3rd of May in Poland
3rd of May in Poland03.05.2007
The 3rd of May is both a national and religious holiday in Poland. The day is free of work and various celebrations take place all over the country.
216 years ago, in the year 1791, Poland adopted a Constitution - the first modern act of this kind in Europe and the second in the world, after that of the United States.
In 1791 the 3rd of May was established as the Constitution Day. After World War 2, communist authorities in Poland replaced the Constitution Day with a communist Labor Day on May 1 and in 1951 they declared illegal the celebration of the Constitution Day. After the fall of Communism in Poland, since 1990, May 3rd is again the national holiday in Poland.
To mark the 216th anniversary of the Constitution of the Third of May, Polish president Lech Kaczyński, House Speaker Ludwik Dorn, Warsaw Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz and other prominent figures attended a solemn Mass in the Church of the Holy Cross in Warsaw.
In the homily, bishop Tadeusz Płoski talked about the history of the Polish nation, which was always connected to the Church. He stressed the special role of the Marian devotion in Poland and the significance of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa as a symbol of national and religious freedom.
Following the Mass, president Lech Kaczynski paid tribute to national heroes at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the center of Warsaw. In the afternoon, the President is scheduled to award national honors to distinguished persons, including a posthumous award to the famous Polish poet, Zbigniew Herbert.
Parallel to the national holiday, Poland is celebrating a Catholic Feast of Mary, the Queen of Poland, which was established in 1923 by Pope Pius XI.
The most famous Marian sanctuary in Poland in Czestochowa, home of the icon of the Black Madonna, marks today's feast with special prayers for the weakest among people, including ill persons and children before birth. During a special Mass, spiritual adoption vows were made, followed by a series of services dedicated to the defense of people before birth, the sick, and the elderly.