“The scenery was special because there was an altar on one side, which was somewhat near the gate but behind the fence, where the bus park was located, a bus depot. And behind the fence there were thousands of people that gathered. And the whole situation, something that was in the air, something important was taking place, it all caused an anxiety, tension within me. The mass started and was carried out as [planned]. And now - I can say, it is possible that I should have spoken: “a sagacious inspiration appeared, I am now allowed to say something before the blessing at the end of the mass, before releasing them home. So, I allowed myself to appraise the situation, not the political way or so, but just the recognition that everything that is happening is a good thing to happen, right? It is a will of the society, a will of workers and right demands. I recognized everything and said that I supported it. I wanted people to understand that I, as a representative of the Church, supported them."
“Then an idea came to my mind, it caused the tension to go away and to improve [atmosphere]. When I came up with a bit funny idea, but it caused the solidarity to act. I remember that I said: in a moment, all of you, standing behind the fence and praying, will return home to drink hot tea or eat warm supper while, those who started the protest will stay here. And we cannot be sure that they have something to feed themselves. So I said - put your hands in pockets and check whether there is a penny inside, and throw it above the fence. I don’t know but personally I name this situation as a strange arch of solidarity because at some point these coins formed such an arch, when coins were flying above the fence.”
Wrocław, Polska, 25.11.2015
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A peculiar arc of solidarity
Stanisław Orzechowski was born in Kobylin on 7.11.1939 as a son of Stanisław and Franiszka. He graduated from Wrocław Secondary Technical School of Building where he passed the final exam in 1957. In 1958 he entered Seminary in Wrocław where he received holy orders in 1964. Since 1967 he had been a university priest for students in Wrocław and then became the priest of workers and railway men. During the strike at a bus depot on 28.08.1980 he conducted the Holy Mass for THE strikers. He participated in the hunger strike of railway men. During the martial law he commenced an initiative of weekly Masses for the Motherland. Cardinal Gulbinowicz granted him with the function of diocesan priest of the workers. Since 1981 he has led diocesan pilgrimages to Jasna Góra Monastery. He was a close friend of priest Jerzy Popiełuszko.