Wadowice is a special place for pilgrimages with regard to Pope Saint John Paul II. It was here in Wadowice that Karol Wojtyła, future priest, bishop, cardinal and finally pope was born.
Being the head of the Catholic Church, he visited Wadowice three times: in 1979, 1991 and 1999. On his visits he prayed in the Basilica and met inhabitants of his home town. During his last visit he began his speech with the following words:
Beloved brothers and sisters! I have come to my home town of Wadowice once again. It is with great emotion that I look upon the town of my childhood days, which witnessed my first steps, my first words and the words, as Norwid said, that are like eternal faith of Jesus Christ “Praised be Jesus Christ”. (“My Song”). My home town, my family home and the church of my baptism… I want to enter these welcoming door and again pay respects to my homeland and its people and utter the words with which family members are welcomed on arrival from their long journey: “Praised be Jesus Christ!”.
Expressing thanks for the Polish Pope, we kindly invite pilgrims to visit the following places connected with John Paul II.
- The basilica named after the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (baptismal chapel, chapel of St Mary of Perpetual Help, papal chapel with a relic of Saint John Paul II)
- The museum – family home of John Paul II
- Secondary school named after Marcin Wadowita (former grammar school attended by Karol Wojtyła)
- The monastery of Carmelite Friars (with a relic of the scapular worn by Saint John Paul II)
The pilgrim visitors to Wadowice willing to take part in the ceremony of Eucharist may participate in one of the regular Holy Masses. If a group of pilgrims has their own priest, it is possible to arrange the time of celebration of Liturgy after informing on that fact (learn more).
All pilgrims are also kindly invited to participate in the prayer during the novena to Saint John Paul II, which is held every Thursday at 6 PM. It is in front of the relic of John Paul II that you may also pray and throw lists of various purposes to the specially prepared box to be found on the wall next to the papal chapel. Those purposes are also read out before the beginning of the Eucharist.
Those who wish to pray in our Basilica through the intercession of St. John Paul II, Patron Saint of Wadowice, are invited to the Holy Mass on first Saturdays of each month at 6 PM, which is preceded by the Evening of John Paul II at 5.30 PM. This church service is concluded by the procession of light in front of the statue of Saint John Paul II on the main square in Wadowice.