~ 2 nights: Hotel Dorint, Salzburg ~ 2 nights: Hotel Marriott, Vienna ~ 2 nights: Hotel Korona, Budapest † Transfers as per itinerary † Breakfast and Dinner daily † Wine with dinners † Assistance of a professional Catholic guide(s) † Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach † Assistance of a professional Catholic guide(s) † Sightseeing & admissions fees as per itinerary † Catholic Priest available for Spiritual Direction † Mass daily & Spiritual activities † Luggage handling (1 piece per person) † Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
*Special Clergy Discount *Discount is offered to ordained clergy in the Roman Catholic Church: deacons, priests, or bishops belonging to the diaconate, the presbyterate, or the episcopate, respectively as well, as Catholic Sisters.
Day 1 - USA - Warsaw Depart USA for your overnight flight(s) to Warsaw. Dinner and breakfast will be served on board.
Day 2 - Warsaw
Upon arrival in Warsaw you will find your luggage and exit the baggage claim into the arrivals hall where you will be greeted by your tour escort and/or driver. After a warm welcome to Poland, you will be escorted to the vehicle which will take you to your hotel. We begin our pilgrimage with Mass at St. James Church, where St. Faustina went when she arrived in Warsaw. This evening enjoy a show and a delicious welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Following dinner you may explore or relax before retiring for the evening.
Day 3 - Warsaw After breakfast, we visit all the landmarks of Warsaw: Old Town, Market Square, the Barbican, the Warsaw Ghetto monument, Lazienki Park, the Chopin statue, and the magnificently restored Royal Castle. We will visit and celebrate Mass at 39 Zytnia Street where Faustina entered the convent. Following a day of sightseeing we return to our hotel for dinner and a restful overnight.
Day 4 - Warsaw - Swinice Warckie - Niepokalanow - Czestochowa After breakfast, we travel to Swince Warckie to visit the parish church St. Casimir where St. Faustina was baptized as Helen Kowalska. We continue to Niepokalanow where we will see a Franciscan Monastery founded by St. Maximillian Kolbe. We arrive in Czestochowa, the home of the greatest pilgrimage shrine in Poland - Our Lady of Czestochowa. We enjoy dinner at our hotel before retiring for the evening.
Day 5 - Czestochowa - Wadowice - Zakopane We begin our day with Mass at Jasna Gora Monastery where the picture of the Black Madonna is located. We will have time to explore the most important places of religious worship. The monastery has a pilgrimage tradition that goes back to the 14th-century. St. John Paul II was known to make frequent visits to the monastery throughout his life. We will have time to venerate the priceless treasures contained within, including the Miraculous Icon. We continue on to Zakopane, with a stop along the way in Wadowice, the birthplace of Karol Wojtyla (St. John Paul II) and see the church he attended and was baptized as a child. This afternoon, we arrive in the resort village of Zakopane, where we will take a cable car ride to the nearby mountaintop for extraordinary views. We arrive at the hotel in time for dinner and a restful overnight.
Day 6 - Zakopane - Krakow This morning we will visit the Jaszczorowka Chapel in Zakopane which has been visited several times by young Karol Wojtyla (St. John Paul II), as it lies on the walking paths where he often finished his walks for prayer and reflection. We then make our way to the colorful Krupowki Street for some last minute shopping in the local bazaar. We will stop at the amazing Wieliczka Salt Mines on our way to Krakow. We arrive in Krakow in time for dinner, after which you may enjoy a short stroll in the old city before retiring for the evening.
