The pilgrimage to Italy commemorates the 80th anniversary of the formation of General Anders’ Army. This is a unique pilgrimage along the combat route of the 2nd Corps of General Anders, in the presence of the last surviving soldiers. The military men also visited the Polish church of St. Stanislaus in Rome.
“The St. Stanislaus church has been a Polish church since the 16th century, it is an extremely important place on the pilgrim’s route, on the map of Rome. It is also an extremely important place for the soldiers of the 2nd Polish Corps. Here they prayed with their commander, General Władysław Anders, when they came to Rome in 1945. Practically everything in this church says that Poland in this eternal city has always stood faithfully by the side of the Holy See,” Jan Józef Kasprzyk , head of the Office for Veterans and Victims of Oppression said.
Usually the veterans go for a pilgrimage to Italy every year. Recently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tradition was interrupted, but now after a small break they have come again to bow down to their colleagues who died here and to pay tribute to their commander.
A total of eight veterans of General Anders’ 2nd Corps are participating in the ranks of the numerous delegation. With their presence, they commemorate the 80th anniversary of the formation of the unit.
Gen. Anders’ Army was a Polish military formation formed in the Soviet Union out of Polish deportees and POWs who were taken by the Red Army following its joint invasion of Poland in 1939 together with Nazi Germany. It was initially supposed to fight against Nazi Germany on the eastern front but was evacuated through British-held areas in the Middle East and transported to the Italian front.
On Saturday, the veterans were in the Vatican, where they prayed at the tomb of St. John Paul II, they also paid tribute at the monument to Marshal Józef Piłsudski.