The Cross – the symbol of victory of good over evil- is to help people discover the value of faith and hope. The guiding principle of the construction are words of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński: “ The cross has become a great school of love and formation of human nature, a cathedral of social upbringing.”
Recent events in Poland and around the world prove the experience of the cross in personal, family and national life, giving us the chance to reflect on the real values of life. The Cross in Borki Chechelskie is to help people and the uniting Europe rediscover the greatness and majesty of God.
The idea of the Cross was born in the Jubilee Year, when throughout parishes many symbols of faith were placed. The beginning of the third millennium is the time of new technologies and an era of record breaking sky scrapers. However, this was not about breaking another record. It was meant to be incorporated into a new reality that distinguishes what was before and what is now. This Cross is to speak to a person whether he is a believer or a nonbeliever.
On the Cross there is a modern glass observation deck, from which you can admire a beautiful view, as well as reach into your thoughts, experience fear, and up on the top, see the arms of the cross as hope. The Cross was built out of steel pipes and weighs 38 tons. At night it is lit in white and red. (the Polish colors). The observation deck may be reach by a panoramic elevator.
Symbolism of the Cross
At 30 meters high (the number of years when Jesus began public preaching) there is an observation deck which symbolizes the globe. Above it there is an 18 meter high white cross. (18 years of age symbolizes maturity in our culture). The arms of the cross are 10 meters long referring to the Ten Commandments often mentioned by Jesus Christ.
Construction plans and measurements were completed by the Department of Building Structures in Rzeszów University ofTechnology under the supervision of Adam Reichhart PhD. Execution of the project began on 3rd of July 2001-the 100th anniversary of the placing of the cross on Giewont (a mountain in the Polish Tatras).
Through the Gate
In order to get to the Cross one must go through the gate. It is a 9 meter high (the time from Annunciation to the birth of Jesus) metal stucture. It is also a viewing terrace where one can admire the panorama as well as look up at the Cross. The gate is 40 meters away from the Cross, which symbolizes 40 days in the desert which Christ spent preparing for HIS cross.
The Cross stands inside the cup of a chalice, the arms face the city of Ropczyce. Looking down, the base of the chalice is the gate with white brick outling the chalice.
The chalice is a symbol of experiences and tribulations as well as hope. The victory of the cross, when on the third day Christ resurrected, is also represented in the circle with the inscription “LIFE”.
It is the life which still goes on and empowers us with Faith, Hope and Love through the Holy Spirit. The cup of the chalice is 10 meters and the distance from the gate to the cup is 40 meters which in total makes it 50 meters- the Day of Pentecost. This Day was a gift from Jesus, who sent us the Holy Spirit, which later John Paul II said will change the face of this Earth. On the outside of the gate, there is an inscription: „Ecclesia in Europa”- the title of apostolic exhortation, where in line 47 JPII asks a question: “If the Son of God comes again, will He find faith among people?”. And when winds and storms appear “ It is not the cross, but the world that is shaking”. Let’s not forget that a person needs inner peace and faith.
May this Cross and this place help us stop on the highway of life and prepare for the Jubilee of 2000 anniversary of the death of the Savior which we will celebrate in 2033.
There is a Cenacle (known as the Upper Room) near the Cross where from May to October, every first Sunday of the month at 3 pm a Mass is celebrated, preceded by Chaplet of the Divine Mercy.
The Cenacle was blessed by father Stanisław Mac on 15th September 2013.
United Europe in the Arms of the Cross
A lot has been said about the uniting Europe. However, in ethical sense Europe is majorly divided. The Cross is to help people who are lost and in search of the meaning of life and its essential values.
As Bishop of Rzeszów Jan Wątroba said: “This Cross is a landmark of Ropczyce since it has been visited not only by locals but also people from all around the country”.