Prayer for the Fatherland
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.
This source is a part of the The Catholic Church in Poland, 1950-2000 teaching module.
Prayer for the Fatherland
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.
Source: Listy pasterskie Prymasa Polski oraz Episkopatu 1975-1981,
trans. Brian Porter, (Paris: Éditions du Dialogue, 1988).
Listy pasterskie Prymasa Polski oraz Episkopatu 1975-1981, trans. Brian Porter, (Paris: Éditions du Dialogue, 1988).