On May 25, 2021, the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej DUDA, awarded the Silver Cross of Merit, a high state decoration, to our confrere Friar Michał SABATURA “for his meritorious activities carried out on behalf of the Polish community in the Republic of Turkey.”
Friar Michał is a member of the Province of the Immaculate Mother of God in Poland (Warsaw) and is affiliated ad tempus to the Provincial Custody of the Orient and the Holy Land. For some years now, he has been performing pastoral ministry at our St. Anthony of Padua Church in Istanbul. He is also the Pastor of a personal parish for the Polish community and the Administrator of the Polish Parish of Our Lady of Częstochowa in Adampol Polonezköy or “Polish Village”, a Polish enclave located on the north-eastern outskirts of Istanbul, on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. The village was founded on March 19, 1842, by Prince Adam CZARTORYSKI, who wanted Polish emigrants to Turkey “to have their own place.” Polish traditions and customs have been cultivated there ever since.
The award ceremony was held in Adampol. In his speech, President DUDA underlined the great mission of the priests who work among Polish emigrants: “I whole-heartedly thank the diocesan and religious clergy for being here and for upholding not only the Polish character, but also the Polish spirit and faith. I sometimes mention this in my speeches, when I am abroad and meeting Poles from the Polish diaspora, that the Polish clergy have played an incredibly important role for those who have left the country.” Finally, he wished: “May Our Lady of Częstochowa, the Patroness of this parish, always place you under her protection.”
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