National Geographic : 1988 Jan
A SEA OFADULATION greets PopeJohn PaulII as he celebrates Mass before a crowd of more than 750,000 wor shipers in Gdariskin June 1987. Wherever he traveled during his thirdvisit to his homeland since becoming Pope,John Paul en countered welcomes, such as this window in Lublin (left) decorated with a Polishflag and picturesof the Pope and the Black Madonna of Czgstochowa, the most revered icon of Polish Catholicism.Dur ing the Pope's appearancein Gdynia, a man proclaimedhis unwaveringfaith by holding up a crucifix during the entire service (right). The Pope delighted his audi ences and angered government authoritiesby repeatedly voicing supportfor the Solidarity union, driven undergroundsince being outlawed in 1981. "I prayfor my motherland andfor you workers," the Pope told the crowd in Gdarisk,the Baltic seaportcity where the union was organized. "I pray for the special heritage of PolishSolidarity." Following the Mass, some 10,000 persons marched beneath Solidarity ban ners throughthe streets of Gdarisk until police broke up the demonstration. In a further act of supportJohn Paulmet with Solidarityleader Lech Walgsa and visited the gravesite of the Reverend Jerzy Popieluszko, a pro-Solidarity priestkilled by Polish secret police in 1984. The Pope also said that if Poland institutedreforms leadingto more freedoms, the Vatican might establishdiplo matic ties with the country, a first among Eastern-blocnations.