In the footsteps of John Paul II

Warsaw (2) – Częstochowa – Kraków (3)

1 footstepsJPII

DAY 1 – arrival in Warsaw, transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon guided sightseeing tour of Warsaw: Old Town with Market Square and St. John’s Cathedral, Łazienki Park as well as Piłsudski Square where The Pope gave his sermon about the Holy Spirit which inspired the opposition to the communist system. Dinner and overnight in Warsaw.

DAY 2 – morning visit to Wilanów Palace, “the Polish Versailles”, built for King Jan III Sobieski as his summer residence. Excursion to Niepokalanów with a monastery established by St. Maksymilian Kolbe in 1927. The Monastery was proclaimed a minor basilica by Pope John Paul II on 30th April 1980. Overnight in Warsaw.

DAY 3 – morning departure to Częstochowa, one of the world’s most famous Marian shrines and one of John Paul II’s favourite places to pray (Karol Wojtyła used to stress that he was born in May – traditionally the month of Our Lady). Lunch at a local restaurant in Częstochowa. Visit to the Basilica, Chapel of the famous Black Madonna, Treasury and Museum. Drive to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp; visit to the site as well as the Martyrdom Museum and St. Maximilian Kolbe’s cell. Father Kolbe was a Franciscan monk who offered his life in return for saving the life of a fellow Auschwitz inmate. He died in the starvation cell. Continuation to Krakow, the city where Karol Wojtyła lived from the age of 18, studied and then served as priest and bishop. Overnight in Kraków

DAY 4 – guided sightseeing tour of Kraków Old Town: St. Florian’s Church – Karol Wojtyła’s first Kraków parish, the city fortifications, Market Square and St. Mary’s Gothic church with its famous altar designed by Witt Stwosz, Collegium Maius – the medieval university building, the Archbishop’s Palace with the statue of John Paul II. Lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon visit to the Royal Castle and the Cathedral with the Karol Wojtyła Archbishop’s throne. Overnight in Kraków.

DAY 5 – visit to the world famous Shrine of Divine Mercy in Łagiewniki where St Faustina’s revelations took place. The late Pope John Paul II canonised St. Faustina and instituted the Feast Day of Divine Mercy – the Pope died the 2nd of April 2005 – one day before the Feast of Divine Mercy. The sanctuary is situated close to the former soda factory – Solvay, and the quarry, where young Karol Wojtyła was employed as a manual worker during WW II. journey to the Pope’s home town of Wadowice and lunch. Visit where young Wojtyła lived and the church where he was baptised. Then go on to the UNESCO-listed hillside stations of the cross at Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, frequented by young Wojtyla. Return to Kraków and overnight.

DAY 6 – transfer to the airport and departure.

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