This event, held for the first time in Austria in 2005, was repeated this year in all the Catholic dioceses of the Czech Republic. The lights of 420 churches shone in the dark up until midnight, inviting everyone to participate in a variety of activities specially prepared for the occasion.
The visitors, many of them non-believers who ordinarily would never have entered a church, stopped in to take guided tours, listen to music, visit displays and spend a little time in silence and prayer.
The FSP book center in Prague, which is next door to a church that was visited by about 2200 people, remained open up until 11:30 p.m., offering visitors a special discount on books, especially the Gospel. Our sisters say it was wonderful to see how people flocked to the center.
No one left empty-handed because everyone received a leaflet bearing a Bible verse.
So as not to lose touch with the many newcomers to the book center, our sisters subsequently organized a series of poetry-reading sessions featuring the works of Czech Catholic authors who during the Communist regime were tortured or who had spent many years in prison camps.