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Wadowice, Poland: Birthplace of Pope John Paul II

This is the town where our beloved John Paul II was born and raised. The oldest church in Wadowice is the parish church in the market square, now called the church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

For almost a hundred years the portrait of Our Lady of Perpetual Help hung in the church, and young Karol Wojtyla developed a profound and personal devotion to her image.

You can see the baptistery where the future pope was baptized on June 20, 1920. It was here that he served mass and spent long hours in prayer. On March 25, 1992, Pope John Paul II gave the church the status of a Basilica Minor.

The simple bedroom of young Karol
The simple bedroom of young Karol

Just around the corner from the Basilica is the house where he was born on May 18, 1920. His family lived in two rooms, but the surrounding apartments were obtained after his election in order to make a museum. So many faithful flocked to visit the town to learn more about their beloved Polish pope. It remains a popular spot for pilgrims who often pose for photographs in front of the church as shown below.

The museum displays many of the family’s possessions, photographs and items from his pontificate.

Traveling to Wadowice:

Address: Kościelna 7, 34-100 Wadowice, Poland

GPS coordinates: 49° 53′ 0.0636” N, 19° 29′ 37.9140” E

A popular experience for pilgrims is to sample the dessert that is a specialty of the town. It is a wafer-like cake, layered with sweet, rich cream and is affectionately now called “Pope’s cake”.   You can see it in the photo above.  Click here for the recipe of the “Pope’s cake”.

Click here for the Wadowice tourism website.

Photos courtesy Tom & Sue Melillo

Click here to find restaurants and hotels in Wadowice, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor

⇐ Back to Catholic shrines and places of interest in Poland

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