Study Pilgrimage - Poland & Rome
On the footsteps of John Paul II
DAY 1 - ARRIVAL
Upon your arrival to Balice –Krakow, John Paul II Airport you will be met by your courier/guide and transfer by coach to Czestochowa for dinner and 2 nights accommodation.
DAY 2 - CZESTOCHOWA - SPIRITUAL CAPITOL OF THE NATION – HISTORY OF POLAND- JOHN PAUL TOTUS TUUS BACKGROUND
• “Mary, Queen of Poland, I am with you, I remember, I am on alert!”
• “The Poles get accustomed to coming to Jasna Gora to tell their Mother about everything they experience (…) The Mother who not only has Her picture her , one of the most known and worshipped in the world, but who is present here in the special and unique way. She is present in the mystery of Christ and the Church. She is present for everybody and for all who make the pilgrimage…even if it is only in their souls and hearts, with their last breath”.
Cermon of John Paul II, Mass celebrated in Czestochowa, 4th June 1979 - Pope’e first Apostolic visit to his homeland.
Morning tour of Jasna Gora Monastery, followed by Mass celebrated in the chapel of Black Madonna. Afternoon at leisure for private devotion.
DAY 3 - MAKSYMILIAN KOLBE- SAINT FROM AUSCHWITZ – TRAGIC HISTORY OF POLAND ‘39-45
• “Precisely for this reason the death of Maximilian Kolbe became a sign of victory. This was victory won over all systematic contempt and hate for man and for what is divine in man-a victory like that won by our Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary”.
Homily of John Paul II at the Canonization of St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, St. Peter's Square, Rome
10th October, 1982.
After morning Mass at the black Madonna shrine transfer to Auschwitz Concentration Camp, a chilling reminder of the Holocaust. Pray by the cell of St. Maximilian, who was canonized in 1982 in Rome and declared a martyr of charity by John Paul II. Evening arrival in Krakow.
DAY 4 - WADOWICE, KALWARIA – THE BIRTHPALCE, CHILDHOOD AND SPIRITUAL ROOTS OF JOHN PAUL II
• “I kiss the treshold of my home, and thank Providence for the gift of life bestowed upon me through my parents, for the warmth of home and the love of my dear family”
John Paul II, Homily, Wadowice, 16th June 1999
• “And if I want to encourage you and excite you towards somethingthg it is to make you not stop visiting this sanctuary (…) And I would like you to pray for me here both during my life and after it ”
John Paul II, Homily, Kalwaria Zebrzydowska,7th June 1979
• "When I first visited this shrine in 1979, I asked you to pray for me, while I am alive and after my death. Today I thank you and all the pilgrims of Kalwaria for these prayers, for the spiritual support I continually receive. I continue to ask you: do not stop praying - once again I repeat it - as long as I am alive and after my death. As always, I will repay your kindness by recommending all of you to the merciful Christ and to his Mother."
John Paul II, Homily Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, 19 th August, 2002
Full day excursion to Wadowice, the birthplace of Holy Father. Visit the Basilica of Presentation of Our Lady where Karol Wojtyła was baptized in 1920. Next door house, where Wojtylas lived until 1938, was converted into museum which chronicles the life of John Paul II and houses various artifact from his childhood. In the afternoon continue through picturesque landscape of the Beskidy Mountains to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, the most beloved JP’s Marian shrine, which he had visited plenty of times at his boy’s and youth’s age and than as a priest, bishop, cardinal and finally on three occasions as a pope. After Mass celebrated in the 17th century Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels time for private devotions. Dinner and overnight in Kraków.
DAY 5 - LAGIEWNIKI – DIVINE MERCY SHRINE
• “Today, therefore, in this Shine, I wish solemnly to entrust the world to Divine Mercy. I do so with the burning desire that the message of God’s merciful love, proclaimed here through Saint Faustina, may be made known to all the peoples of the earth and fill their hearts with hope. May this message radiate from this place to our beloved homeland and throughout the world. May the binding promise of the Lord Jesus be fulfilled: from here there must go forth "the spark which will prepare the world for his final coming" (cf. Diary, 1732) (…)
• At the end of this solemn liturgy, I desire to say that many of my personal memories are tied to this place. During the Nazi occupation, when I was working in the Solvay factory near here, I used to come here. Even now I recall the street that goes from Borek Falecki to Debniki that I took every day going to work on the different turns with the wooden shoes on my feet. They're the shoes that we used to wear then. How was it possible to imagine that one day the man with the wooden shoes would consecrate the Basilica of the Divine Mercy at Lagiewniki of Kraków.
