St. Anne’s Hill, which was also called St. George’s Hill and Chełmska Hill, has since pagan times, played the role of a place of worship and congregation for believers. It is also regarded as the “Holy Hill of Upper Silesia”. Archbishop Alfons Nossol also called it the “Hill of faithful prayer and hope”. In the Catholic church in the Upper Silesia region, the practice was adopted to serve the believers in their national tongue, hence cardinals Jerzy Kopp (1887-1914) and his successor Adolf Bertram (1914-1945) took the decision to make the priestly ministry available to the Polish minority in the Polish language. Holy masses could be held in Polish, and religious texts did not face any obstacles in reaching the Polish-speaking parishioners. On 15 December 1921, Cardinal Bertram even issued a relevant order which was in force until 1939. The celebration of bilingual masses was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. The ban was continued by the Polish Communist authorities after the war. This time, it referred to the holding of masses in German. The need for the celebration of bilingual masses was fully accepted by Bishop Ordinary of Opole - Alfons Nossol. The first mass in German took place on St. Anne’s Hill on 4 June 1989. 

Traditions of bilingualism in worship on St Anne’s Hill date back to the 19th century. Franciscans held divine service there for each linguistic group as early as 1861 . 

In June 1983, St. Anne’s Hill was visited by Pope John Paul II. During his homily he addressed the faithful with the following words: ”Sons and Daughters of this Earth! Do not ever stop crying out in the language that was the language of your ancestors – do not ever stop crying out to God: Abba Father!” 

21.06.1983 (John Paul II – the sermon on St. Anne’s Hill)

”Strive for the forgiveness of your sins and for the forgiveness of temporal punishments as much as possible with the right internal disposition. Strive for reconciliation: above all, a deeper and deeper reconciliation with God himself in Jesus Christ and through the works of the Holy Spirit, and at the same time, reconciliation with people, whether they are near at hand or far away from you - the ones who are present on this Earth and the ones who are absent. This Earth still needs reconciliation on many levels, as I have already said in Wrocław, referring to the work of St. Hedwig”.

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