The Paths of Saint John Paul II

Day 1

Arrival in Krakow. Our guide greets the group at the airport. Private coach transfer to the hotel Dinner, overnight stay in Krakow.

Day 2

After breakfast we take a tour in the Old Town of Krakow (UNESCO) admiring all the highlights of the former capital of Polish Kingdom. Focusing on the places related to the Pope John Paul II, we retrace his life and mission: Wawel Hill with its magnificent Royal Castle and the Cathedral ( it is here that Karol Wojtyla conducted his first service in 1946); the Main Market Square (the biggest medieval square in Europe), splendid St. Mary’s Basilica where the Pope worked as a confessor. We also see the Jagiellonian University where he studied and the Franciscans’ Church – his favourite church.
Afternoon at leisure (optional tour to the Salt Mine). Free time, dinner and overnight stay in Krakow.

Day 3

After breakfast we visit Lagiewniki, the world-famous Shrine of the Divine Mercy, the burial place of St. Sister Faustina Kowalska, the Apostle of God’s Mercy who died here in 1938. Then we stop in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska (Calvary,UNESCO), the second biggest pilgrimage centre of the Marian devotion in Poland. Considered one of the most unique monuments of culture and religiousness, it was built in the 17th-18th c. as the symbolic imitation of Jerusalem. We then visit the Franciscans’ Monastery, where the Holy Icon of Our Lady is kept. Afterwards, we head to Wadowice – the birthplace of John Paul II. Here we see his Family House and the Basilica where he was baptized. We enjoy some free time – either for personal devotions or for tasting famous Pope’s cake! After the break we go to Auschwitz-Birkenau that has become the symbol of Holocaust and the Nazi crime. During the guided tour we visit the Auschwitz camp: the exhibition in the prisoners’ blocks, the Block of Death (no 11), where St. Maximilian Kolbe died, the crematorium and the gas chamber. Then we move to Birkenau (Auschwitz II), the largest extermination camp built by the Nazis during World War II to see the Gate of Death, the wooden barracks and the Victims Memorial. Return to Krakow for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 4

After breakfast we go to Czestochowa, to visit the St. Paul’s Hermit monastery in Jasna Gora (the Bright Mount), where the miraculous painting of Our Lady, known as Black Madonna is kept. During our guided tour we visit the complex of the monastery: the Holy Chapel with the Black Madonna Icon, decorated with numerous votive gifts, thanksgiving for the graces; the magnificent baroque Basilica, treasury, and the museum, old fortifications with the beautiful Way of the Cross. After the tour we enjoy some free time – for personal devotions or shopping. Return to Krakow, free time. Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 5

Breakfast. Departure for the airport.