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Poland in the Footsteps of Pope Saint John Paul II
Warsaw | Częstochowa | Kraków | Łagiewniki | Wieliczka | Wadowice | Zakopane
This may be our #1 most popular program. Starting in Warsaw and continuing through Częstochowa, Kraków, and Zakopane in the footsteps of Pope Saint John Paul II, during this journey we learn the early history of Poland. With the almost constant wars with the nation’s neighbors seeming to always want to take the land of Poland, our Blessed Virgin Mary has always kept the faithful of Poland in her arms. This is obvious and apparent to the people here who have always had a very special devotion to the Virgin Mary.
- Round trip air transportation from major airport near your parish
- Superior tourist class hotel accommodations double occupancy with bath or shower (single supplement extra)
- Breakfast daily, most group dinners, with wine and beer, as indicated in Itinerary (B, D)
- Special events, entertainment, and comprehensive sightseeing programs as indicated in itinerary
- Transportation by private deluxe motor coach Tour escort and local guides
- Hotel Service Charges and Taxes
- US airport taxes, fuel surcharges included** **subject to change in the rare occasion that government/airline fees and fuel costs increase drastically
“Thank you for such a memorable experience. You brought me closer to St. John Paul II and I am forever grateful.”
– Simon G.
Day 1 | USA – Warsaw
Depart from USA to Warsaw. Dinner and breakfast will be served aboard your transatlantic flight.
Day 2 | Warsaw
Upon arrival in Warsaw, you will be met by your Escort and transferred to your hotel to rest after the long journey. Some may wish to go out and explore this historic city, at their leisure. (D)
Day 3 | Warsaw
Full day of today’s guided tour includes the beautiful Royal Route, Old Town Quarter, Old Market Square, the Barbican and medieval defense walls. Next stop, Łazienki Park and its evocative sculpture of Chopin surrounded by rose bushes. We will also visit the Sanctuary of Blessed Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko, priest and martyr who was brutally tortured and murdered by communist secret police on Oct. 19 1984. (B, D)
Day 4 | Warsaw – Częstochowa – Kraków
Today we depart to Częstochowa, the most famous pilgrimage center of Poland, Jasna Góra Monastery. This is Poland’s national Shrine and home to the Black Madonna, a sacred icon that is historically linked to protecting the Polish people. Said to have been painted by St. Luke the Evangelist on a cypress wood panel from a table used by the Holy Family in Nazareth, it attracts millions of pilgrims from all over the world. The day before his death, Pope Saint John Paul II sent a letter to the religious of the Shrine of Jasna Góra, in Częstochowa. I entrust our” Homeland, the whole Church and myself to her maternal protection,” said the Pope in his letter, addressed to Father Izydor Matuszewski, prior general of the monks of St. Paul the Hermit, of the monastery of Jasna Góra. In the late afternoon we continue to Kraków. (B,D)
Day 5 | Kraków
This morning we enjoy a city tour of Kraków, Poland’s capital from 1038 to 1569 and residence of kings. With its charming blend of magnificent architecture, churches, cultural monuments, museums, and vibrant contemporary community, Kraków was designated by the European Union as the “Capital of Culture” in the year 2000. Tour highlights include the Old Town, Cloth Hall, Wit Stwosz’s acclaimed altar masterpiece at St. Mary’s Basilica, Jagiellonian University, and Wawel Castle and Cathedral – all remarkable symbols of Poland’s historic identity. The remainder of the day is free in Kraków. (B)
Day 6 | Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Łagiewniki
This morning we will visit the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Łagiewniki; dedicated by Pope Saint John Paul II. We will have the opportunity to visit the convent chapel and pray at the Tomb of St. Faustina Kowalska. Afternoon free in Kraków. (B, D)
Day 7 | Kraków – Wieliczka – Kraków
A morning excursion will take you to the nearby Wieliczka Salt Mine; three spectacular under–ground miles of hand–carved chapels, statues, and chambers made of pure salt. Over 1 million tourists visit this historic and royal mine. (B, D)
Day 8 | Kraków – Auschwitz – Kraków
Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp where millions of Poles, Jews, Christians and others lost their lives. A Private Guide will show us several gut wrenching sites, as well as the starvation cell where St. Maximillian Kolbe died. This is an important lesson on recent history and his saintly martyrdom. (B, D)
Day 9 | Kraków – Kalwaria Zebrzydowska – Wadowice – Zakopane
Depart for Zakopane, a resort town in the scenic Tatra Mountains. On our way, we will stop at the monastery of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska where Pope John Paul II repeated the words of his motto: T” otus tuus ego sum et omnia mea tua sunt. Accipio te in mea omnia. Praebe mihi cor tuum, Maria – I belong entirely to you, and all that I have is yours. I take you for my all. O Mary, give me your heart” He would come here as a boy, and see the painting of Our Lady that wept blood in 1641. We will also visit Wadowice, the birthplace of Pope Saint John Paul II. (B, D)
Day 10 | Zakopane
We have a full day in Zakopane where Pope Saint John Paul II would recreate as a young priest and on until Pope. When cardinal, someone mentioned it might be inappropriate for a man of his position to ski. He replied that it was only “unbecoming for a cardinal to ski badly.” Zakopane is the center of age–old Highlander culture. Going through town, you will see all sorts of people; holiday–makers, hikers and colorful market vendors enjoying the pure mountain air and magnificent vistas. Need a break? A cable car can whisk you away to Mount Gubałówka for a splendid view of the valley below. The evening is at your leisure. Overnight in Zakopane (B, D)
Day 11 | Zakopane – Warsaw
Prior to our departure for Warsaw, we will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Zakopane which was built by locals in thanksgiving for Pope Saint John Paul II’s recovery after his assassination attempt. Enjoy a final dinner together sharing new memories (B, D)
Day 12 | Warsaw Departure for USA
After breakfast transfer to the airport in Warsaw for your flight home. (B)