Well it was ground hog day again. Bed around 8:30, woke up at 4:30 with the light of day, covers over head and slept until 6, Susan a little later. I think she waits for the smell of coffee.
We were packed and on the road by 8 AM. We had 2 stops today and weren’t sure what to expect. Our first was in Gostyn, about 1 ½ hours away to Swieta Gora or the Sanctuary of the Holy Virgin also known as the ” The Holy Mountain” ( and also known as “The Rosa Mystica of Poland”) where there is a Miraculous Image of Our Lady known for many reported miracles. The local Bishop, in 1512, wrote that he found that he found the following in this location: the dead were brought back to life, the sick and the crippled regained their health and strength and many other miracles occurred which would be hard to count …”
He issued a decree that allowed for the building of the Church and for the spread of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Click here to read the story of Swieta Gora.
The central element of the Sanctuary is the Image of the Virgin Mary with Child, a rose in her hand. The Mother and Child are sitting in a place resembling a balcony with a view towards two different landscapes … the colors are of the rising sun.
Pope John XXIII recognized Swieta Gora to be the second most important site for the Marian devotion in Poland, preceded only by Czestochowa. Pope Paul VI granted the Sanctuary the status of “Basilica Minor”.
When we arrived there were 5 buses and we at first thought they were tour buses, but they were from different parishes in the region and full of children receiving their First Holy Communion. There had to be at least 100. The parents of most were with them and a much younger group of children, who I assume were studying for theirs.
We were very happy since we didn’t know where we would go to mass today; our only hope had been to go to Mass in the town where our hotel was, and if they had a church with a 5 or 6 PM mass. Our Mother never fails us.
They were organizing the children outside so Susan and I went into the Basilica to say a prayer before Our Lady’s Miraculous Image and to explore some. The Basilica is under renovations but the pictures I took show a depiction of what is to be.
In a few moments the children came in and we stood in the back to let the parents get a good seat before sitting down. We ended up behind a pillar. We couldn’t see anything but we could hear the children answering the Priest questions during the looooong homily. As communion started we went to the back to see the children, but over here no one waits, and everyone was in line to receive. After the mass ended we left, since the priest had everyone sit and began to talk.
We were going to wait until all had left and would go back to pray. We were hungry so we went to the car and had a picnic on the hood of the trunk. A hardboiled egg and tomato and some left over dumplings with ham and sauerkraut. Not exactly the breakfast of champions but when you are in the sticks and hungry everything taste good.
We finished this mighty good breakfast and went back to the Sanctuary as everyone was leaving and we ended up alone in front of Our Mother praying the Rosary. One of the priests came out to put back the benches he moved earlier and when we finished praying and got up he came over to say hello.(Not in English). He did understand that we were from the States and Florida and asked in universal language if we were alone. He was amazed since they don’t see many Americans, not only here, but in many of the shrines we have been to this week.
Editors note: Poland is one of the most Catholic countries in Europe, especially since so many other countries have seem to abandon the faith. Perhaps this is due to the persecution the Church endured under Communism that made it stronger here than in many other European countries. In fact, the son of Poland’s Prime Minister is a Catholic priest. We encourage Americans…or anyone else….to visit these great shrines.
He took us past the cordoned off area behind the barrier to show us a part of the new façade and it was stunning. It will take one more year to finish. We thanked him in Polish and bid farewell as we went down to the crypt below. It was full of dead people, lots of them. Of the many beatified Blessed, there was one separate crypt with a more well known saint-to-be. Sorry the picture with his name didn’t come out.
Editor’s note: We believe this to be Fr. Lawrence Kuśniaka (1788-1866), but would love to hear from someone if that is…or is not…. correct.
We headed for our hotel in Legnica and there in the city is the church of Saint Hyacinth which holds the most recent Eucharistic Miracle in the world, I think. We decided to go there first since it was close to 3 Pm and the Divine Mercy Hour. We parked right in front of the Church and went in, not knowing what to expect. The church is lovely, but pales in comparison to the Shrine of the Miracle (Click here to read the story of the Eucharistic Miracle).
We knelt before Our Lord and there was no question in our minds that this was real. We have seen the Miracle in Lanciano, Italy and Santarem, Portugal and always have the same thought: “It is You“. The Lord continues to give signs to the world and so many ignore Him…….how sad. (You must look at the photos).
We were again overwhelmed to be here alone just the 3 of us, Susan and I and Jesus. We knelt on the closest kneelers and began The Divine Mercy chaplet and the church bells rang just after we started. After we finished we placed another copy of our intentions in the box close to our Lord and prayed that they would all be answered.
We went into the adoration chapel for a few moments to pray as some woman showed us the room. She was kind and knew we were not from Poland. We prayed for awhile and bought some things at the book store as we left.
Our next stop was the hotel about a mile away and we checked in. We had a great view of the Town and Cathedral from our oversized balcony (it was bigger than the room). We worked a little and then ventured out for dinner. We had to pass the Cathedral so we decided to go in. The offertory was going on and we went into a pew and prayed until mass was over. We had time to light candles for all the intentions we carry and actually lit 3, one for each Shrine, since they didn’t have candles to light, and one for a special intention we just received from a special friend. I took one close up photo of the main altar and the lights went out. They move quick here.
It was raining lightly and we had our umbrellas but we were tired so we went back to the hotel and ate in their restaurant and it was very good. Polish potato pancakes, one with goulash and I had pork tender with mine in a mushroom sauce. We ate it all and went to the room to take care of some real estate at home. That’s all I remember.
God Bless you all
Susan & Tom
Here I am, Spiritual Mother and queen of Angels. I place my hand in yours now. Please present me to Jesus as His Loving Disciple forever.
Here I am, Lord. I come to do Your Holy Will. You, alone, are the Lord. You, alone, are the Most High. I am all Yours. Please accept my heart, Lord, offered to You in the pure hands of Your Blessed Mother, Queen of my Heart. Lord, Jesus, I believe You, I Trust In You, I adore You and I Love You Forever. Keep me always as Your own.
Thank you, Queen of Angels, for bringing me to Jesus in this most treasured familial intimacy. Thank you, Jesus, my Brother, for Your Mother and Mine.