Pilgrimage to Poland and Lithuania - In Honor of Divine Mercy
Vilnius | Krakow | Warsaw | Czestochowa
Discover the richness of Divine Mercy through a pilgrimage to Lithuania and Poland. Venerate the original image of the Merciful Jesus in Vilnius and experience a Eucharistic miracle in the village of Sokolka. Immerse yourself in Bialystock, the City of Mercy, and Warsaw, the capital of Poland. Witness the miracle of Our Lady of Czestochowa, the beauty of the Wieliczka Salt Mines, the tragedy of Auschwitz, and the richness of Polish culture and faith. Ponder the remarkable story of Divine Mercy and St. Faustina’s mystical life while following in the footsteps of St. John Paul II throughout his birthplace and hometown.
Poland / Eastern Europe Pilgrimage Itinerary
Our pilgrimage begins today as we lift off for Lithuania.
Upon arrival in Vilnius we will be met by our tour manager at the airport and then transfer to our hotel. It was in this city where St. Faustina met Bl. Fr. Michael Sopocko, who would become her Spiritual Director. The first Image of Merciful Jesus was painted from St. Faustina’s vision here. This original image has been restored and is now venerated in its own chapel where we will have Mass. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
This morning we experience many sites of Vilnius including the Old Town, St. Stanislaus Cathedral, the Chapel with the miraculous Image of the Holy Mother of Mercy, and the Convent of the Sisters of Holy Mother of God’s Mercy. It is here, in September 1935, where Jesus dictated to St. Faustina the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. This afternoon, after Mass, we cross the border into Poland and visit the small town of Sokolka, where a verified Eucharistic miracle took place in 2008. We proceed to Bialystock where we check into our hotel, our home for the next two nights.
Bialystok is also known as the City of Mercy because of how closely it is connected with Divine Mercy. Blessed Fr. Michael Sopocko was the spiritual director of St. Faustina and is the one who encouraged her to write her Diary. He lived and worked in Bialystok for almost 30 years and today we follow in his footsteps, visiting St. Faustina’s Chapel, the Congregation of Sisters of Merciful Jesus, Father Sopocko’s home, and the Arch-Cathedral. We end at the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy, where he was beatified in 2008, and pray at his tomb.
We travel to Poland’s capital Warsaw, today, stopping along the way in Dalekie, Fr. Szydlik’s family hometown! After Mass in a local parish, we continue to Warsaw and visit St. Stanislaw Kostka Church, where the martyred Solidarity priest Father Popieluszko worked and is buried. Then we enjoy a tour of the city, including visits to the Cathedral of St. John, the Royal Castle, and the Old Town Square. We follow the Royal Route to Lazienki Park where we will see the Palace on the Water before checking in to our hotel, our home for the next 2 nights.
Today we head out into the country to the remote village of Niepokalanow to the Franciscan Monastery founded by World War II martyr, St. Maximilian Kolbe. We will spend today in a retreat-like setting with a talk, confession, adoration, Mass, and time for personal reflection and wandering the grounds. This evening we return to Warsaw where you’ll be free to explore this fascinating city.
Depart Warsaw this morning and drive to the Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa, the most holy site for the Polish people. The highlight of our visit will be viewing the famous icon of the Black Madonna to which numerous miracles are attributed. The history of this icon is shrouded in mystery, and according to tradition it was painted by St. Luke, brought back to Constantinople from Jerusalem by St. Helena, and eventually arrived at Jasna Gora monastery in 1386.We will see the Treasury, Knight’s Hall, Refectory and the Basilica of the Holy Cross and Nativity of the Virgin Mary, with our remaining time here free for you to further explore, spend time in Adoration, go to confession, or simply sit and pray. We overnight tonight in this beautiful city.
In the morning we will journey to Auschwitz-Birkenau to pay respects at the remains of this Nazi concentration camp where over a million people were killed during World War II. Both St. Edith Stein and St. Maximilian Kolbe were sent here, along with millions of other innocent Jews, Christians, and Poles. St. Maximilian was starved and then faced lethal injection after he volunteered his life for that of a fellow prisoner. Visit his cell and the Martyrdom museum.Afterwards, we travel to Krakow, our home for the next four nights. The remainder of the day will be free to acquaint ourselves with this second-largest city in Poland.
Krakow was thankfully largely untouched by World War II and is an important focal point of Polish Catholicism. We begin today with a visit to the seminary and Bishop’s Palace where St. John Paul II studied for the priesthood in secret during World War II, and where he would later teach. We will visit Wawel Palace and the neighboring Wawel Cathedral, where the newly-ordained Fr. Wotjyla celebrated his first Mass and where we will have Mass today. Continue to Krakow’s Old Town to see the main Market Square, City Hall Tower, Kanonicza Street where Pope John Paul II resided while living in Krakow and the courtyard of the Collegium Maius where he was a student. We end our day in prayer at two ancient churches that were unscathed by World War II – the Basilicas of St. Florian and St. Mary.
Today we walk in St. John Paul II’s footsteps as we retrace much of his early life, beginning with Wadowice where we will have Mass at the Gothic Basilica of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary, where he received baptism, first communion, and confirmation. See the Baroque nave and the miraculous picture of Our Lady of Perpetual help, in front of which the future saint prayed daily. Get to know the former Karol Wojtyla in a new way as we explore his hometown and the museum located in his family home, containing relics of his youth and personal belongings from when he was a local priest. Our next stop is a place that was one of John Paul’s favorite pilgrimage sites from his youth and young adult years – Kalawaria Zebrzydowska. This unique location began in the 17thcentury, when the Palatine of Krakow founded a Bernardine Monastery and built a replica of the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem. The complex grew over the years to encompass replicas of the Tomb of Christ, The Mount of Olives, the Home of Caiaphas, and other sites in the Holy Land, to provide a place of more local pilgrimage for those who could not journey to Jerusalem. Today on the slopes of the hills and in the valley are 43 chapels and shrines scattered on only 4km distance honoring the Way of the Cross, the Mysteries of the Rosary, and 7 Sorrows of Mary.
We begin today with a drive to Wieliczka to visit one of the oldest salt mines in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a unique place where many generations of Polish miners have created a world of underground caverns including a rich interior of decorated chapels, some dating to the 17th century. This afternoon we will experience the highlight of our Divine Mercy pilgrimage when we travel to Lagiewniki, where Saint Faustina, the Apostle of Divine Mercy, lived and died. Enjoy a guided tour of the shrine and venerate the image of Divine Mercy and St. Faustina’s tomb. We will have some time for personal prayer and exploring the grounds, then have our closing Mass and pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy together. Afterwards, we have to opportunity to pray by a relic of St. John Paul II in the new center “Have no Fear” and reflect upon the graces of this pilgrimage and especially the Divine Mercy our Lord offers each one of us. The remainder of the day will be free before enjoying our farewell dinner together tonight.
Today after breakfast we board our flight back to the U.S, taking with us the memories and graces from this blessed pilgrimage.
- Daily Mass at holy sites
- Roundtrip economy airfare from Chicago O’Hare Lufthansa
- 10 nights’ accommodations, including taxes and service charges
- Porterage of one piece of luggage at airports and hotels
- Knowledgeable, friendly, Catholic/Christian guides; whisper headsets; deluxe motor coach transportation to holy sites; all entrance fees listed on itinerary
- Breakfast and dinner (excluding drinks)
- Farewell dinner on day 11