Day 7 - Krakow - Auschwitz - Krakow After breakfast, we explore Krakow's Market Square and hear the silver trumpet of the bugler from St. Mary's Tower. The surroundings of the square have remained unchanged for almost 700 years and contain buildings of historic value such as the Town Hall Tower, the Cloth Hall and the burgher's houses. We will tour the Cathedral, Coronation Chapel and the Royal Chambers where a superb collection of Arras tapestries are on display. We visit the Cathedral where we may pray before the extraordinary Wit Stwosz altar. In the afternoon we will visit Auschwitz, the notorious Nazi concentration camp where unspeakable atrocities occurred. We will see the cell that imprisoned St. Maximillian Kolbe and the Martyrdom Museum recalling the horrors of the Holocaust. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 8 - Krakow – Divine Mercy - Lagiewniki - Krakow After breakfast, we depart for our day's excursion to Lagiewniki, the capital of the Divine Mercy. It was here that the message of the Divine Mercy originated, which Christ Himself wished to pass on to our generation through the mediation of St. Faustina. The Sanctuary houses grace working images of the Merciful Jesus and the relics of St. Faustina. As we view the Shrine of Divine Mercy we will see St. Faustina's convent chapel and her Tomb. We will visit the newly constructed Shrine of Divinity dedicated by St. John Paul II on his last visit to Poland in 2002. We celebrate Mass at the Shrine before we visit the new center "Have no Fear" where we pray by the relic of St. John Paul II. We will have time to pray and reflect before returning to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 9 - Krakow - Prague After breakfast we depart for our scenic motorcoach ride (or short flight) to the enchanting city of Prague, a city of domed rooftops, soaring steeples, and countless spires. Dinner and overnight.
Day 10 - Prague After breakfast, we begin our tour of beautiful Prague. We will celebrate Mass at the Church of Our Lady Victorious and see there the renowned statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague. We visit Old Town by way of Golden Lane and then go to the Lesser Town to see the medieval Charles Bridge that is adorned with many baroque statues. We will also see St. Nicholas Church, the Astronomic Clock, and the Prague Castle district where we tour St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George Basilica, Loreto Church, Strahov Monastery, and Wenceslas Square. Dinner and overnight.
Day 11 - Prague - Altotting - Salzburg Leave Prague for Altotting, one of Germany's most celebrated shrines and a city whose purpose is pilgrimage. Upon arrival we'll celebrate Mass at the center of the pilgrimage complex, the Chapel of Mercy. The chapel houses a 13th century statue of the Blessed Virgin to which numerous miraculous cures are credited. While there, we have the opportunity to visit the Basilica, the Panorama of the Crucifixion and St. Konrad's Monastery. Continue to Salzburg, the lovely birthplace of Mozart, Salzburg the city of great houses, mansions, Festival Hall, and the Mirabelle Gardens. Hear the bells of the great Glockenspiel Tower, performed to a melody of Mozart's. Dinner and overnight in Salzburg.
Day 12 - Salzburg After breakfast, our full day tour begins with Mass at St. Peter's Churchyard. Salzburg is compact and best explored on foot. Narrow, winding lanes and secluded passageways are evidence of its medieval roots. The heritage of the Catholic Church is evident in the Archbishop's Residence and the decoration of the State Rooms, available for viewing. Visit the mighty Romanesque Cathedral, the Nonnberg Convent of Benedictine nuns, and the Fortress Hohensalzburg. We stop at Hellbrunn Palace to enjoy its gardens and hidden trick fountains. Dinner and overnight.
Day 13 - Salzburg - Mariazell - Vienna After breakfast, we motor east through Austria to Mariazell, the most important pilgrimage place in Austria. We will stop and see the miraculous statue, which is housed in the Lady Chapel or Chapel of Miracles, built directly over the place where Magnus established his monastic cell in 1157. We continue onto to Vienna, Austria's capital. Dinner and overnight.
Day 14 - Vienna After breakfast we will enjoy a sightseeing of Vienna, home of Strauss and Mozart and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We see the spectacular St. Stephen's cathedral, where we celebrate Mass. At St. Stephen’s, we’ll see the miraculous image of Our Lady of Mariapocs, tour the Cathedral and its catacombs, and those strong and brave may climb the 343 steps to the top of the Cathedral spire. Visit of the Schonbrunn Royal palace and summer house with 1,441 rooms including a Hall of Mirrors where Mozart performed at the age of six before a young
Marie Antoinette. View of the Belvedere palace well known by its beautiful gardens. Back in the city center, we go
to Karlsplatz with its Church of St. Charles Borromeo and Otto Wagner's Stadtbahn pavilions. Somewhere along the way we will have a little coffee break to enjoy the famous Vienna pastries such as Sacher cake. Dinner and overnight in Vienna.
