After his visit at the nearby sanctuary of Divine Mercy, Pope Francis will go to the upper square outside the sanctuary of St. John Paul II and will go to sacristy which will be temporarily arranged on the area of the local museum – says Fr. Kabziński. – From there he will go through the Gate of Mercy to the upper church where he will celebrate Eucharist. When I ask Fr. Jan whether a souvenir had been prepared for Francis in relation to the visit to this place, he smiles and says: - We will give the Holy Father liturgical robes for missions. It will be a gift from our sanctuary.

This place is close to consecrated people and families. Francis called his predecessor ‘Pope of Families’. Will he refer to this fact during his meeting in the Cracow church which was built as a thanksgiving votive for the pontificate of the great Pole? – I think that the Holy Father will say something about it, especially that today family is weaker. And people come to this sanctuary to pray for a good husband, good wife, gift of having children, they also entrust their various worries and problems. It seems to me that Francis will express his worry about the Church in general. He may appeal to Polish bishops not to be afraid of sharing their priests with other countries where there is lack of them – says Fr. Kabziński who has worked as a missionary in Tanzania for many years.

Francis will not have enough time to visit the church. It has got a lot of chapels thanks to which we can get to know spirituality of the Polish pope, his roots and Homeland. It may be possible to see one of these spaces. When I ask a custodian about his favourite place in the Centre of St. John Paul II ‘Do not be afraid!’, he answers, not hesitating, that it has got a Priestly Chapel. – There is the Holiest Sacrament in it, as well as a slab of the tomb of John Paul II, and a reliquary on it, made to the example of an open Book of Gospels, whose pages were turned over by wind during the funeral of the Pope. The Chapel was built to the example of crypt of St. Leonardo at Wawel, where the newly ordained priest Karol Wojtyła celebrated his three first masses. My another favourite place is the altar in the church of Relics in which we celebrate Eucharist on weekdays.

What is interesting, the first public Holy Mass with participation of Francis in Małopolska will take place in the sanctuary of St. John Paul II. ‘Fervent Lover of Eucharist’, as one of the litany says, ‘Friend and Educator of the youth’, as another says, initiated the World Youth Days. Maybe Francis will encourage priests to support the youth and families – according to what Benedict XVI had emphasized in 2006 in the Warsaw cathedral - so that they would be ‘specialists for a man’s meeting with God’.


„Niedziela” 30/2016

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: