John Paul II Turns to a Prayer That Worked in Poland

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 26, 2004 ( John Paul II repeated a prayer he recited in Warsaw years ago, when he had implored for the renewal of his then Communist-oppressed homeland.

Months later, Archbishop Karol Wojtyla of Krakow was elected Pope, eventually imprinting on Poland an unexpected change in its history.

"We are drawing close to the great solemnity of Pentecost," he said today in Polish at the end of the general audience.

"Words come to mind that I pronounced 25 years ago in Victory Square in Warsaw, whose present name is Jozef Pilsudski Square: 'Send forth your Spirit and thou shalt renew the face of the earth! -- of this earth!'"

"Thinking of today's reality," the Holy Father said, "in my daily prayer I repeat those words, always timely: 'Send forth your Spirit and he will renew the face of the earth! -- of our earth!'"