9 Days in Poland
Following the Footsteps of Polish Saints
Day One: Depart USA for Warsaw We will gather around the ticket counter at least three hours prior to our scheduled departure. Dinner, breakfast, and entertainment will be served in-flight.
Day Two: Welcome to Warsaw Arrive in Warsaw Airport and meet our guide, driver and our modern coach prior to continuing to the city center. Following, we check-in at the hotel and celebrate Holy Mass. Then, we enjoy dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Day Three: Warsaw This morning, we have a delicious breakfast at our hotel before a full day of touring Warsaw. We will have a guided tour featuring Łazienkowski Park with the Frederic Chopin Monument; we will see and reflect at The Warsaw Ghetto and Umschlagplatz (thousands of Jews were deported to concentration camps from here). Then, we will visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the symbol of Warsaw- Palace of Culture & Science, the famous Krakowski Przedmieście Street, and the Old Town (UNESCO World Heritage site). We will also visit The Royal Castle and St. John’s Cathedral. After, we will have free time for lunch (on our own). Afterwards, we will proceed with visiting Saint Stanislaw Kostka’s Church. It is the burial site of Blessed Father Jerzy Popiełuszko, whom was kidnapped and brutally murdered by communist militia officers in 1984. We will attend Holy Mass here, too. Transfer back to our hotel, where we will enjoy a little time of leisure prior to dinner and overnight.
Day Four: Warsaw – Niepokalanów – Świnice Warckie – Częstochowa We enjoy a wonderful buffet breakfast prior to checking out of our hotel and transferring to Niepokalanów, where we will visit the Sanctuary of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, which was founded by Saint Father Maximilian Kolbe. We will celebrate Holy Mass here. Following, we continue to Świnice Warckie where Saint Sister Faustina Kowalska was born. After lunch (on our own) we continue to Częstochowa and check-in at the hotel prior to dinner. After dinner, we have the option to enjoy an evening walk to Jasna Góra Monastery to pray in front of the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary called the Black Madonna (tomorrow, we will have a guided tour of this miraculous place). Overnight at our hotel.
Day Five: Czestochowa – Auschwitz – Birkenau – Krakow Breakfast and check-out of our hotel. Following, we have a guided visit of the most important pilgrimage site in Poland – the monastery of Jasna Góra with the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary – the Black Madonna. We have Holy Mass here. Then, we continue to Oświęcim for lunch (on our own). We will have a guided tour of the former German Nazi Concentration & Extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, built by Nazi Germany occupying Poland during the World War II. Today, this place is a World Heritage Site of UNESCO. We will depart for Kraków to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day Six: Kraków – Wieliczka – Kraków After breakfast, we have a full day of touring Kraków! We explore the Old Town (Stare Miasto), the biggest medieval market square in Europe (Rynek Główny); the Town Hall; Collegium Maius – the oldest part of the medieval Jagiellonian University- second oldest university in central Europe, founded in 1364; the Cloth Hall (Sukiennice); Saint Mary’s Church (Kościół Mariacki) with the famous altar by Veit Stoss- the largest Gothic altarpiece in the world.
We will walk along the the city walls of the Old Town with Floriańska Gate and the Barbican. Then we will see The Archbishop's Palace, where Karol Wojtyła lived as a cardinal and as Kraków's archbishop and stayed during his visits as a pope. The famous Franciscan Church, where he prayed. His favourite pew is located there. During sightseeing, there will be a multimedia presentation about the history of amber called “Polish Gold”. In 1978 Krakow was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. After lunch (on our own) we transfer to Wieliczka. When we arrive, we have a guided tour in Wieliczka Salt Mine – one of the oldest salt mines in the world. Many famous people have visited the place such as Mikolaj Kopernik, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Dmitrij Mendeleev, Boleslaw Prus, Ignacy Paderewski, Karol Wojtyla, etc. The Salt Mine was placed on the original UNESCO list of the World Heritage Sites in 1978. We celebrate Holy Mass in the underground Chapel, located 331 feet below ground, prior to returning to our hotel in Krakow for dinner and overnight.
Day Seven: Krakow – Wadowice – Kalwaria – Kraków Breakfast. Holy Mass in Metropolitan Curia. Depart to Wadowice where Saint John Paul II was born in 1920. We will visit the Pope’s home and the church where he was baptized. Following, we transfer to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska to visit the Bernardine Monastery complex. It is the third most famous sanctuary in Poland. The entire Marian complex is a World Heritage site of UNESCO. We will pray at Chapel of Devine Mercy and Rosary before one of the altars. Return to Kraków for free time prior to dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Day Eight: Kraków – Divine Mercy & John Paul II Sanctuaries – Nowa Huta – Kraków Enjoy a hearty breakfast prior to transferring to Łagiewniki to visit the monastery. The Sanctuary of Divine Mercy is located where Saint Sister Fuastina Kowalska lived and died. This Monastery was proclaimed ‘The center of Divine Mercy’ by Pope John Paul II during his stay in Poland. A new Sanctuary was recently built at this place, called White Seas, commemorating the Saint John Paul II. We will have Holy Mass at one of the sanctuaries. Following lunch (on our own) we will continue to Nowa Huta- the easternmost district of kraków, a socialist settlement build as an ideal socialist city, to visit Arka Pana (The Lord’s Ark), which was the first church built in this socialist district. We will transfer back to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day Nine: Return USA This morning, after an early breakfast, we will transfer to the airport at the appropriate time to return to the USA and continue home – the end of a most memorable pilgrimage!