Sand from Singapore’s National Stadium now has a special place in a museum built in honour of St John Paul II in Wadowice, Poland.
The idea to fly the sand from Singapore came about when tour guide, Mr Ivan Lui from Faith Tours, during one of his previous trips, found out that the museum had started a collection of sand and soil from places where the late pope visited. The museum asked Mr Lui to collect the sand.
Arrangements were made and Archbishop William Goh officially acknowledged its origin.
“His Grace was most gracious and offered every assistance to have the honour of having Singapore remembered in this special museum,” Mr Lui said.
It was also decided that the sand should be taken from the National Stadium as St John Paul II celebrated Mass there on a rainy Nov 20, 1986.
Mr Lui, along with spiritual director, Fr Paul Goh and 34 people from parishes in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia, went on pilgrimage to the late pope’s hometown in Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic.
When they arrived at the museum in Widowice on Oct 20, Mr Lui brought the sand with him, together with the letter from the archbishop.
The pilgrims were also treated to an array of memorabilia on display – photographs of the pope donated by people from all over the world, his bedroom and personal belongings as well as the gun used by his would-be assassin.
Sr Benedykta Mazur was their guide for the tour of the museum.
The presentation was done in the room which showcased St John Paul II’s journey and visits to many countries all over the world. Fr Paul Goh, on behalf of Archbishop William Goh, did the honour of presenting the sand to Sr Benedykta, who accepted it on behalf of the museum.
As pontiff, St John Paul II visited nearly 130 countries.
By Rachel Tee