The Polish Government has declared 2020 as the year of St. John Paul II. Whilst every year on October 16th we remember and give thanks to the Lord for having chosen Karol Wojtyła, a son of Poland, to the seat of St. Peter in Rome, this special year marks the 100th anniversary of his birth on 18th May. The evergreen attachment of not only Catholics but people of many other faiths from around the world to St. John Paul II is particularly tangible at this time.
To celebrate this centenary, an exhibition of art entitled ‘Reflection of Mystery’ has been organised by the Pomeranian Priory of the Order of St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr in Poland www.sw-stanislaw.pl, in response to the letter written on the 4th April 1999 by Pope John Paul II to artists of the world. This letter acknowledges and appreciates their unique and individual talent, encouraging them to present the mystery of God in their works.
The artistic tone of the letter is encapsulated right at its beginning – “To all who are passionately dedicated to the search for new “epiphanies” of beauty so that through their creative work as artists they may offer these as gifts to the world.“ and continues through to its end – “may your many different paths all lead to that infinite Ocean of beauty where wonder becomes awe, exhilaration, unspeakable joy…. May the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always: she is the “tota pulchra” (You are completely beautiful) portrayed by countless artists, whom Dante contemplates among the splendours of Paradise as beauty that was joy in the eyes of all the other saints”.
Twelve outstanding Polish artists have contributed their pictures to create this “ Reflection of Mystery” exhibition with the plan being for it to be shown throughout Poland and further afield. Notwithstanding, the Coronavirus has put a stop to the physical exhibition in London. Originally and in association with Fr. Dominic Robinson SJ, the exhibition was to be held in the buildings of The Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception in Central London otherwise known as the Farm Street Church https://www.farmstreet.org.uk/. However, with the unpredictability of the Covid restrictions being imposed in London and across the country it was decided to create a virtual exhibition instead with access to it through the internet.
I am sure you will enjoy viewing the thought provoking pictures and I encourage you to meditate upon their deeper meanings.
Yours in Jesus Christ through Mary
Janusz Sikora-Sikorski KC*SG
Curator and Chairman
Relief Society For Poles Trust (Charity No. 327128)