Day 15 - Vienna - Budapest After breakfast, we depart for Budapest., often compared with Paris, this glamorous city has something to offer every visitor. Enjoy free time to explore Budapest or rest before dinner and a restful overnight.
Day 16 - Budapest After breakfast, we will tour the older section of the city. After celebrating Mass at the 13th-century Cathedral of St. Matthew, we will see the Citadel on Mount Gellert, the Royal Castle, Fisherman's Bastion, the Parliament, Heroes' Square, and the Church of St. Stephen. Dinner and overnight.
Day 17 - Budapest - USA We depart from Budapest Airport for our return flights to the USA.
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Karol Wojtyla (St. John Paul II) was born in the Polish town of Wadowice on May 18, 1920. He moved to Krakow with his father in 1938, where he attended Jagiellonian University and began studying for the priesthood. He was ordained as a priest on November 1, 1946 and went on to continue his studies in Rome until 1948. He returned to Poland that same year for his first pastoral assignment in the village of Niegowic, which lasted seven months. He then was transferred to the parish of St. Florian in Krakow, where he also spent time hiking in the mountains and canoeing with young people.
Karol Wojtyla’s personality and ability to connect with young people attracted large crowds to his sermons. He not only had a group of people regularly attend his liturgy at 6:00AM, but also celebrate name-days and travel together to hike the Bieszczady Mountains and canoe on the Masurian Lakes. The group was very close, and referred to Priest Karol as ‘’Wujek,” which is Polish for Uncle.
Karol Wojtyla continued his theological studies, and in 1958 he was nominated Bishop. Soon after, he participated in preparations for the Second Vatican Council. Following the death of Archbishop Eugeniusz Basiak in 1963, he became the Bishop of Krakow and four years later was appointed Cardinal by Pope Paul VI.
Karol Wojtyla was a strong advocate of the youth movement, ‘’Light-Life,” established in 1969 by Fr. Franciszek Blachnicki. He appreciated the importance of the movement and the religious formation offered to young people through the creation of summer camps. Communist authorities saw the camps as alarming, and activists of the movement were persecuted. Many Bishops distanced themselves from the movement out of fear of endangering the Church. As a Cardinal, Karol Wojtyla officially approved the summer camps as part of pastoral activites in the Krakow archbishopric. He often attended meetings with students, preached at retreats, made surprise visits to offer confession, and unofficially supported the programs financially, including giving funds to the poorest students. John Paul II addressed the youth on the inauguration of his pontificate, in his first speech delivered from the window of the Apostolic Palace before the Angelus. He exclaimed, ‘’...my hope, because you are the promise of tomorrow. You are the hope of the Church and society.” Meetings with young people were immensely important for St. John Paul II, and he is notably behind the creation of World Youth Day.
St. John Paul II often returned to Wadowice, Niegowic, Krawkow and Zakopane, where his road to the Papacy all began. He recalled on a pilgrimage to his homeland, ‘’Here, in this land, I was born. Here, in Krakow, I spent the greater part of my life... Here, I received the grace of my priestly vocation... I was consecrated Bishop in the Cathedral of Wawel.” Karol Wojtyla’s journey to Rome for the conclave started in Krakow, where he became an adult, an artist, and a devoted shepherd of souls.
After returning from a week long Lenten retreat, he was suffering from the effects of the flu, his condition continued to decline. He continued to resume his usual audiences and visiting with bishops until his condition prompted him to appear via television to Pilgrims. On April 2, 2005, his final hours were filled with uninterrupted prayer by those assisting him, and by thousands filling St. Peter’s Square. His last words, fitting to a life filled with prayer, were ”Amen, Amen”.
His miracle for Beatification came from a french nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, who was struck with Parkinson’s several months after his death. His Beatification Ceremony took place on May 1, 2011, was the biggest event in Rome since his death, and is the quickest of modern times. With over 300,000 attendees, and over 2 million taking part in beatification-related activities. ”It’s not like Karol Wojtyla, John Paul II, will suddenly become a saint when the canonization ceremony occurs. The belief would be he is already in heaven with God, living the life of a saint. All that’s going to happen when the ceremony occurs is that the church will officially recognize that”