St Pope John Paul II Sanctuary
Today started early with a bus and tram journey to the St Pope John Paul II Sanctuary. As a group we spent the morning exploring and looking around the sanctuary. This included looking at the various paintings and murals depicting the life of the late Pope as well as having the opportunity to see the blood stained cassock, from the failed assassination of the Pope in St Peter’s Square in 1981. As this pilgrimages themes is mercy, this cassock was a very physical reminder of the power of mercy and forgiveness. We were reminded of the story of Pope John Paul II visiting the prison cell of his would – be assassin Mehmet Ali Ağca. Mr. Ağca and the Pope had a private conversation in his prison cell, after which to two emerged as friends and his Holiness sincerely forgave him and redemption occurred for Mr. Ağca. It was a huge reminder for all pilgrims about the importance of forgiveness and the evidence of redemption for those who have gravely sinned.
Following a period of time spent in the sanctuary, the group was treated to a private tour of a specially constructed life scale exhibition in dedication to the Shroud of Turin. The group had the opportunity to walk around the exhibition and listened intently to explanations of the exhibit pieces that described the history and findings at the Shroud.
The group then spent the next few moments walking to the Divine Mercy where as a group we spent 10 minutes in collective prayer and worship. The temperatures were exceptionally high and this made the group a little weary and so because of this we travelled back to the accommodation to rest before heading back into Krakow city center, where the group was kindly treated to a delicious meal by our generous Cannons. After eating copious amounts of food we travelled back to the accommodation to sleep of the huge meals and prepare for the next day!