(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis made a courtesy visit to the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, on Wednesday afternoon, following his encounter with civil authorities, civil society leaders, and the diplomatic corps, and ahead of his scheduled private meeting with the Bishops of Poland, at the beginning of his five-day Apostolic Journey to the native land of his predecessor, Pope St. John Paul II.
The Holy Father presented President Duda with a gift: the official commemorative medal of the visit, depicting the “Black Madonna” – a famous image of the Mother of God and an object of intense devotion – on one side, the logo of the 31st World Youth Day on the other.
Please find a detailed description of the medal, below
The commemorative medal of the Apostolic Journey depicts the Black Virgin of Czestochowa and the logo of the 31st World Youth Day, work of the artist Daniela Longo. The symbolism of the logo unites, in an evocative way, several elements of this World Youth Day. Its theme is taken from the Gospel of Matthew “Blessed are the merciful , for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7). A cross at the center of the medal refers to Christ who is the core of the World Youth Day. Two rays, one red and the other blue/light blue, emanate from the cross, representing the rays of the Divine Mercy. They are the blood and water flowing from the side of Christ, as seen in the image described by Saint Faustina Kowalska. The rays are intertwined with the arms of a young man embracing the cross. The logo is positioned within a coat of arms shaped like Poland. The head of the young man indicates the geographical location of Krakow, while the colors being used, blue, red and yellow, refer to the official colors of the town.
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