Sunday marked the 21st Papal memorial day

On Sunday, Polish Catholics celebrated Pope John Paul II Day. After his visit to Poland in 1999, the Polish Catholic Church established the Work of the New Millennium Foundation (FDNT) to help talented youth from poorer areas of Poland.

The scholarship programme is seen as a “living memorial of the Pope”. Thanks to the help they receive they can achieve their dreams. “It gave me a better start in my adult life,” Patrycja, one of the scholarship holders said.

“I met a wonderful community that is the foundation family and I am truly happy that I can be a part of it,” Małgorzata, another scholarship holder stressed.

“The foundation helps nearly 2,000 young people; we have more than 5,000 graduates of this scholarship program,” Hubert Szczypek, spokesman for the Work of the New Millennium Foundation emphasised.

This year the Papal Memorial Day was held under the slogan “Do not be afraid”. These words were spoken by John Paul II in the homily inaugurating his pontificate on October 22, 1978 in St. Peter square in Rome.

The main celebrations of the Papal Day took place in Warsaw, where a mass in the Temple of Divine Providence was led by Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz. “We want to enter his teaching, get to know it, get to know his works and at the same time meet his holiness,” the Cardinal said.

Chairman of the Board of the Work of the New Millennium Foundation, Fr. Dariusz Kowalczyk announced that during Papal Day, FDNT volunteers will collect donations to finance scholarships for 2,000 students.

Pope John Paul II would say to young people that they “are the hope of this world, you are my hope”. He would also add “not to be afraid, open wide the doors to Christ,” giving hope to catholics around the world.