In his Message for the World Day of Peace in 2004, John Paul II made this appeal: “Humanity needs now more than ever to rediscover the path of concord, overwhelmed as it is by selfishness and hatred, by the thirst for power and the lust for vengeance.” In a similar tone, Benedict XVI encouraged us to “offer new hope to the world” because “peace is not a dream or something utopian; it is possible.”
World Prayer for Peace Center
Twelve countries from around the world will establish Peace Chapels – “Twelve stars in the Crown of Mary, Queen of Peace”. Despite being separated by time and distance, the chapels will collectively form the World Prayer for Peace Center. Each chapel, protected by the Mother of God, will carry out perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
These “Prayer for Peace Centers” will be located on every continent. They will especially target areas affected by war, religious conflict and racial hatred. They shall be placed where people have the strongest hope for peace and reconciliation and where they seek Christ, the true source of these blessings.
Artists Mariusz and Kamil DRAPIKOWSKI from Gdansk, Poland, have created special adoration altars for the Twelve Stars project. Each altar is fashioned as an icon, based on the work and prayers of the design team. The altars’ high level of workmanship places them among the most beautiful works of modern sacred art.
In January of 2015, as Pope Francis made an apostolic visit to the Philippines, representatives of the “Queen of Peace Community” met with the President of the Philippine Episcopate to discuss the establishment of the seventh Prayer for Peace Center in Dagupan. This project is being implemented and will be finalized shortly.
Niepokalanów – the Eighth “Star”
The construction of the World Prayer for Peace Center has, above all, a spiritual dimension. Its purpose is to unite the peace prayers of people around the world into one continuous and harmonious voice.
Among the twelve countries hosting Prayer for Peace Centers is Poland, and more specifically, Niepokalanów, the “friary-city” founded by St. Maximilian M. Kolbe.
In November of 2017, members of the “Queen of Peace Community” approached Friar Wiesław PYZIO, the Minister Provincial of the Friars Minor Conventual Province of the Immaculate Mother of God in Poland (Warsaw). They asked if they could establish the World Prayer for Peace Center in the Basilica of Niepokalanów. The request was accepted immediately. Niepokalanów will soon be the eighth star in Mary’s crown. The Center’s inauguration will take place on September 1, 2018.
The Basilica of Niepokalanów has always favored perpetual adoration. The idea of creating the Prayer Center there has been a long term goal and expresses the great spiritual need of the local Franciscans, the parishioners, and the visiting pilgrims. The heart of the World Prayer for Peace Center will be the basilica’s perpetual adoration chapel. The Pastor, Friar Andrzej SĄSIADEK, OFM Conv., talked about some of the special circumstances surrounding the chapel project:
“The construction of the adoration chapel required a renovation of the basilica. I turned to our friary archives and asked for photos documenting how the construction of the church had previously been carried out. In addition to the photos, I also received a letter from St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, who, in 1934, wrote to a brother from his mission in Japan, about how he imagined the Niepokalanów basilica and … the adoration altar of the Blessed Sacrament! … I was surprised that our project coincides with St. Maximilian Kolbe’s own vision of the chapel!”
In the aforementioned letter, Saint Maximilian wrote: I imagine a beautiful image of the Immaculate on the high altar, and in the background, between her open hands … the monstrance of the perpetual exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The friars adore in turn. Whoever enters the chapel of the basilica shall fall to his knees, adore, gaze upon the face of the Immaculate and then depart. She, however, together with our Lord Jesus, will find a solution for his prayer (Nagasaki, May 17, 1934).
The altar in the adoration chapel will be made of gold, silver and crystal. At the center of the altar there will be a life-sized figure of the Madonna, made of silver, with open hands in a gesture of invitation. Christ present in the Eucharist will be displayed in a monstrance below Mary’s heart. The host will measure 20 cm (8 in.) in diameter and be illuminated. The monstrance will protrude from a flared opening in Mary’s clothing. Mary herself will be surrounded by a crown of silver lilies. The lilies will also be reflected in successive layers of crystal. They will be illuminated from below, along with the rays of the sun that shine around Mary. This will create a luminous, almost ethereal glow, similar to the one that surrounded Mary during her apparitions in Lourdes, Fatima and Guadalupe. One of the crystal layers will contain twelve polished gemstones symbolizing the twelve stars from the apocalyptic vision described in the Gospel of St. John. The stars also appear on the Miraculous Medal of Niepokalanów.
“It is incredible,” the Pastor added, “but it turns out that our project satisfies what St. Maximilian M. Kolbe had in mind almost 100 years ago”!
Opening the Peace Chapel in Niepokalanów was made possible by support from the President of the Polish Episcopal Conference, the Most Reverend Stanisław GĄDECKI, Archbishop of Poznań, Poland; by His Eminence, Kazimierz Cardinal NYCZ, Metropolitan Archbishop of Warsaw, Poland; by Friar Wiesław PYZIO, Minister Provincial of the Province of the Immaculate Mother of God in Poland (Warsaw), and Friar Grzegorz Maria SZYMANIK, Guardian of the Niepokalanów friary.
Communications Office- based on news releases
More at: http://kaplica.niepokalanow.pl/