Our motto for the pilgrimage: Totus Tuus (as shown at one of the entry gates to the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestechowa). (Photo by Bill Howard)
Here are “The Black Madonna and The Priest In the Wheelchair” and “When A Saint Talks to You,” the latest entries from Catholic journalist Denise Bossert. The latter is about her experience at Niepokalanow, the friary founded by St. Maximilian Kolbe. St. Maximilian is one of the great Mariologists, and it was a gift to visit and celebrate Mass there on Aug. 22 — The Feast of the Queenship of Mary.
Denise also Skypes in regularly to Diana Von Glahn’s “Faithful Traveler” radio show and sent in a report earlier today.
Denise is chronicling our Footsteps of St. John Paul II pilgrimage this week. More updates coming soon.
In the meantime, here’s a very quick recap. You can find photos on Twitter using the hashtag #CorPoland.
We’ve finished our time in Warsaw and Czestechowa and are settling in to Krakow today. We will be based out of here for the rest of the pilgrimage. This morning, several pilgrims woke up extra early to return to the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestechowa for the 6 a.m. unveiling of the icon of Our Lady of Czestechowa (Black Madonna icon, seen below).
After breakfast, we began our journey to Krakow, where we toured the huge, beautiful Market Square and celebrated a powerful Mass in a chapel within St. Mary Basilica. We hope to post some audio of the amazing homilies by Father Jim Otto. Each day seems to be more overwhelming than the next, and in a good way. One can see the Spirit stirring in the hearts of the pilgrims, whether it’s the passionate singing at Mass to the quiet tears of joy and mercy while reflecting after Mass. Christopher has been leading the group in reflection on our long bus rides. We have recorded some of them and will see how we want to share them.
(The magnificent altarpiece by Veit Stoss at St. Mary Basilica. At noon every day, decorative doors swing open to reveal this stunning collection of panels depicting key events in the lives of Mary and Jesus. Photo by Bill Howard)
Keep checking here and on Twitter at #CorPoland for more pilgrimage updates and photos.
And, yes, Christopher is alive (shown here getting rest next to St. Mary Basilica today).