w/ Fr Ed Zaorski
Fr Ed Zaorski invites you on a transformative pilgrimage to Poland, a land steeped in Catholic heritage, where faith intertwines with centuries of history and culture. Poland is a country that has suffered greatly over the centuries as a buffer between the East and West, but this turbulent history has only deepened the faith and convitction of the Catholic people. Out of Poland have come some of most inspiring saints of the 20th century; St Maxillian Kolbe, St Faustina and St John Paul II. Join Fr Ed in veneration and discovery as you learn about these annoited servants of God, and let your faith be deepened and your lives transformed by visiting the places they were born, lived, and died.
On pilgrimage in Poland, you will aslo visit sites such as the Jasna Gora Monestary in Czestochowa where you will venrate the miraculous Black Modanna icon, the Wawel Cathedral in Krakow where St John Paul II celebrated his first Holy Mass in 1946, the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp where we will remember those murdered during the Holocaust, and the Wieliczka Salt Mines which is UNESCO World Heritage site. This is an incredible journey to sacred sites, iconic shrines, and profound spiritual experiences, and we hope you will join us!
DAYS 1 & 2 : Detroit > Warsaw
We depart USA en route to Warsaw, with complimentary meals and beverages served aloft. Upon arrival at Warsaw International Airport, we will be greeted by our tour escort and transferred to a local restaurant for lunch (not included in pilgrimage cost).
After lunch, we will visit the museum of Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko at the Church of Saint Stanisław Kostka. Fr Popieluszko was martyred for celebrating mass with striking Solidarity steelworkers. After our visit to the museum, we celebrate Holy Mass. We then transfer to our hotel for check in and time to relax before our Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel in Warsaw D
DAY 3: Warsaw
Today we celebrate Holy Mass at a local church. After Mass we will enjoy a guided tour and explore the Old Town area, comprised of cobblestone streets and picturesque architecture that are symbols of successful reconstruction from Warsaw’s almost complete destruction during the World War II. Some of the sites will include the Market Square, the Barbican, the birthplace of Madame Curie, the former Royal Castle, and the Warsaw Ghetto monument commemorating the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 during World War II. Lunch at a local restaurant.
Later in the afternoon we visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and Holy Cross Church. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure in the Old Town and dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel in Warsaw B | L
DAY 4: Warsaw/Niepokalanow/Lodz/Czestochowa
Breakfast at the hotel and check-out before departure to Niepokalanow. Upon arrival we celebrate Mass at the Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe at Niepokalanow Monastery. Kolbe, who was imprisoned at Auschwitz in May 1941, sacrificed his life in order to save the life of another. He was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1982. We will have time to tour the grounds and spend time in prayer and meditation.
Continue to Lodz, a city dedicated to Saint Faustina with lunch at a local restaurant. We continue to Czestochowa and check into the hotel upon arrival. There will be time to visit Jasna Gora and the Shrine of the Black Madonna before dinner and overnight at the hotel. B | L | D
DAY 5: Czestochowa/Krakow
Breakfast at the hotel and check out before we celebrate Mass at the side altar of The Black Madonna within the Jasna Gora Monastery. After Mass, we will have a guided tour of this hill-top monastery houses the beloved icon. Tradition tells that it was painted by Luke the Evangelist, discovered by St. Helen during her famous pilgrimage, and later donated to the local Dominican monks and enshrined. While here, we will have the opportunity to venerate not only the Holy Icon, but also many other priceless treasures that are contained within. Additionally, St. John Paul II is said to have made frequent visits to this monastery throughout his life. Lunch at a local restaurant then depart for Krakow.
Upon arrival, check into the hotel with remainder of the day at leisure. Dinner at local restaurant. B | L | D
DAY 6: Krakow
After breakfast at the hotel, we celebrate Holy Mass at the altar of St Stanislaus at the 900 year-old Wawel Cathedral. We will then enjoy a guided tour of Krakow. First, we tour the Wawel Hill, the former seat of power of medieval Polish monarchs and home to the beautiful Wawel Cathedral and Coronation Chapel. This is the Polish national sanctuary and where Karol Wojtyla (Saint John Paul II) gave his first Mass and later served at this Shrine as the Archbishop of Krakow. Also at this site, you will have the opportunity to pray at the tomb of the patron saint of Poland, St. Stanislaus.
Later continue towards the Market Square the largest and one of the most picturesque town squares in Europe. It has remained almost unchanged for the last 700 years and many of its buildings hold important historical value such as the Town Hall Tower, the Cloth Hall and Burgher's houses. We will visit St. Mary′s Basilica where we can see an extraordinary medieval artifact, Europe′s largest wooden altar. Lunch on your own and afternoon at leisure. Dinner on your own. B
DAY 7: Krakow/Wadowice/Kalwaria Zebrzydowska
After breakfast at the hotel, we travel to Wadowice where St John Paul II was born and raised. Upon arrival we visit the oldest church in Wadowice, the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, where young Karol Wojtyla developed a profound and personal devotion to Our Lady. We will see the baptistery where the future pope was baptized. After celebrating Holy Mass at the Shrine, we visit the Wojtyla family house at Koscielna Street which has been turned into a museum with exhibits of Wojtyla family′s former possessions.
After lunch at a local restaurant, we drive to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, known as the “Polish Jerusalem.” The shrine is dedicated to the Passion of Christ and also to the miraculous Icon of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Calvary. We then return to Krakow and the remainder of the afternoon at leisure. Dinner at the hotel B | L | D
DAY 8: Krakow/Auschwitz
After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to Oswiecim for our visit to Auschwitz, the notorious World War II Nazi concentration camp and the camp where St. Maximilian Kolbe was martyred. Visiting Auschwitz is a sobering experience that allows people to reflect on the horrors of the Holocaust and the importance of ensuring that such atrocities are never repeated. The site serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit and the imperative to promote tolerance and understanding.
After lunch at a local restaurant, we return to Krakow where we will have a guided tour of Kazimierz – Krakow’s Jewish Quarter which was the center of Jewish life for over 500 years. Kazimierz is a bustling, bohemian neighborhood packed with historical sites, cafes and art galleries. Well-known for its associations with Schindler and Spielberg, traces of Kazimierz’s Jewish history have not only survived, but literally abound in the form of the district’s numerous synagogues, including the Remu Synagogue. and Jewish cemeteries. The evening your to enjoy Krakow's Old Town Square with dinner on your own. B | L
DAY 9: Krakow/Wieliczka
After breakfast at the hotel, we depart for the nearby town of Wieliczka to visit the oldest salt mine in Europe. It is a unique place where many generations of Polish miners have created a world of underground chambers and salt lakes with richly decorated chambers, including the famous Blessed Kinga's Chapel. For centuries, it was the source of the country′s wealth and the material foundation of its culture.
After lunch at a local restaurant, we visit the Divine Mercy Sanctuary and pray for the same joy and reverence St Faustina felt when Jesus appeared to her in 1931 with his right arm raised in blessing and his left arm touching his robe. From His heart two large rays came forth: one red and the other translucent. This Image is now known and recognized throughout the world. We will also enjoy a talk with one of the local sisters telling us the story of Divine Mercy. We then carry on to the nearby St John Paul II Sanctuary hosting his relics. This evening we will enjoy our Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant that will include a traditional folk show. B | L | D
DAY 10: Krakow > Detroit
Today we transfer to the airport for our flight home after a spiritual journey across Poland. "Do widzenia" and God bless! B