Polish President Duda visits the Shrine of Mary after a slender election victory
Andrzej Duda visited the Polish Shrine of Mary on Monday after his narrow victory in the presidential election.
Duda attended the evening prayer in the Shrine of Our Lady of Częstochowa at Jasna Góra Monastery on July 13, after winning the run-off with the Mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski.
Duda, who is affiliated with the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS), won a second term as president with 51.03 percent of the vote, and his challenger won 48.97 percent – – a difference of 422,630 votes in a country with almost 38 million inhabitants.
According to local media reports, Duda was present when Jasna Góra (Apel jasnogórski) was called, a prayer to Maria, the Queen of Poland, which is recited in the shrine every evening at 9 p.m.
The shrine administrator P. Waldemar Pastusiak is said to have acknowledged and prayed for Duda's presence: “Thank you for being here with Jasna Góra. We thank you for his testimony. On the threshold of the second term, we put him in your hands, Maria, and in all matters of our home country, and we believe that you will always be with him. "
Podobnie jak 5 lat temu, tuż po wyborze, na # JasnaGóra przybył @prezydentpl Andrzej Duda. Weźmie udział w wieczornej modlitwie Polaków # ApelJasnogórski. To kolejna pielgrzymka głowy państwa polskiego #Sanktuarium pic.twitter.com/wqkplim1Qg
– JasnaGoraNews (@JasnaGoraNews), July 13, 2020
The auxiliary bishop of Częstochowa, Andrzej Przybylski, also spoke, as the local media stated: “God bless our beloved homeland, Poland, all Poles. Bless the president of the most glorious republic in this new phase of his national service. "
“Listen, God, at the great wish of you and our mother, the Queen of Poland of Częstochowa, that we, her Polish children, live in harmony and unity, that we have God in our hearts, because only He can empower us to really to love and to reconcile, to connect Poland wisely and to revive it spiritually. "
Western media reports portrayed 48-year-old Duda as the preferred candidate for the Catholic Church. On June 10, he signed a "family charter" against same-sex marriage and adoption, and committed to "protecting children from LGBT ideology."
In the run-up to the first round of the presidential election, the Polish Bishops' Conference tried not to get involved in partisan debates.
In May, the bishops debated whether the elections should take place despite the coronavirus pandemic.
They called on lawmakers to solve the problem while complying with the principles of the Polish constitution, and stressed that they did not "want to have political disputes about the form or timing of the elections, let alone advocate this or that solution".
The Polish Bishops' Conference had not published an official response to the election result until July 14th.
Duda visited Jasna Góra shortly after his first victory in the 2015 presidential election. In March of that year, he also visited the shrine to participate in prayers to end the coronavirus pandemic.