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Sunday, 17 October 2010

President and First Lady visit Rome and the Vatican


On 15th-17th October 2010, the President of Poland, Bronisław Komorowski, and the First Lady, Anna Komorowska, visited the Republic of Italy and the Holy See.

On Friday afternoon, following his meeting with Giorgio Napolitano, the President of Italy, Bronisław Komorowski announced that he had invited Napolitano to visit Poland and that the invitation had been accepted. The talks between the two presidents focused on issues connected with the future of the EU and its relations with countries located south and east of it. Komorowski emphasized the importance of Italy's involvement in the Union for the Mediterranean project and the participation of Poland in the Eastern Partnership.

He added that he will take part in meetings between eight European presidents dedicated to discussing the future of the EU.

Komorowski further emphasized that Poland and Italy have very similar attitudes towards the principles which constituted the basis of the EU at its creation, which are its foundation now, and which will determine its future shape. In this light, he enumerated the importance of such values as the observance of human and civil rights, free market principles, and sensitivity to democratic principles being followed in countries neighbouring the EU.

In the evening, Bronisław Komorowski awarded the Commander's Cross with Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland to Mr. S. Morawski, as well as Medals of Gratitude from the European Solidarity Centre to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Solidarity movement. The awards ceremony took place at the Polish Embassy in Italy.

On the second day of the visit, the First Couple went to the Vatican Grottoes to take part in a holy mass, presided over by His Eminence Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz at the vault of Holy Father John Paul II. After the mass, the president met His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. After the private meeting, with only an interpreter present, Anna Komorowska and other members of the Polish deputation joined Bronisław Komorowski.
Afterwards, Komorowski and his wife held an official breakfast in honour of the Secretary of the State, His Eminence Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

In the afternoon, the First Couple and the Polish deputation visited the Polish Military Cemetery at Monte Cassino and then went to the Benedictine abbey on the peak of Monte Cassino.

On Sunday, the canonization mass of Rev. Stanisław Kazimierczyk (a Cracow monk living from 1433 to 1489) took place on the square in front of Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.



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