A pair of rather gruff members of the local constabulary woke me up very early in my bus shelter next morning, but once i’d explained myself they let me lie in for a bit longer. After a coffee back at the diner i charted a course for Chojnow, where i acknowledged the same two policemen as they drove past in their motor. In the evening i reached the medium-sized city of Legnica. The youth hostel to which a helpful English-speaking fellow pointed me was fully booked, so i opted for a mid-priced but very comfortable hotel bed, and caught up with some laundry. After Sunday Mass at St James’ Sanctuary, as it was called, nearby, that day’s stroll was a pleasant one in sunny weather through undemanding terrain to Sroda Slaska. The police who quizzed me there felt i should go to a hotel, but they didn’t insist, so i walked on to the far edge of town and spent the night in another field, by a cola packing depot.
|Tomb of Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko, Warsaw|
“A Christian’s obligation is to stand by the truth, even if it were to cost a great deal, because one pays a great deal for truth; only chaff costs nothing.”
|Old Town, Wroclaw|
|Nuthatch, just visible in centre of picture|
Having passed through the bigger town of Olesno without finding a Church in time for Saturday evening Mass, after a picnic supper i pressed on in the dark to the next village, where a little green neon sign betokened an inn. It was busy inside but a young lady customer kindly volunteered to help with English, and i readily agreed to pay for a mid-range, very comfortable room. In the morning i went to 8 o’clock Mass a short distance away, where the Gospel was the temptation of Our Lord in the wilderness, then came back for breakfast. As i was enjoying that delicious spread, the manageress came by, and asked a few questions in excellent English. She said she too was a Catholic - and tearfully insisted on reimbursing the money i’d paid for my stay! I could hardly refuse such kindness, and assured her, of course, of my prayers and hope to write, but thankfully was also able to leave a little card with an image of St Maximilian Kolbe*, from a stained glass window at the Church of Our Lady of Ostrabrama, Bristol.
*The Polish Franciscan priest who famously accepted martyrdom, by starvation and then lethal injection, in the place of another at the Auschwitz concentration camp.