one of Górecki’s best-known pieces of sacred choral music. It sets a text by Maria
Bogusławska, a poet associated with Warsaw Theological Academy (now the Cardinal
Stefan Wyszyński University. It was Rev. Prof. Jerzy Pikulik and the
choirmaster of the Academy’s choir, Father Kazimierz Szymonik, who requested a
composition based on the words of Pope John Paul II’s well-known motto and
provided him with Bogusławska’s poem. The piece was to be performed by the Warsaw
Theological Academy Choir during the pope’s third pilgrimage to his native
country, scheduled for June 1987.
Górecki, for whom John Paul II was most dear, eagerly
took up this idea and wrote the beautiful, extremely moving Totus Tuus, in which the word ”Maria” is
sung by the choir many times in the opening and at the end. The work was
performed twice during the pope’s visit: on 8 June on the airport apron
directly after the welcoming ceremony, and on 14 June before the holy mass in
Defilad Square in Warsaw. The composition, in which the Marian cult fuses with
admiration for John Paul II’s work and ideas, was dedicated to the Polish Pope.