Monday morning we left Warsaw and started our journey to Krakow. It was time to say "goodbye" to the families that hosted our youth and priests. There was lots of joy and tears. It had been a wonderful experience to all of us and it was not easy to leave.
On the way to Krakow we stopped at Częstochowa for a visit to the Sanctuary of Our Lady. As expected, there were lots of buses packed with pilgrims from all over the world. No one wants to miss Częstochowa which, many of us, came to know thanks to St John Paul II.
At a certain point we explained to the members of our group that there was a very long queue to visit the image of Our Lady and they should be free to do it or not. The answer from all of them was clear: "This is what we came for. We want to pray in front of the image of Our Lady".
While queuing one sees the many signs of prayer left by those who had passed in the church: rosaries, medals, crosses, prayers, ribbons... Sometimes one is able to identify where they came from: Colombia, Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Spain... and others were certainly added today: Kenya, Colombia, Mexico, Italy...
Because of the number of people these days, it is only possible to pass just a few seconds in front of the image of our Lady but it is always a very special and prayerful moment. I could do it twice. Bishops are allowed to go directly through the sacristy and are given more time to pray. It was a great opportunity to present to Mary's intercession the many people and situations we carry in our hearts. Then, I joined the group and walked with them for about an hour. A prayerful time too as they wrote down their personal prayers and left them in the church.
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Click below to see photos of the day