Speaker of the Seimas on his first official visit to Vilnius to celebrate the 630th anniversary of the Baptism of Lithuania

The Marshal of the Sejm Marek Kuchciński began his visit to Vilnius with a speech in the Lithuanian Parliament. He particularly emphasized the past that unites our nations. He referred to the strength that we constituted together, common values and goals for the future. He referred to three important symbols: the miraculous picture of Our Lady and Child, Jagiełło and Saint Casimir.

According to the Marshal, the cooperation should be based on the principle of security, concern for sovereignty, NATO, the European Union, democratic foundations in international relations, that is "nothing about us without us" and "free with free, equal with equal". An important point of the speech was the issue of Polish minority in Lithuania. - The opportunities for cooperation are enormous, but not always fully utilized. Strategic partnership must mean respect for minority rights. Friends are sincere with each other. Therefore, let us remember that Poles who live in Lithuania, just like Lithuanians who live in Poland, are heirs of our common state. These citizens deserve respect for their rights regarding property, culture, education, language and presence in public space. Standing before you in the Parliament of Lithuania, as the Speaker of the Seimas of the Republic of Poland, I would like to appeal to you, the Members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, that when taking decisions concerning the citizens of the Republic of Poland, you take into account their expectations and our common interests. For the sake of the past and the future I appeal for the courage that our ancestors had 630 years ago, for good will and friendly understanding - said Kuchciński.

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During the meeting with the President of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania Viktoras Pranckietis, the Speaker of the Seimas talked, among others, about historical, security, energy, parliamentary cooperation, infrastructural issues such as Via Baltica, Via Carpatia. The Speaker of the Seimas stressed that it is important for him to recall common historical roots, when Poland and Lithuania formed a great multinational Polish-Lithuanian union. We should draw conclusions from this for the future and develop cooperation to ensure security of citizens. - The past teaches us that when we were together we were great and strong. We were able to decide on the fate of Europe," said the Speaker of the Sejm. - The more frequent our contacts are, the better our cooperation. We are referring to the times of President Lech Kaczyński, who visited Lithuania 16 times during his presidency," the Speaker said.

KU212221KU211564 KU211704 KU211839 The Speaker of the SAejm visited Lithuania at the invitation of the President of the Seimas on the occasion of the 630th anniversary of the Baptism. The highlight of the visit was the opening of an exhibition dedicated to Gerson's monumental work "The Baptism of Lithuania." The painting was created for an exhibition in Paris, where it was appreciated and awarded a silver medal. After that its fate was not the best, as it ended up from hand to hand, even on the walls of an inn. A few years ago it was found and returned to Poland. It is currently on permanent display at the John Paul II Collection Museum in Warsaw. At the exhibition in Vilnius, the restored painting is being shown for the first time after a break of more than 120 years.

- Today's solemn meeting in the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania in Vilnius is a journey to the sources of our history, to the event which 630 years ago united Poland and Lithuania. It is also a tribute to the greatness of this heritage as well as a reflection on contemporary Poles and Lithuanians, mutual relations and contemporary values. 630 years ago Grand Duke Jogaila of Lithuania entered the category of great personalities who changed the history not only of their peoples but also of their environment. Lithuania became part of the Christian world and culture. The great work was done by the people who undertook it - Jogaila and Vytautas. Queen Jadwiga of Poland - Apostle of Lithuania - was counted among the saints of the Catholic Church, and the act of canonization took place on the 610th anniversary of the Baptism of Lithuania.Let me quote a passage from the prayer of the Holy Father John Paul II, who in 1993 before the Mother of Mercy said: "I thank the Mother of Christ for the fact that, after many years of suffering and trials, Lithuania and its neighboring countries have managed to emerge from the darkness of foreign occupation and persecution, enforced silence about God and an overpowering lack of basic freedoms," the Speaker said.

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The Speaker of the Sejm, together with the Polish delegation, visited the Rossa Cemetery, the grave of Jozef Pilsudski's mother, where an urn with the commander's heart is also buried. He also paid homage to Polish soldiers resting in the cemetery in Antokol, who died in 1919-1921 in battles against the Bolsheviks.



Pieta. Cemetery in Antokol

During the meeting at the Polish Institute with Poles living in Lithuania, the Speaker of the Seimas assured of support in solving problems, among others in the sphere of education.


Our Lady of Ostra Brama

I would like to thank you for today's ceremony, which is a journey to the sources of our faith and our community, which have survived many centuries, giving both nations the strength of spirit and the power of creation. The marriage of Queen Jadwiga and Grand Duke of Lithuania was a real marriage of Poland and Lithuania. This historical act made possible the voluntary union of the two countries, which began to take shape after the Union of Kreva and the Baptism of Lithuania, which found a formal legal dimension in the Union of Lublin, and later in the Mutual Assent of the Two Nations of 1791. The Polish-Lithuanian bond was then strengthened by a joint struggle for the restitution of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 19th century, and above all by the November and January Uprisings," said the Marshal of the Sejm during his official visit to Lithuania.


Photo: Pawel Kula



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