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Pilgrimages of John Paul II to the Sanctuary
Karol Wojtyla, as pope John Paul II visited Lagiewniki twice during his pilgrimages. During the years of war, he used to prey in the monastery's chapel on his way to work in Solvay. The message brought by st Faustyna Kowalska became very important for him during the hard times.
During his first pilgrimage to Lagiewniki, on 7th of June 1997 he talked about the unique experience of hope and love which is inscribed in the message from st Faustyna Kowalska. "It was my personal experience as well, which I took with me to Rome and which somehow creates the image of this pontificate" said John Paul II.
His second pilgrimage was connected with the consecration of the temple which has been in construction since 1999. The ceremony of consecration of the upper church building attracted more than 22,000 people. Pope's visit in 2002 brought the message of the Divine Mercy to the present world. It was expressed in "the Act of offering the World to the Divine Mercy". On his return to Rome, John Paul II said "the main point of the visit [in Poland] was to spread the word of the merciful God by consecrating the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy in Lagiewniki. This new temple will become a centre, from which the Divine Mercy will shine to the whole world" (Castel Gandolfo 21st of August 2002).
Making Lagiewniki an international centre of the Divine Mercy worship and offering the World to the Divine Mercy on the sanctuary grounds by John Paul II increased the significance of the place.
Benedict XVI has also visited the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy during his pilgrimage in May 2006. On the 26th of May he talked about the teachings of John Paul II and expressed his will to follow the path of his predecessor. Pope prayed to the relics of st Faustyna Kowalska, then a meeting with the ill and the members of the Apostoles of the Divine Mercy community. In his speech he said that the people who suffer teach us that "there is no other, deeper faith, no stronger hope, no love more passionate, that the one of those who suffer and in their misery lay themselves in the confident hands of God."
The pilgrimages of John Paul II and Benedict XVI to Lagiewniki have played an important part in the development of the Divine Mercy and st Faustyna Kowalska cult in the Church and the World.
To better understand the deep, personal relationship of pope John Paul II with Krakow we invite you on a virtual tour: Following the paths of John Paul II
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