Dedication of the Shrine of Divine Mercy, Homily of the Holy Father John Paul II, Krakow- Lagiewniki, 17th August 2002
Transfer to Krakow - Lagiewniki - the capitol of Divine Mercy. Visit the Convent’s chapel with the tomb of St Faustina and the newly built basilica consecrated by John Paul II in 2002. It was here that originated the message of Divine Mercy, which Christ Himself wished to pass on to our generation, through the mediation of St. Faustina who was later canonized by the Polish pope in the Jubilee Year 2000 in Rome. After Mass time for private devotion. Visit also the nearby remains of the Solvay Chemicals Company where John Paul II worked during the WWII. Dinner and overnight in Krakow.
DAY 6 - KRAKOW – THE POPE’S CITY; NOWA HUTA - STRUGGLE WITH COMUNISM
• “There was a sense that this evil /Communism/ was in some way necessary for the world and for mankind. It can happen, in fact, that in certain concrete situations, evil is revealed as somehow useful, inasmuch as it creates opportunities for good”.
• “Not only did the people reject Nazism as a system aimed at the destruction of Poland, and Communism as an oppressive system imposed from the East, but in the process of resistance they also pursued highly positive ideas. More was involved than a simple rejection of these hostile systems. Those same years saw the recover and the strengthening of the fundamental values by which the people lived and to which they wished to remain faithful”
John Paul II, Memory and Identity- Personal Reflections, Weidenfield &Nicolson London 2005, pp 17 and 49.
Walking tour “On the footsteps of John Paul II”. Krakow is a city where His Holiness lived for 40 years before being elevated to the papacy in 1978. Enjoy the medieval architecture of the Old Town with St. Mary Church, Cloth Hall and Old Town Square. Visit also the Jagielonian University , John Paul II archdiocesan museum and the Wojtylas family grave in the Rakowicki Cemetery. Here are buried JP’s parents and his brother Edmund. In the afternoon continue on to Nowa Huta district. Visit the church of the Lord’s Ark which was erected after long years of persistent efforts and struggles with the Communist authorities and finally consecrated by the Archbishop Carol Wojtyla in 1977. Dinner and overnight in Krakow.
DAY 7 - WAWEL CATHEDRAL - SPIRITUAL TREASURE OF THE POLISH NATION; WIELICZKA SALT MINES
• "Today, while the voice of the Zygmunt bell seems to invite people to visit this mother church of Kraków, this treasure of the history of the Church and the Nation, let us go there on a spiritual pilgrimage… Let us stand in the midst of its builders and ask them what foundation did they lay under this construction to enable it to survive good times and bad, to give refuge to saints and heroes, shepherds and sovereigns, statesmen, creators of culture and entire generations of inhabitants of this city. Christ, who died and has risen, is he not its cornerstone?
Let us kneel before the tabernacle in the Batory chapel, before the black Crucifix of Hedwig, near the confessio of Saint Stanislaus, let us go down into the crypt of Saint Leonard and rediscover the unique history of the Church of Kraków, which is joined with that of the city and the country.
John Paul II, Homily at Mass at Blonia Krakowskie,15th June, 1999, Krakow
Morning Mass at the Wawel Hill followed by a guided tour of the most celebrated Polish Cathedral with the royal tombs and relics of Polish Patron Saints. Pray at the Romanesque St Leonard’s Crypt where on Nov 2nd 1946 Karol Wojtyla celebrated his first Mass. In the afternoon continue on to Wieliczka Salt Mine to visit three miles of underground chambers, chapels and statues all sculptured from salt. Dinner and overnight in Krakow.
