Primary Sources

Prayer for the Fatherland

Description

This prayer was composed by the Polish Episcopate shortly after Solidarity was legalized for the first time, in 1980. The bishops instructed that henceforth it be recited during every mass. In just one paragraph this text captures several important themes: the link between nationalism and Catholicism; the Church's desire to avoid confrontation and conflict; and the Church's support for basic human rights.

To see the associated Teaching Module on the Catholic Church in Poland, click here.

Source

Listy pasterskie Prymasa Polski oraz Episkopatu 1975-1981, trans. Brian Porter, (Paris: Éditions du Dialogue, 1988).

Primary Source—Excerpt

Almighty and merciful God, who gave the Polish Nation genuine help and defense in the form of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, we ask that you accept our prayers, which we offer you today. Allow us to offer them to you through the mediation of Mary, the Queen of Poland of Jasna Góra. O Mother, we have already experienced Your help so many times in our history. So with all the more trust we beg You to intercede before God, the Father of peoples and of nations, on behalf of our Fatherland. We stand before You aware of the seriousness of the moment, faced with the great changes, challenges, and dangers that our Fatherland is enduring. We come to You full of anxiety, but simultaneously full of unshaken faith that You are among us and that you are surrounding us with your maternal protection. It is You, O Mother, who awakens in us a feeling of responsibility for the Fatherland, for the Nation, for its welfare and its fate in the future. You pour into people's hearts courage in the defense of dignity and the rights of the working man. We recognize today our boundless trust in You. In Your hands we place our fate. With trust we cry out to You for help. Send us light, show us the way to escape from danger and social chaos. Give us unity, the spirit of love, truth, and mutual understanding, so that we might save the common good of the Fatherland by overcoming all difficulties and diverse points of view. Grant us the spirit of peace and calm consideration, so that bloodshed and war will be avoided. Defend us, so that we will not lose the independence that was achieved at such a great cost of blood by our fathers. Grant us a profound grace, a sincere renewal of the National spirit, so that all of us will strive for a personal life transformations, joining together in the great work of the social renewal of the Fatherland. O, Mother of God, Mother of Christ, who faithfully endured under the cross of Your Son, hurry to help us as well, Your children. Hear us and guide us on the way of justice, love, and peace. Amen.

How to Cite this Source

Polish Catholic Church, "Prayer for the Fatherland," Making the History of 1989, Item #10, http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/items/show/10 (accessed August 21 2014, 4:12 am).