Wadowice and Kalvaria

As we near year end, I would like to reminisce about some of the wonderful experiences we have had this year.

Wadowice is a town about an hour away from Krakow.  It is the birthplace of  St. John Paul II.  We spent a delightful few hours there in May.  It is a lively place.


St JP II’s childhood church. His family apartment is in the building on the right, now a museum.


This is the baptismal fount he was baptised in.


Pope JP II pays a visit to Wadowice and kneels at his baptismal fount (photo on wall).


Fr. Tim Devine celebrates Mass with Fr. John Fletcher left and Fr. Albert MacPherson right.


St. JP II: “Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.”


In the town square flagstones mark the countries and years JPII visited them.

On the way back to Krakow, we stopped at Kalvaria Zebrzydowska, a famous Franciscan Marian shrine.


Kalvaria Zebrzydowska

It was established in 1600 to provide pilgrims with a substitute of Jerusalem lost to the Muslim Turks and thus unavailable at the time. With its 42 churches and chapels of all shapes and sizes in addition to the central basilica and the Franciscan monastery, the vast complex of buildings scattered among woods on the slopes of the 527-meter-high Zar mountain grew to be the biggest such compound in Europe. Over the ages the pilgrimage to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska influenced millions of Poles. We toured the facility, had lunch and wondered up the hill where JPII used to come, exercise and pray.  


17th Century Angelic Mother of God Church


Our Lady of Kalvaria


Note the distance to Santiago de Compostela!


Pilgrim trail


Small church half way up Mt. Zar


Gorgeous chapel well worth the hike

It is hard to underestimate the cumulative affect these pilgrim sites and group experiences had on us while we were in Poland.  We felt connected to God and others in a deeper way thanks to the powerful witness of the Polish people in their humble devotion to Jesus, Mary and God.   Pope St. John Paul II’s goal was to reunite man with God and the Church.  For us, he succeeded.

1 Comment

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One response to “Wadowice and Kalvaria

  1. Irene Reid

    This is just wonderful. Thank you Dave, Irene

    On Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 4:23 PM, mattersofthemoment wrote:

    > morgandw1 posted: “As we near year end, I would like to reminice about > some of the wonderful experiences we have had this year. Wadowice is a town > about an hour away from Krakow. It is the birthplace of St. John Paul > II. We spent a delightful few hours there in May. It” >


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