Tom & Sue Poland Days 13 & 14 Kalwaria & Wadowice (Home of Pope John Paul II)

Dzien Dobry:

Sunday (Day 13 of the Poland portion of our personal pilgrimage)

What a day! Even though we were up at 6 we didn’t care.  We hung around the house having several cups of coffee and went to the 9 AM Sunday mass just down the street. It was a beautiful little church and the place was packed. Again we ended up standing in the back but at least we could see. Some people were even out the door for lack of room. During the service a young girl sitting next to where we were standing got up and offered Susan her seat.  I wanted to laugh, because I knew what was going thru my honey’s mind……..do I look that old?

Mass was great and before the final blessing there were announcements and as I looked around the church not a single person had left early.  We have found that to be the general case everywhere we go.  There are no early bird specials here. After mass many of the people went to the cemetery behind the church with flowers for their loved ones.  It was great to see.

Getting cash so we can pay for our lodging
Getting cash so we can pay for our lodging

We then went to the bank to get some ammo so we could pay for our stay in cash and then we stopped at the market and got some ribs for dinner, we were not going anywhere else today. 

We spent a leisurely day at the house and had breakfast around noon and dinner at 7.  We accomplished a few things today but mostly relaxed and did it feel goooooood!

 

We only saw our hosts, John and Dana, once today as we were leaving.  We have spent a lot of time with John outside in the back since his English is very good. 

Groundhog day for sure this time
Groundhog day for sure this time

Besides solving the problems in the world we discussed what he was going to do about his groundhog problem.  It had created new mounds everyday and reminded me of the movie Caddy Shack, because that’s how I would have been. (I didn’t tell him about our groundhog problem) Susan suggested they name him, Dana did, and no we call him Max. There were 5 fresh new mounds today, oh boy! That’s all I remember.

Monday Day 14 Kalwaria & Sanctuary of the Weeping Madonna

This morning we slept till 7:30…….we had gone to bed at 8:30 last night, I guess we were tired.  I didn’t make breakfast because neither of us was hungry.  After the usual prep for the day we headed out around 10 for Kalwaria and the Sanctuary of the Weeping Madonna, Our Lady of Calvary.  She shed tears of blood and veneration quickly became widespread and each year almost a million pilgrims come to pray and submit their petitions to Our Lady.  Today we were two of them.

The Calvary extends for five miles and the walk of Mary goes high into the mountains.  There was no way we could have done it today or maybe forever, as much as we had wanted to, since being here 2 years ago on a short stop to the airport. 

First Holy Communion in the church
First Holy Communion in the church

We spent a lot of time on the grounds and in the church, including mass at 11 with a lot of First Holy Communion children. The sermon was so verrrry loooong that the next group was coming in before the final blessing.  I think I even dozed off. Oop’s

We were hungry now so we went to the restaurant on the grounds and had lunch.  It was very good and I am ashamed to tell you how much it cost, so if you want to know send me an e-mail.  We had a 2 PM reservation in Wadowice at the birth place and child hood home of St. John Paul II thanks to our friend Fr Tomasz since we waited to the last minute.

He reserved for us an English speaking tour, and I much as I dislike this stuff, I had tears in my eyes most the way.  What an experience to touch his sofa and bed and crosses and to see how he grew up in this modest apartment. It was so beautifully done and the hour flew by.  His life was one of tragedy and joy and he gave up what he loved most, acting, to become a man of God. A Saint for our times and a great advocate he has become for us. (Lots of photos).

 

 

Editor’s note:  Looking at some of these photos is a reminder of how young and vigorous (only 58 ) this Pope was when first elected.

Baptismal font where JP II was baptized
Baptismal font where JP II was baptized

 

The Basilica next door has a special chapel for his Baptismal font, another for Saints Pio, Stanislaus, Kolbe and Simon of Lipnica with relics for each.  The St. John Paul II chapel also has a relic and the other chapel across from St JPII is the chapel of Miraculous painting of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The Basilica is named after the Presentation of Blessed Virgin Mary.

 

We lit candles here for all your intentions
We lit candles here for all your intentions

 

There is a side chapel in honor of Divine Mercy so what better place to pray the Chaplet, plus there were 2 chairs in front of the altar and a painting of Our Lord.

We Lit candles there for all of you.  

Editors note: you can still add your name to their prayer intentions by emailing them at tsmelillo13@aol.com.  

The "Pope's Cake" is a tradition here
The “Pope’s Cake” is a tradition here

 

This was again our 2nd visit to this village but this time we left with a much greater sense of the Saint and what it means to be holy. 

We departed after we stopped for a piece of Pope cake, as they call it, since it was St. JPII’s favorite and renamed it after he became Pope.

 

It was back to Kalwaria, about 20 minutes away to spend a little more quite time at the shrine.  We figured the buses would all be gone by now and we could pray our rosary in the Chapel of the Weeping Madonna. We started there but moved just outside in the main sanctuary to finish for some people we coming in to pray and we didn’t want to disturb them.  The Basilica is where St. JPII’s father took him after his mother died, when he was 9 and here is where he developed a great love for Our Blessed Mother.

A few more photos and we left for home as we call it, for it is so comfortable.  John was outside and we all talked for awhile, had a glass of wine together and then Susan & I noshed on some leftover ribs, cheese and pate and then it was to work, to begin repacking and preparing for tomorrows’ journey to Zakopane in the Tetra Mountains. YEAH! 

Editor’s note:  Tom loves to drive those winding mountain roads…..Sue, not so much.

John told us to stay as long as we like so we decided not to rush in the morning and maybe sleep in. Any way it’s 10 PM and I’m still typing, so I’m calling it a night after this truly magnificent day.

God Bless you all;

Love

Susan & Tom

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