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group programme - Traces of John Paul II

Programme 5 Days / 4 Nights

John Paul II – Karol Wojtyla

Born on May 18, 1920 in Wadowice, Poland
In 1946 he ordained into priesthood. In 1958 he bacame a Bishop, in 1963 an Archibishop of Krakow and next in 1967 a Cardinal Karol Wojtyla was elected Pope on October 16, 1978.

Brief summary of John’s Paul Legacy:
27 years as Pope – the third longest tenure in papal history. He was the most-travelled Pope in history (visited 118 countries) and transformed papacy into a public role. He made historic apology to Jews and others and named more saints than any other Pope.

“Krakow, my Krakow -city of my life, city of our History(...)”
Krakow boats a number of places connected with John Paul II, who arrived to this city in 1938 and spent most of his life.John Paul II is recognised in Krakow as a student of Polish literature, worker, seminary student, labored as a priest, poet, pastoral guide for students and families, bishop, archibishop and finally head of the Catholic Church.

DAY 1   Krakow
Arrival transfer from the Airport. We start a walking guided city tour of Krakow. Tour begins a visit to St. Florian’s Church, the first church in Krakow in which Karol Wojtyla was a vicar. Then pass through Matejki Square, Barbican and Florian Gate to magnificent Gothic St. Mary’s Basilica in the Main Market Square, with its famous Medieval wooden altar sculptured by Vitt Stwosz. Karol Wojtyła was the preacher and confessor at the Basilica in years 1952-1957. The next stop Jagiellonian University, where young Wojtyla lectured in theology. Krakow is an ancient seat of learning, and we stop at Collegium Maius -the oldest part of the Jagiellonian University and followed by Collegium Novum, the new one to compare both parts Continue to the Palace of Bishops in Krakow, where could see the most famous window in Poland, from which Pope always greets the people coming to see him during his papal visits. Visit Archdiocese Museum and see two apartments in which John Paul lived as a priest and as a bishop. Welcome dinner by the folclore music in traditional restaurant & overnight in Krakow.

DAY 2    Wadowice- Kalwaria Zebrzydowska – Lagiewniki
After breakfast will take you to Wadowice - a small town where the Pope John Paul II was born on May 18th 1928. First have a visit the family house of Karol Wojtyla which is a museum devoted to his life and work. The Museum of the Family Home of Pope John Paul II is housed in a building dating back to 1870, which at one time had belonged to Chaim Balamut. The Wojtyla family lived there from 1919 to 1938, with two rooms and a kitchen at their disposal. The Museum opened in 1984, on the Pope’s 64th birthday, at the initiative of Archbishop Franciszek Macharski and Mitred Prelate Edward Zacher, who had been for many years Karol Wojtyla’s catechist. Next visit to the 15th c. Basilica he was attendied and baptized as a child. Have a delicious lunch break with dessert of the Pope’s favourite cake called „kremowka”.  Afterwords we driver to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska to visit the Bernardine Sanctuary, this is one of the most often visited pilgrimage places in Poland, listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site.

On the way back visit to the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Lagiewniki connected also with the worship of St. Faustyna, one of the Pope’s favourite saints. Karol Wojtyła very often visited Łagiewniki as a worker in the nearby "Solvay" Soda Plant during World War II . Pope said : "The Message of Divine Mercy has always been precious to me. History has inscribed it into the tragic experience of World War II. In those difficult years, it was a special support, and endless source of hope not only for the inhabitants of Kraków, but for the entire nation. It was also my own personal experience which I took with me to the Holy See, and which shapes the image of this pontificate". Sister Faustina was beatified on Divine Mercy Sunday in 1993 and canonized in 2000 on Divine Mercy Sunday. This is a capital of the Divine Mercy where started up the message of the Divine Mercy, which Jesus Christ Himself wished to pass on to our generation, through the mediation of St. Faustina. The church was consecrated by John Paul II on 17th August 2002 during his last visit to Krakow . Dinner & overnight in Krakow.

DAY 3   Czestochowa – Auschwitz
After breakfast we wll take you to Czestochowa which is a religious capital of Poland and one of the world’s most important destinations for pilgrims. This is the holiest place in Poland and every year millions of pilgrims come to pray at the worldwide known miraculous painting of Virgin with her baby. It is a simbol of Polish Catholicism. We will do a guided trip to the Sanctuary of Black Madonna Shrine in Jasna Gora Monastery. After visiting we will have lunch in a restaurant in Czestochowa. After lunch we will go to the Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest nazi concentration camp formed during the second world war John Paul II came to Auschwitz during his pilgrimage to Poland in 1979. He said then “Auschwitz remembers the victims of many nationalities. Auschwitz is not a place that you can just visit, during your visits you should think of where are the frontiers of hate”. Return to Krakow, dinner and overnight in the Hotel.

DAY 4   Zakopane
After breakfast we will go to Zakopane that is a small but very famous in Poland mountain town, where almost at our every step we can feel John Paul’s traces. Pope John Paul II’s visits to Zakopane have become the most important events in the town’s history. He has been attached to Zakopane and The Tatras since his youth. As an alumnus of the Krakow seminary he did a lot of hiking and skiing here. He did not abandon his passion for the mountains even when he became the Krakow metropolitan. His favourite places were the chapel in Jaszczurówka and "Ksiezwka" - the holiday house of the Polish Episcopate. In The Tatras he adored
the Chocholowska Valley, which he visited again in 1982 after he had become the Pope. His next visit to Zakopane and The Tatras took place in June 1997. He spent here a few days. He visited Mount Kasprowy Wierch, Morskie Oko Lake, Ludzmierz, Gubalowka. At the beginning we will visit the Madonna of Fatima Sanctuary in Krzeptowki, where our Pope celebrated the mass an where we can see the monument of the great Pope. Next we will go for a walk to Chcholowska valley, the favourite place of Pope’s excursions. Next we will go down the Kropowki street, we will have lunch in a typical restaurant in Zakopane. After lunch we will visit Saint Albert’s Sanctuary. Return to Krakow . Dinner and overnight in Krakow.

DAY 5    Krakow
Breakfast. Optional tour- visiting of the Archdiocese Museum where a part of that museum i s dedicated in memory of the Pope John Paul II. The Pope used to live in that building, in the museum we can see Pope’s personal belongings and works of art that he was given. Lunch in a restaurant. Departure for the Airport.