Born in the wake of the WYD in Krakow in 2016, the Polish edition of Aleteia celebrates its fifth anniversary this week. In just a few years, the edition has become a key resource, attracting more than 1.5 million readers in Poland each month.
When Aleteia Poland was launched at the end of 2016, Aleteia already had a global reach, with team members in some 20 countries and editions in French, English, Spanish and Portuguese. However, the birth of the Polish edition immediately brought to our missionary work the freshness of a young, dynamic Catholic audience, anchored in its time and with a rich history in which faith is central during times of trial.
“From the beginning we wanted to show lay people that anyone could live close to God in the life they chose,” says Anna Sosnowska, editor-in-chief of Aleteia Poland. “We continue today: we want to talk to people about what is good and what has value in their daily lives, not just staying in a closed bubble of religious topics.”
1.5 million readers each month
“When Aleteia launched in Poland, we were predicted to fail,” recalls Anna Sosnowska. And yet, five years later, at a time when the Church is going through a major crisis in Poland (a drop in religious practice, a decline in the number of vocations, etc.), we have well over a million readers each month. Thanks to the pandemic, we even counted up to 2 million monthly visitors,” she explains, “and we haven’t said our last word.”
What works best? “Simplicity. It’s through simplicity that our contemporaries understand that a life of faith is possible and important for them. In addition to the topical and everyday issues that have made Aleteia Poland so successful, the Warsaw-based editorial staff has over the past five years been able to bring stories and themes drawn from the rich, sometimes dark history of Poland’s Catholics to readers of Aleteia’s other language editions.
Inspiring examples of faith
Articles from the Polish edition are regularly translated into French; for example, the moving story of the Ulm family—the father, the mother and their seven children—murdered by the Nazis in 1944 for hiding Jews, and numerous testimonies about John Paul II and other giants of the faith who have called Poland their home.
On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the Polish edition, a Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated in the presence of all the journalists of the Polish editorial staff and the general management from France. Polish Internet users were able to follow the Mass live on Facebook and pray with them that Aleteia will continue to serve by spreading the Good News.