John Paul II “has made an invaluable contribution to the history of Poland, of Europe, of the world and to the history of the universal Church”, this was written by the Polish bishops in a message that will be read out in all the churches of the country next Sunday, 17th May, the day before the 100th anniversary of Karol Wojtyla’s birth. In the document, drawn up “in the difficult times of the pandemic”, they point out that, “if the Pope were still alive now he would have certainly understood very well the people who live in seclusion and in quarantine due to the pandemic”. The prelates recall the life of the Pontiff, “who was the victim of two totalitarianisms: international and national socialism”, and mention his “still relevant” lessons. The message ends with the words written by Pope Francis in his preface to the book “S. John Paul II, 100 years, words and images”, published by Lev, and with an encouragement to pray “for the end of the pandemic, for the sick, for the dead and their families, for the medical and paramedical staff as well as for all those who risk their lives for our safety”. And this, in the hope that “the hundredth anniversary of the Polish Pope’s birth may be, for everyone, a call to fraternity and unity, and a source of hope and confidence in God’s mercy”.