DAY 8 - TRANSFER TO PODHALE AREA - ZAKOPANE
• Dear brothers and sisters! Your shrine in Krzeptówki is particularly near and dear to me. In it you honour the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. The history of this shrine is also linked with the event which took place in Saint Peter's Square on 13 May 1981. At that time I experienced mortal danger and suffering, but also the great mercy of God. By the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima my life was given back to me(…) I know that Zakopane too took part in the prayer of the Church throughout the world for my return to health and to the ministry of Peter. I know that you gathered in your parish churches and in the Chapel of Our Lady of Fatima in Krzeptówki to recite the rosary to obtain for me a recovery of health and strength. At that time plans were first made to build here, at the foot of Mount Giewont, a shrine to Our Lady of Fatima as a votive offering of thanksgiving for my life having been spared. I know that this shrine, which today I am able to consecrate, was built by many hands and many hearts united by hard work, sacrifice and love for the Pope. It is hard for me to speak of this without being moved.(…)Here, together with you, I wish once more to thank Our Lady of Fatima for the gift of my life having been spared, as I did at Fatima fifteen years ago. Totus tuus... I thank you all for this church. It is filled with your love for the Church and for the Pope. In some sense it is the continuation of my gratitude to God and to his Mother. Together with you I rejoice greatly in this gift.
JohnPaul II, Homily at the Consecration of the Church of Our Lady of Fatima, Zakopane- Krzeptowki, 7th June1997.
Departure for Zakopane situated at the foot of the Tatra Mountain. Celebrate Mass at the Polish Fatima- Marian shrine at Krzeptówki, dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima and John Paul II. This great example and treasure of the highlanders, wooden architecture was built after the assassination attempt on JP in 1981 and consecrated by the pope himself in 1997. After Mass take a walk along colorful Krupowki Street for some shopping in the local bazaar. Afternoon at leisure. Enjoy the highlanders’ culture during our folklore dinner in Zakopane.
DAY 9 - ST ALBERT CHMIELOWSKI HERMITAGE – HIKE TO THE CROSS ON MOUNT GIEWONT
• “Because I found in Bother Albert a real spiritual support and example in leaving behind the world of art, literature and theater, and in making the radical choice of a vocation to the priesthood”
John Paul II, Gift and Mystery: On the Fiftieth Anniversary of My Priestly Ordination, p 33.
In 1949 a young priest Karol Wojtyla wrote a well received play about St Albert: The Brother of Our God; Adam Chmielowski has also been portrayed by John Paul in his most successful play: In Front of the Jewelers Shop, 1962
• “Your forebears planted a Cross on the top of Giewont. It is there and remains there still. The Cross is a silent but eloquent witness to our time. It can be said that this Jubilee Cross looks in the direction of Zakopane and Krakow, and beyond: in the direction of Warsaw and Danzig. It embraces all our land from the Tatra to the Baltic. Your fathers wanted the Cross of Christ to reign in a special way in this beautiful corner of Poland. And thus it happened. This city of yours extended, one can say, to the feet of the Cross; it lives and develops in its radius”.
John Poul II, Homily at Beatification Mass of Maria Bernardina Jablonska and Maria Karlowska, Zakopane-Wielka Krokiew,6th June 1997
Horse cart ride to Albertinian Monastery with the hermitage of St Brother Albert / Albert Chmielowski/. The excursion will be divided in two parts. The first part will be ca. 15 min ride to the Convent of Alberinian Sisters, where Mass will be celebrated and in return walk and bus transfer from Kuznice to Zakopane. For the more advanced walkers the hike will continue to the Giewont Peak /6214 ft/. Blue marked Giewont route is the most frequented summit route of whole Tatra Mountains. On the way to Giewont you can stop and rest in Kalatowki Mountain Hotel and than in a small mountain chalet of Hala Kondratowa. Dinner and overnight in Zakopane.
DAY 10 - FLIGHT TO ROME
Airport transfer to Balice - Krakow for you flight to Rome with Sky Europe or Centralwings. On arrival to Rome transfer to hotel for dinner and 4 overnight accommodation.
DAY 11 - VATICAN- TOMB OF JOHN PAUL II
After morning Mass at the Papal Grottoes, pray at the tomb of John Paul II and visit St Peter Basilica built on the site where the Prince of the Apostles was martyred and buried. Continue on to Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel. The balance of the day at leisure. After dinner at the hotel enjoy tour of the “eternal city” by night.
DAY 12 - CHRISTIAN ROME
Sightseeing tour of “Christian Rome”. Morning Mass at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the burial site of the Apostle of Gentiles. Continue on to visit St John Lateran and proceed to Scala Sancti, the Holy Stairs that Jesus had climbed before being sentenced to death. After lunch see St Mary Major the first Marian shrine in the Catholic Church. Afternoon at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
DAY 13 - ROME
Day at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Rome
DAY 14 - DEPARTURE
Transfer to Fiumicino Airport for your return flight.