John Paul II in the Centennial Hall

John Paul II in the Centennial HallEcumenical prayer led by John Paul II during the Eucharistic Congress on 31 May 1997 was one of the most significant events in the history of Centennial Hall. The Holy Father’s Sixth Pilgrimage to Poland according to his wish coincided with the 46th International Eucharistic Congress held in Wrocław under the same theme, i.e. Jesus Christ, the same Yesterday and Today and For Ever.

John Paul II appeared in the Centennial Hall in the morning hours, where he was enthusiastically welcomed by ten thousand worshippers – pilgrims and congress guests from more than 70 countries as well as representatives of other Christian Churches and religions. 16 cardinals, numerous bishops, priests and representatives of the state authorities led by the President of the Republic of Poland stayed in the Centennial Hall.

The song “Boże, obdarz Kościół Twój jednością i pokojem” (Lord, bless your Church with unity and peace) started the meeting. After the Holy Father’s speech often interrupted by applause, worshippers prayed in Italian, German, French, Spanish, Russian, English and Polish. “Every return to Poland, is like returning under the familiar roof of family home, where every smallest thing remind us (…) of what is closest and dearest to our heart” – confessed John Paul II in his speech.