Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Poland's "Elvis Stamp"

The Polish National Bank recently released a 50 Zloty banknote bearing the image of Pope John Paul II. The back is interesting: The famous moment during JP2's installation on October 22, 1978, when Pope Wojtyla kissed the hand of Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski, the Primate of Poland, as Wyszynski and the rest of the Cardinals of the world approached the Holy Father to show their respect. The quote comes from the Pope's address made on October 23, 1978, to Polish pilgrims who had come to Rome for his installation. During the audience, Pope John Paul turned to Card. Wyszynski and said, "There would not be a Polish pope at the Holy See if not for your faith, not backing down when faced with prison and suffering, your heroic hope." Underneath their embrace are the episcopal mottos of both men: Pope John Paul's "Totus Tuus" and Card. Wyszynski's "Soli Deo".

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