“The entire wing of the offices was occupied by the secret agents because they needed to get into the crowd. So, it was ... But a similar scenario was at every pilgrimage. That was all controlled. Not even ordinary people knew that was the case.” - “Well, how did it feel when the various speeches began there?” - “Well, you know, it was great that they started the Peace Party after all. If the speeches were at the end, no one would listen. But that made the people angry because everyone went to the Mass. A young lady from Slovakia stood beside me, saying, 'Sister, isn't that a holy mass?' - 'Don't worry, hold on!' Because we were all crowded in such a press. But as they started, they asked for it. And it went. That was amazing, I will never forget it. Even though the Cardinal returned, he had to have lunch with them at Svetlov, so Cardinal Tomasek said: 'I told them. Don't do it. And so he smiled ... It was obvious that he was absolutely satisfied that it took such a turn. That was really wonderful.”
“The bishop meant a lot to me, back then he was not a cardinal yet, Tomášek. I talked a lot to him because I was from his diocese too. And he had never forgotten when he came to Velehrad, so he stopped to see me. I was in the meadow with the disabled children, and he was the only executive bishop, because there were none before it started. Then there was one in Brno and so on. He always asked, he did not make an idle talk. He always hit a few sentences. I very much remember him, certainly Mr. Cardinal. And one met more personalities there. For example, Cardinal Špidlík brought a former general to Velehrad. He is already dead, in the legends of the Saint, Pedro Arrupe. He was such a character ... He shone. I was lucky to have met a lot of such people, spiritual greats.”
“And now that the twenty-first of August came, we were in the church in the evening [before], where we celebrated the 25th birthday of our chaplain. We went home, it was about ten o'clock, and in the morning, because we overslept, we couldn't hear the plane's raid. I went to work in the morning, by the tram, it did not go. Nothing anywhere. I didn't turn on the radio, so I went back home and said, 'Mom, play the radio, something's going on.' I go on foot. And it was about an hour journey to the Lesser Town, so I saw that somewhere by the Radio studio, I went from the back, there was shooting, smoke. It never occurred to me that this could happen. I ran in the back. I avoided the back of Wenceslas Square and walked along Národní třída. They played the anthem; people were crying. I thought I was from a different world. I don't even know what's going on. And I met a musician who lived in the Lesser Town, and he says, 'That's terrible, isn't it?' And I say, 'Sir, I don't know what's terrible.' There are already tanks at the National Theater.”
We are not only for ourselves in the world, but for others
Marie Dudová was born on July 12, 1947 in Pravonín in the Podblanicko region as the oldest of three sisters. Her father‘s family lost their butcher‘s trade after 1948. They have lived in Nusle in Prague since she was five. There she attended the first grade of elementary school and also the church of St. Dean Alois Tylínek. In 1959 the family moved to Vršovice, where Marie graduated in Přípotoční Street the so-called 12 years school. After graduating in 1965, she joined the Pragokoncert as an accountant. In 1968, she experienced the August occupation in Prague and participated in a commemoration of Jan Palach. In April 1969 she joined the Congregation of Sisters Cyril and Methodius based in Velehrad. As a medical worker with a new nun name, Sister Vaclava worked at the Institute of Social Care for Youth in the premises of the pilgrimage house in Stojanov. In July 1985 she attended the so-called Peace Festival at Velehrad, and in November 1989 she was present at the canonization of Svatá Anežka Česká in Vatican. She still lives and works at Velehrad in the pilgrimage house Stojanov.