. "The chapter written by a Polish Pope has been closed and certainly we shall not have such close contact with Vatican, with the primal Church." He commented on how eagerly Poles had gone on pilgrimages to the Vatican and through those journeys had learned about new countries: "We will be poorer now as we will not be involved in some matters connected previously with John Paul II", adding that the Polish church will follow and pray for the new Pope when he is elected. "For many Poles the Pope was simply the good father. We identified ourselves with Him as He was ours, exactly ours" stressed Fr. Gil. The Polish government has already announced national mourning which will last till the Holy Father's funeral on Wednesday.

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