On the morning of Tuesday, 23 December 2014, pro-life champion Mary Wagner was arrested after entering the Bloor West Village Women’s Clinic. Prior to her arrest, she had been distributing pro-life pamphlets and pregnancy support information to the women who were scheduled for abortions that morning.
Her courageous story has touched the hearts of pro-lifers in Poland. In support of Mary, her Polish supporters have organized a peaceful demonstration outside the Canadian Embassy in Warsaw, Poland on Thursday, 8 January.
Jane Wagner, Mary’s mother, wrote a letter to the Polish people thanking them for their support of Mary. Jane graciously consented to let Catholic Insight publish the letter on our website and in a future magazine issue. She has also consented to write an article for Catholic Insight. Here is the text of Jane’s letter to Mary’s Polish supporters:
Dear Jacek, and all of you good people in Poland,
I thank you from the deepest places in my heart for your love and support of my daughter, Mary. I think that you, as a nation, truly understand what Mary is doing, and because of this, and because of your greatness of heart, Mary has had more support from you than anywhere else in the world combined. I can see why the great Pope St. John Paul came from amongst you! Indeed, you are truly a blessing to Mary and to the babies she speaks for.
In Canada, there is very little support for Mary, even amongst Catholics. Mary spent 3 months at home with us, which was such a gift. But not once was she asked to speak at our Church or at any parish on Vancouver Island. When she arrived in Poland, she was constantly invited to speak for Life.
I think that Canadians are blinded by the idea of the Law, a law that is clearly wrong, and yet it seems that they see only the law. They fear anarchy, if one can break the law to win an argument. There is a real spiritual death in our country, even, if I may dare say so, amongst the clergy. I have almost never heard words from the pulpit condemning abortion or abortifacient contraceptives. It is no wonder that Canadian Catholics have abortions almost as often as other Canadians. Our priests are strangely silent, for the most part. Our bishops are no different. They love peace: they don’t want confrontation, they don’t want change, they don’t want to be uncomfortable. They are willing to compromise with evil just to keep people happy and quiet. For Canadian people the status quo is something they are comfortable with and they choose to not consider what abortion is, beyond a woman’s right to choose. They don’t ever want to rock the boat, in case they get wet.
Peace and joy abound in Mary. She understands that true peace cannot be wrought by complacency with evil, and that without the Truth, we are all empty pots. She knows that her worth is in Christ, and that she is simply His servant. She does whatever He tells her to do, and so she has peace and joy in abundance. Sometimes Christ comes to us in other people; in Mary’s case, He came to her through your people in Poland, and through the handful of people she has here. Her time with you prepared her for the wasteland of her fight in Canada. Her love for Mother Theresa and for Pope St. John Paul has shaped her life, and your people continue to give her hope and support as she goes forward.
Mary is not unhappy in prison. I know that she would prefer to be free, but she is wise enough to know that wherever God leads her, He has work for her to do that will satisfy her soul. I also know that she does suffer in prison, as do all prisoners: they are not often treated with the dignity due to them as part of the human family; they suffer from lack of privacy, lack of freedom, constant noise, and sometimes from the elements of cold and hunger as well. But Mary is there with hope, because this life is finite, and God sees and knows all things. She brings Him to others through her gentle and prayerful presence. She is a small beacon of light behind the bars. When I told her that I was worried about her going back to prison, that she is small and there are some dangerous people there, she smiled and said: “Don’t worry, Mama. They love me in there.” I keep these words in my heart and hope they remain true.
God bless Poland! Thank you for being there for Mary. Don’t give up your efforts!
Photo courtesy of Mary Wagner W Polsce Facebook page.