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Plans laid for 1,050th anniversary of Baptism of Poland

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 21.01.2016 16:12
A historic National Assembly session is to mark the 1,050th anniversary of the Baptism of Poland.
Woodcut of Mieszko I, who oversaw the 966 Baptism of Poland. Photo: wikimedia commons.Woodcut of Mieszko I, who oversaw the 966 Baptism of Poland. Photo: wikimedia commons.

The joint session of both chambers of the Polish Parliament, the 460-seat Lower House and the 100-seat Senate, will be the central event of the celebrations marking the 1,050th anniversary of the acceptance by the Polish ruler Mieszko I of the western form of Christianity.

The watershed event is regarded as marking the origins of the Polish state.

Scheduled to take place in Poznań, western Poland, the cradle of Polish statehood, on 15 April, the session will be the first meeting of the National Assembly ever held outside Warsaw.

Unveiling the programme of the celebrations at a press conference in Warsaw, parliamentary Speaker Marek Kuchcinski said that during the meeting President Andrzej Duda will give a special address to the nation. Invited guests include members of the diplomatic corps and foreign politicians.

Kuchciński said that the commemoration of the Baptism of Poland in 966 will be “an eloquent symbol of the scope of transformations in Poland’s social life”, adding that “the Polish nation needs the rebuilding of a sense of political community, whose cornerstone is joint memory. Its fullest manifestation is in historical events. The Baptism of Poland in 966 and the Millennium celebrations in 1966 were milestones in the nation’s history.”

Senate Speaker Stanisław Karczewski told newsmen that he expects President Duda to focus in his address on a sense of community among Poles, in which the Church and the nation’s history are the binding factors.

On the eve of the National Assembly session, the president will attend a thanksgiving service at the cathedral in Gniezno, with Polish Roman Catholic bishops and a papal envoy.

In a message for the anniversary published at the end of 2015, Polish bishops wrote that Christianity enabled Poland to join the “world of Latin culture” and the “community of Christian peoples”. They stress the fact that the anniversary coincides with the Holy Year of Mercy and the World Youth Days with Pope Francis in Kraków in July. (mk/nh/pk)

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