Śliska 14 St., 30-516 Krakow, tel: +48 12 656-12-66, fax.: +48 12 656-12-66 ext. 217
http://www.pilgrimage-poland.eu, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Lagiewniki, Krakow
At first, the sanctuary was located in the convent of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, located on a hill in Lagiewniki. The convent was built between the year 1888 and 1891 from the charity funds given to Albin Dunajewski, the cardinal of Krakow, by prince Aleksander Lubomirski. One of the monastery's buildings was called the House of Mercy. It was an educational facility for women and girls in need of a deep moral reform ran by nuns
During the World War I a part of the congregation became a military hospital, where nuns brought help to the wounded. During the period of the Nazi occupation German troops were stationed within the monastery. Despite that fact, the Sisters continued to work in the House of Mercy. They also provided for the expatriates and organized underground education for children.
During the period between the two wars, sister Faustyna Kowalska resided and died in the congregation. It is her life and work that contriuted greatly to the development of the sanctuary. Till World War II the convent was closed for visitor however after her death it has become a destination for many pilgrimages connected with the Divine Mercy worship.
In 1992 the chapel of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy was made into the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy. A dynamic development of the place occured over the years, closely related to the beatification of sister Faustyna Kowalska and to the pilgrimages of John Paul II. Lagiewniki became an international centre for the Divine Mercy worship. In this context, building a basilica and facilities to accommodate incoming pilgrims was a necessity.
In 1996 metropolitan cardinal Franciszek Macharski started the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy Fundation which, from the very beginnig, has been gathering resources for finishing the temple and supervised the work itself.
The project of the basilica and other building was done by prof. Witold Ceckiewicz from the Krakow School of Engineering. On 7th of June 1997 pope John Paul II gave his signature on the project of further construction of the sanctuary. 5 years later, on 17th of August 2002 he consecrated the newly erected basilica and offered the whole world to the Divine Mercy.
John Paul II visited the sanctuary twice during his pilgrimages to Poland in 1997 and 2002. Four years later pope Benedict XVI also visited the basilica. A memorial statue of John Paul II was revealed during his stay in the sanctuary. Right now, the complex includes a two-floor temple, a tower and a Way of the Cross, richly decorated with bas-reliefs made by Czeslaw Dzwigaj in 1996, as well as other facilities for pilgrims including parking places and shops.
The temple was build to resemble a boat and consist of the upper church, which can accommodate around 4000 people, and the lower part, still under construction. A shrine to st Faustyna and four national shrines are located in the lower part. The altar in the basilica hosts an image of Jesus the Merciful, worshiped around the World, and relics of st Faustyna Kowalska.
In front of the temple, there is a 77-meter tower, with 315 steps, with a watching point located at 41,6 meters. The tower is the highest watch point in Krakow, from which Tatra mountains can be seen when the weather is good.
A Centre of the Divine Mercy helps people with various problems.
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