On Polish Horseshoes, Karol Wojtyla, Accordions, and Other Possibly Polish Things

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To be honest, I never really thought much about my Polish heritage until a couple of years ago. Two momentous events sparked my interested: the reading of a biography of John Paul II and discovering my favorite lawn game Polish horseshoes. I have now come to realize that the game’s namesake is a misnomer and has no origin from Poland at all. Still when I was making my own personal set I unknowingly created the poles to mirror Poland’s flag—white on the top half and red on the bottom half. Fun fact: Can you name the nation’s flag that is the inverse of Poland’s flag [red on top and white on the bottom]? If not that is alright, I will provide the answer at the end of today’s post!

The second reason I got intrigued more and more about Poland is after reading Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves by Jason Evert. After finishing this biography I felt a closer connection to the great saint. In fact, the grace I experienced in reading this book and through the intercession of St. John Paul II were instrumental in helping me get through one of my darkest valleys of desolation I ever experienced. I highly recommend this biography and any of the Polish pope’s writings for summer reading.

Finally, I will describe my connection to third “possibly Polish thing”—accordions. My mother actually owns an accordion and played it occasionally when I was growing up. Now that I have children of my own, I am blessed to see her lug out the dusty accordion box and play a quick tune for my kids. It is on my mom’s side of the family where I have Polish ancestry. I hope to one day have both the time and the energy to do some genealogical research and create a family tree especially in relation to my Polish descent.

Until then, I urge you all to learn more about the sanctity housed in the great nation of Poland over the course of the last century. Both St. Maria Faustina and St. John Paul II were born in this Eastern European country! And I almost forgot the answer to today’s trivia question above is Indonesia!

 

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