Making our way back into Poland, we stopped in Sokulka at St. Anthony’s Church. Here is where Blessed M. Sopocko had two more Divine Images created. One has stayed here and the other is in Bialystok. 2 days before Fr Sopocko was beatified, during holy communion, a host fell on the floor. It was placed in water to dissolve. The next day when they looked at it, there was a red splotch in the centre of the undissolved host. When analyzed, it turned out to be type AB blood, the type of blood reported in other Eucharistic miracles. This is the blood of Christ.
At the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Bialystok we venerated Blessed M. Sopocko’s remains as well as relics of St. Faustina and Pope John Paul II. Fr Sopocko died here in 1975 and was beatified in 2004. Dave read the first reading during Mass. A modern large church all white inside. Some rivalry between this much larger church and the Shrine of Divine Mercy (Chapel) in Vilnius is evident. A photo of a hologram of the Paraclete (Holy Spirit) here is attached.
One thing very evident in Poland is the living strength of their Faith. Churches are full of people of all ages whenever we enter them. They have not lost their faith as have some other European countries like France. Perhaps because they have had to fight for it – they value it more.
Example. During the Communist regime, the image of the Black Madonna was actually arrested and put in jail – true story! Mary is the Queen of Poland and this was seen as a challenge to the Soviets. Poles responded by circulating the empty picture frame as an icon and proudly marched it through the streets of towns and cities in defiance of the Communists!
We had a great meat and potatoes lunch again and a fab dinner somewhat similar. No complaints.
We have trouble sleeping as there is a boom boom party going on outside a few blocks away. We learn from Maria that alcoholism is a rampart problem among Polish youth.