Friday, 18 May 2012
Sitting at the desk of Blessed John Paul
The Catholic University of Lublin was the only Catholic university in the Soviet empire. It continues to flourish, mainly in the humanities, because the communists restricted its activities and founded their own university in Lublin to teach the sciences, in order to give the impression that the communists were more concerned with the "real world." Both universities have now diversified to some degree, but retain their particular emphasis.
The main aula in the university honours Our Lady of Czestochowa and Cardinal Wyszyński. As bishop, he was imprisoned for three years because he spoke against the communist attempts to dictate the appointment of bishops. His sermon is known by his powerful statement "Non possumus."
Blessed John Paul is greatly honoured in Poland - every Church, sacristy, presbytery and hall has a picture of him. One precious memory is that of the day that Cardinal Wyszyński made his obedience to his protege.
A highlight of my guided tour of the university was to visit the lecture room in which Blessed John Paul taught. The desk at which he lectured has been preserved, and I got the chance to sit at it.
Greetings again to the students whom I met. Someone took a photo - I'll post it when I receive it.