Poland & Divine Mercy: JP II, Maria Faustina and Maximilian Kolbe – August 2016

13 August 2016 to 22 August 2016

Judy Evans and her husband Rick are regular travelers with us. They joined us again in Poland. She wrote a beautiful journal of the trip with pictures. Nicely written, easy to read, choice pictures and very insightful. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  Click here to read the whole story.

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It was one thing to go to Poland to follow the footprints of Pope John Paul II, it is quite another now that he is SAINT John Paul II – especially in the Year of Mercy. It was here that the Divine Mercy Devotion originated and it was Pope John Paul II and St. Maria Faustina who brought this great gift to the world.

We will follow them both and pray the Divine Mercy in the Basilica of the Divine Mercy with the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy . One of them will give us a talk and welcome us to the convent. We will spend time praying and meditating in the basilica in front of the relics of St. Faustina.

The hometown of St. John Paul II has turned his childhood home into a museum. We will follow him throughout his life, even to the mountains of Zakapone where he went to relax, hike and ski. We will spend time at the spectacular new John Paul II Center in Krakow.

Poland has been richly blessed with saints and spiritual riches. We will visit Auschwitz Concentration Camp where many Catholics died as martyrs. We will venerate St. Maximilian Kolbe and pray at the cell where he was starved to death, giving his life as a substitute for another man.

Poland is rich with culture, great local cuisines, majestic churches and a proud people with a thousand years of Catholic heritage. We will delve into it all with the best English speaking and Catholic guides the country can offer. Excellent hotels, services, buses await us with an itinerary that covers it all.





Journal

Warsaw Poland, Heroic Martyr Priest and Incredible First Day

Today the plane landed and 70 excited pilgrims embarked on a pilgrimage following the saints of Poland. Enjoy the video!

For today’s homily by Fr. Darryl Roman, click here.

St. Maximilian Kolbe, Touring Old City of Warsaw and History of 1,050 years of Catholic Faith

Great day visiting the city of the Immaculate Conception built by St. Maximilian Kolbe which at one time before World War II was the largest monastery in the world with 760 Franciscans and published a newspaper which used 1,200 tons of paper a year. It strengthened the Polish people to withstand the onslaught of the Nazis and then the Communist Soviets.

Today we joined 1,000’s of the heroic and devout Poles celebrating Mass on the Feast of the Assumption and Soldiers Day here in Warsaw. The afternoon was spent touring Old Warsaw and the history of this marvelous country. I tried to capture it all for you in these two videos (plus Deacon Dominic’s excellent homily).

Part I

Part II

Poland Day 3: Most Sacred Polish Site with Mass in Front of the Black Madonna, then to Mountains of Zakopane

Enjoy the beauty and spirituality of the day! Click here for Fr. Darryl Roman’s homily in front of the Black Madonna at Czestahowa.

Walking in the Footprints of St. Pope John Paul II's Childhood and much more!

IMG_5528Enjoy our packed movie of the misty sunrise over the mountains of Zakopane, the mountain drive to Wadowice the hometown of Pope JP II. We toured the marvelous museum and walked in his childhood footprints. Mass in the Basilica of Our Lady of Kalawia (Fr. Darryl Roman’s homily) as we watched local Poles praying the Stations of the Cross, joining us for Mass and hiking on pilgrimage.

We arrived in Krakow where World Youth Day took place two weeks ago. Enjoy this fast-paced and fun video.

JP II Center in Kraków, Divine Mercy Center for the Decade and Mass, Tour of Krakòw

Enjoy today’s video. For Fr. Seiker’s excellent homily with an explanation of mercy from the Old Testament, click HERE.

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Walking Tour of Auschwitz Concentration Camp and much more!

Walking through Auschwitz Concentration Camp and visiting the cell where St. Maximilian Kolbe was starved to death. It was a terrifying tour through the death camp for the group but it was good to see and understand.

We are quickly losing our freedoms in America (and the West) and it is Christians being targeted for persecution and genocide in many parts of the world.

Mass at the Cathedral in Krakow (for homily click here) and more!

Last Day of Poland Pilgrimage: Salt Mines, Farewell Dinner and Good-byes

IMG_6329Incredible 200 miles of tunnels under the city of Krakow. We toured the Salt Mines and had Mass 430 below the surface of the earth (homily here). These mines contain 40 Catholic chapels throughout the passageways including a huge underground church were we took this group picture.

Also enjoy our fun Farewell Dinner and Good-byes.

St. Maximilian Kolbe, Old City Warsaw, Nazis, Communists and the Courage of the Poles

Great second day with Teresa Tomeo, myself, Fr. Darryl Roman and 70 excited pilgrims. Visited the City of the Immaculate Virgin founded by St. Maximilian Kolbe and prayed Mass in the wooden chapel he built. Saw the museum and watch 1,000’s of Polish people celebrate multiple Masses on the Feast of the Annunciation which is a national holiday!

Then we toured the Old City of Warsaw to see and understand their 1,050 year hist