“Dear young friends, we have an appointment for the next World Youth Day
in 2016 in Krakow, Poland.” - proclaimed the Holy Father Francis concluding
the 2013 WYD in Rio de Janeiro. The news, most eagerly anticipated in Krakow,
made the city ecstatic and occasioned general rejoicing throughout
On November 7th, 2013 the Holy
See announced the motto of the 2016 World Youth Day in
Krakow to be "Blessed
are the merciful for they will be shown mercy",
one of the eight beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount.
Arrangements for the World Youth Day in Krakow.
authorities, the local government, and primarily the Catholic church in Krakow
have immediately begun planning and preparations for the 2016 WYD. Cardinal
Stanislaw Dziwisz, the archbishop of Krakow, has committed himself to the event
and made it his priority in coming years.
Krakow's World Youth Days in
2016 are scheduled for July 26th through July 31st. Pope
Francis is expected to arrive to Krakow on Wednesday, July
27th, 2016. There are plans for four mass-audience events
with the Holy Father. The young will welcome Pope Francis in
the afternoon on
Thursday, July 28th on the Krakow Blonia common, a five
minute's walk west from the Old Town historic center. The Way of the Cross will take place on
Friday, July 29th at 5:30 p.m. A prayer vigil will go on on
Saturday, July 30th, starting at 7:30 p.m. Finally, Pope Francis will celebrate an
open-air Holy Mass on Sunday, July 31st. The last two events
are to take place in Brzegi area of Wieliczka, just outside
the Krakow city limits.
The 2016 World
Youth Day in Krakow is to be second such event organized in Poland. The previous
one took place in Czestochowa
in 1991 and gathered 1.5 million participants from all over
the world. The organizers expected that even a greater number of young people would descend
on Krakow in 2016 to meet the Holy Father here and pray with him. However till
July 22nd, 2016 just 356,294 pilgrims, representing 187
nations, signed up for the WYD in Krakow, even though the
number of unregistered participants usually exceeds the
registered ones by far.
have already sign up all students dormitories in the city for the WYD
participants. But most of them will need to find other lodgings themselves so it
seems crucial to book a hostel in Krakow as early as possible.
Although the vast
Blonia common in downtown Krakow seems an ideal venue for an open-air
Papal Mass, Cardinal Dziwisz decided it isn't big enough to accommodate the
millions he expects. So he has chosen Wieliczka's Brzegi
wasteland adjoining the southeastern outskirts of Krakow as
the place of the key events of the 2016 World Youth Day.
Program of Pope Francis'
visit to Krakow
Heading for WYD in Krakow.
Krakow is easy as the city is situated at Europe’s major road and railway
junctions and the Krakow airport
is Poland’s second busiest. And till the mid 2016 the
modernization of approach roads to Krakow, the overhaul of the railway transport
system in southern Poland,
and expansion of the Balice airport - now all concurrently under way for some
time – should be completed, more or less.
Anticipating public transport problems, the Krakow city
council introduced an unlimited travel pass for municipal
trams and buses, valid from July 26th through July 31.
Everybody can buy it for just 15 zlotys (PLN) from ticket
machines at tram stops as well as at newsstands, etc.
The Lord's Mercy icon remains
in the heart of the Sanctuary
of Divine Mercy in Krakow,
Krakow, the stronghold of Christian faith.
dubbed “Rome of the North”, today Krakow remains an important center of
Catholicism. The principal metropolis of the southern Poland is also the seat of
the Krakow archdiocese. The city boasts numerous churches, historic and modern,
as well as many monasteries, convents, Catholic educational institutions
including The Pontifical University of John Paul II, and plethora of other
organizations from charities to prayer associations.
Every year Krakow attracts numerous pilgrims.
Most of them head for the modern Sanctuary of Divine Mercy, which is the hub of
a worldwide Divine Mercy movement. It adjoins the rapidly developing
II Center, important for the World Youth Days since the late Pope launched that
series of events in 1984 and gave it the momentum. At the same time the
Sanctuary has been one of Poland’s holiest sites since the martyrdom of St.
Stanislaw in 1079.
the Sanctuary of
Divine Mercy is open to pilgrims 24/7 during the World Youth
In the footsteps of Pope John Paul II
Sanctuary of Divine Mercy
John Paul II
Poland’s second holiest shrine at the site of St.
Stanislav’s 1079 martyrdom. Splendid Baroque church and fine
monastery modeled on a Renaissance castle.
Hilltop monastery-fortress dates from the 11th c.
Magnificent 17th-century Baroque hermitage complex atop
the Silver Mountain hovers over Krakow.
St. Norbert's Convent
Vast fortified complex on the Vistula river is home to
Krakow’s once powerful Premonstratensian Sisters since the 12th