Tonight, Christians all over the world celebrate the All Saints’ Day. In Poland, this is a special time when families commemorate their loved ones who have died. The parish priest of the St. Augustine church, prelate Walenty Królak, reminded us that on this day we honour the memory of those who gave us so much.

“The saints are the example of living good lives. Hence, the Church wants to honour their memory and thank them for their lives. It is very important, because they remind us that we will all depart from this world at some point and that it is up to us how we live our lives, so we may meet them in heaven.” said pr. Królak.

As the Polish government decided, cemeteries across the country are closed. Nonetheless, pr. Zbigniew Godlewski, the rector of the St. Joseph parish, sees a bright side to the difficult situation we’re in.

“Today we realise that apart from the flowers and candles, the most important gift we can give is the gift of prayer.” comments pr. Godlewski.

Father Godlewski also appeals to us to remember about our living relatives, especially the elderly who might need our help in the time of the pandemic.

“We can volunteer to take care of our seniors. Everyone is talking about this left and right. The youth beautifully responded to this appeal. However, before we start looking for elderly elsewhere, let’s remember our own parents, grandparents or neighbours.” he adds.

The closed cemeteries mean that the businesses of producers of flowers and candles will suffer significant losses. The Powązki Cemetery Charity Collection initiated by Jerzy Waldorff on November 1st 1975 will also have trouble. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced that the government will support those businesses.

“As a result of the decision to close the cemeteries for the next three days, we will prepare a special support fund for entrepreneurs who will have suffered losses. The details will be presented next week.” tweeted the head of the Polish government.

For the past decades, the Powązki Cemetery in Warsaw has been a place gathering volunteers and people of culture, science and politics. This year, due to the pandemic, the charity collection events are taking place online. Last year, a record amount of 280 thousand zloty was collected.